GM, Canadian Government Bet Jobs Against Environment

Sat, 2006-08-26 08:57Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

GM, Canadian Government Bet Jobs Against Environment

… and then they arrange to lose on both counts.

Per this column from the Globe and Mail’s Jeff Simpson, Canadian auto workers were celebrating this week with the announcement that GM will spend three quarters of a billion dollars refurbishing an Oshawa, Ontario auto plant to build the come-back Camaro. It’s cool. The Camaro’s cool (or it was a quarter century ago), the jobs are cool (3,900 times over) and the local investment is cool.

But the climate is warm and getting warmer, and Canada and GM continue to expend more energy contributing to the problem than trying to face it down.

Simpson offers a nice wrap, and there is more background here on Canada’s political collapse in negotiating its ridiculously lax voluntary emission standards. But here’s another question - not from an environmental perspective, but from a coldly economic one:

U.S. automakers have, in the last decade, dominated in the big-vehicle niche: trucks, SUVs and muscle cars. That would be cool, too, if that was a big niche - if it was, for example, a growing market sector. But gas prices are through the roof and unlikely to fall anytime soon. Why make yet more investments in a narrowing niche?

It would be easy to argue that the reason GM, et al, are only succeeding in the big-vehicle market is that carmakers in the rest of the world have been slow to realize how determined North Americans are to ignore climate change. Even when the Japanese and European auto giants strayed into the SUV wars, they still produced vehicles with that were more fuel efficient - and usually safer, as well. For everybody but GM and Ford, it clearly seemed like a good thing to do.

We at the DeSmogBlog are, obviously, all about saving the world. But we try to make time in each day to be all about making money, as well. And that makes us ask: Why does GM continue betting on this loser strategy? And why does the Canadian government line up and cheer when it happens?

Comments

[ In Canada ]
GM, Canadian Government Bet Jobs Against Environment
… and then they arrange to lose on both counts.

Per this column from the Globe and Mail’s Jeff Simpson, Canadian auto workers were celebrating this week with the announcement that GM will spend three quarters of a billion dollars refurbishing an Oshawa, Ontario auto plant to build the come-back

Camaro. It’s cool. The Camaro’s cool (or it was a quarter century ago), the jobs are cool (3,900 times over) and the local investment is cool.

But the climate is warm and getting warmer, and Canada and GM continue to expend more energy contributing to the problem than trying to face it down.

desmogblog.com/gm-canadian-government-bet-jobs-against-environment

[… . ]We at the DeSmogBlog are, obviously, all about saving the world. But we try to make time in each day to be all about making money, as well. And that makes us ask: Why does GM continue betting on this loser strategy? And why does the Canadian government line up and cheer when it happens? [ABG ]
================== Yeah,

and why would the gbmt not issue Canada sales clearance for EVs that fully qualify under D.O.T. regulations? Two Electric vehicle firms in Quebec and BC? News video…
TonyGuitar.blogspot.com

Exxon, Chevron, Shell and GM funding is mandatory for winning any election in Canada.
Harper is betwixt a rock and a hard place. = TG
Posted by: TG at November 21, 2007 7:56 PM

=============================== [ Woe the contrast ]

That*s Canada… This is USA

Gompertz, the owner of Eco Auto, Inc. He was mentioned in an article on MSNBC about eco-car dealers in the U.S.
Lynne Mason over at Electric Cars Are For Girls has gotten hold of Gompertz for a lengthy Q&A on what it’s like to sell EVs and other green cars in Bozeman, Montana.

Gompertz sells ZENN, Miles, Evader scooters, SNUGG electric bicycles, and Smart cars, and will ship them to you no matter where you live in America.
How does he feel about the two NEV makers on his list?

Gompertz told Mason that, **For electric cars, we chose the Zenn and the Miles. They’re both excellent quality electric cars that you can plug in like a cell phone, and both are easily adaptable to Montana’s 35mph NEV speed limit.**
======== AutobogGreen.com

[ Zenn is excellent quality! . . Hear that D.O.T. Canada? ] = TG
Posted by: TG at November 21, 2007 8:11 PM

You guys just don’t get it. The reason people just love and like to drive their cars is quite simple: A car is Absolute Freedom and nothing ain’t ever going to change that. Young male like to drive hot fast cars as bait for even hotter and faster women. And nothing ain’t ever going to change that either.

Maybe you guys like driving around in a little tin can but I don’t. My ‘82 Merc Capri HB with a push-rod inline 6 is a rock-solid, bullet-proof machine and it will last forever, and I could care less about the cost of gas.

Ya know, you just can’t put a price on Freedom!

It’s cool. The Camaro’s cool, the jobs are cool and the local investment is cool. But being it is a government; do they ask this, will it be cool for their generation?

How is it that we keep manufacturing cars to this level? In china, the population exploded. They limited families to have one child only. The population is steadily increasing but has slowed drammatically.

Should we not be doing the same with autos?
It is ot an answer to the problem, but it will control its exponential growth short-term before new discoveries are made!

When are manufacturers of one of the worlds largest pollutant contributors going to face up to the damage caused? How can governments be convinced to even contemplate issuing bans on the amount of vehicles per household? We should be still converting car engine’s to use other forms of sustainable resources, but in essence this is like curing a rash by picking at it with a toothpick! Not long ago our world was full of trees and forests and it has taken less than 100 years to deplete significantly! Combat pollution by re-introducing the natural cycle. Get tree surgeons to plant trees and vegetation instead of using gas guzzling chainsaws to fell them, get the whole world using bio-diesel as a start, before introducing new forms of environmenally friendly transport to replace vehicles that emmit noxious fumes.

If enough people truly knocked their heads together we could all progess and not step on the earth as if it were ****.