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GM and the Climate Declaration

by on May 2, 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/01/gm-obama-congress-climate-change

I found this article on how GM is pressing President Obama to pass the Climate Declaration, which would help climate change and help the economy. GM makes the Chevy Volt, an electric car. Other companies like Starbucks, Ebay, and Intel also all signed this petition. I think this is a prime example of what we talked about today, how solutions of technology, economic markets, and politics can all come together to help make a change and stop global warming. 

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4 Comments
  1. I agree, and think that this is a great example. I took Dr. Jones’ class, so I know that there are companies out there that want to be environmentally and socially responsible. We also saw with Walmart in Food Inc., that change occurs when the consumer push for it, so when Walmart started selling Organic, it was because of the consumer push. I think that some companies truly have a concern when it comes to the environment, but other companies simple have the bottom line of profit. Although this is not the best solution, consumer do have the ability to push these irresponsible companies into become more responsible. I am curious to see how quickly companies will start to change in the future, if there is a growing concern for the environment.

  2. becarr13 permalink

    I found that this article was very interesting considering that GM, which is known for producing some of the biggest trucks and cars that cause environmental pollution leading to climate change, is leading a push for Congress and the President to come to a deal involving climate change. Although these car companies who agree its time to cut down on the emission of harmful pollutants but do not have a specific plan on how to do so yet, this is definitely a positive step forward for both environmental protection and American business. Throughout American history, technology booms is what has propelled the economy. The industrial revolution brought with it the roaring 20s, and more recently the digital age brought the prosperity of the 90s into the early 2000s. A change in technology, for example possibly transforming the gas automobile completely an electric powered car would a totally new and booming market in the auto industry. Furthermore, if the U.S. was the first to do so, the U.S. would be the leading nation in this market which, therefore, lead to another economic boom. And lastly, besides the positives of a booming economy, Carbon emissions would be cut significantly as hopefully gas powered cars become less and less prevalent as a more efficient and powerful electric car begins to dominate consumer purchases.

  3. I agree that it is very interesting to see a car company and especially GM going to congress to work on climate change. However as the above comment mentioned technological changes has preluded great periods of economic growth. I would add that with any of these new technologies government played a large role. The rail road transformed America in the 1800’s but with the government clearing out the Native Americans and providing lands for the track no one would have ever invested. Same thing with planes, no one but the government was going to build airports in the beginning. It will take government help to get a large new industry such as electric or hydrogen cars into the market. Just setting up charging stations will be costly and something only the governmne really has the size and resources to deal with.

    I think it is encouraging that industry is trying to get the governmnet to step up because it clearly wont on its own.If we can move away from cars reliant on petroleum that would be a huge blow to the oil companies but also great for our political system as their influence would be severely limited, meaning the government would have much more freedom to go after more environmental protections.

  4. I am happy to hear that GM decided to support efforts to mitigate climate change. It is essential for big businesses in America to take part in the cause if we are to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gasses. If the country starts from the root of the problem (producers of goods), we will have no choice but to release less toxins into the atmosphere. If we only have ecologically friendly options, we will adapt.

    In addition to helping preserve the environment, this climate declaration could lead to an improvement in the American economy. A lot of people care about the environment and know that global warming is an issue but are discouraged from taking action because American politics often encourages us to overconsume. For example, oil and gas are extremely inexpensive compared to European countries which allows us to use more fossil fuels. If we use electric cars, as GM is promoting in the declaration, then we will use less or no gas when driving our cars. This is a step in the right direction to help mitigate climate change.

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