VW Cheating, is it such a problem?

The combustion engine is a compromise.

Twenty years ago great promises were made by the ‘Adiabatic Engine’ which would have been so fuel efficient that it would not have needed a cooling system.  About that time ‘lean burn technology’ was being developed for petrol engines. If those technologies were allowed to develop then 100mpg would now be the norm.  This would have slowed global warming and given us a little more time to persuade politicians that they should act on the problem.

Now the oxides of nitrogen are produced in nature and are found in higher concentrations over areas which have a propensity for lightning activity, such as over our remaining rain forests.   The oxides of nitrogen get washed into the soil and are recycled by the plants to produce protein.

The Environmentalists band wagon decided that nitrous oxide in towns is very bad since under certain weather conditions it can form a photochromic fog which is unpleasant.  Most of the time the wind will blow the nitrogen oxides away where it will quickly get washed into the soil.

Surely it is not beyond the wit of man to have the software on the car to switch on the devices which reduce nitrogen oxide emissions every time the  vehicle is in or around a town, and revert to the state which reduces carbon emissions when driven elsewhere?

Just having the software operate to reduce nitrogen emissions during testing yet reducing carbon emissions at other times is a step too far!