Wednesday Morning: Lüg mich an, Lügner

I admit freely my facility with the German language is poor. I hope this post’s headline reads, “Lie to me, Liar.” Which is about as close as I could get to “Lying Liars” because I can’t conjugate the verb ‘to lie.’


It’s not like anybody’s paying me for this, unlike the lying liars at Volkswagen who’ve been paid to deceive the public for a decade. This video presentation featuring Daniel Lange and Felix Domke — a security consultant and an IT consultant, respectively, who reverse engineered VW’s emissions control cheat — is a bit long, but it’s chock full of unpleasant truths revealing the motivations behind VW’s Dieselgate deceptions. The video underpins the cheat outlined in a 2006 VW presentation explaining how to defeat emissions tests.

The one problem I have with this video is the assumption that the fix on each of the affected vehicles will be $600. Nope. That figure is based on how much has been set aside for the entire Dieselgate fix, NOT the actual cost to repair the vehicles.

Because if VW really fixed the vehicles to match the claims they made when they marketed and sold these “clean diesel” passenger cars, it’d cost even more per vehicle. I suspect one of the motivations behind inadequate reserves for a true repair is a reluctance to disclose to competitors how much emissions standards-meeting “clean diesel” really costs.

And of course, avoiding more stringent calculations also prevents an even bigger hit to the company’s stock price, which might affect the pockets of some board members and executives rather disproportionately to the rest of the stock market.

Just how closely that figure per car hews to the agreement with the court this past week will be worth noting, since the video was published in December last year.

But now for the much bigger, even more inconvenient Lügner Lügen: This entire scandal exposes the fraud that is the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris agreement.

We know a small nonprofit funded research by a tiny group of academics exposing VW’s emissions controls defeat. We know this set off a cascade of similar analysis, exposing even more cheating by more automobile manufacturers.

But why are we only now finding out from nonprofits and academics about this fraud? Didn’t our elected representatives create laws and the means for monitoring compliance as well as enforcement? Why aren’t governments in the U.S. and the EU catching these frauds within a year of their being foisted on the public?

These questions directly impact the Paris agreement. We’re not starting where emissions standards have been set and where the public believes conditions to be, but at real emissions levels. In other words, we are digging out of  a massive pollution hole.

Our elected officials across the world will avoid funding the dig-out; they’ll continue another layer of lies to prevent removal from office. And we can reasonably expect from them only what they’ve done so far, which Dieselgate has proven to be little.

For that matter, Flint’s water crisis has much in common with Dieselgate, relying on academic research and nonprofit entities to reveal mortal threats to the community. Flint’s crisis showed us government at all levels can be even worse at writing laws, monitoring compliance, and subsequent enforcement.

If the public cannot expect government to do the job it believes it elected them to do over the last several decades, how ever can they expect their government to enact the terms of the Paris agreement? How can we expect third world countries to reduce carbon emissions to save the world from the devastation of climate change while we and our governments continue to ignore corporations’ ongoing deceptions?

No roundup today, gang. I strongly recommend watching the video above. Thanks to BoingBoing for linking to it.

32 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    “I suspect one of the motivations behind inadequate reserves for a true repair is a reluctance to disclose to competitors how much emissions standards-meeting “clean diesel” really costs.” I thought you’ve been saying that there is no such thing as clean diesel technology; am I wrong? Can the emissions standards be met (and if so, would that mean a big decrease in fuel economy?), or can they not be met?
    And on this: Didn’t our elected representatives create laws and the means for monitoring compliance as well as enforcement?” Actually, no, they didn’t. Practically every aspect of regulated life in the US and elsewhere in the world depends on a heaping helping of self-reporting and self-enforcement. If it weren’t that way, you’d have a thousand times more food inspectors, and a hundred times more car inspectors, and a hundred times more toy inspectors, and people everywhere making sure that our millions of miles of roads are as safe as they can be, and every single waterline in the US is safe, etc., etc., someone watching over every aspect of life that affects people’s safety. An unimaginably large increase in the size and cost of government, and that just ain’t happening, for better or worse. We make choices as to where to allocate scarce resources. I will still bet that most of the fuel economy and emissions standards are in fact met in the US even though there be some bad players.
    Finally, I can’t conjugate the verb “to lie” either, and I think that hardly anyone can do that today. That’s why I rejoiced when I read a recent article which basically says, “Use ‘lie’ or ‘lay’ or ‘laid’ or whatever, everyone knows what you mean and if it doesn’t meet the terms of some two hundred year old rule, then f**k it.” Praise be!

    • bloopie2 says:

      Reply to myself: “Can the emissions standards be met (and if so, would that mean a big decrease in fuel economy?), or can they not be met?” Rayne, I expect you to know all these answers, no matter how difficult or arcane, you do realize that, don’t you? :)

  2. harpie says:

    Hi Rayne, the title does translate as “lie to me, Liar”.
    “Lying liar” might be something like “Lugnerischer Lugner” , or maybe “Lugender Lugner” [with umlauts over both “u’s” in each case].

    In any case, it’s no lie that this is another really thoughtful and interesting [and entertaining] news roundup brought to us by Rayne! I, for one, don’t know how you keep it up. Thanks! :-)

  3. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (11:52) — Yes, I did say there’s * no such thing as clean diesel technology *.

    By which I mean buyer-affordable technology that results in a
    1) street-legal passenger vehicle, that
    2) has competitive fuel economy, and
    3) with competitive total cost to own, and
    4) operates on diesel fuel while emitting pollutants at or below emissions standards, and
    5) costs no more than existing passenger diesel technology.

    It doesn’t exist, or they’d already be selling it. They wouldn’t be selling the lie and *improving the lie* for a decade.

    The “true repair” would change the existing non-compliant vehicles on the road to meet those criteria, and there’s no way a mere $600 would do that.

    Look at the opportunity cost: they set aside $6.7 BILLION dollars for repair, pulled out of corporate reserves (probably from a captive insurance firm). Could VW design and build a brand new fully-compliant “clean diesel” for a cost of $6.7 billion?

    Apparently not, or they would not have to pull that money out of reserves for after-the-fact fixes. Which underlines my point: there is no such thing as clean diesel technology.

    WRT second point: Baloney. If a small nonprofit worth only $3 million dollars in assets, and an academic research group using funds supplied by that NGO can identify the cheat, we can do that, should have done that, are paying too fucking much for whatever POS government-based monitoring we’re doing now.

    And I’ll bet $6.7 billion is a bunch more than either German or the U.S. has spent on wretched emissions standards monitoring in the last decade. We can afford better. We’re just lying to ourselves.

    WRT conjugating the verb ‘to lie’: I’m waiting for scribe to show up and smack down my awful German. Which won’t bear much relationship to modern English lie (meaning to tell an untruth), lie (to recline a body), or lay (to place an object down).

    • harpie says:

      “I’m waiting for scribe to show up and smack down my awful German.”
      Oooops! Now I’m in for it! [Conversational German was MANY years ago.] At least I said “might be something like”…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      VW has adopted a proven message management technique often used by government departments (CIA, FBI) and large corporations. It’s trotted out when previous denials no longer suffice to hide wrongdoing: Admit a booboo, understate its size (How many tapes did your client erase, counselor? How many civilians were killed in that missile strike, general?), occasionally admit that to be an error, offer up another understated lie, admit that that was in error, and once in a blue moon admit to a real number, after the issue has faded from prominence or on the Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend.

      If VW set aside a given amount, it’s an offer. As you say, it’s not an acknowledgement of the true cost of a fix. It’s probably a little more than VW thinks it can get away with, not the amount required to fix the engines and the associated environmental damage (only partly fixable) from persuading the public to use too many too polluting cars. As you say, clean diesel may be as much of a fantasy as clean coal or unicorns.

  4. Rayne says:

    Hey, one more thing: I want to point out the guys in the embedded video above did their analysis *for free.* Gratis. Pro bono. And what a lot of work they did just out of curiosity and a sincere desire to inform.

    It’s absolutely insane that we’re relying on a puny bunch of self-driven, highly-curious geeks and under-funded, tenure-needing academics to save our bacon, while not paying them much if anything at all.

    (she says as she clicks ‘Post Comment’ at a website hosted by way of donations – LOL)

    • bevin says:

      This is, almost a Michigan story: the school in question is in Windsor Ontario-just over the bridge from Detroit. The guy in question could be telling the truth. He’s a refugee from Sudan and probably doesn’t know his age.
      Or perhaps he just knew that he ought to go to school if he wanted to succeed in North America.
      The obscene thing is that Sudan gets ripped into pieces as a kind of double AA league spectacle in geopolitical jousting- the team being sponsored by George Clooney and chums- and young men have to flee. Or die, being military age, they can be killed with impunity-isn’t that right Barack Obama?
      As for the basketball, I doubt the guy had much choice: tall, black, an immigrant how could he say “no” to the gym teacher.

      • bloopie2 says:

        You know, I thought as much when I posted, but I didn’t have any backup information. But what you say makes sense. H is, bing from Sudan, truly a victim of the world’s violent access to guns. I wish we could do something.

  5. jerryy says:

    ut why are we only now finding out from nonprofits and academics about this fraud? Didn’t our elected representatives create laws and the means for monitoring compliance as well as enforcement? Why aren’t governments in the U.S. and the EU catching these frauds within a year of their being foisted on the public?

    Very good questions.
    You might also ask, why you are asking such good questions, ‘why are our elected representaives working so diligently at stopping those agencies charged with this type of monitoring, detection and enforcement from actually doing their job?’
    Why are those same representatives working so hard to defund and end the existence of the small non-profits and academics that are trying to look into these questions?
    Why are the ekected represtatives telling state and local governments to ignore the regulatory agencies and to instead sue in federal court to overturn the protections?

  6. Evangelista says:

    “Lüg an mich, Lúgner.” = “Lie to me, liar.” “Lüg mich an, Lügner.” = “Continue lying to me, liar.”
    A “lying liar” could be (ein) “lügne Lügner” or “lügene Lügner” or “lügende Lügner”, plural “lügenden Lügneren”.
    I hate to go into the pollution business, but… The VW thing does not expose the fraud that is the framework of the what is called “Climate Change”, which is, in fact, World Pollution, or its causes, continuation or past and ongoing evasions (which include the Paris Agreement). The VW business is another dodge and evasion, with a (another) fiscal grab included.

    A major contributing component in the VW “dieselgate” is the arbitrary, capricious, political and protectionist (favors-for-contributors) U.S. approach to not only emission-reduction, but all vehicle-manufacture regulation. Everything from headlight-heights and styles to glass standards, to emission standards and compliance and testing regulations has been subject to political-purpose and lobby-dictation modification. European manufacturers have become accustomed to being buffeted by arbitrary change after arbitrary change, each costing them money and adding obstacles to selling in the U.S. market. Some have abandoned the market for the obstacles. U.S. emission standards have been angled toward gas-guzzlers and gas-guzzling, for example, low fuel-mileage after-burning (catalytizing), adding extra fuel and pumping extra oxygen into the exhaust to maintain the after-burning contributing to the low-mileage, the “low pollution” being low for burning so much fuel. The European approach has been to, first, lower the amount of fuel being burnt; lowering pollution by lowering that. A 40 mpg vehicle producing 20ppm pollutes less than a 20mpg one producing 10ppm of the same byproduct. Lower the 40mpg product to 15ppm you have significant reduction, but if it is without the after-burn it is deemed, in the U.S., not enough. U.S. regs require lowering the mileage to 30, to burn more fuel: The 10ppm achieved being relative to the amount of fuel used, the reduction is an increase in actual produced pollution.

    For this European, and other, manufacturers have become cynical about the U.S., which they see a politically manipulating cheater, and perceive no real wrong in cheating the cheater. Demanding impossible standards be met is one of the cheater’s cheats manufacturers see no real wrong in faking to meet. It is as in Flint: You have bureaucrats defining standards and demanding adjustments be made by engineers, to effect in reality to preserve their ‘standards’. In the Flint case the ‘standards’ were fiscal “savings”.

    Thus, VW’s ‘cheat’ is not surprising, and, if you compare actual pollution productions, for diesels being inherently cleaner to begin with, have not had actually significant effect: Drivers driving VW diesels are still producing less pollution, and less harmful pollution, than they would be driving gasoline fueled vehicles, especially alcoholized gasoline burning vehicles.

    The VW cheat, incidentally, was found by engineers playing with their equipment and noting an anomally, not a lab checking for compliance.

    This is part of why I don’t take the VW ‘dieselgate’ business very seriously. The contribution to world pollution is miniscule, in relative terms, less than miniscule: Alcoholizing gasoline produces way more, and worse, pollutions, increases consumer costs and fossil and bio fuel consumptions. Also, any “fix” for diesels will require more fuel-burn, and further increase consumer costs and fossil fuel use, and will net add pollution (less per gallon, more per vehicle-mile).

    What the government is doing, in fact, is shaking-down a wealthy manufacturer: The fines and ‘penalty’ payments will go to the government. The economy will get a small boost for mechanics having more work (that VW will pay for) and consumers will get down-time for repairs and then lower mileage, higher costs per mile, and will add more to world pollution for their per-gallon pollution being insignificantly lowered.

    Meanwhile, while it is doing a dog-and-pony show beating up VW, the U.S. government is pushing through TTIP and TPIP, the trade agreements designed by ‘world-industry’ to benefit ‘world-industry’, which is largely finance and sale ‘industry’, for which its focus is cheapest manufacture and most value-adding for sales.

    “Cheapest manufacture” means cheapest labor, cheapest overhead, lowest imposed costs (like for pollution reduction) and lowest social-cost (taxes). In the United States, where there is lots of brown coal, but high labor costs and high overhead and high overhead (pollution reduction) costs for coal-energy production (especially brown coal), the ‘industries’ encourage ‘alternative fuels’ while the T-P’s facilitate exporting brown coal to Asia, where it can be burnt without the bother and expenses associated with burn-rate controls, stack-scrubbers, ash and sulpher reduction, etc. In Asia they can just shovel in and let ‘er burn and let the byproduct billow out of the stacks. ‘Industries’, you may have noticed, have been moving to Asia. They also have, in smaller independent nations, electricity generation facilities that are for industries only, where the people who live in the shadows of the plants, and sweat in the shops of them and the attracted industries, live by candle-light. Social costs are low (for the industries).

    Meanwhile, in meteorology there are winds aloft in what is called the jet-stream that are known as “Westerlies”. They blow west to east. They are the reason for weather patterns having a general flow form west to east. The Westerlies pick up the Asian industries’ belched billows of pollution and carry them east. Some of the pollutants fall into the Pacific Ocean, some falls on the U.S. west coast, some falls on as the carrying weather moves on across. What falls (precipitates) into the ocean adds to the pollutions that U.S. “pollution control” policy has made to flow in: The acid from old batteries, phosphorous from old CRT television and monitor tubes and so on,, all of which U.S. rules required to be reclaimed, but did not require to be dealt with internally, wherefore all have been shipped to Asia, where no standards prevented simple disposal,by crushing and washing, running all the pollutants into revers and seas.

    A lot of good it does to mandate clean air, or anything, standards in the U.S. when they only move the polluting off-shore, outside U.S. clean-burning requirement jurisdiction. A lot of good it does to weep about excess carbon-dioxide when fermenting farm-crops to make alcohol to add to vehicle fuel is unnecessarily (except for profits) producing additional volumes. It does a lot of harm, though. With the uninhibited pollution produced U.S. government world industries are poisoning Asia, the oceans, the U.S. and the rest of the world more, and more cynically, than all the cheating and cheated diesels on the planet ever could, or could ever be imagined doing.

    “Climate Science”, you will recognize if you look at it carefully for what it is, is a ‘political science’. Its purpose is not to lessen world pollution, its purpose is to bring protestors in as obstacles, to use them to manipulate the public and public opinion and political opinion, to lobby additional layers of bureaucratic rules and regulations that will not lessen pollution, but increase it, whose purpose is to justify adding taxes (carbon taxes) to increase revenues for the government players, and to create a financial market (carbon credits trading) for the industrial players. And it is geared to freeing up fossil fuels, oil, coal, and facilitating their exports for sales to industrial users in Asia, where they are unhampered by pollution-control requirements.

    And, lost somewhere in the underbrush, it is geared to encouraging pension and foundation ‘disinvestment’ from fossil fuels, to facilitate moving ownership of lucrative energy sources from conservative/conservationist owners to the markets, where the industry players can buy them up(someone has to be buying for the “socially conscious” to be selling).

    “Dieselgate” is just another diversion, a “Hey! Look over here! Don’t pay any attention to over there. Nothing worth seeing there. This is what’s important.”

    The liars, the real liars, aren’t concerned about the planet, or about the people on the planet. They are in their own, they think, separate, world, where, they think, they can write their own versions of “reality”, and blame the people they ordered to make it so when it can’t be done, or when the whole thing blows, or, which is more likely, implodes, and then blows…

    • P J Evans says:

      the fraud that is the framework of the what is called “Climate Change”

      That’s what the conservatives want you to believe. It’s real. It’s here. It’s going to kill a hella lot of people in the next twenty or so years.

      • Evangelista says:

        P J Evans,
        “Climate Change” (note the quotes) and climate change are different entities, as Catholic (note the capital) and catholic are different. The first, in both cases, designates a church, the other, in both cases, is a verbal representation of a concept construction. “Catholic” means “universal”, so it was adopted to suggest universality for the church the adopters were pushing. “Climate Change” was adopted similarly, to suggest the beliefs being sold to be the ‘deitic powers’ ‘conjuring’ the naturally occurring and consequentially produced components the pushers were/are building on. “Climate Change Denial” is a counter-part, a negating opposition belief system. Neitherr “Climate Change” or “Cllimate Change Denial” has any more than incidental connection with elements in physical reality. Compare to the comparable fighting going on between “Evolutionist” and “Creationist” parties, noting again the capitalizing and quoting. Evolution, the concept the word designates, does not exist as a religious belief because Evolutionists believe religiously, or not exist as a concept because “Intelligent Design” (evolved from Creationism) denies the religious construction of Evolution to exist.

        The common designations “spring”, “summer”, “autumn”, “winter” attest to the reality of climate changing due to increases and decreases of areas of planet Earth to more direct and more incident solar photonic heating. This heating, and other heat-definable variations in solar energy activity produce solar-cycles that induce additional heating. Energy motion harmonics do also. The fluids of, and around, planet Earth are energy-volatile, meaning they move responsively to energy instigations. Weather patterns are observable products, ocean currents also. Both change and shift with energy input triggerings, all are influenced by other elements, such as land-ocean differentiations, topography, etc. Storms, climates, droughts, etc. are products of aggregations of these. There are sciences that study the causes and the effects, defining them. “Climate Science” is a religion, not a science, because it does not study and define, it defines and then ‘studies’, my single-quotes designating that the study, while real study, is oriented to finding supports for the studiers’ pre-defined beliefs. Science does this, too, the same activities in the same sequence, in what is called ‘theorizing and proofing’, the “theo” of theorizing indicating ‘pronouncing like god’. In science the ‘proofing’ brings the exercise back down to physical reality. In religion the ‘proofing’ brings appearances of physicality to the theology. If you miss, or fail to proof the proofs, for the difference you can be taken in.

        To say that byproduct co2 generated by human actions is responsible for what a variety of physical phenomena in interactions with each other are responsible for is not only ridiculous simplification, it is asserting that the air-movement generated by the tail wagging is propelling the dog. Note tbat this example has a degree of sensibility, since the described does work for fish in water, but that the analogy fails in transfer to dogs in air.

        If we build a construction on our dog analogy, asserting it “Truth”, we demand religious belief, and if we assert our construct of wags moving dogs physical truth, to forward an agenda, we perpetrate a fraud. If we gather together to make a “Paris Agreement” to keep dogs from menacing by controlling dogs’ tail waggings, we build a fraud on a fraud. Especially if we are feeding dogs treats on the side to “fabricate” volume for our “menace”.

    • John Casper says:

      You wrote, “…it is geared to encouraging pension and foundation ‘disinvestment’ from fossil fuels,…”

      Do you have links to estimates of gross of U.S. pension investment and gross U.S. foundation investment?

      Thanks in advance.

      Rayne, nice catch on malware in the Bararian nuke.

      It’s important.

      Wall Street, Bechtel, and other big construction firms want to build more nukes. Post 9/11 centralized generation doesn’t make sense. Add that negative to underwriters who already wouldn’t insure them without federal guarantees.. The grid is so old, we lose half the electricity generated via nukes, natural gas, coal, in transmission. The world’s only got about a century’s worth of fissile material, and what remains is mostly in Russia. They require huge amounts of fresh water to cool and we’ve got no place to store the waste, or to keep it out of the ground water.

  7. Rayne says:

    Evangelista (8:19) —
    1) This: The VW thing does not expose the fraud that is the framework of the what is called “Climate Change”,

    Slow your roll. Re-read what I wrote. I said the UNFCCC PARIS AGREEMENT is a fraud. That’s because the major signatories are lying to themselves about their emissions left and right, before ratification and implementation of the Agreement even begins.

    And climate change is real.

    Not even going to bother with your filibuster-length comment, except to disagree with the so-called cleanliness of diesel versus gasoline emissions levels.

    With regard to CO2 production — from EPA’s site, ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle’:

    CO2 Emissions from a gallon of gasoline: 8,887 gm CO2/gallon
    CO2 Emissions from a gallon of diesel: 10,180 gm CO2/gallon

    That’s 15% more CO2 per gallon of diesel fuel compared to gasoline.

    Only because diesel engines have higher fuel economy do they make up for their CO2 emissions output, nearly breaking even with gasoline engines. This does not take into account any differences between these fuels and NOX and other emissions output.

    BUT…VW’s passenger vehicles tried to retain performance (acceleration, power, speed), the defeat devices did NOT throttle fuel consumption.

    Real world road measurements showed VW passenger diesel engines exceeded the EPA standard by as much as 7X the EPA standard. Pretty much puts down any claim that diesel engines are cleaner than gasoline, regardless of any increased fuel economy.

    Side note: One reason why U.S. diesel passenger vehicles have improved emissions over the last decade has been the reduction of sulfur content in fuel here in U.S. — this has nothing to do with the engines themselves, it’s the same technology. Put in higher sulfur fuel and presto, party like it’s 1999 again.

    • Evangelista says:


      Sorry about the lengths of my explanations. Explanations that explain tend to go like that, especially when they are contrary to accepted beliefs. And I even left out explanation of the ocean currents elements, the Japanese current that keeps Japan and Korea ‘warm’ turns into the Alaskan current that cools California, and carries pollution from Asia to America (including, during the ‘cold war’, nuclear waste that Russia dumped in Siberia because it would wash around to down the ‘enemy’s’ west coast).

      CO2 is ‘clean’ combustion byproduct. It is not a pollutant, or pollution. It is what we animals exhale, what trees ‘inhale’. For trees CO2 is ‘the gas of life’, as oxygen is for us.

      The higher CO2 production from diesel combustion, v. gasoline combustion, is for diesel having higher volumetric efficiency (producing more energy-activity [heat] per unit volume). The higher ‘fuel efficiency’ (mileage) diesels produce is for diesel’s higher volumetric efficiency.

      You have to define each item and what each is, and what each does, then define their effects in combination, and in in-case and in-situ relationship. A horse breathes more air, using more oxygen, and producing more carbon-dioxide, than a cat, but what does that mean in real world applications? That getting a horse to reduce your mouse problems is energy-wasteful? That harnessing a cat to your plough makes “good energy sense”?

      Mercedes, VW, Audi diesel performance improvements are primarily products of a pre-ignition system developed by the company, which allowed diesels to ‘compete’ with gasoline vehicles in those areas. The vehicles ‘high performances’ are high diesel-vehicle performances, made approximately equivalent to gasoline-powered vehicle performances, making the more efficient diesel vehicles attractive to drivers used to gasoline performance (diesels are still slower, still more ‘docile’, still more fuel-efficient, and still less polluting across the board than gasoline powered vehicles). Computer-control of combustion conditions is primarily responsible for most of the improvements in efficiency, and cleanliness of combustion, in all vehicle combustion, for all fuels. It is computer monitoring of input and output of internal combustions that “throttles fuel consumption” in vehicles. using less fuel and using it more efficiently is still the best way to decrease polluting.

      Re your sidenote, low sulphur diesel for road use has been the rule from the 1970’s. Sulphur was not an additive, like lead, it was a natural contaminant constituent, which has to be removed to make diesel ‘road-clean’. High sulphur content lowers performance. But leaving it in is cheaper. Hence, farm-diesel (and other off-road use diesels) are less refined, higher sulphur and cheaper than road diesel.

      Apologies, again, for the lengths. I don’t preach, so I won’t do regular repetitions, so there is at least that…

      • John Casper says:

        You wrote, “…it is geared to encouraging pension and foundation ‘disinvestment’ from fossil fuels,…”
        Do you have links to estimates of gross of U.S. pension investment and gross U.S. foundation investment?

        Second request.

        • Evangellista says:

          john Casper,

          Sorry I missed your first query, I didn’t read on down and I ran out of time, or I would have answered yours first. It’s an easy one:

          No, I don’t have links. It would be interesting to know, though. My interest in financial realm operations is incidental, but I enjoy following them from outside, defining the components and interrelations of them.

          For a quick and easy overview review of (or introduction to) the area of human activity for overview study I recommend Frank Norris’ short story “A Deal In Wheat”. For more depth look for Adam Fergusson’s “When Money Dies”. both available (free) on the net. For ongoing following (and to learn current usages and vocabulary) follow <>.

          The people at Zero Hedge are financial sector gadfliles. Their focus is in the area and their researches appear to be well done, oriented to defining, rather than supporting convictions. I would suggest posing your question to them. They should have the data sources at or near fingertips, and I would imagine they might take interest in graphing how much movement is being successfully instigated in how large of a pool (or how much drainage is resulting from the hysteria-encouragement efforts to start siphons).

          The investments you/they will be looking for will be the conservative ‘blue-chip’ type securities that foundations, endowments, pensions, etc. hold for secure holding, long term. These don’t pay much, but they remain secure through recessions and depressions, reflecting volatilities in very damped proportions. And they survive. Whatever the panics and hysterias, whicher dogs eat whichever others, all, everywhere, need energy resources, so those with ownerships of those can count on them maintaining value, and remaining flexibly liquid, or liquible, and so usable in any situation. The name of the game in the financial realm is to convince fools to part with what the wiser see wisdom in acquiring. For this, the financially wise, seeing serious depression looming, are today interested in securities that will most likely survive. Thus, it is worth trying to wring these away from fools who will sell today, instead of securing themselves by holding. Foundation and endowment managers who are willing to listen to emotional demands and pleas put forward by true-beleivers (or confidence tricksters) are, to financial world ‘realists’ (the whole fiancial world is actually fabricated, entirely based on belief), class A fools, provided by Providence, so to speak. Academic Boards of Directors and Rectors who will sell energy-resource foundationed resources at the directions of student protestors are AAA grade fools, since they are letting the kids they are supposed to be guiding guide them, and are divesting of voice in corporate affairs when they divest of theinvestments. Intelligent, for academics, would be to retain the voices and use them as teaching tools, having their students learn to research what and how the platform ownerships provide may be used, and the realities of the topics that grab their attentions and carry them. It would be using the resources as educational resources, too.

          See if the Zero Hedge troops will take up research of how “encouraging pension and foundation ‘disinvestment’ from fossil fuels” is being done in organized ways, and how it is going, whether the going is incidental side-effect of the “Climate-Change” spiritual euphoria, or being deliberately played as a manipulating gambit. I am interested, too.

          • John Casper says:

            You wrote, “Sorry I missed your first query, I didn’t read on down and I ran out of time, or I would have answered yours first. It’s an easy one:…”

            Until you provide links that support your claim:

            “And, lost somewhere in the underbrush, it is geared to encouraging pension and foundation ‘disinvestment’ from fossil fuels, to facilitate moving ownership of lucrative energy sources from conservative/conservationist owners to the markets, where the industry players can buy them up(someone has to be buying for the “socially conscious” to be selling).”

            It’s false, incomplete, inaccurate and pretty close to nonsense.

            That’s the case of most of what your write here.

  8. Rayne says:

    P J Evans (12:23) — Climate change has already been killing people for some time. Drought across northern African continent, Middle East, India for example. Enormous typhoons like Haiyan and Pam. Suspect some sinkhole-related deaths may also count toward tally, if the holes were created by CO2 or methane escape from below earth’s surface. Bet there’s more I could come up with if I wasn’t groggy from sleep deprivation. :-)

  9. Vlax says:

    If it’s just a software flash to fix the frequency that urea is pumped in to reduce NOx I don’t see how flashing is going to create a wholesale cost more than $600. Hooking up a module to a computer takes a second and flashing takes another. That was the whole hack Felix in the video revealed

  10. Rayne says:

    Vlax (4:29) — Of course, how stupid of me to miss the obvious.

    How stupid of Volkswagen to set aside $6.7 BILLION before federal court determined they must repair or settle with 600K vehicle owners in the U.S. Why not simply have a soft recall and update the ECU code?

    How stupid of automotive industry analysts to devalue VW group’s stock and panic all of Germany over a decade’s worth of mere software updates.

    How stupid of VW to need the original court-ordered 30-days and a 30-day extension to come up with a compensation package for vehicle owners instead of simply updating the ECU code.

    How stupid of VW to come up with a settlement for only the 2.0L vehicles and not the 3.0L vehicles, because it’s just a software fix.

    Did you pay any attention at all to Daniel Lange’s portion of the presentation? Or did you just scroll ahead to Felix Domke’s portion? Because you missed the real problem if you did.

  11. Rayne says:

    earlofhuntingdon (3:28) — I meant to come back and reply to this:
    VW has adopted a proven message management technique often used by government departments (CIA, FBI) and large corporations. …

    Yes, I know — I saw it frequently when I did competitive intelligence in the software industry, the means by which FUD was disseminated to launder the source. German was a favorite origin point because the language was difficult to translate word-for-word. In fact, Daniel Lange’s portion of the presentation notes in particular how the word “involvement” was manipulated between German and English languages and cultural differences between Germany and the U.S.

    Lange did a fine job of laying out how Germany and EU legal system differs from the U.S. in a way that sets up conditions for Dieselgate, especially the lack of a punitive monetary assessment by the court. This might explain, too, why it’s so easy for certain three-letter organizations and corporations to launch projects/programs from Germany/EU in addition to the language fuzziness.

  12. by the lakeshore says:

    Michigan official suggested gaming water tests to ‘bump out’ lead results

    State environmental analyst in a 2008 email asked a technician collecting samples of a water system in Fenton to collect more to avert a ‘lead public notice’

    “Oh my gosh, I’ve never heard [it] more black and white,” said Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech professor and lead expert who helped uncover the Flint water crisis. “In the Flint emails, if you recall, it was a little bit implied … this is like telling the strategy, which is: ‘You failed, but if you go out and get a whole bunch more samples that are low, then you can game it lower.’

    “It just shows that this culture of corruption and unethical, uncaring behavior predated Flint by at least six years.”

  13. by the lakeshore says:

    Michiganders still have elevated PBB levels in their bodies 40 years after chemical accident

    In 1973, a plant owned by Velsicol Chemical made a mistake and shipped a toxic flame retardant chemical to a livestock feed plant. The chemical is called polybrominated biphenyl, or PBB. It took about a year to discover the accident. Millions of Michiganders ate contaminated beef, chicken, pork, milk and eggs.

  14. Rayne says:

    Evangelista — Funny how your name fits your proselytizing nature when it comes to climate change denialism.

    Most visitors here accept the scientific method, and ongoing redefinition of theory, just as most scientists do. They’ve been persuaded by research over time. Religion doesn’t redefine — it’s an absolutism. In contrast, earth science has undergone steady redefinition based on the application of the scientific method. Part of that redefinition is our understanding of climate — and over time, data gathered supports the theory that earth’s climate is changing due to human activity.

    Here forward we chalk you up under the column for climate change denial. Got it. We’ve had more than adequate evidence of your beliefs from a number of your comments. Time for a different topic on which to evangelize.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Even Thatcherite Britain’s scientists concluded 30 years ago that human-caused climate change was a real problem.

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