GM Vice-chair touts "Volt" but still denies climate science

Click on this hilarious video and you will hear comedian Stephen Colbert asking if global warming is being caused by “sunspots” and GM vice-chair Bob Lutz answering:

“… in the opinion of about 32,000 of the world's leading scientists, yes.”

The reference in what is otherwise a lighthearted comedy segment demonstrates the toxicity of the climate change denial movement.

The 32,000 deniers in question are not the “world's leading scientists.” They are a self-selected group of people whose science credentials are modest or non-existent and who are led by the man who was big tobacco's leading apologist.

On the whole, the Colbert video is wonderfully funny , and Lutz deserves some credit for having the nerve to go on air and make fun of his own electric (concept) car, the Chevy Volt. But it's chilling to hear him toss in this big lie (the Oregon petition to which he refers doesn't even mention sunspots). It's this kind of casual dishonesty that keeps the public confused about this issue.

Lutz says at the beginning of the segment that he wishes he were controlling the world economy - that he thinks he could be doing a better job. Right. I mean look at what a wonderful job he and his buddies are doing with the GM economy.

Check out Get Energy Smart Now for their take on Lutz.


Then your analogy is false. No one is asking geologists to do climate science. But that does not mean they do not understand climate science. They do, very well.

My wife is a nurse. If she had to she could do surgery, minor surgery, even though she is not a doctor. She has to know enough of the human body to be able to do her job and then some.

Give humanity some credit. There are people who are smart. Smart enough to know dogma when they see it. There are also a lot of sheeple too. Follow anything that suits their fancy, or political agenda. That’s AGW.

I’m still waiting for the 31,000-strong petition from people who want Wakefield’s wife to do surgery on them.


Oh, I would have no qualms at all if she had to on me. Very talented. She should have been a Dr. OH, and in a pinch, you would too if there was no one else around.

Was there even a Poll of the Norway geologists on the matter? I read a report on their conference, but I saw no evidence of any poll upon which to base your claim.

Given the incredible lack of quality control on the OISM poll, I have no qualms whatsoever about lampooing it. Perry Mason was also a signatory, long dead people were signatories, whole commercial companies were also signatories.

Nothing is gained by the climate septics in bringing it up except to Troll.

this point really needs discussion. Is climatology so foreign, so removed from other disciplines that other scientists are just completely unable to comment intelligently on it?

A related question: Does the specializing in one narrow field perhaps create a certain vulnerability? And what effects do community pressure result in for these specialists?

The fear of being an outsider extends to every collected group of human beings. Have climatologists escaped this basic human reality? I don’t believe it.

One of the great hallmarks of science is that it is open to ANYONE who wants to do it. There have been and still are, a large number of “hobby scientists” around the world who contribute to science. They all have one thing in common. They understand how science works, hence they can do science without being a professional. Dianne Fossy, Jane Goodall, Steve Irwin come to mind. Of all the scientists I have had dealings with none of them rejected my requests to understand and were very eager to do so.

Now we have climatology, that, for some reason, is off limits to any one except the brotherhood. Smells damn fishy to me!

My point was not that climatology was some elite cult or somesuch.

My PRIMARY point is that several of those names are obviously forged – you can’t sign if you’ve been dead longer than the petition has existed. Why pad the list? Only lies require lies.

My SECONDARY point is one of relevant expertise. My yardstick for this is simple: Publications. Do a random sample of names from the petition and Google Scholar them. Consider the number of publications they have relevant to climate change. One can assume that climatologists have these in spades, which is why a first-order estimate can be made by looking at relevant expertise. Dead telecommunications specialists, veterinarians, and energy company CEOs aren’t required to have such expertise, so you have to be just a bit more skeptical. (I’d still suggest searching through the folks identified as climatologists, but the OISM won’t let you search by field…)

For bonus points, by the way, repeat the secondary point’s search with a random selection of the IPCC WG1 authors. Tell me which gets more hits in the relevant fields.

Nice attempt at redirection, by the way. Deal with the main points here instead of throwing Climatati smokebombs.

Rick, instead of defending “skeptic” fraud, how about getting a real job?


By the way, I thought Littlemore (IIRC) mentioned a while back that DeSmogBlog is rethinking its comments policy.

What’s the outcome? Is the rethinking still in the process of a rethink? Or has DeSmogBlog decided to open itself up to spammers, sockpuppets, and strawman sockpuppets?


Lets make the new policy “All Frank - All The Time”

there’s really no need for anyone else to express an opinion. It’s better to shut down debate and claim victory!

Thanks for clarifying! (Was just asking…)


I do have a real job Frank. I don’t make silly political websites like you. I work with my hands, Tiling, plumbing, drywall and in my spare time I try to help you out with some common sense. It’s a calling.

Thank you, Rick, for coming yet again to the defence of telling lies.


lies and half truths are a sad reality and a common human weakness. You don’t half to be on any particular side of the AGW debate to be subject to human weakness. We should not assume that climatology scientists have grown wings and are perfect and above any human fears that may affect their work. In fact by choosing to go into that field, they would naturally take with them some prior climate assumptions that they just might hang on to. Assumptions and feelings and concerns would be the things that would send them down the road to that particular field. And in the final analysis, they are only human.

And stop defending lies on your side, Rick.


you elitists love to look down on people like me who work with our hands instead of being do nothing egg heads.
Phony web sites are not real work Frank. Work is when you build something. Work is when you accomplish something. What you are doing is a hobby Frank. Enjoy it, but don’t think that this phony web site stuff accomplishes anything.

Wow, so speaking out against lies is now “elitist”.

Thus said the “skeptic” Rick.


If there is any group of scientists who understand the history of climate it would be geologists. Their very science is a study of change over deep time. 2/3s of geologists at a conference in Norway this year reject AGW on the grounds that the planet has seen these changes in the past many times. In fact, what they show is that during the warmest times, much warmer than today, life flourished all over the planet. Oil deposits come from periods of global warming. Higher CO2 levels, 3-4 TIMES higher, is expected to be the reason why sauropds grew so large (plants grew much faster). 55myo a warm trend produced the great mammalian radiation, palm trees grew in Greenland. Thus if anything geology has shown that any future warming will be of great benefit, not a crisis. That’s what the geology says. In fact, many geologists complain that climatologists do not look into the past enough and hence make unfounded claims of the future, because of their lack of understanding of geology. So that card gets played back to climatologists.

JR Wakefield, we’re talking about Oregon, not Norway. Stop trying to derail the thread.

And by the way, Spain is not in Latin America.


There is no evidence of any such polling at that conference.

That’s so vague, it must definitely be true!

(section 9&10)

Most of the conference had little to do with the Climate; most of the participants likely were not even at the plenaries which covered the subject.

In those proceedings the non-scientific observations was that roughly two thirds of the presentations were hostile to AGW as were the same proportion of questions during the Q&A periods.

That is NOT a poll of 6000 geology experts.

Realclimate saw no signs of a poll either:

GM stock is so low.

Global warming sent a guy up into an area high up in the Swiss Alps where the glaciers had melted away - 5000 years ago. He was lightly dressed in an area that has glaciers today.

The global warming of that period was obviously man made. Only a denialist would claim otherwise

Dang, is the Swiss Alps somewhere in Oregon?

Or is Rick simply trying to talk about something else, whatever the current discussion topic is?


heads up for Frank about comment threads and conversations in general: they ebb and flow - stuff comes up - it’s like the climate - you can’t really control it.

“they ebb and flow - stuff comes up”

No, you make stuff come up. The thread won’t be derailed if people such as you will just stop derailing it. Stop referring to yourself as some sort of natural force.

Now, can we go back to talking about the Oregon “Petition”?


If it wasn’t for people like me, this thread would have died a long time ago.

There would be a total of about 4 comments that go something like this:

1 Yes - great post

2 I agree

3 oh put me down as agreeing with this post too

4 those silly skeptics

skeptics are the life blood of these comment threads dude - deal with it.

Yeah, it’s the same stupidity with global warming denial:

First: You can’t stop threads from being derailed!

Then: It’s a good thing that I’m derailing threads!


Very true and very funny post RICK. You nailed it.

Rick: You can’t stop threads from being derailed! Threads get derailed, that’s just what happens!

Rick: It’s a good thing that I’m derailing threads!

Paul S: Rick wins! Wheee!


My friends, I am one of the signers of the Organ Petition, and I can assure you that I am absolutely real!

Unfortunately I cannot reveal my real name to you, because if I do, the ninja inquisitors will be showing up above my house in black helicopters soon.

Hey look - we all can get along. Make cement out of CO2.
Activist or skeptic - everybody can agree with this

There always seems to be an assumption on the part of AGW believers that the realists are against the environment.
We like polution.
We don’t want clean energy.
We like high oil and gas prices and don’t want energy independance.
etc etc etc.

All nonsence.

The only thing at issue is weather or not Global warming was caused by man made CO2.

If it was, then there is merit in pushing CO2 reduction.
If it was not, as I believe, then let the technology advance at its own natural pace and stop trying to force the issue before its time.

by your beliefs. Try reading “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:

Review of above:

Yes yes….. then read The Chilling Stars, Unstopable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, Etc etc etc etc etc

Then forget all that and read about what is happening in the science right now.
Ever Seen that big Yellow Ball in the sky?

The sun is mostly an optical illusion Gary. You might think you feel the suns heat when it’s 104 degrees in the shade, but it’s all in your mind. Besides the earth is unaffected by things that are not made of CO2. It’s basic science.

Try this experiment: hold a Canadian dollar coin over your head. Compare it to the sun. They really aren’t much different. Clearly the sun has no effect on earth’s climate.