Need Another Reason?

Multiple Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman had a column this morning that every U.S. policy maker and driver should read. That isn’t enought to get you to follow the link? Here’s a sample:

I certainly would not put on a black tie if the entire management team at G.M. got sacked and was replaced by executives from Toyota. Indeed, I think the only hope for G.M.’s autoworkers, and maybe even our country, is with Toyota. Because let’s face it, as Toyota goes, so goes America.

Having Toyota take over General Motors — which based its business strategy on building gas-guzzling cars, including the idiot Hummer, scoffing at hybrid technology and fighting Congressional efforts to impose higher mileage standards on U.S. automakers — would not only be in America’s economic interest, it would also be in America’s geopolitical interest.

Because Toyota has pioneered the very hybrid engine technology that can help rescue not only our economy from its oil addiction (how about 500 miles per gallon of gasoline?), but also our foreign policy from dependence on Middle Eastern oil autocrats.

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2 Responses to Need Another Reason?

  1. Anonymous says:

    http://www.autoextremist.com/page2.shtml#Rant

    A little common sense please.

  2. AD says:

    Anonymous points us to a post that is devoted to tearing down Tom Friedman’s column quoted and linked above. The post notes, “GM has spent billions upon billions of dollars to reduce emissions and to search for more innovative technological solutions to our nation’s long-term energy needs.”

    First, did GM spend that money because it inherently wanted to, or because the California State Legislature forced it to spend that money?

    Secondly, if GM is truly interested in reducing emissions, why does it spend all that money lobbying Congress to keep it from enacting clean air initiatives?

    Thirdly, if GM is truly interested in reducing emissions, why does it manufacture and sell Hummers?

    Aside from this somewhat tangential side argument, the post at Auto Extremist makes a valid point. The author, Peter M. DeLorenzo, scoffs at the idea of getting 500 miles per gallon, a claim Friedman quotes for a plug-in hybrid. “Five hundred miles per gallon? We cannot fathom how Friedman got snowed by this lunacy.”

    If the notion of getting 500 miles per gallon is an absolutely ridiculous idea, as asserted by a self-proclaimed “automotive consultant,” then then solution to reducing our dependence on foreign oil is to get people to drive less. As I noted in a post yesterday, this is done by transit- and pedestrian-friendly land use patterns so uncommon in our country today.

    It seems that Starts & Fits & Auto Extremist share a bit of common ground: “Weaning this country off of our dependence on ‘Middle Eastern oil autocrats’ for our energy needs is an urgent and noble goal. But much to Mr. Friedman and the ‘Geo Green’ movement’s chagrin, there are no magic ’500 mpg’ bullets or ‘Fish’ carburetors out there just waiting to be discovered that will solve all of America’s geopolitical problems overnight.”

    Well, there is one, but it isn’t one that most people are prepared to accept yet: A restructuring of America’s land use patterns as massive as as the post-World War II manufacture of surburban sprawl, which is what has gotten us in this mess in the first place.