General Motors has long been a reactionary company; Bob Lutz just proved nothing has changed.
General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz, on the 100th anniversary of GM’s founding, appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show last night, and embarassed his company. Lutz, unfortunately for this aging industrial giant, is a Luddite, supporting the most extreme crackpot denials of the science of climate change and attacking the Volt — GM’s next-generation hybrid automobile that can run entirely on electricity for trips of 40 miles or less — as a weak, unattractive car. His extremism was barely matched by Colbert’s parodic statements:
Colbert: Why not just call this the Chevy Gore? You don’t believe global warming is real, you’ve said so.
Lutz: I accept that the planet is heated, but I, like many noted scientists, I don’t believe in the CO2 theory.
Colbert: Exactly! I just think that people are leaving their toaster ovens open. [Or] it’s just sun-spot activity.
Lutz: In the opinion of about 32,000 of the world’s leading scientists, yes.
[Click to watch the video and finish the article Wonk Room » Revolting: GM Executive Bob Lutz Denies Global Warming, Trashes His Company’s Car ]
And yet GM and other Detroit dinosaurs want a taxpayer bailout. If I had a vote on the matter, I’d say, “Hell no!” Companies that refuse to live in the present, that actively cling to the out-dated past, are not companies that deserve taxpayer-funded largesse.
Lutz’s “32,000 of the world’s leading scientists” nonsense is taken from press releases by the right-wing industry-funded Heartland Institute, amplified by right-wing blogs and radio shows. This is a zombie lie, which was begun in 1998 by theright-wing industry-funded Oregon Institute. The National Academy of Sciences, whose name was misleadingly used, issued this warning on April 20, 1998:
The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science.
One might think Lutz was merely joking along, but this February, Lutz called global warming “a total crock of shit.”