GM Car Czar Bob Lutz: "Never Mind What I Said"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm car czar bob lutz never mind what i said

After calling global warming "a crock of shit," GM Car Czar Bob Lutz is using his fastlane blog to defend the remark that launched a thousand blogs. Instead of an apology, Maximum Bob declares himself– and you– an irrelevance. "Never mind what I said, or the context in which I said it. 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. My opinions on the subject — like anyone’s — are immaterial. Really." Bob then tells the tree-huggers to stop picking on him. "Instead of simply assailing me for expressing what I think, they should be looking at the big picture. What they should be doing, in earnest, is forming opinions not about me but about GM, and what this company is doing that is — and will continue to be — hugely beneficial to the very causes they so enthusiastically claim to support." I think that's what psychologists call "disassociation." But the best bit is here: "General Motors is dedicated to the removal of cars and trucks from the environmental equation, period. And, believe it or don’t: So am I! 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." I guess he missed the irony of "taking GM out" of the equation.

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4 of 27 comments
  • Geeber Geeber on Feb 22, 2008

    The disconnect is that you are limiting your view to oil. Oil is not the only fossil fuel. That is why carbon dioxide emissions by a country or region and oil use by a country are not necessarily the same thing, or even necessarily related. Combustion of natural gas and coal also results in carbon dioxide emissions - it's just not generated by transportation (which would include private motor vehicles). These fuels are still heavily used in the generation of electricity. If you are concerned about carbon dioxide emissions, then you can't just look at oil consumption - you have to look at the consumption of ALL fossil fuels. The generation of electricity is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions for both the U.S. and the world as a whole. In the U.S., the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the production of electricity are more than double that generated by private cars and trucks.

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Feb 22, 2008
    Nearly 50% of the total, not 28%. And the numbers haven’t actually gotten better since 2003. I’m quoting the Hirsch Report, by the way, which takes a very level headed view of this. That's the problem; there doesn't seem to be a consensus on the exact number. It still indicates there are ways, other than automobile related, to curb oil consumption. However, I will cede that argument, since my original comment was dealing with pollution, particularly CO2 emissions. I think designing more economical, environmentally friendly vehicles is a good thing; I just don't think the alarmist attitude some people have is necessary.

  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Feb 22, 2008

    I don't know whether alarmist is the right description. The oil price having quadrupled in fairly short time, while "serious" prognoses had it going down to 25 dollars, may be cause for a slight touch of concern - particularly if you have OK'd vehicles on the basis of such farsighted prognostications. (Merril Lynch). And I agree, the numbers aren't set in stone - but we're not really helping with the kinds of cars we drive (and I've been one of the truly serious sinners, driving hogs for years. Just never sat down to really think it through back then.) Lutz is off in space, though, in his own very particular place. Must be terrible actually, for him, to see what his programs have done to GM.

  • Kjc117 Kjc117 on Feb 22, 2008

    IMO, Lutz is a "crock of shit".