Toyota Pisses Off Environmentalists

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Toyota, the automaker of choice for the green movement, is under fire by the green movement. It seems that the company wants to turn 1600 acres of cedar forests and 17th century rice paddies into a research center that’ll include 10km of road courses. The problem—in addition to the historical value of the area—is that it’s the habitat of the endangered gray-faced buzzard and oriental honey buzzard. In total, Bloomberg reports, the project will deforest 691 acres, fill in rice paddies and raze mountains. Shigemi Oda, chairman of the “Society to Consider the Large-Scale Development Project of the 21st Century,” summed it up: “Most people think of Toyota as an environmentally friendly company. Crushing mountains is environmentally destructive.”

On the other hand, Toyota’s new president Akio Toyoda wants to put the road courses to good use once they’re built. It turns out the dude has some serious driving creds. In May, he drove a 500 hp Lexus in a 24-hour endurance race in Germany, finishing 87th in the 170-car field. And he’s not stopping now that he’s el jefe. “I plan to drive our cars. I’d like to be a president who’s as close to the action as possible.” That may not be environmentally proper, but in the auto industry it’s like a breath of fresh air.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

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  • WetWilly WetWilly on Jun 22, 2009
    If they raze a mountain and destroy a forest to build this facility, the Prius could never fix the image problems that it would create. Unless Toyota says the reason they're doing it is that it will allow Toyota to build even better Priuses. While the enviros sit there conflicted, Toyota can raze the place.
  • Wolven Wolven on Jun 22, 2009

    I can't believe the buzzards are the only "endangered" species there. I'll bet if you give some of those environmental "scientists" (whack jobs) a few days on the site they would find another unique 15 species that live ONLY on those 691 acres. And then, it would be a global CATASTROPHE, an OUTRAGE I'm telling you, to allow the evil manufacturing company to destroy the globally unique environment that supports those 15 globally unique versions of rats, mice, worms, fleas, and ticks. Oh yeah, and that unique version of avian flu virus the ducks in those rice paddies carry.

  • AJ AJ on Jun 22, 2009

    I always like to remind environmentalists that where their house is (or their apartment or parent's house) that it was once untouched land with trees and grasses where little animals once lived and played. Build that road course boys!

  • Pleiter Pleiter on Jun 22, 2009

    I can top this story. Here in the People's Republic of Maryland, a housing development proposed near BWI airport was stopped because of the environmental impact to an endangered species of WEED.