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Everyone talks about Volkswagen, but the real question is hardly ever touched

Christiane Kliemann

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Degrowth.de Blog


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"The ongoing discussion on identifying the culprits at Volkswagen and improving the general regulations for measuring car emissions remains at the surface and misses the real point: that the big players in the key industries of the globalized capitalist growth-economy – and thereby the big car companies – are doomed to grow or die which is disastrous in either case. As for the growth trajectory: is there really anybody who wants to live on a planet that is slowly but surely being choked by cars? Over the last ten years, global car production has almost doubled from 44,554,268 in 2004 to 87,037,611 in 2014. According to recent projections, the total number of cars on earth will increase from 1,2 billions in 2014 to about 2 billions in 2035. The environmental and social impacts of such growth rates cannot be simply compensated by technological solutions, even if all cars were electric and ran on renewable energies. In average, the production of a car causes as many emissions as its (petrol-fuelled) usage over the whole lifetime."

This article questions the car-centredness of the economy

Published on Degrowth.de on 13 November 2015

This post is also available in German


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