GM’s Lutz On Hybrids, Global Warming And Cars As Art

Bob Lutz, General Motors’ vice chairman and chief car guru, says what really turns him on is “doing the unexpected”–acting “contrary to the conventional wisdom, forcing people to re-think their beliefs.” Maybe that’s why Lutz, who made his name developing behemoths like the V-10 Dodge Viper, is so sold on the fuel-efficient new Chevrolet Volt, which will run on a lithium-ion battery and could go on sale by 2010. “The Volt thrills me because it’s the last thing anybody expected from GM,” the ex-Marine said at a private lunch in Arlington today. If you’re into cars or the car business, jump to read more of Lutz’s contrarian beliefs.

During a closed-door session with several journalists at the Cacharel restaurant, Lutz declared that:

–Hybrid cars like those made by Toyota “make no economic sense,” because their price will never come down, and diesel autos like those touted by Chrysler are also uneconomic. The only place in Europe that diesel-driven cars are big, he said, is where diesel fuel is half the cost of regular gasoline; in most places there, the costs are comparable and diesel has little market penetration.

— Global warming is a “total crock of ****.” Then he added: “I’m a skeptic, not a denier. Having said that, my opinion doesn’t matter. (With the battery-driven Volt), “I’m motivated more by the desire to replace imported oil than by the CO2 (argument).”

— With more and more good-quality cars on the market these days, “you’ve got to look at the business artistically, too. Part of our business is creating blockbusters–just like the movie business–yet we never think of ourselves that way. A car is an exciting mobile sculpture that you want to own, drive and be seen in. That’s why (auto-industry) comeback stories are always design-driven.” One GM car that fills that bill, he said, is Cadillac’s CTS.

— The best car dealers will thrive even in a sluggish economy. “They’ve got to isolate themselves from the economic forecasts,” Lutz said, “and say, ‘I make my own prosperity.’ ”

Tonight, Lutz will jawbone privately with area GM dealers about these and other matters at a local restaurant where steak will be served.


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83 responses to “GM’s Lutz On Hybrids, Global Warming And Cars As Art”

  1. sdfw says:

    wow … he really said global warming is a “total crock of ****”???? … wait til our former mayor reads this … a new target to go after in her jihad to clean up our air … marches on of GM plant surely ahead …

  2. Colin Suttie says:

    Lutz is completely wrong on at least 1 of his points – approximately 40% of new cars in the UK are diesel powered, diesel is generally about the same price per litre as gasoline, in fact last time I was there diesel was more expensive.

  3. aeronaut says:

    lutz is bang on wrt ‘global warming’ – just another media drven paranoia like Y2K and bird flu etc etc.

  4. Jim Lea says:

    Bob Lutz has his view of our environment. It doesn’t mean he is wrong anymore than those far extreme pundants like ex V.P. Al Gore are right. To take rather stupid shots at G.M.’s marketing prowess as did Ben Wojdyla in his condemnation of Bob Lutz because he disagrees with his view of the evnironment makes him a small man.

  5. oakcliffguy says:

    30 years ago I worked as a lowly co-op student for “The General”. When I graduated from the “Ramblin’ Wreck” I chose another employer. When I hear statements like Mr. Lutz’s, it reaffirms the good decision I made in ’81. Little has changed since then. GM management is still delusional and Japan Inc. is poised to be number one. Bob, you lost 39 BILLION last year. Interested in a different point of view? Consulting fees apply, rates upon request.

  6. someguy says:

    Bob lutz is right in being skeptical about global warming, we have to question everything about it and get the facts on it. Where as for the Gore’ in the audience they need to look at the total composition of the earth’s atmosphere and total CO2 that is not based on IPCC models and look in a reliable source like the Encyclopedia Britannica. All IPCC models on climate change are at 14% in relation to actual is .035-.040 of CO2. google, wikipedia, or go on any other reputable science organization websites and find out for yourself. Lutz is ahead of the GM and we have no say so, and he will do what satisfy the needs to bring back GM. If he knows what to do then more power too him.

  7. skulldriveshaft says:

    @aeronaut & @someguy

    quit drinkin the kool-aid

    get based in reality GM is going down the drain, and gas guzzlers are not the answer for any automobile manufacturer.

    climate change is real – even if it is a cycle – we can either accelerate it or slow it down to more manageable levels – the earth is the biggest thing on this planet, and it sure as hell doesn’t feel comfortable right now. A shakedown is in progress, change how you interact on this planet, or die.

  8. Tom Brogle says:

    But Climate change is not caused by the increase in CO2.
    Rising ocean temperatures will
    increase CO2.
    That happened during the ice ages.

  9. boldo says:

    I’m in the car design business, and Bob Lutz has been one of my idols, as long as I can remember. He has a gut feeling about products and design, and has done fantatstic things for the global car design passion. He is right to say that cars will sell on design, and any one who denies that fact well they’re totaly not up to date on current events. But he is wrong about global warming and about diesel. once you’ve driven a 2 liter bi turbo, 180 HP, 380nm torque at 1500rpm diesel engine, you’ll know why. Some V8 diesels even sound , well…. good!

  10. 53chevyman says:

    Bob Lutz created a world buster with the Cadillac, the new models are competitive and GM is poised to stay #1. To openly deny global warming and to be the head of the largest corporation is one of the reasons our country is seen dimly world wide. Scary! Also get a small clean diesel pick up with a turbo, and keep up the good work with the recent success!

  11. unchecked pollution says:

    how can unchecked pollution be good for anyone? we should just stop making cars (OK, maybe keep making Ferraris…), convert those factories to mass produce wind turbines and bicycles. convert half our roads to bike paths. do it for our children!

  12. Willer says:

    Lutz is a dumbass. Anybody who actually studies global warming can tell you its coming.

    Diesel is a more economical fuel, if based only on btu content.

    And whats this about the Prius being expensive and a Volt being affordable?

  13. Hameiri says:

    What do you mean by “study”? I think I’ve studied global warming, taken some ecology classes, and watched the environmentalists for more than 40 years, and I can’t tell you that.

    And I sincerely believe that nobody can tell you that truthfully. Their models don’t have enough data and are not complex enough.

    Maybe you should do some more studying.

  14. GMsucks says:

    Btw u idiot, the #1 car maker of 2007 was toyota due to some miscounts made by GM.
    Get your facts straight before writing them down

  15. GMsucks says:

    bob lutz is the biggest idiot i have ever seen. He should retire ASAP. If it were up to me, i would have fired him the second he made fun of global warming. Oh and btw, the new cts is the uggliest car in the market today, and the only reason why it was voted best car of the year on motortrend is because motor trend is american magazine that favors american cars over anything else.
    Bob Lutz never made a difference, and he never will. He is plain stupid

  16. S Dobbs says:

    @ skulldriveshaft,

    If you’re to make a believer out of me, answer this!

    What kind of cars are the Chinese and those in India driving? The Tata Teeny Tiny will indeed be burning gas and that won’t change for years and years!

    Why worry about CO2 when nations across the globe can’t even be consistent on the type of fuel they burn? Considering the millions of new drivers in those two nations, I suspect that the failed Kyoto accord is laughable for at least the next few years until electric vehicle technology advances enough to put the oil barons out of business. It’s a likely story IMAO, for a while at least.

  17. russ says:

    Petroleum will continue to drive (no pun intended) our economy for the very simple reason that it costs very little to produce. In fact, oil & gas is just sitting in storage underground made for us cost-free many moons ago. All we have to do is find it and pump it and refine it. Of course that costs money but find any substitute that costs less. Ethanol? Every study so far shows it to be a loser both economically and environmentally. The fact that Congress has to subsidize its production should tell you all you need to know. There is one potential replacement for oil & gas: nuclear power. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for new atomic power stations to bring us hydrogen fuel cells. Maybe as US Navy warships get de-commissioned the nuclear power plants they carry can be plugged into our electrical grids. Other thn that, please get used to the idea of permanent petrol.

  18. Fonccol says:

    Of course global warming is real. And intend on preparing for it as soon as I sell off all the stuff I was told to get because of the coming ice age these same people told me about 30 years ago. Wow let’s see it gets warmer then it gets cooler then it gets warmer, then it gets cooler. Mmmm sounds like some kind of natual cycle. Kind of like everything else in life.

    Of course I wouldn’t mind if Al Gore is right and sea levels rise 20 ft. Then I’ll own Beach Front property in the middle of PA.

  19. Apex Alex says:


    “What do you mean by “study”? I think I’ve studied global warming, taken some ecology classes, and watched the environmentalists for more than 40 years, and I can’t tell you that.”

    you “think” you’ve studied??? you are exactly right, because apparently you learned NOTHING.

    if you don’t believe global warming IS happened, go up to arctic regions, or down to antarctica. glaciers are melting at record rates. the summer ice pack over the Arctic Ocean gets smaller every year.

    and guess what? this process will only ACCELERATE due to the albedo effect. further boosted by the rapidly thawing tundra releasing ever more METHANE and co2.

    what happens to the REST of the planet when high latitude regions lose ice/snow cover and glaciers? just imagine enduring next summer with NO air conditioning.

    the arctic regions are the a/c for THE WHOLE PLANET.

  20. Apex Alex says:

    incidentally, i LIVE in the subarctic.

    and less than 15 miles from one of the planet’s premier research institutes on global warming and the geosciences in general: the Univ of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute. which also happens to have direct access to one of the major supercomputer centers in the country too (ARSC).

    there ARE a few people even here who also don’t believe that HUMANS have contributed to global warming. all BOTH of ’em that i know are way past 60 years of age.

  21. Apex Alex says:

    it’s hard to believe with today’s demographics, so much in the general population have so-called brains that are FUNTIONALLY way past 60 years old, whatever their true biological age.

    guess they’ve all been brainrinsed by the conservatives on talk radio.

  22. ConservativeAtheist says:

    Apex Alex, instead of screaming with your caps, how about actually studying some science. You can start here:

    Yeah, some really scary trend there (not).

  23. marko says:

    it don’t matter if its a electric car,diesel or gas guzzlers. the earths at risk with pollution of one form or another. its worry about air quality or worry about that bright red glow . from the ground with all that buried nuclear power plants waste. i personal think i rather see money spent on how to make are cars burn gasoline cleaner.
    electric autos to me in a whole are a bigger problem . they be supplying the earth with a far worst pollution at the end of there life cycle.

  24. aeronaut says:

    hey skully,

    i would drink the kool-aid but you seem to have beat me to it. talk about brainwashed.

    no body is going to die from ‘global warming’. the place may be warming up, so what do you do?
    waste all your time and money trying to control the weather, which is impossible by the way, or you can plan and adapt to avoid problems down the road. there are plenty of upsides to a warmer world.

  25. amazingdrx says:

    Lutz has no business watching over shareholder’s interests with this attitude.

    He has done what no foreign enemy of the US could do, he’s killing the US manufacturing and job base. Terrorists could never do the damage he’s done and continues to do.

    The electric car he helped kill a few years back could have been converted to the Volt design way back then. GM would be years ahead of everyone.

    But instead GM has record losses. Toyota is beating up on GM even in heavy trucks now.

    Toyota has a 962 pound plugin hybrid hypercar with the same utility and performance as a prius, with 125+ mpg average. Audi has a plugin hybrid coming off the line right now. Remember VW Lutz?

    The maker of the largest selling economy car ever? They own Audi.

    The “Volt” has been promised for years now, too late. You got beat again.

  26. Brandon says:

    Where does he get his information that diesel costs half of gasoline in most of europe? I don’t think it costs half of gasoline anywhere in europe. GM is finally starting to make cars with descent interiors, now if the heads there would let the engineers put descent powerplants they would be set. The Volt will never be released, that is a pipe dream. Bring us and Astra, Aura, Malibu, small truck, etc with the diesels you offer them in europe. Or just keep down on this path, I have no problem buying from a company who has its head out of the sand.

  27. john hartnett says:

    First of all Lutz is not an “X Marine”….there are no “X Marines”….he’s a former Marine and by the way a damn smart guy. Jump on his ass all you want about the “Crock of ****” statement but he may be correct.

  28. james kent says:

    Indeed Bob Lutz is wrong on the diesel matter. I drive a VW Golf TDI(formerly Caddie owner for several years) and get 30 mpg in really bad city traffic and 45 mpg highway. If US automakers icluded diesel cars in an important way in teir product mix, they could easily reduce the fleet average fuel efficiency in short order. And styling, visual appeal, luxury, need not be sacrified. Remember, not long ago, we were told in no uncertain terms that seat belts were a bad and uneconomical idea.

  29. thegreendane says:

    US Automakers continue to have their heads buried in the sand. During the 90’s, they had a chance to beat the world with a car that would help get the US off foreign oil. What did they do? They sat on it, they argued, they ignored history & the environment. In the 90’s, the market share would’ve been small, unless the government had acted to promote more fuel efficiency, rebates, etc. But the Congress at that time ignored it as well. Let’s look at the big picture: what will happen in the mid-east when 40% of their market evaporates?

  30. ken says:

    Bob Lutz, so typical of American business management: attack the competition that is kicking your ass and taking no responsibility for your failing to forecast the market correctly. How about that unprecedented loss that GM just posted last week! Why don’t you talk about that, and how you’ve failed your stockholders? You get an F my friend.

  31. Mikie - NYC says:

    Well – I guess this is the plan…

    Lutz wants to drive GM so far into the ground that it will eventually break through the Chinese soil – where the ‘workers’ make about about $300 per month.

    ..and I guess if GM ‘only’ loses $2 billion next year, he gets a bonus for that ‘success.’

    Sheesh …

  32. Randy Johnson says:

    When will these journalists ask Mr. Klutz the hard questions?

    Why did GM kill the EV1?

  33. amazingdrx says:

    I propose a hypothetical design contest. What would a Lutz designed world beating car look like?

    Call it the “Troll”, instead of the “Volt”.

    Entries now open on my website and grist.

    “Troll” design contest, build Bob’s dream car.

  34. Ron says:

    Well if global warming is a crock and we do what we can to reduce our generation of greenhouse gases, then all we will have done is wasted some time and money. If global warming is NOT a crock and is really occuring and we do nothing then we can’t exactly move off the planet. Of course GM’s vice chairman is no scientist or meteorologist. He is only some rich bastard that is looking for a way to make big bucks and make himself richer and everyone else poorer. His take on global warming is based on his not wanting to look up any facts. But then any facts he has already considered to be lies put out by “liberals” that have no clue to what is really going on. He may find oout that these “liberals” are way smarter than he could ever hope to be.

  35. LonghornMike says:

    Skulldriveshaft –
    “the earth is the biggest thing on this planet”


  36. james kent says:

    Mr. Lutz stated that he is more driven by the wish to reduce oil impoprts than the wish to reduce CO2 emissions, and that is fine. However, if he will talk with the president of Shell oil, he will discover that (a) You can get more gallons of diesel fuel than gallons of gasoline from a barrel of crude. Add to this the fact that you can get more mpg with a diesel engine than with a gasoline engine, and you can see that the volume of imported oil could be significantly reduced by dieselizing at least part of the US automotive fleet. What are we waiting for.?

  37. TONY RICH says:


  38. JJ Joseph says:

    Uh-oh! Just as I was getting used to Global Warming, the trend is reversing. Now we have to brace for Global Cooling:

  39. Mark, Chicago, IL says:

    There is some serious misinformation coming from posters. It’s called ‘global climate change’, not ‘global warming’.

    One of the effects of climate change is that the polar regions warm up. Thus, there is regional warming. Not global warming.

    Regional warming will eventually melt ice caps, raising ocean levels. Then piers and bays will be unusable. Staging areas in harbors will be unusable.

    That is the REAL effect. If you want global disruption of trade, then pretend climate change is not real.

  40. 1945tyu says:

    Lutz should be fired for making such a dumbf**k statement about Global Warming. Also fired the idiot for help making GM one of the worst car companies.

    “Having said that, my opinion doesn’t matter.”
    If such an ignorant bastard doesn’t know better then he should keep his mouth shut.

  41. Trey Garrison says:

    And yet the polar ice gets thicker, man-made global warming predictions don’t play out, carbon increases actually trail temperature increases, and the models time and again get proven wrong.

    Global warming every 1,500 years. Man has little if any effect.

  42. Mr. Vert says:

    Lutz the putz

  43. Tom says:

    How come I never got that ice age I was promised in 1975?

  44. Frank says:

    I am now more inclined to buy an import, maybe a Toyota.

  45. DaveP says:

    @ ConservativeAtheist
    Actually, that graph DOES show a disturbing trend. Look where the lowest levels are (recent) and that’s GLOBAL ice, so obviously the arctic melting is a very low % of that.
    That’s a good website you pointed to, though. You should read more of it.
    I can cherry pick a graph, too:

    And for those of you who wonder about the past predicted ice age, remember that we were cooling the planet with particulate matter (google “global dimming”) and once we cleaned up much of that that cooling effect was no longer available to offset the warming effects.

    In any case, it may not matter soon; we may all get lucky and companies like Ausra and Nanosolar may very well succeed in making solar cheaper than any other form of energy. Then we pretty much all win no matter how you look at it. Cheaper, cleaner, more independence… Then cars like the Volt or sole battery electrics will be necessary to capitalize on our technological windfall. Let’s hope GM keeps that in mind and are ready for that day.

  46. Jim Bullis says:

    If anyone doubts what GM is up to, look at .

    Yes, Bob Lutz is indeed thinking of reducing the need for oil. But look how.

    The chart titled, “Need Practical Vehicles to Shift More Energy to Transportation” describes how the electric grid is going to be the way to make that shift.

    Sounds good, but look closer. There are serious reasons to believe that the actual shift will be to coal. Electricity is only the means by which the energy is conveyed.

    And there is no pretense that there will be any reduction in energy use.

    I take this to mean that the electric vehicle will make it possible for GM to continue building very large vehicles. While they will contain electric motors, the real source of energy will be coal. And in case people think that power plants burning coal are particularly efficient, look at for a well referenced analysis showing that coal fired power plants throw away twice as much energy in heat as the energy they produce in electricity.

    In contrast to the GM approach, I try to show a way to greatly reduce the use of energy at, while still providing for the transportation needed to support our present life styles.

    If other countries follow this as an example, then we might survive as the rest of the world move toward living like we do.

    (I have an interest in Miastrada Corp.)

  47. JohnM says:

    re: MarkP Chicago “Regional warming will eventually melt ice caps, raising ocean levels.”

    Excuse me? And just how does a melting ARCTIC ice cap raise sea levels?

    And with record ice melt in the ARCTIC in the NH summer, record ice extent in the SH antarctic winter last Sep’07 (NH summer, SH winter). And these affect sea levels how?

    How many times can you WARMongers screw this up — FOR THE LAST TIME, GET THIS STRAIGHT! Floating ice that melts in the ARCTIC does not directly raise sea levels! And when it’s countered by cooling and ice formation on the antarctic continent (as has been true during the current warm period, since 1979), we’re in danger how?

  48. Steve B says:

    Keep speaking the truth! They tried to tell us in the 70’s that it was global cooling. When that didn’t work they came up with Global Warming and extremes of weather. So, if you have SNOW, RAIN, WIND, or HEAT, it is all caused by GLOBAL WARMING….A HUGE CROCK O’SHIT!

  49. ConservativeAtheist says:

    Dave P, Yes, global ice levels were steadily decreasing from 2004 until this winter. They have now corrected back to around the 1979-2000 mean level. The graph you linked to has not been updated for this winter’s large increases in sea ice. As far as recent warming trends, that seems to have stopped also. Go to, and graph the global average mean data from Jan. 2001 through Jan. 2008, and you will see there has been no warming for the past 7 years.

    I certainly share your hope that an alternative energy source can be found to decrease our dependency on foreign oil sources, but solar isn’t going to do it unless solar cells can somehow become way more efficient, and we invent much better energy storage methods than current battery technology.

  50. Peter Courtenay Stephens says:

    You have to understand the basis for global warming from a political point of view. As Jonah Goldberg has rightly possed in his book “Liberal Fascism” it is about control by the elites and the institution of a serious Socialist agenda on the worlds population. Al Gore, Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton etc are just tools to achieve this. It has been underway for at least a century and they have every intention of wining.
    Of course global warming is a crock of shit, but that willnot stop the elitists from indoctrinating and brainwashing your children to support their enslavement.

  51. donee says:

    Hi All,

    Well, Lutz’s extremest view on Global Warming not withstanding, GM is aparently (as they tell us they are) moving forward on car to reduce energy consumption. Which is a good thing.

    The big Problem with some of these cars is the lack of functional design. They are striving for “design pasion” not something that has a chance at engineering success. Look at the difference between the Volt and Flextreme. The Flextreme is the car of the future, and the Volt is a 1960’s teenage between classes doodle on the back of notebook. There is no professionalism in the Volt styling.

    The main reason I think GM et al put down the cost of cars like the Prius, is because they would be more expensive for GM et al to produce, not Toyota. Toyota put the power of the company behind the people in the company that had the ideas. The ideas that made the Hybrid cost effective for the company and the customer. GM could have done this in the PNGV years but did not. And now they do not have an engineering portfolio that is economically competitive with Toyota. Which pushed GM into the “Manhattan Project” – like battery developement effort.

    Toyota beat them to the punch. Even though both companies had more than enough muscle. Which puts Mr Lutz and GM in a position where they are forced into next generation, large battery Hyrbrids. Because they missed the production boat on the small battery hybrid design.

    Whether the Prius concept car cost comes down or not, does not matter for the wide world. It only matters to GM internal production goals. If Toyota or anybody else can sell these cars at a profit, even if its a small profit, GM will keep loosing market share. Because in operation the Prius concept cars yields $.22 cost of ownership and operation per mile to the customer. And market share is the profit in the car business.

  52. JD says:

    Lutz is 100% right about man-made global warming. There simply is zero credible evidence that it is anything more than a natural part of the warming and cooling cycles that have gone on as long as the earth has been here. Man can’t make it worse, and man can’t make it better. I’ve looked at the pro and con arguments, and I have yet to find scientific fact (versus scientism opinion and hype) supporting man-made global warming.

    Now Lutz needs to turn his attention to making quality automobiles and fighting stupid government regulations like the CAFE standards. I know a lot of anectdotal cases where people buy lower and middle tier (in terms of cost) GM vehicles and they are junk compared to the Hondas, Toyotas, and even Hyundais. For example, replacing a cracked lens on one of the rear lights on a 2001 Chevrolet Lumina costs over $300 (not including labor)! The entire assembly has to be replaced instead of a simple plastic lens because it is an assembly where the lens is modled in and can’t be replaced.

    I hope Lutz and other GM execs start applying the same common sense that led them to understand the truth about global warming to making cars that can compete with non-American brands. Just because GM marketing says so doesn’t make it so.

  53. JD says:

    The only reason a car company like GM should be making the hybrids, electric cars, and fuel cell cars is because the sheeple that buy into the hysteria are willing to spend money buying these useless POS.

    Vehicles based on hybrid, fuel cell, or electric technologies are always more expensive to buy and operate. For example, hybrids have more moving parts, which means a lower mean time between failure (MTBF). It takes more energy production to power electric and fuel cell cars than gas powered cars. Where do you think the energy comes from to charge electric batteries or separate hydrogen from oxygen so fuels cells will work?

    What we need are more refineries and more environmentally sound oil drilling. R&D should focus on creating synthetic oil domestically in large quantities at a price competitive to oil we import.

    What we need is to get off the stupid ideas like ethanol which create more pollution, give lowwer mileage, and have caused drastic increases in food prices.

    What we need are fewer sheeple and more Americans who can think for themselves and take the time to get the facts.

  54. TheWarOnScienceIsReal says:

    I see the trolls have come out in droves. That’s what they do, bookmark, come back a few days later and post. That way they are the last word. They also post under different names to appear as several different people debating. The vast majority of comments on this thread occur between Feb 12th and Feb 15th, then relative silence but for a few posts here and there. What are the odds that all of a sudden, days later, Saturday at 8:04 am, there are four posts from three different global warming deniers in a space of 25 minutes. Quite a pathetic strategy if you ask me. Normally, I would take the time to educate folks, but in this case, they’re just paid little trolls.

  55. TheWarOnScienceIsReal says:

    BTW, little trolls, best get busy. I know the major blogs as well as MSM are unaware of Lutz’s remarks. Gee, where shall I start…. DailyKos or Huffington Post? Oh well, how bout both? Bye for now…

  56. JD says:

    Little known blogs like this take a while to bubble up to media that most folks see. That is why some responses come later.

    “TheWarOnScienceIsReal” appears to be into tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories. Yes, Virginia, there really are thinking, educated people who don’t buy the anthropogenic global warming hysteria. The war is not on science (my particular background), but on scientism. The latter is based on feelings and emotions, not science, reason, and fact.

    You should learn the difference.

    BTW, one clear sign that you have no valid arguments is when your reply consists of calling people names and assuming you know things about motives and actions that you have no way of knowing. A few lines of rock-hard, true science in support of anthropogenic global warming would have served you better.

  57. Rich says:

    JD is right. The Global Warming Hoax is getting around. I’m no “paid little troll”; in fact, I started writing about this hoax for years, back when I was a magazine editor. The hoax is that tree huggers want us to throw trillions of dollars down a global warming rathole to stop something that cannot be stopped. If there really is global warming, it is a natural cycle that began in 1850, at the end ot the Little Ice Age. I am all for cleaning up the environment and cutting the use of imported oil, but it won’t do anything to stop global warming.

    Fortunately, the word is getting out. A UK judge ruled there are nine substantial errors in Gore’s movie; Fox News dissected the movie and said if the sections containing those nine errors were removed, there wouldn’t be much of a movie left. Go here, you’ll see:,2933,303525,00.html

  58. JohnM says:

    And you’re the one making it. Ice at <0 degrees C is floating on top of water in a clear insulated bowl out in the air. Ambient air or ocean current warming melts the ice to ~1 degree C water which mixes with the liquid water already in the bowl. High precision measurements are made of the level of the water both just before and after the ice melts — the after water level in the bowl*
    A) rises a bit?
    B) stays the same?
    C) falls a bit?

    * Assume that no polar bears or other animals drown in the bowl, in a catastrophic example of human-caused global warming.

  59. Hal Howell says:

    Mr. Lutz is right, manmade global warming is a hoax. Whether the planet is warming or, now cooling is irrelevant. The problem facing the U.S. is our dependency on foreign oil. I drive a Prius not because of “global warming” but because I get 46.1 MPG!!! I can drive 3 weeks before having to fill up. I would have bought a Chevy Volt had it existed and priced to compete with the low/mid range Prius. If they price it at just under $29,000 then they still won’t get my business. It will be out of reach. However, if they price in the low to mid $20,000s then I would switch as soon as I could afford to in order to support an American company and because I like Chevy’s approach even more than Toyota’s.
    All the flack he is taking over his statement is proof that “GWs” are more of a religion than anything else. He spoke heresy and they can’t stand it. Get a life people, the earth goes through cycles of heating and cooling. We now appear to be entering a cooling cycle. I like it. Next thing you know Al Gore will be making a new movie telling us all that we need him to save us from Global Cooling…

  60. TheWarOnScienceIsReal says:

    JD… I assume the quote, ”yes, Virginia” is supposed to intimidate me. You’re wrong. You barely amuse me. I’m sure you have your connections. Say again, your background is in Science? Ha! You have got to be joking! Oh sure, maybe you like others here took a couple Ecology courses… please. Maybe you were in Psychology (that would explain a lot). And quite frankly from my days at the University, those seeking meteorologist degrees were not the sharpest tools in the shed. Some were sharp, but most were looking for anchor jobs. If I recall, their industry also denied the link of CFC’s and the ozone layer.

    So tell me JD, if you’re so smart, convince me why you are smarter than 104 Nobel Laureates in the Sciences? In 1997, The Union of Concerned Scientists issued a petition named “A Call to Action”. It urged 1) act immediately to prevent the potentially devastating consequences of human-induced global warming. And 2) demonstrate a new commitment to protecting the global environment. 104 Nobel Laureates in the Sciences signed that petition.

    That was over 11 years ago. And before you give me the line (like a local DC lobbyist tried to gave me last year), “what about the 2100 Nobel Laureates who didn’t sign it?” Well, I hope you’re not that dumb. There are 4 prizes in the sciences given every year, Physics, Medicine, Chemistry, and Physiology. The prizes are not often split. You do the math..

    This didn’t start with Gore, this started with us. This is not, nor ever has been political, this is fact. For your own sake, stop trying to BS us.

  61. ecilagman says:

    I’m with Bob! If you only know one thing, know this: Climate change is about the weather climate, whereas Global Warming is about the business climate!

    When we’ve filled all the nation’s junk yards and landfills with still perfectly good and serviceable durable goods and big ticket items and have purchased new, “GW friendly” ones, it’ll be ‘all better’! Until the next scam comes along!

    Today the business generator is that if you can make people feel guilty enough or if you can make them feel threatened enough, they’ll buy what you’re selling! And it sure doesn’t hurt to have a gov. mandate in your hip pocket, either.

  62. Adelyn says:

    You go Bob! Man made global warming is a HUGE crock of sh… designed for companies to pay more fees to the government and to guilt people into buying “green”!!!

    Global warming and cooling is the natural evolution of the plant. Hence – Mars’ global warming. What manufacturing is going on Mars right now to cause gloable warming? What manufacturing caused the Ice age? NONE! It’s natural evolution of the planet!

    The planet is going to warm and cool as it rotates over years/centuries. No amount of recyling (which is actually worse for the enviroment) is going to prevent it or progress it. Same with driving a car.

  63. JD says:

    TheWarOnScienceIsReal, what is intimidating about paraphrasing a famous old newspaper article? I think you missed the contextual meaning.

    As for my science background, it is in nuclear engineering, with all the associated and related sciences like chemistry, physics, biology, metallurgy, mathematics, etc. After the “greenies” devastated the nuclear power industry, I moved into computer science.

    So, TheWarOnScienceIsReal, when I say I have studied the science, I mean it. I have looked at the raw data, and at the way it was collected. For example, I, like many others, noticed the effect the change in data collection worldwide after the fall of the Soviet Union. The new countries left over after the fall could scarcely afford to maintain sending the quality and quantity of data, which made worldwide ground monitoring inaccurate since 1991.

    I have also noticed how NASA has had to revise reports, such as the list of the hottest years. Much fanfare was made when they tried to include several of the recent years in that list, but little fanfare when NASA reversed itself and admitted the data was wrong, and that the recent years were not the hottest on record. Also, satellite temperature measurements, which are more accurate and consistent don’t show global warming.

    Anthropgenic global warming (AGW) doesn’t pass one of the most important requirements of any scientific theory – that of the conclusions being able to be reproduced following the same procedures.

    As to “convince me why you are smarter than 104 Nobel Laureates in the Sciences”, it is not an issue of “smarter” (though, if it matters to you, my IQ is in the upper 1%). It is an issue of motives. Scientists are also human beings, and they are as subject to emotions as anyone. Belief in AGW is in the same mold as other religious beliefs. It is a matter of faith, as there is no science to prove it. Scientists also like to get funding for research, so to do that, they have to tow the party line. AGW is a big source of research funding if you pretend to believe it. Many universities and government research facilities place a litmus test on AGW when hiring. Scientists like to work, eat, and make their home and car payments. Little things like honor and truth are easily sacrificed in a culture where everything is relativistic.

    As to the CFCs and the ozone layer, let me clue ou in on some real science. CFC’s are heavier than air, and do not separate into their component molecules easily. There has never been a mechanism shown by which large quantities of CFCs can be lifted into the upper atmosphere to destroy the ozone layer. However, lots of chemicals with the same effect on ozone are generated – in quantities far greater than man can make them – by volcanic activity. Which also explains how they get into the upper atmosphere. So much for CFCs actually being a problem. But, the removal of them certainly gave the air conditioning & refrigeration industry a huge profit boost replacing systems that worked fine but used CFCs.

    As to the ozone layer itself, do you know what ozone is? It is ionized oxygen. Do you know how it is made? 100% of ozone is made by the sun. In addition, ozone molecules don’t last long – which should be no surprise if you understand how chemically interactive any ion is. So to deplete the ozone layer, other than its natural cycles, requires extinguishing the sun, and/or taking oxygen out of the atmosphere. Neither of which man can do.

    I have no problem with you believing anything you want to believe. But you cannot reasonably expect others to buy into your religious beliefs, and that is what AGW is. 104 opinions are not science. Fact and logic are.

  64. TheWarOnScienceIsReal says:

    JD, wow is all I can say. The scientific opinions of 104 Nobel Laureares are just opinions? Just like any other bloke on the street? So nice to hear you have such a high opinion of science.

    “There has never been a mechanism shown by which large quantities of CFCs can be lifted into the upper atmosphere to destroy the ozone layer.” It’s called free radicals. What planet are you on? It’s blatantly obvious you have NO background in science. Try these on for size Cl + O3 → ClO + O2 and ClO + O → Cl + O2

    “As to the ozone layer itself, do you know what ozone is? It is ionized oxygen” No, I’m sorry, it’s O3, I mean really, this is High School stuff. Nuclear engineer? I seriously doubt it. Wow.

  65. JD says:

    TheWarOnScienceIsReal, it looks like you are just repeating stuff without knowing what you are talking about.

    “Free radicals” is not a transport mechanism. It is the description of ions that remain ions for some period of time. It has nothing to do with lifting heavier than air gases into the upper atmosphere where the sun’s rays are powerful enough to break up the CFCs. CFCs are stable compounds, particularly in the lower atmosphere) that need the addition of energy (e.g. ultraviolet light in the upper atmosphere) to break into its component molecules (i.e. “free radicals”). You still have not answered how the heavier than air CFC gets into the upper atmosphere.

    As to ozone, what do you think O3 is? It is ionized oxygen. O2 is a stable radical, where the outer valance of electrons for each atom is 1 short of stability, so they each share the presence of an electron as a diatomic. O3 is very unstable, and has a negative charge associated with it. O3 will quickly become O2 becasue it is so unstable. That is why there is no such thing as a stable ozone layer. It comes and goes with solar ultraviolet radiation, and has natural cycles in different places, making the whole “hole in the ozone layer” another myth in terms of it being abnormal and/or man-made.

    You need to do more than cut and paste from Wikipedia – you need to understand what it is you are saying.

  66. Al says:

    finally, a high ranking officer speaking the truth about global warming, man cannot have any impact on the global climate.

    Think about it pinheads, the sun has more of an impact with the sunspot activity than any man made phenomona.

    Also did you know that approx. 78% of this planet is water, might also have a big impact on the climate.

    Global warming is Al Gore phooey.

  67. Rich says:

    JD said “…making the whole “hole in the ozone layer” another myth in terms of it being abnormal and/or man-made.”

    The late Ron Kohl, editor of Machine Design magazine, said essentially the same thing about 15 years ago, when he called the CFC/ozone layer controversy “The Trillion Dollar Hoax.” Oddly enough, it’s one of the few articles in Machine Design that can’t be Googled–probably because it was and still is politically incorrect.

    I wonder what Kohl would say about the Global Warming Hoax?

    (Oops. Forgot this is a Design News blog. Sorry, to mention the competition like that.)

  68. Allan Ire says:

    Global Warming is even worse than the IPCC reported in its last document. In the elapsed between their climate monitoring and the reaching of the document’s conclusions, the scientist found the degradation on the ground had/has significantly worsened and quickened The only substantive causal factors to this are the concentrations of greenhouse gases. Other factors have been shown repeatedly to be of little or no impact on this global warming. Saying otherwise is just plain scientifically wrong.

    This is in fact a very shitty situation as it will most likely starve, sicken, kill, and otherwise destablize countless millions of humans and possibly destablize all of humanity; but it is not a “Crock of Shit” as Bob Lutz ignorantly says.

  69. julie says:

    Peter Courtenay Stephens…

    I take it you won’t be voting Democratic in the upcoming primaries…


  70. Chris in Reston VA says:

    Why have i decided over the years to never purchase a GM car until the end of my days? Because they shut down U.S. factories while paying idiots like this Lutz tons of money to spew ignorance that anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time outdoors in the past 25 years realizes is false. Well, that and the fact that the gas-guzzling monsters GM makes aren’t what the market wants in Washington D.C…..

  71. Kenneth Rhea says:

    What is amazing to me is the sheer number of atheists who never-the-less fervently press the new religion of global warming (and it is just like a religion to them). And, just like the Inquisitors of old, they refuse to allow that they might be wrong; instead their automatic default of choice is to sacrifice any who disagree with them (fire them, off with their heads, whatever). No longer do they allow that there can there be any dispute with what has not and cannot be proved, i.e., CO² is the cause of the supposed “warming” that is going on right now.

    I am old enough when these same adherents were touting “global cooling” as their primary scare tactic. And if it is true (and it is not), then why not insist that it be curbed rather than having sham “carbon credits” which is nothing more than a transfer of capital from the Western nations of the world to the less developed, and which does nothing to reduce the production of CO² that they claim is doing so much harm in the first place.

    Sign me I don’t believe in your sh*t either.

  72. I would recommend you listen to two radio interviews I have just done.

    1. Wieslaw Maslowski – US main Naval Oceanographer on the complete loss of arctic summer ice by 2013

    And Dr James Hansen NASA chief climate scientist

    Please get informed. Not only 104 Nobel Laureates but every leading climate scientist and weather bureau around the world.

  73. Larry Lyon says:

    Lutz’s comments disclose a mindset which has made GM increasingly irrelevant in the marketplace. Their vehicles are just not any good. I hope that Congress reminds GM of this comment when they appear before Congress to ask for a bail-out.

  74. Larry Lyon says:

    Bob Lutz also opposed the Federal CAFE standard of 35 MPG and claimed at the January Detroit Auto Show that costs will increase for consummers up to $10K per vehicle. As I write this note, crude oil is trading at $101.82 up 2.19% today and I’ll bet if you fill up your gas tank today it will cost more than it did in January. Bob… do you wonder why consummers prefer cars made in Asia?

    Global warming is a significant issue about which some wish to debate but there is no uncertainty about the cost of fuel and that’s increasing.

  75. Edin says:

    with this attitude it seems that GM may be the first automaker to go down…that is if Lutz can keep his job.

  76. CappuccinoJoe says:

    I love this guy, if nothing else for the fact that he had the balls to say that as the Vice Chairman of GM, the kind of profession where you jump on any bandwagon just to rake in the dollars. Even if I was hardcore into environmentalism, I’d respect that. Not a lot of people are willing to say what ever they want regardless of whether it goes with or against the flow.

    Personally, I agree with him, this whole thing is completely exaggerated, and it’s no coincidence that the people who support going green conveniently avoid giving facts and figures and go for the intimidation, or emotional play. It’s just straight, propaganda style manipulation.

    skulldriveshaft, The earth is the biggest thing on this planet? really? oddly enough, that brings me to my belief that our faulty education system is a much bigger problem than Carbondi-freaking-oxide. In case you were wondering, water is the biggest thing on this planet; Earth IS our planet.

    Anyone, if you want to decrease your “carbon footprint” (what a ridiculous term) just stop breathing, it’s that simple.

  77. CappuccinoJoe says:

    Kenneth, what surprises me is the amount of atheists that don’t want to let the world get warmer, sit back and watch evolution happen. Even as a religious person, that prospect is really intriguing to me.

    Also, if humans are just animals, isn’t everything we’re doing completely natural? So why not let nature run it’s course (from an atheistic point of view)? From a religious one, If God is omnipotent and has a plan for everything, does anyone really think that the world is going to be destroyed when he doesn’t want it to be? And if he does does anyone think they can stop it? seriously.

    According to Al Gore, the world’s climate has been exactly the same for about 11,000 years. Isn’t everyone pushing for change right now? Isn’t one of the Green slogans “Change the world” or something similarly pretentious? So if the world really is getting hotter, why stop it? For all we know, it could be even more beautiful that way.

  78. Dan says:

    As a professor of Atmospheric Science, it’s just a little
    disappointing to see so much confidence by people who
    haven’t cracked a book on the atmosphere. Look, if you want to criticize the IPCC, surf over to, and *read the whole thing*. It’s written for laypeople. It’ll take you about a month, part time. *Then* go and re-read your random skeptic web pages, and see which is more convincing. If you’d rather read a book, buy “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart. There is a lot to understand on this topic, before you should feel confident in your own opinions.


  79. Daryl Jones says:

    Wasn’t this guy in charge of the company when they killed the Volt?

    Being a denier of global warming doesn’t necessarily make you a bad leader for an automobile company as far as profitability goes, but his apparent lack of concern for delivering cheap, high mpg cars to the customers who ARE concerned about global warming, and who can’t afford a future driving a low mpg car, sets a gloomy picture for the future of this company.

  80. Daryl Jones says:

    Pardon, I mean killed the EV1 electric vehicle.

  81. ooopinionsss says:

    How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!

  82. Can you provide more information on this please.

  83. Laura says:

    I love Lutz and cant wait for the Volt to come out.For the poster that says GM is still going down.. Its because the middle management like Randy Johson who has messed up every project he is given yet after a few of them he is still there? He can’t even get along with other departments.As long as he is kept away from the Volt..there is hope. Its promising!