Toyota: It Ain't Easy Being Green

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Hot on the heels of a New York Times Op Ed piece taking Toyota to task for its stance on new federal fuel economy regs, The Detroit Free Press reports that the National [sic] Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has bombarded Toyota with 8100 emails, accusing them of fraternizing with the enemy. The environmental pressure group is plenty pissed that the Japanese automaker has joined The Big 2.8's opposition to the Senate's proposed 35 mile-per-gallon corporate average fuel economy standard. Although ToMoCo's cars already average over 32 mpg under the federal rules, the automaker wants to move them V8 Tundras. They share Detroit's fear that lawmakers will lump cars and trucks together for future averages. The NRDC doesn't give a you-know-what. "They're out there with their green halo justifiably touting their technology with the Prius," the NRDC statement says, throwing Toyota a bone. "The question is why the inconsistency in terms of their issues on policy." Toyota's Open Road blog attemps to answer that question: "You can't bankrupt the industry if you want it to invest in our environmental future." Hang on; did Toyota just use the "B" word?

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

More by Frank Williams

Join the conversation
4 of 17 comments
  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 04, 2007

    Glenn126, that link might just as well have stayed "lost." The only thing it proves is that Marc Morano (a political hack) doesn't understand how peer review works or its value. I looked at it with reasonable care... I first stopped at a paragragraph that seemed interesting: "In August 2007, the UK Met Office was finally forced to concede the obvious: global warming has stopped. (LINK) The UK Met Office acknowledged the flat lining of global temperatures, but in an apparent attempt to keep stoking man-made climate alarm, the Met Office is now promoting more unproven dire computer model projections of the future. They now claim climate computer models predict “global warming will begin in earnest in 2009” because greenhouse emissions will then overtake natural climate variability." And, saying to myself, "Well, that's interesting, if true...", I clicked the (LINK). Which takes me to... not a report from the UK Met Office BUT a page by... (drumroll, please...) Marc Morano. A pretty ugly page, by the way and tedious searching of THAT page failed to reveal anything looking like a report from the UK Met Office to the effect that Global Warming has halted. The related Conklin link further down takes us to a page that starts with a statement that is simply wrong. Maybe there's a way to find and access the UK Met report buried in there, somewhere, but I don't have all day to find it and if Morano wanted me to find it, I imagine he'd have made it easy to find. However, I soldiered on... I went back to the top and started clicking other links. I liked this paragraph: "The new study was also touted as “overturning the UN IPCC ‘consensus’ in one fell swoop” by the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Joel Schwartz in an August 17, 2007 blog post. (LINK) " I didn't click that link, I was laughing too hard. And it would be pointless to do so... when did the AEI get to decide what overturns the IPCC consensus? And, "in one fell swoop?" Well, it would have to be, as it's just one single paper referenced here. Which has been "accepted for publication" but, in fact, hasn't been widely studied. "Peer-reviewed" does not actually mean "corect." And accepted for publication might not mean anything at all; there has been at least one other case of a paper that allegedly debunked AGW getting slid into a publication without any real editorial review - and some of the publication's editors resigned in protest and the engineer of that particular scandal (the lead editor of the journal) got fired for it. Continuing on, other links are broken (hmmm...?) and some reveal something other than dissent but deniers taking climate scientists out of context. Other links tend to take us, if not in circles, then in arcs back to NZClimateScience and Conklin, rather than any actual research. Or TownHall and then back to Conklin. Or back to other pages authored by Morano. I liked the paragraph that screamed, "Team of Scientists Question Validity of a 'Global Temperature.'" That's pretty funny because, in fact, this is one of the topics at the IPCC, which is one reason they work to produce models that do, in fact, show more localized trends (you should have noticed this if you looked at the IPCC report at all). However, for purposes of discussion, it's also often nice to boil everything down to a scalar. Suppose, for example, you were discussing the worldwide cost of abatement. Maybe holding GW to 1.75C costs $X but we think we can hold GW to 1.80C for merely $Y. Having to discuss the cost and benefit in terms of a lot of different little climate zones makes the basic policy discussion very tedious when the big important idea might be that for this very small incremental increase we can save a lot of money. But I digress. Everybody at the IPCC understands this and, as I said, is working on fine-grained models but this "Team of Scientists" (which include my ol' buddy Ross McKitrick, an associate professor of economics - but Morano "forgot" to mention McKitrick's field) published this report just to make it look as though the IPCC was overlooking something important. They're not. I'm not going to finish it, I've found enough crud going over as much as I have to justify putting it down. When I saw "Marc Morano" at the top, I knew it would be crap but, out of courtesy to you, I decided to take a look. I wish I hadn't wasted my time.

  • DrBrian DrBrian on Oct 04, 2007

    sorry Kixstart could you tell me when science was done using consensus?

  • DearS DearS on Oct 04, 2007

    Just because people want to buy small cars, does not mean they will buy them. Remember the editorial on the XLR versus SL550. Life is really really really complicated. Toyota/GM probably wants to do well for the environment, but their priorities are convoluted. Humans are not evil, they just try to live life as best as possible. Many believe thats with the most amount of dollars. There lies the problem, at ones fundamental relationship with life. Targeting anything else is just dealing with the symptoms of that relationship. Conversely, We each need to target our own dysfunctional relationships with life thats how we'll get some clarity. Clarity is not a given. Ask and ye shall receive....if this results in feeling outraged, remember..Toyota/GM are not higher powers. Change the dynamics of ones relationship with life.

  • KixStart KixStart on Oct 04, 2007

    DrBrian, check page 95... You may find it interesting. Fourth Assessment Report