GM Exec: Global Warming is a 'Crock'

Mon, 2008-02-25 10:12Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

GM Exec: Global Warming is a 'Crock'

General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a “total crock of shit,” saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.

On GM's Fast Lane Blog , Lutz writes:

Never mind what I said, or the context in which I said it. My thoughts on what has or hasn’t been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors.”

Comments

“`What they should be doing in earnest is forming opinions, not about me but about GM and what this company is doing that is … hugely beneficial to the causes they so enthusiastically claim to support,’ he said in a posting titled, `Talk About a Crock.’”

Well, Lutz has his opinion of the IPCC, Al Gore, the NASA, the EPA, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, and just about everyone in the mainstream climatology community. And I have my opinion of him. What’s wrong with that?

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Frank Bi, http://globaldumbing.tk

It’s a shame that stupidity is a defence in libel law, because otherwise we could call Bob Lutz a liar. As it is, we are left having to call  him an idiot, which is bad form in polite company.

Still, there is a reasonable case to be made. Toyota and the other leading Japanese, Korean and European automakers are kicking GM’s butt, constantly eroding the American auto giant’s dominance in its home market by building better, smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Yet Lutz can still say this:

“My thoughts on what has or hasn’t been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors.”

In the computer world, the phrase to describe GM’s policy decisions over the last decade would be “garbage in; garbage out.” The company appears to have gone out of its way to solicit bad advice, and having done so, to marginalize itself by defending a large-vehicle market position that is increasingly indefensible.

If Lutz sincerely believes that global warming is a “crock of shit,” then he has  been spending too much time reading reports from the Heartland or Competitive Enterprise institutes, and not enough time reading real science. He may be proud, now, of his ignorance. He may even be able to defend himself from being dismissed as venal and dishonest for saying such a thing.

But as CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world, that sort of self-imposed blindness should NOT be defensible. It will be interesting to see how long it takes GM’s shareholders to figure that out.

At least he admits that whatever changes are made at GM will be to “advance the cause of General Motors” rather than out of concern for the environment. I can’t say I’d really expect anything else. Further proof that the only way industry will be dragged kicking and screaming on board is if everybody has to follow the same rules: ie, mandatory emission limits.

Fern Mackenzie

Detroit and the US auto manufacturing industry not capitalize by Japan are sinking into the dustbin of American history thanks to the absolute stupidity of GM and its competition.

Of Lutz’ comment, one can only conclude:

it takes one to know one.

John L. McCormick

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