Ah, Wired — i remember when you were a magazine angled at people who were interested in science and emerging computer and electronics markets, but publishing has steadily moved away from niche ‘zines towards mediocre puff pieces to separate the ads for TAG Heuer, Kenneth Cole, Lincoln, and — oooh, Microsoft Cloud (that’s enough tech shit, back to Movado and other glitzy lifestyle brands!) You can’t blame them, I suppose; most of their business is online, now, and getting eyeballs to look at your ads on the sidebars requires clickbait — intriguing, important, or funny taglines to get people to have a look…like “Wired Goes Full Retard”… (Ooh, a pop culture reference!) Here, the clickbait is a lamentable piece of steaming monkey shit called “New Study Links VW’s Emissions Cheating to 60 Early Deaths”.
FUCK!!!! Congress and Obama better get the 86th Wing up and bombing the snot out of Wolfsburg before they kill again!
Except…it’s a load of bunk. A quick look at the piece shows you why Wired is about as reliable as a year-old Tesla. The premise is that the nitrogen oxide levels your Passat is kicking out are 40x what they are supposed to be. Okay — that could be bad. Should it be fixed? Yes. Should VW get fined for it? Sure. Are they destroying the planet and killing old people and babies? Only if badly driven. But this does not fit the narrative.
They cite a study by an “emissions researcher” at MIT who found this scandal was perfect for testing his new computer model on pollutants. Well, that sounds a bit suspicious, right away. As we all know, computer models have been staggeringly accurate at predicting activity in large, highly chaotic systems like weather (it was supposed to be sunny today…it’s rainy and gray), or long term temperature trends (oh, that 15 year dip in runaway climatic heating is a bit embarrassing, ennit? Say…we’re we supposed to be underwater, by now?)
This model “proves” “back-of-the-envelope calculations from the New York Times, Vox (possibly the largest collection of congenital idiots in current events publishing right now), and other news organizations” that VW’s emissions increases could have lead the the early deaths of tens of people in the US alone! Tens! We are breathlessly being told how super-smart and prescient the “news” organizations are when they aren’t jumping to incorrect conclusions on just about everything else. Keep in mind that Communications & Journalism is the major you go into when subjects like engineering, physics, and art history are just too hard. I am sure, however, that
Worse, these tens of people, and the presumably hundreds of others than could suffer heart or lung disease we are assured NOx causes will cost $450 million over the next ten to twenty years. Terrible! The federal government spends more than that in a similar time period on unauthorized funny music videos of their employees wasting your time and money.
Shut up, Scott, you say; this study was peer reviewed!!! Peer review is like slapping “organic” on a food label — It must be accurate, right? Other scientists — in no way similarly motivated by enviro-activism that infects just about every credulous, under-educated member of “journalism.” Maybe the author should have been as suspicious of this story as she was of the much-hyped and totally ridiculous bacon causes cancer story, but my suspicion is she loves bacon and hates the internal combustion engine.