Everybody has a role to play with Global Warming. However I am concerned about capitalism driving the transport solutions to Global Warming. In the past week I have read about two vehicle makers pushing the “fast forward” button with electric vehicle manufacturing. First it was Ford and now VW.
Here’s what was written in the New York Times about VW this week:
Not long-ago Volkswagen was a global pariah after pleading guilty to the biggest emissions fraud in automotive history. Now it is the toast of the stock market, with its share’s worth twice as much as they were a year ago.
What happened? Ironically, Volkswagen’s misdeeds helped pave the way for its reversal of fortune.
In October 2015, a month after the company confessed to rigging diesel cars to conceal illegally high emissions, shellshocked company executives gathered in the brick-clad high-rise executive office building topped with a giant VW logo that looms over the carmaker’s main factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Then they wrote:
The diesel scandal remains a financial burden. The company disclosed in its annual report this week that potential liabilities from lawsuits, such as one by shareholders claiming the company misled them, could cost 4.2 billion euros, or $5 billion. That is in addition to the tens of billions of euros Volkswagen has already paid in fines and settlements since 2017 after admitting that it programmed diesel cars to produce lower emissions in testing conditions than in normal use.
Investors this week were focusing on Volkswagen’s future rather than its past.
In a series of appearances starting Monday, Mr. Diess and other executives outlined a €35 billion plan to build six battery factories, install a global network of charging stations and employ 10,000 software engineers to work on autonomous driving and other new technologies. Volkswagen would become the biggest software company in Europe after SAP, the German maker of software used by corporations to manage functions like logistics and finance.
Volkswagen’s voting shares ended the week up 20 percent in Frankfurt trading and have risen 75 percent since December, despite the company’s reporting a 37 percent drop in net profit for 2020 after the pandemic gutted sales. Since 2015, the shares have more than tripled.
My question is why is the debate not giving equal weight to the discussion of how we enhance public transport instead of everybody each purchasing an electric car? Once again poor people in the countries which have the raw materials for batteries are suffering because of them being used to mine the elements of battery manufacture. There are any number of articles on Google which will demonstrate the environmental and human damage as the world heads toward electric cars.
When capitalists decided that oil was plentiful, they built the first cars. Now they have been told to stop that and so they are driving the agenda again. It’s not about their share price. It’s about the planet.