Mike Accavitti, the former head of Dodge who became American Honda’s vice president of marketing in August, describes the current luxury market as “too much machine and not enough humanity.”
Replace the phrase “the current luxury market” with “the automobile.” Does anything change?
I bet they’re drooling on themselves over at Greenpeace, thinking themselves oh-so-clever for producing this spoof of a recent triumph of car-peddling smarm:
Not only does this sort of lavishly expensive undertaking encourage would-be radicals to mistake gestures for organizing, but take a look at the language of the thing:
More efficient cars are cheaper to run, use less oil and emit less CO2. Volkswagen has a history of lobbying against the strong European standards that we need to kick our oil addiction. As the biggest car company in Europe, with the biggest responsibility, VW must change and support strong standards from now on.
Volkswagen says it wants to be “the most eco-friendly automaker in the world”, but only 6% of the cars it sold in 2010 were its most efficient models. It has the technology to do better. VW must set out its plan to make its entire fleet oil-free by 2040.
Wow. Greenpeace, the operation that used to risk life and limb to halt nukes and whaling ships, is now spoofing TV ads, and telling its audience that “more efficient cars” are the answer, that “oil-free” cars are somehow green, that’s it’s “our oil addiction,” and that we can afford to diddle around until 2040 playing games with such silly-ass dishonesties.
Sad, and scary.
Interesting report-on-a-report from Jeremy Warner of The Telegraph:
HSBC has calculated what would happen to energy consumption by 2050 given plausible forecasts for economic growth and assuming no constraint on resources, or that humans carry on using energy in the “taken for granted” way they do at the moment.
[D]emand in China, India and other emerging markets soars, but there is also quite considerable growth from advanced economies too. The big picture is that with an additional one billion cars on the road, demand for oil would grow 110%, to more than 190 million barrels per day. Total demand for energy would rise by a similar order of magnitude, doubling the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to more than three and a half times the amount climate change scientists think would keep temperatures at safe levels.
It scarcely needs saying that regardless of the environmental consequences, energy industries would struggle to cope, and more likely would find it impossible. We may or may not already be perilously close to peak oil – or maximum productive capacity – but nobody believes the industry could produce double what it does at the moment, however clever it becomes in tapping previously uncommercial or inaccessible reserves.
We are fast approaching an era when energy will have to be rationed. This can either be done in a peaceful manner, or we can carry on as we are, in which case it is all too likely to end up being settled down the barrel of a gun.
Rather sobering, as we watch the 2008 Marketer of the Year launch War #3.
Read this, which confirms, via Wikileaks, that the overall plan from above is to continue extracting every possible drip of profit from cars-first transportation, until collapse arrives.
On Easter Island, as the rats they brought with them and came to rely on as a supplementary food source ate up the seeds of the big palm trees they needed to make seaworthy long-distance fishing/travel/escape canoes, what did the Rapanui people do? Under the sway of their priestly overclass, who naturally insisted that bigger and better appeals to the gods (and, of course, further expansion of the practices and prerogatives of their Earthly messengers) was the only reasonable answer to any and all crises, they made more and bigger moai.
In the United States of America and the rest of the “advanced” corporate capitalist nation-states, as the ornate and allegedly magical “self-movers” they bought to achieve mobility started to burn away the second half of the planet’s petroleum supply, the great entrepreneurs insisted that the path to survival and renewal was building further, still-more-intricate-and-expensive implementations of these 3,000-plus-pound objects, by means of which each micro-pod of commoners fetched food, got to workplaces, and attended what remained of in-person social occasions (all, of course, while further glorifying and enriching the entrepreneurial class that pushed and provided the “freedom machines”).
To modify Sesame Street, one of these things is just like the other.
For reasons I will explain in my forthcoming book, Courting Carmageddon: Capitalism and Transportation in the United States, manufacturing and selling automobiles is roughly as heedless of and harmful to public health as manufacturing and selling nicotine-delivery devices. Car crashes alone have killed more than 2 million U.S. residents in the past half-century.
Of course, thanks to their physical size and complexity and their enormous infrastructural and convenience implications, cars are far more important to corporate capitalists than cigarettes ever were. Hence, they are also far more off-the-table in terms of public debate and defense.
I say all this as background to news that Mazda is now asking the Supreme Court to shield it from liability for disregarding state-level vehicular safety laws that exceed the federal regulatory standards administered by the always half-hearted (and oxymoronically named) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In explaining its appearance as a friend of Mazda, the Alliance of Automobile Manfacturers explains:
“This case raises issues of enormous importance to auto manufacturers,” said Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The fear, he said, is that federal regulations will be “superseded” by a patchwork of state laws on personal injury claims.
As Automotive News explains its own headline on this story, the enormously important issue is whether automotive manufacturers can continue to deploy “less-than-best” products.
Suggestion: Compare the institutional urgency of this issue against the claims about manufacturing standards and corporate concern made in car advertisements.
Slight gap there, no?
And is there any doubt what the eventual ruling will be in the age of Citizens United?
Note also: It isn’t just car capitalists, of course:
Saturday, I linked to Nissan’s stunningly dishonest attempt to make buying a $33,000 coal-burning 2.75-ton metal, plastic, and lithium contraption for fetching groceries look like an act of concern for the planet and its endangered species.
That particular trick exploits the well-meaning but lazy and woefully under-informed.
Meanwhile, while watching a football game this weekend, I encountered this other car-pushing tactic. If this society survives cars-first transportation, our grandchildren will one day guffaw in disbelief at the militant interlocking stupidities in this stinking propaganda turd:
This ad targets the completely and proudly uninformed.
Under its state capitalist regime, China has certainly managed to capture a serious chunk of the world’s wealth. Unfortunately for China and everybody else, thanks to the imperatives of the economic system its market-Stalinist overclass has adopted, it has also managed to build its way into the cars-first dead end. Apparently, there has been a 9-day-long traffic jam in the Beijing suburbs this summer…
Obummer’s first National Security Strategy is out. Turds aplenty, including this one:
The United States has a window of opportunity to lead in the development of clean energy technology. If successful, the United States will lead in this new Industrial Revolution in clean energy that will be a major contributor to our economic prosperity. If we do not develop the policies that encourage the
private sector to seize the opportunity, the United States will fall behind and increasingly become an
importer of these new energy technologies.
We have already made the largest investment in clean energy in history, but there is much more to do to build on this foundation. We must continue to transform our energy economy, leveraging private capital to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies that will cut greenhouse gas emissions,
improve energy efficiency, increase use of renewable and nuclear power, reduce the dependence of
vehicles on oil, and diversify energy sources and suppliers. We will invest in research and next-generation
technology, modernize the way we distribute electricity, and encourage the usage of transitional fuels,
while moving towards clean energy produced at home.
Someday, they’ll invent a magic pill that will cure our dependence. Until then, we promise we’ll keep waiting for that pill, while doing what we do. What pill will it be? From what will it be made? Well, whatever it is, it’ll be just great, we’re sure.
What’s this even doing in a document about military posture, you might ask? Well, of course, until that pill comes out, we may have to break into a few more houses…
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!