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Thu, 2012-10-04 20:13Graham Readfearn
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From Kermit to Coal, Book Reveals How World's Top Brands Greenwash The Public

“I GUESS it is easy being green,” said Kermit the Frog as he bounced around a Ford Escape Hybrid in a 2006 television ad campaign.

During the ad, Kermit displayed his innate talent for not blinking which, it has to be said, is due essentially to his congenital lack of eyelids.

But had Kermit blinked, he would have missed the small print at the bottom of the ad which showed that at the time, this “green” vehicle had a fuel consumption slightly worse than the US average.

But that seems to be the rule when it comes to claims of climate-friendliness made by some of the world's biggest brands.

Check the small print, and the responsible green hue soon fades to something resembling bullsh*t-brown (or whatever color denotes hypocrisy). At least that's the conclusion after reading Australian author and researcher Guy Pearse's latest book. Pearse spent close to four years immersing himself in some 3000 TV commercials and viewing about 4000 print and web adverts, all of which make claims of climate friendliness (I disclose here that I had a small paid role as a fact-checker on the book).

After checking the brand's actual contribution to climate change (or their lack of transparency) in more than 700 company reports, Pearse finds in Greenwash: Big Brands and Carbon Scams that the green revolution is being either grossly overblown or faked.

Mon, 2009-02-09 22:13Richard Littlemore
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Bob Lutz, GM's Denier-in-Chief, Makes for the Exit

Bob Lutz, don’t let the door bang you in the backside on your way out of the building.

As reported in this excellent post at Solve Climate, General Motors Denier-in-Chief and Vice President for New Product Development is being excused from duty - accepting retirement to make room for Tom Stephens, the executive who has been leading the development of hybrid technology at GM.

Lutz has been GM’s leading dinosaur, the reigning champion of GM’s obsession with the fuel-guzzling muscle cars that helped Toyota become the number one automaker in the world.

If you doubt that Lutz is inflicted with a fantasy gene, check the comments that he wrote on his Fastlane blog under the headline, “You’re not rid of me yet” (he’s actually hanging around in one diminished capacity or another till the end of the year):

“Please note that I relinquish these responsibilities secure in the knowledge that the guiding philosophy of pursuit of absolute product excellence is now firmly embedded in the organization. That unquestionable fact made a very difficult decision much easier for me.

“I feel very comfortable handing over the keys to Tom Stephens, …. Tom will do a great job ensuring the continued excellence of GM’s new cars, trucks and crossovers”

Tue, 2008-12-09 06:39Jim Hoggan
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Great Idea! Bob Lutz Offers Himself as GM Sacrifice

If Congress wants a sacrifice, it should be me.”

- GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz

We don’t often agree with GM’s head of product development, but on this point, Bob Lutz has a point.

As we reported the other day, Lutz is the quotable character who is struggling to position GM as a conscientious green company, even while continuing to deny climate change and to blame his company’s disastrous condition on everyone but management.

In his most recent gaffe, Lutz told CBS News today that whoever is charged with monitoring the U.S.  government’s auto-industry bailout should look harshly on the negative impact caused by California fuel regulations.

Sat, 2008-12-06 16:36Jim Hoggan
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GM VP Bob Lutz's green pose is (what's the phrase?) a "total crock of sh#t"

Among the most galling visions, as U.S. carmakers stand cap-in-hand before the American people, is the site of a preening GM Vice President Bob Lutz pretending to be green.

Lutz is firmly on the record as someone who is too lazy, too ideologically hidebound or just too stupid to look at the latest robust and frightening science of climate change. He has dismissed global warming as “a total crock of shit,” saying that he puts his faith in the signatories of the laughable Oregon petition.

Lutz has tried to reassure us in the past by saying, “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.” Which raises an interesting question: why would Congress bet billions on a policy maker who would dismiss out of hand the biggest environmental crisis in human history, and then go on making self-destructive decisions that drive his company to the brink of bankruptcy?

Wed, 2008-11-19 09:07Richard Littlemore
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Big Three Bail-out: Betting on Losers

“Free-market” capitalists seem to be an endangered species in this bruising era of economic accountability. As the Big Three automakers loiter in the lobbies of the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament, begging for handouts, everyone seems to be avoiding the question of why the taxpayer should have to prop up these losers.

Wed, 2007-04-04 16:43Kevin Grandia
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Honda hybrid a no-brainer


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?

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