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?
Now Lutz is all charged up about the new Chevy Volt. Well, good for him.
A decade late, the (former) biggest automaker in the world dusts off electric technology that it once killed in favor of building Hummers and now Lutz wants credit as a far-sighted environmentalist.
No wonder Toyota has been kicking his ass.
As a matter of policy, I believe that government should resist micromanaging industries, even when spending taxpayer dollars to support them. But as a matter of immediate concern, I think the U.S. legislators contemplating this bailout package should demand Bob Lutz's resignation before dribbling a single dollar into GM's leaky pockets.
The obvious goal of the government support is to allow GM to remake itself. there is no reason to expect a new trick from this old dog. He should be dismissed.
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