For Whom the Bell Tolls

Sentimental Journey …

Historical

Journalism & Car Industry, the synergetic existence. Journalist Erhard Roeder, his wife, his brother-in-law Dr. Gerhard Gallus & his trusty VW Beetle from 1950, displaying a trophy on its rooftop designed by his brother-in-law and signed by all the region’s  journalistic publications, TV and radio stations at the time. photo: Erich Gallus.

Mightier than the sword?

We applaud courageous journalism in situations of apparent inequality or clandestine motive. Journalists have long championed cause, often at their peril. Just think of Turkey – a country on the fast lane right into despotism, arbitrary totalitarianism and journalists are incarcerated for voicing the democratic views of the many..

However, with hype journalism are we holding a double edged sword? Journalists, mark scientist, engineer and inventor Alexander Graham Bell’s words:

Don’t keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone and following one after the other like a flock of sheep. Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods.

This does not only hold true for journalists following the common trend and creating one shortsighted hype after another. It also applies to politicians who eagerly seek a populist position to inflate their own standing among populist environmental movements by bashing industry, more particularly the Geman car industry and its combustion engines. Little attention, nor journalistic time is paid towards the developments in synthetic fuels or advanced power outputs of today’s diesel engines.

Our political and journalistic colleagues have embraced and created a legacy of mythological follies surrounding the combustion engine and have become blinded to the fact that the well-to-wheel, womb-to-tomb energy balance of electric vehicles is far more detrimental to our environment. At Stuttgart University they have proven that industry can create CO2 neutral fuels. Who talks about that, such a monumental feat and seemingly placed in the bottom drawer when it comes to capturing the lead lines or attention of our elected leaders? The mind boggles – in dismay and dispair.

Still, we believe the death-bell will more likely toll for blinkered politicians than for journalism or the combustion engine or excellent engineering. Despite the populist road we’re being encouraged to take, the unbeaten track Bell suggests is still discoverable. Allow journalism to detour our attention back to the combustion engine for the drive into the woods.