GM'S BOB LUTZ
The blogosphere is ablaze. General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz recently was quoted by news services around the world as declaring global warming "a crock of s---." Perhaps that shouldn't be too much of a surprise -- after all, this is the company that markets the Hummer H2.
But what's odd is that Lutz is now declaring his personal disbelief in global warming to be totally unrelated to his company's marketing of ever bigger and bigger vehicles (which he portrays as a move toward ever more sensitive greenness).
On a GM blog called "Fastlane," Lutz doesn't back down from his assertion that the entire scientific establishment is just flat wrong about climate change. "An offhand comment I made recently about the concept of global warming seems to have a lot of people heated, and it's spreading through the Internet like ragweed. But I think that the people making a big deal out of it are missing the real point. My beliefs are mine and I have a right to them," Lutz writes.
He says his personal opinions have nothing to do with his company's dedication to the environment. "General Motors is dedicated to the removal of cars and trucks from the environmental equation, period....It's the right thing to do, for us, for you and, yes, for the planet. My goal is to take the automotive industry out of the debate entirely. GM is working on just that... via E85, hybrids, hydrogen and fuel cells, and the electrification of the automobile."
You might notice his use of the words "environmental equation." He's not saying that his SUV's and trucks won't harm the environment -- he's just saying, they won't be part of the "equation" -- like maybe a lobbyist somewhere could just edit out the equals sign out of the sentence: "Hummer + green marketing = zero."
One reader to his blog couldn't understand why consumers would want to buy vehicles promoted as environmentally friendly from a company run by a guy who believes that global warming is not just a matter of debate -- but something to harshly ridicule. "Once again I have to wonder: Why would I want to buy a 'green' car from a man who thinks 'global warming is a crock.' Isn't that like buying a Corvette from a guy who hates fast cars, or buying a pickup truck from someone who thinks only rednecks should drive them?"
But many more folks on the GM website praise Bob Lutz up and down for taking on the environmentalists. And this raises the question: How green could this company be, if so many GM folks think Bob is a hero for declaring global warming a fiction? "Bob, you rock!" was the typical praise he received on the GM blog. "The new GM is about free spirits, open thinkers and challenging the status quo. GM could not have evolved into the great corporation that it is today without 100 years of encouraging its people to be individuals."