Winston Churchill famously defined an appeaser as someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. In the debate about global warming, business, especially large corporations, is the largest sector of appeasers and some, like Volkswagen, are now, rightfully, paying the price.
Churchill was talking about Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement with Adolf Hitler. In a classic example of the claim that fact is stranger than fiction, it was Adolf Hitler who sketched the design for the first Volkswagen (Figure1).
© 1999 – Hitler Historical Museum
Volkswagen was caught programming their performance monitoring computers to give lower readings on exhaust emissions when subjected to government testing. The rest of the time the program was set to provide optimum fuel performance for the driver. They deserve every admonition, fines, and loss of sales, for a totally self-inflicted wound. It’s what happens when you try to serve two masters. A few heads will roll, but the German government has already essentially determined that Volkswagen is too big to fail and is using the public purse to bail the fail. In a further addition of insult to injury and with a clear demonstration that they don’t know what they are doing, Chancellor Angela Merkel is providing assistance with incentives to produce electric cars. Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832) wrote,
“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!
Volkswagen’s deception was a self-deception because with some of…