By on May 16, 2017

Tires

General Motors has announced it will choose “sustainable natural rubber” for the 49 million tires it buys each year. The automaker claims it is establishing a set of buying principals to ensure sustainably harvested materials and is encouraging other automakers to follow suit in a bid to reduce deforestation.

It won’t suddenly make driving your Chevrolet good for the environment, but it should give drivers bragging rights — allowing them to claim their tires killed fewer critters before even getting the opportunity to run any over.

However, environmental smugness is occasionally warranted. With tire manufactures representing 75 percent of the natural rubber market (according to the World Wildlife Fund), an overall shift toward sustainability would provide a measurable impact on deforestation. But what is General Motors getting out of this move and what will the price of environmental awareness be?

GM says it doesn’t know the cost of adopting more sustainable farming practices, though it hopes it will be more-or-less equal in the short term (with opportunities to save some dough in the future). Since rubber trees need a particular climate in which to grow, GM hopes it can reduce future costs by ensuring crop yields on a longer timeline. Even if it doesn’t, this still gives the automaker an opportunity to promote itself as environmentally responsible. This carries its own benefits.

The majority of materials used in modern tires are synthetic, but most contain some amount of natural rubber — with performance tires using more. While going overboard with natural rubber would be detrimental to the longevity of any tire, the market share of synthetic rubber has declined rather dramatically over the last two decades. Your wheels are likely to be wrapped in something more organic today than they were in 2001. As a result, Bridgestone has begun looking toward American-sourced natural alternatives — like the shrub guayule — over man-made and natural rubber.

In the interim, automakers and suppliers are trying to find a way to ensure Southeast Asia’s military coups and deforestation doesn’t obliterate the rubber tree crop. Helping small businesses, farmers, and the environment is just a happy coincidence.

“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” said Steve Kiefer, GM’s senior vice president of global purchasing and supply. “We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organization and the communities in which we work.”

Of GM’s suppliers, Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, and Michelin have all expressed a desire to improve the transparency of their rubber supply chain. GM plans to meet with stakeholders in June to set the official criteria for rubber purchasing and develop an industry initiative for automakers before 2018.

[Image: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

101 Comments on “Tread Trends: GM Switches to Artisan Tires Using Sustainable ‘Green Rubber’...”


  • avatar
    mmreeses

    corporate greenwashing is lame marketing and hypocritical. Like famous person XYZ flying to an overseas conference on a private jet to deliver a speech on the environmental perils of overconsumption.

    hope I didn’t trigger a political flame war :)

    • 0 avatar

      Like how the automakers were roundly criticized for their use of corporate aircraft during the bailouts when congressmen are useless generally?

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Everyone needs to make sacrifices for the environment. And by everyone, I mean people who don’t have private jets and yachts.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Your point is a favorite of Greenpeace/Gore/Suzuki haters.

      Do you expect those people to get their message out by sitting in caves and lecturing the walls?

      Do you balance their carbon impact against the carbon reductions that result from their work?

      Do you even know that they buy carbon offsets?

      Why is there an assumption that to be interested in cars you have to have a redneck mentality? Honestly, it makes car enthusiasts look like jerks.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “Do you even know that they buy carbon offsets?”

        This one is the best. Gore buying carbon offsets from his own firms and imploring others to follow suite is brilliant. Follow the money!

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          So Gore puts money into a company that uses the money to reduce carbon. Strangest thing I’ve heard in the last hour.

          Does he make money off that company? I don’t know and don’t really care.

          You are exactly the same type of person who would dismiss him as a worthless bum, perhaps a welfare bum, if he was poor. This is another classic bs angle parroted by those who hate enviros.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “those who hate enviros.”

            I think it is more about not sharing the same belief and philosophy.

            For Americans, we are free to believe what we want to believe and live our lives accordingly.

            Not every American shares the same view of “The Environment.” Most don’t give a rat’s @ss.

            Hence, this green-effort to change the behavior and belief of the masses in America.

            Without some kind of self-evident catastrophe that affect the masses of non-believers, people will continue to do the things their own way, including buying the better synthetic-rubber tires.

            As far as these tires go, my experience has been the more natural rubber in the compound, the quicker the sidewall cracks.

            And the more synthetic rubber in the compound, the longer the tire wears under the same conditions.

            Ride quality is a function of sidewall stiffness and tire pressure so even the best riding tire can be made to ride harshly at 45psi, or even 60psi.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            “For Americans, we are free to believe what we want to believe and live our lives accordingly.”

            So the entire bazillion-dollar marketing industry is a waste of resources?

            The idea that anyone has more than a little freedom to do and think what they want is a curious illusion held most strongly by those who conform the most.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “marketing industry ”

            ….. creates the want and a perceived need for whatever it is they are trying to peddle to the public.

            People are free to buy or not buy as they see fit.

            Currently, Americans overwhelmingly choose pickup trucks, and when they replace their tires they often choose the best riding, longest wearing synthetic-rubber tires, like Michelin or Yokohama, or even Hankook.

            There was a time when the automakers would push the tire industry for better, longer-lasting compounds and the tire industry responded with compound-blends with more, cheaper, longer-lasting, synthetic rubber in them.

            With oil cheap and plentiful these days, I see that continuing well into the future, GM’s choice notwithstanding.

            People need to buy replacement tires, eventually, and my bet is they’ll look for cheaper, longer-lasting synthetic blends.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Does he make money off that company? I don’t know and don’t really care.”

            Gore is fear mongering to create a controlled environment in which he has a big stake in a nascent ‘industry’ (carbon offsets) from which he has now profited millions of dollars.

            Inconvenient Truth deserves praise for raising the issue and opening the floor to debate and discussion about climate change (“global warming” originally as you may recall). But the politicization and scare tactics that came part and parcel of the whole movement I wholly reject.

            Weren’t the polar ice caps supposed to have melted by 2017 or something?

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            “Gore is fear mongering to create a controlled environment in which he has a big stake in a nascent ‘industry’ (carbon offsets) from which he has now profited millions of dollars.

            Inconvenient Truth deserves praise for raising the issue and opening the floor to debate and discussion about climate change (“global warming” originally as you may recall). But the politicization and scare tactics that came part and parcel of the whole movement I wholly reject.

            Weren’t the polar ice caps supposed to have melted by 2017 or something?”

            Gore will come to be seen as having understated the situation. The concern about scare tactics diminishes when the water comes through the front door.

            The environmentalists did not politicize this issue. Why should they turn off half the potential supporters? In many places such as Canada, advocacy organizations are discouraged from being political. By removal of charity tax breaks. No, the right wingers decided to make environmental issues political.

            As for the polar ice caps, I doubt you can find any evidence the enviros predicted them melting by this year. Just as you will find no evidence any mainstream enviro ever predicted global cooling in the 70’s. Despite such claims by the misinformed.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            The article in Forbes magazine was written by Larry Bell, a thoroughly discredited purveyor of misinformation about climate change. Since the article is several years old, you can for instance check his claims about renewable energy in Europe, against today’s reality. Bell has been proven to be utterly wrong on that subject.

            Carbon offsets bought by Canadian governments and credits available for sale typically are in the $24-40 per ton range. The carbon taxes are set up to be revenue neutral and so don’t necessarily “raise taxes”. They shift capital to lower emissions.

            Gore would not have known whether a change in US government would render his exchange worthless. He also must have felt he could not delay setting it up even if he knew that was a possibility.

            But again, you can’t argue that carbon offsets are a financial disaster and then complain because someone might profit from them. Anyone wealthy enough could do or not do what Gore did.

            “Take your head out of your rear-end friend and follow the money.”

            Just when we were having a civil discussion about a contentious matter, you have to get rude.

          • 0 avatar
            Avid Fan

            Everyone knows that incandescent bulbs burning in a mansion are illuminating the best ideals of mankind.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “Optimistic that a Democrat-controlled Congress would pass cap-and-trade legislation Gore lobbied for, GIM and David Blood’s old GSAM firm took big stakes in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) for carbon trading. Accordingly, CCX was poised to make windfall profits selling CO2 offsets if and when cap-and-trade was passed. Speaking before a 2007 Joint House Hearing of the Energy Science Committee, Gore told members: “As soon as carbon has a price, you’re going to see a wave [of investment] in it…There will be unchained investment.””

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/11/03/blood-and-gore-making-a-killing-on-anti-carbon-investment-hype/#364eaa5c32dc

          “The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) was North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and trading system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil.”

          “The effective final CFI position was reached in November 2010 when the carbon credit price per metric ton of CO2 was between 10 and 5 US Cents, down from its highest value of 750 US Cents in May 2008. Trading reached zero monthly volume in February 2010 and remained at zero for the next 9 months when the decision to close the exchange was announced.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Climate_Exchange

          “Generation was founded in April 2004[1] by Al Gore and David Blood and began investing client money in April 2005”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Investment_Management

          Gore tried to become a billionaire on this bullsh*t. He failed. F*** Al Gore.

          Take your head out of your rear-end friend and follow the money.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        What I’m hearing is: do as I say, not as I do.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          …which my parents did on me a million times. And they were right approximately 998,000 times.

          Sometimes the message, not the messenger or how it’s transmitted, is the most important thing.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            And there is Liberalism laid bare. The Government is like your parents, they are smarter than you and know better so just shut up and follow along

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Know how to spot a phony conservative? He always answers with “liberal.”

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        I don’t hate environmentalists. When it comes to “green” things I am left of center. I drive a hybrid (would like an EV), compost, live in a city with the 2nd highest recycling rate in the country, have rain barrels, use solar panels, etc. Hypocrisy happens on both sides of the political spectrum. I don’t like CEOs that take $20+ million bonuses and then prepare to lay off 10% of their workforce (who could that be?) either.

        That being said, people that want the average American to care about climate change need to understand how their actions play in Peoria. It doesn’t look good when someone flies 8000 miles to accept a climate change award and then flies back in the same day. That is just bad optics.

        Carbon offsets are nothing more than Indulgences. They don’t change behavior. They only allow for undesirable behavior for those that can afford it.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Stuff like this is definitely “bad optics,” but I’m more interested in whether Gore’s argument is on target or not.

          Put differently: let’s say he was 100% correct, but people poo-poohed him because he flew on a private jet, and as a result his argument didn’t get bought into. That brings up two questions:

          1) Do we really blame the resultant environmental damage on “bad optics”?
          2) Would the people who opposed Gore politically have magically changed their minds had he flown commercial?

          Answers: 1) no, and 2) are you kidding?

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I don’t poo poo the science of it. But if he is 100% right, then it doesn’t matter anyway because we are already [email protected] Roll coal brother because we are all gonna die.

            I can dislike the actions of certain people in that movement but still believe in the science. Al Gore’s and Leonardo DiCaprio’s opinions have no bearing on my opinion when it comes to climate change. It’s people who actually do research and publish peer reviewed works that I listen to.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Roll coal brother because we are all gonna die.”

            That’s my credo.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            Don’t tell me the “earth is in crisis” then leave you 35,0000 square foot house in you chauffeured SUV to the airport to hop in your private jet to lecture us not to take vacation cause flying makes carbon.

            I’ll treat it like a real problem when these hypocrites act like its a problem…

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            No, it he not “on target” it’s all bulls**t

            2006 “unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” In Gore’s own words, he claimed we were in “a true planetary emergency.”

            “In the mid- to late-2000s, Gore repeatedly predicted that an ice-free Arctic Ocean was coming in 2014. But as usual, his fortune-telling was wrong. By 2014, Arctic ice had grown thicker and covered a greater area than it did when he made his prediction”

            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/01/25/state-of-the-climate-10-years-after-al-gore-declared-a-planetary-emergency-top-10-reasons-gore-was-wrong/

            https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/18888-embarrassing-predictions-haunt-the-global-warming-industry

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @markf
            It would take a lot of my time to go through the articles you linked and fully expose them as collections of misinformation. So a couple of examples will have to do.

            On Gore’s prediction that the Polar icecaps would disappear by 2014:

            I believe he referred only to the arctic, only in summer, and only as being possible. Read the long version here for yourself:
            http://www.snopes.com/ice-caps-melt-gore-2014/

            In reality the arctic ice cover is indeed rapidly melting and the antarctic ice sheets are destabilizing.

            On the claim that environmentalists in the 60’s and 70’s predicted a new ice age:
            “The fact is that around 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting a warming rather than a cooling planet. Today, with 30+years more data to analyse, we’ve reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming.”

            https://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s.htm

            And worth a read just for entertainment:

            https://www.google.ca/amp/scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/06/04/the-1970s-ice-age-myth-and-time-magazine-covers-by-david-kirtley/amp/

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Adam:

            No, you’re not “poo pooing the science of it.” But there are plenty of people who are, and they’re pointing to nonsense “arguments” like “but, but, but…Al Gore flew on a private plane to go talk about carbon emissions, so there’s no truth to what he’s saying.”

            By that “logic,” no one should listen to Trump if he says, “we should ban laptops on commercial flights for now due to security concerns”…because, after all, Trump hasn’t flown commercial since around 1972.

            But that’s the “logic” that the deniers are using.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          That’s fine Adam, but there is a mass-behavioral change being attempted in America that not everyone subscribes to.

          People’s beliefs are fine until they start to interfere with other people’s rights.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Well, I don’t like people interfering with my right to clean air and water, or my child’s right to a healthy environment.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            brandloyalty has got you on that one HDC.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            From his perspective maybe, but that’s not the way of the world.

            And it won’t be.

            We may not have a choice about what tires we get on our new GM cars in the future, but at replacement time I doubt that many GM owners will seek to buy GM replacement tires.

            That’s been tried, several times over the decades. Ford used to have specials at their dealerships for new tires but most people went to other outlets because the pricing was better and the tires lasted longer.

            I remember buying replacement tires at FedMart. And for that era, they were the best tires I ever bought.

            Lasted forever, and rode smoothly. It was some off-the-wall brand made for FedMart and it was Made in USA. I remember that!

            ttac published an article about rolling coal, and from the comments it is clear that the masses don’t even think about the environment.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Sooner or later the masses will care about the environment. For instance the good free-thinking citizens of Miami will figure out why they have to keep raising their streets.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Sooner or later the masses will care about the environment. ”

            I agree, wholeheartedly. That’s why I wrote…

            “Without some kind of self-evident catastrophe that affect the masses of non-believers, people will continue to do the things their own way”

            Until that day, it is business as usual all over the planet.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “I believe he referred only to the arctic, only in summer, and only as being possible. Read the long version here for yourself:
            http://www.snopes.com/ice-caps-melt-gore-2014/”

            You are gonna reference Snopes, a Left Wing hack site as a source?

            As soon as you site the ridiculous “97%” number you lose ALL credibility…..

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Correct, HDC, too few people pay attention to this problem because it doesn’t necessarily affect them. But that doesn’t mean that the people who know the problem well should stay silent.

            If that were the case, then there would be no reason for me to listen to you when you talk about the crime and drug syndicate problems that insufficient border security causes in your neck of the woods. Here in Whitefolksville, Colorado, where the average annual income is $80,000, I can tell you illegal immigrants don’t cause much of a ruckus, unless they’re mowing someone’s lawn with broken-down equipment. Not much in the way of Gus Fring style cartel action around here, you know?

            So, the problems that get caused by border security aren’t all that important to me, right?

            Of course they are. And you are right to talk about it.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            @Adam:

            No, you’re not “poo pooing the science of it.” But there are plenty of people who are, and they’re pointing to nonsense “arguments” like “but, but, but…Al Gore flew on a private plane to go talk about carbon emissions, so there’s no truth to what he’s saying.”

            By that “logic,” no one should listen to Trump if he says, “we should ban laptops on commercial flights for now due to security concerns”…because, after all, Trump hasn’t flown commercial since around 1972.

            But that’s the “logic” that the deniers are using.

            Your analogy makes no sense. AlGore is running around telling us what an “emergency” this is and telling people to fly less while he rides around in his carbon spewing private jet. Typical elitists.

            Why can’t he fly commercial and lead by example?

            Trump and other Presidents makes those decisions for commercial travel based on intelligence reports.

            Reason much?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            FreedMike, no one in China paid attention to their air pollution until the air got so polluted no one could breathe outdoors any more, and everyone had to buy air purifiers for indoors.

            When something disastrous happens, that’s when all attention gets focused on the problem.

            Right now in America it’s just the alarmists wailing that the sky is falling, and that the planet is warming, and that the ice caps are melting.

            When it actually happens, that’s when we’ll see action.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Adam, I too was skeptical of carbon offsets. But British Columbia was the first province to do them, and the provincial economy has done well with declining carbon emissions. Exactly the effect predicted.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I’ll have to look at the BC model. I’m sure someone has a study or something. Carbon emissions are declining in a lot of places. Did they decline more rapidly than during the same period in say, Washington? I dunno the answer to that but I am interested in it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’m all for measures that encourage sustainable forest management.
            Deforestation at an unsustainable rate obviously means we will run out of the resource. That has obvious negative effects upon industry, the economy, the workforce and consumers.

            Another aspect that often does not get mentioned in these discussions is the loss of carbon sequestration. A study showed that forests sequester 60% of the world’s CO2. Unsustainable forest use whether it be rubber trees or spruce building studs, means that we are making the problem worse.

            In BC where I live, there is 55 million hectares of forest (136 million acres). Depending on who you source, NRS (not satisfactorily restocked) forest is as high as 16% or approximately 9 million hectares.

            If one low balls sequestration at 14 tonnes per hectare and looks at car emissions at 5 tonnes per car per year, aggressive reforestation would be equivalent to removing 3 million cars from the road.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “Well, I don’t like people interfering with my right to clean air and water, or my child’s right to a healthy environment.”

            Do it FOR THE CHILDREN!

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          The folks in Preoria make several mistakes, over and over.

          They attack messengers instead of considering the message. They buy into bogus arguments. Such as:

          They dismiss enviros on both basis that enviros are either inconsequential losers or rich hypocrites. Hmm.

          They say the lead enviros are hypocrites for the impact of getting the message out. They ignore that messages cannot be sent without some impact, and that those responsible strive to minimize that impact. Suzuki rarely flies any more, drives an old Prius, and walks, cycles and takes transit a lot.

          It is unfair to give a pass to the fossil fuel promoters causing unlimited carbon impact to get their message out while holding the enviros to zero impact.

          And I’ll say it again since it didn’t sink in. You have to balance the carbon reduction effect of the enviros’ activities against the carbon cost of those actions. In this fair context, the impacts are inconsequential.

          How to get the Peorians out of their echo chamber is an excellent question.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The longer you guys keep trying to equate environmentalism with some bologna carbon scheme the worse your going to make the situation. Kids leaving college today see environmentalism as favorable as nazism.

            True environmentalists have become few and far between. Giving paid speeches and having a few million people sip their coffee nodding approvingly that the plebes are killing the environment doesn’t end well for anyone. Well maybe the people giving the speeches and taking the government mandated “taxes”.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Hummer, the last election in America reflected that “True environmentalists have become few and far between.”

            The masses turned on the green Queen and voted to put the realist/nationalist in office.

            And elections have consequences, as we have been so often reminded over the past eight years.

            One of the consequences is that the new guy doesn’t buy all that green crap but is more interested in what makes America work and grow.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            You don’t really hit on my point.

            Selling something as “green” is being marketed as the answer to prevent the all out destruction of the earth.

            A true environmentalist is concerned with the – you know, environment, and what has a truly tangible effect on it. It’s not “buying into” this or that, it either protect the environment from real threats that clearly exist, or “protecting” it from perceived threats so you can armchair support environmentalism without ever exploring it or threats to it.

            There’s no longer a delineation between either being a raging wacko environmentalist or being an oil baron (as if that makes you anti-environmentalist in some Neanderthal-esque rationale).

            Environmental science is one of my favorite subjects, it’s one of my favorite (non-math heavy) sciences. But the politics that the actual science is being crushed under is depressing.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “the politics that the actual science is being crushed under is depressing.”

            I understood the point you were making.

            These days it is ALL politics, ALL the time.
            Partisan politics, all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Hummer – well said.

            Unfortunately hard cold science is just that, hard and cold.

            You don’t get elected or make money on hard and cold.

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “Know how to spot a phony conservative? He always answers with “liberal.””

          Translation: “I have no argument”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            You never had one to begin with.

            But you knew that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @MarkF – “Do it FOR THE CHILDREN!”

            NAH.

            MAGA has a better ring to it

            and it fits on a ball cap.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            “You never had one to begin with.

            But you knew that”

            As opposed to your reason and science based argument of calling anyone not buying into your scam a “DENIER”

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing. When a question is first asked – like ‘what would happen if we put a load more CO2 in the atmosphere?’ – there may be many hypotheses about cause and effect. Over a period of time, each idea is tested and retested – the processes of the scientific method – because all scientists know that reputation and kudos go to those who find the right answer (and everyone else becomes an irrelevant footnote in the history of science). Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during this testing period, because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy.”

            “But the testing period must come to an end. Gradually, the focus of investigation narrows down to those avenues that continue to make sense, that still add up, and quite often a good theory will reveal additional answers, or make powerful predictions, that add substance to the theory.”

            “So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other’s work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted – and relied upon.”

            “In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them.”

            “Authors of seven climate consensus studies — including Naomi Oreskes, Peter Doran, William Anderegg, Bart Verheggen, Ed Maibach, J. Stuart Carlton, and John Cook — co-authored a paper that should settle this question once and for all. The two key conclusions from the paper are:

            1) Depending on exactly how you measure the expert consensus, it’s somewhere between 90% and 100% that agree humans are responsible for climate change, with most of our studies finding 97% consensus among publishing climate scientists.

            2) The greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.”

            “Expert consensus is a powerful thing. People know we don’t have the time or capacity to learn about everything, and so we frequently defer to the conclusions of experts. It’s why we visit doctors when we’re ill. The same is true of climate change: most people defer to the expert consensus of climate scientists. Crucially, as we note in our paper:

            Public perception of the scientific consensus has been found to be a gateway belief, affecting other climate beliefs and attitudes including policy support.

            That’s why those who oppose taking action to curb climate change have engaged in a misinformation campaign to deny the existence of the expert consensus. They’ve been largely successful, as the public badly underestimate the expert consensus, in what we call the “consensus gap.” Only 16% of Americans realize that the consensus is above 90%.”

            “Based on our abstract ratings, we found that just over 4,000 papers expressed a position on the cause of global warming, 97.1% of which endorsed human-caused global warming. In the self-ratings, nearly 1,400 papers were rated as taking a position, 97.2% of which endorsed human-caused global warming.”

            “We found that about two-thirds of papers didn’t express a position on the subject in the abstract, which confirms that we were conservative in our initial abstract ratings. This result isn’t surprising for two reasons: 1) most journals have strict word limits for their abstracts, and 2) frankly, every scientist doing climate research knows humans are causing global warming. There’s no longer a need to state something so obvious. For example, would you expect every geological paper to note in its abstract that the Earth is a spherical body that orbits the sun?

            This result was also predicted by Oreskes (2007), which noted that scientists

            “…generally focus their discussions on questions that are still disputed or unanswered rather than on matters about which everyone agrees”

            However, according to the author self-ratings, nearly two-thirds of the papers in our survey do express a position on the subject somewhere in the paper.

            We also found that the consensus has strengthened gradually over time. The slow rate reflects that there has been little room to grow, because the consensus on human-caused global warming has generally always been over 90% since 1991. Nevertheless, in both the abstract ratings and self-ratings, we found that the consensus has grown to about 98% as of 2011.”

      • 0 avatar
        Sceptic

        brandloyalty, it is unacceptable to use the racist labels such as referring to color of people’s necks. Typical racist liberal hater.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        I don’t care about carbon. It is not a pollutant.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    If the “green” tires offered the lowest costs to the automakers and reasonable performance/durability to consumers they would have been standard equipment years ago. Unfortunately green materials are almost always more expensive than “brown” alternatives and often not as green as advertised.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Less green products are only cheaper than greener products because of the extent to which damage to the essentials of life such as clean air and water, are externalized costs. This is true by definition, not some mystery.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Externalities are a common issue with green products, but the article implied that GM thinks the green tires will be cheaper.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          I was remiss in not mentioning that often products can be green and cheaper even immediately.

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            I’m sorry but I don’t believe you. Almost everyone wants to be green, and therefore if green products were cheaper they would have near 100% market share, but in reality they typically have less than 10% share. So please enlighten me by providing some examples of immediately cheap green products.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Those “costs” of course determined by lying environmentalists. Sorry, I don’t buy it, and I don’t buy “green” products. Whenever you go green you’re giving something up and that is something I am not willing to do.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          “Oh recycling is useless, Lis. Once the Sun burns out, this planet is doomed! You’re just making sure we spend our last days using inferior products.” – Bart Simpson

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “@MarkF – “Do it FOR THE CHILDREN!”

      NAH.

      MAGA has a better ring to it

      and it fits on a ball cap.”

      you get Trump to pay you rent yet?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’ll settle for him paying his CVS bill…that way the psych meds get refilled.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @markf

        Why would I expect him to pay me rent?

        That would be one more thing that he would be unable to lead to a logical conclusion.

        Maybe he could mail me an Executive Order?

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          “Why would I expect him to pay me rent?”

          Cause Trump occupies it 24/7 rent free.

          “Maybe he could mail me an Executive Order?”

          Not until he renegotiates NAFTA

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @markf – you brought up rent.

            “Not until he renegotiates NAFTA”

            Wow, that was a devastating retort.

            Are you a recent immigrant or living illegally in the USA?

            I get the impression that English is a second language.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    And do we honestly expect natural rubber to give us 50,000 plus mile warranty tires?

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Did you read the article? This is about a change in the blend of natural and synthetic rubber in tires, not a choice of one or the other. And tire longevity depends on more than the compound.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “Are you a recent immigrant or living illegally in the USA?

      I get the impression that English is a second language.”

      Typical xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant lefty……..

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @markf – I surmised ESL based on the quality of your posts and your frequent misinterpretation of factual data.

        Case in point:
        “Typical xenophobic, racist, anti-immigrant lefty”

        Where have I specifically been xenophobic, racist or anti-immigration or are you just projecting your insecurities upon others?

        • 0 avatar
          markf

          Smug lefties, the best kind.

          You haven’t EVER provided a single piece of factual data. You are just to smug and arrogant to realize your silly opinions are not facts.

          Oh, and Trump #MAGA

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Handcrafted artisanal tires, made lovingly by virgins held captive in a secret jungle pyramid.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    That’s great, but how’re the cars they’re mounted on?!

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      http://www.financialpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=business.financialpost.com/news/transportation/fossil-fuel-vehicles-will-vanish-in-8-years-in-twin-death-spiral-for-big-oil-and-big-autos-says-study-that-shocking-the-industry&pubdate=2017-05-16

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        There are already popular winter tires that use almond shells for increased durability and traction.

        Something wrong with this #@!$^* site, I have tried to post this 5 times!

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Isn’t it walnut shells?

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            You’re right. I went ‘nuts’ trying to type the stupid post into this stupid site 5 different times! Walnut shells.

            My employer uses only wood products that are certified as being sustainably harvested. We are audited annually by an independent 3rd party. As are our suppliers.

            You may have noticed the little green tree or frog on your paper, cardboard or envelopes to signify this.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Sometimes the connection to ttac seems to time out while you are typing. You can use the “previous” key to get back to your active screen. And/or make a copy of any particularly long or brilliant post before you try to submit it.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        brandloyalty I took a look at the link, those sound like the insane ramblings of an academic economist sitting in his ivory tower. The problem with these folks is that if their predictions fail spectacularly (as they are prone to do) they will always still have jobs.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          At least that guy is willing to put some actual dates on it.

          So many people go with the wishy-washy “soon this will happen” timeline when making bold predictions.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Don’t knock academics. They invented the Internet you use. Computers and software were not developed by cows.

          Academics have been right enough times that we no longer live in caves.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            A nonsensical post. I wouldn’t put the real work of talented scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the same league as these wild predictions that have no benefit to society. That article is mental masturbation at its finest IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          ‘Brandloyalty”, Thanks, I have had plenty of long posts but none that can be called ‘brilliant’.

          I am not a fan of Al Gore and think that he and most of the ‘enviro celebrities’ are hypocrites.

          However regarding climate change we have conclusive proof that human activity or freak acts of nature can have an impact on the environment. The ‘killer London fogs’ from burning coal. The smog that used to cover many of our cities prior to emission controls on autos. The increase of earthquake activity in Oklahoma which even the government of Oklahoma links to drilling activity. These are just some examples.

          Then there are the changes in temperature that occur after major volcanic activity, demonstrating how something that takes place in one part of the planet can impact the other hemisphere.

          Anecdotally I can rhyme off changes that I have noticed during my lifetime. Plus the melting ice caps at both Poles and the number of icebergs off of Labrador.

          However, for those that do not want to or cannot believe in climate change, then think of it as you would if you were gambling or investing or partaking in ‘game theory’.

          If we make changes to ‘protect’ the environment, and climate change is a hoax then we could suffer some economic losses and some others would get rich.

          If however we do not make any changes to protect the environment and climate change is true, then we may have doomed our species.

          So the cost to potential loss equation says that it is only logical to take some steps to ‘protect the environment’.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The problem with just letting others get rich, is that they gain power and can effectively shape the political landscape. The fact that we have officials and bureaucrats suggesting that talking about climate change as anything less than a fact should be punishable by fines or jail time should make the situation pretty clear. If we’ve gone from having the scientific method be that all theories need to have reproduceable results but may never be considered fact. To the CC situation where it must be taken as fact and additional scientific study that suggests otherwise is blasphemous; then we are truly repeating history.

            The church of climate change has deemed all dissenters as blasphemous traitors that must be locked away.

            Smog and carbon dioxide are not even remotely similar. Smog contains gases that are known to be carcinogenic to humans, until it is proven that carbon based life forms can get cancer from the carbon dioxide that we exhale, these two are completely unrelatable.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Here’s a radical thought, Hummer: the same pollutants that cause all the proven harm you’re talking about also are theorized to cause global warming.

            Sounds to me like dealing with carbon emissions is a good idea no matter how you slice it. Perhaps that’s why the “denier” position is so infuriating to some folks – it flies in the face of common sense.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “the same pollutants that cause all the proven harm you’re talking about also are theorized to cause global warming.”

            I can’t imagine any scientist thinks nitrogen oxides causes climate change (if anything NOx diminishes the adverse effect of GHGs) or believes that carbon dioxide causes smog, acid rain, and chronic illness.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Plus the melting ice caps at both Poles”

            Correction on that, the Arctic is shrinking, the Antarctic just hit a new maximum this year.

            https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum

            Overall shrinking trend when taken as a sum.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            We could then refer to the ice cracking in the Antarctic:
            https://phys.org/news/2017-02-giant-antarctic-ice-shelf.html

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I would think that by now they could develop technology to dissolve old tires and mold them into new ones.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Tires have to be designed to be extremely tough. So they are very difficult to take apart, destroy etc. Even the ones with more natural rubber.

      I wonder if recapping could be done to an adequate level of quality.

      Generally, most things that would make tires last longer, such as deeper tread, also degrade their performance. Note racing car tires that might last for less than one race and dry conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “The church of climate change has deemed all dissenters as blasphemous traitors that must be locked away.”

      Amen

  • avatar
    George B

    Natural rubber is imported from tropical countries where rubber trees grow. Synthetic rubber was developed so we could make rubber from petroleum in the United States.
    https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/syntheticrubber.html#us-synthetic-rubber-research

  • avatar
    raph

    I wonder if the mix of natural rubber has changed much over the course of 20 years or so? The problem with synthetic rubber is that it doesn’t manage heat to well. Tire manufacturers really only used synthetic rubber in the inner liner and they have been steadily making that liner thinner as time has gone by due to the heat issues. Synthetic rubber is less porous so…. amazing the ads on this site are grinding my galaxy S8 to a hal


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Fordson: Some makes just should never produce SUVs…this is one of them. Look at the Maserati car in the group...
  • FreedMike: Toyota. Why do you think they haven’t invested in EVs?
  • redapple: Who will buy Tesla? GGM?
  • forward_look: Once I bought a ’74 (?) Colt/Mitsubishi for $100 that had the strut towers rusted out. I welded...
  • thelaine: Tick tock

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States