Sunday Times, 4 Oct 2015:
Dominic Lawson would like us to believe that the European Union considered climate change more important than public health (Take a deep breath and say it Brussels: the US is right about pollution, Sept 27). A more accurate assessment is that the EU considered both to be vitally important, and that the car manufacturers cynically promoted diesel as a way of reducing carbon emissions without admitting that the technology needed to properly control other pollutants would inevitably compromise fuel efficiency. This trade-off would have been exposed by the stricter emission standards in the US, so car manufacturers cheated by fitting defeat devices. How tragic that VW’s ingenuity and resources weren’t put to better use developing a genuinely clean alternative to fossil fuel-dependent engines.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath
Former Chair, Campaign for Lead-Free Air
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire