The move by GM comes in direct response to a national outreach campaign organized by Forecast the Facts, which garnered more than 20,000 people, including 10,000 GM vehicle owners, calling on GM to drop its financial support of the Heartland Institute.
"We applaud GM’s decision and the message it sends: that it is no longer acceptable for corporations to promote the denial of climate change, and that support for an organization like Heartland is not in line with GM’s values. This victory belongs to the 20,000 Americans, including 10,000 GM owners, who demanded that GM put its money where its mouth is on climate change and sustainability," said Forecast the Facts Campaign Director Daniel Souweine.
Climate One director Greg Dalton revealed the GM pullout after receiving confirmation directly from GM during an event at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. Dalton had pressed GM CEO Dan Akerson about its support for Heartland at a Climate One event earlier this month. Akerson said at the time that he would personally review the Heartland funding.
Heartland President Joseph Bast was understandably upset to learn of GM's decision to cease any further financial support, but continued to push his trusty shiny penny version of events rather than own up to the real reasons for the waning support of his group's efforts. Internal Heartland documents made public last month exposed the shocking revelation of Heartland's plans to deceive schoolchildren about climate science, most notably.
The Ford Motor Company, who has been criticized in the past by environmentalists for backing down from their alternative energy, vehicle development, announced that they would be selling plug-in hybrids in the next five to ten years.
This is the first time that Ford has announced a timeline for producing plug-in hybrids. The plug-in hybrid is seen as the best type of alternative energy vehicle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and gas consumption.
Here's a fairly new and very needed blog called the Hot House started up by Stuart Leavenworth at the Sacramento Bee.
Stuart will be covering the ins and outs of California's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. I hope that Leavenworth will be keeping an especially close eye on the lawsuit by the auto industry against the state of California that has effectively delayed action on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions for the better part of 5 years now.
For those readers not familiar with the case. Here's a basic rundown.
Check out Gizmodo's review of the Honda Civic Hybrid. This is a no-brainer new car purchase, at 50 mpg with 140 horsepower, coming in at around $22,000 US ($25,000 CAN). Not to mention the huge savings in gas and tax exemption programs. No wonder Toyota and Honda are doing so well, while the Detroit automakers are still flailing their arms over Hummers and F150's.
For those out there who think going green means going backwards, please tell me where the hair shirt (or in this case seat-covers) is in the Honda hybrid?
Yesterday, we reported here on the hypocrisy of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturer's fighting a Supreme Court ruling that could enact tough new CO2 emissions standards on cars and trucks, while stating at the same time on their website that, "Members of the Alliance believe that it is prudent to reduce emissions, including carbon dioxide..."
At the Detroit Auto Show, they had a full-size Kermit the Frog complaining about it's involvement in Ford Motor Company advertisements. As DeSmog readers well know , Ford Motor Company promotes a very green image, while continuing to fund organizations, like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, that sow doubt about the realities of global warming.
Canada's latest and greatest climate change denial group, the Natural Resource Stewardship Project, has come up with a laughable reason for hiding it's funding sources. According to a recent CanWest News Service article, the NRSP's executive director, Tom Harris, states that "a confidentiality agreement doesn't allow him to say whether energy companies are funding his group."
Unfortunately for Harris and his secretive little club, such a a statement does not diffuse speculation, it only begs the question more. What organization could be funding Harris's NRSP that necessitates such secrecy? Even the Competitive Enterprise Intstitute, an industry front group with a great deal more profile than the NRSP, readliy admits they lobby-for-dollars on behalf of of industry leaders like Ford Motor Company and ExxonMobil.
In an act of surprising bi-partisanship so close to the mid-term elections, Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA) have penned a letter to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson demanding that Exxon, "end any further financial assistance [to groups] whose public advocacy has contributed to the small but unfortunately effective climate change denial myth." The Senators singled out the Washington lobby group Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose penchant for promoting junk science on climate change has been stoked over the years by over $2 million oily dollars from ExMo.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.