Toyota Touting Climate Deniers to Sell Luxury Hybrid Cars

HuffingtonPost In a very interesting article on The Huffington Post this week, Kevin Grandia reveals Toyota's latest campaign to sell cars. They are apparently holding a series of debates featuring "professional climate deniers" called the "Darker Side of Green." It seems their aim is to undermine the research of sicentists who study climate change in order to persuade consumers that driving a luxury, emissions emitting car is not at all harmful to the environment because, as Toyota states on their corporate website "…CO2 emissions, said to be a
cause of global warming, have been steadily increasing since the
Industrial Revolution." Unfortunately, it seems that Toyota has made the strategic shift from green-washing to green-trashing.

Posted August 4, 2010

By, Kevin Grandia, The Huffington Post

In an attempt to look edgy and sell more hybrid cars, Lexus, the
luxury division of the Toyota
Motor Corporation
, is holding a series of debates featuring
professional climate deniers who have no research background in the area
of climate science, other than their ability to spindoctor.

Called the "Darker Side of Green" the debate series includes
Christopher Monckton, a journalist by training, who has been running
around the globe offering his opinion that climate change is not
happening and is some kind of grand socialist conspiracy.

This is the same Christopher
Monckton
who accused young people attending the Copenhagen
International Climate treaty talks last year of being the Hitler Youth and whose solution
to the AIDS epidemic
was to,

… screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine
all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population
should be blood-tested every month … all those found to be infected
with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated
compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.

Another presenter for the "Darker
Side of Green"
is the Competitive
Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner
, who like Monkcton has no
research background in the science of climate change. Horner is a lawyer
by training and works for a free-market think tank that even ExxonMobil
refused to fund shortly after they ran an embarrassing television ad
spot with the tag line "C02, some call it pollution, we call it life."

If Toyota wants to have a debate about climate change, I would
suggest they recruit the scientists and researchers who are studying how
to deal with the effects of the problem instead of public relations
experts bent on muddying the issue and attacking the science.

Toyota states on their corporate website that:

Global energy consumption and CO2 emissions, said to be a
cause of global warming, have been steadily increasing since the
Industrial Revolution…. Toyota considers responses to help prevent
global warming to be a priority management issue and is implementing
measures to reduce CO2 emissions by restricting energy consumption in
all areas of business activities…

In their 2008 Annual report Toyota reports on how the company is:

Steadfastly Promoting the Creation of Vehicles with Lower
CO2 Emissions, Based on the Recognition that Global Warming is the
Most Crucial Issue Facing Humanity.
[my emphasis]

If this is in fact what Toyota believes – that global warming is the
most crucial issue facing humanity – then these pseudo-expert debates
arguing whether climate change is happening or not say one of two things
about the auto-giant:

One, Toyota actually doesn't think climate change is a problem and is
simply paying lip-service with its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, or

Two, Toyota is willing to forgo the values it believes in as a
company to hopefully sell more cars by being provocative.

Either way, it stinks and Toyota's campaign is playing a role in
undermining the work of researchers at the top scientific academies in
the world, like NASA, the Royal Society, NOAA and the American Academy
of Science, who all point to decades of data showing that climate change
is a reality and our overuse of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, is to
blame.

I guess the best way to find out what Toyota was thinking when they
developed this publicity stunt would be to ask them directly. You can
ask the company why they are supporting climate deniers through their Twitter account,
on the Toyota Facebook page and/or on the Lexus Facebook
page.

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