General Motors is back at the Gov with their hands out again, this time for $30 Billi. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to bring Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell, of “The Wire,” back to life to run ops over there because the pipeheads running things now are fucking up. GM has the most product — cars and trucks — out on the blocks, and they got all the real estate. But they can’t move any weight. There’s a recession — a drought — and that may account for some of why GM is hurting. But mostly it’s because they are addicted to their own product: that being gas-powered vehicles. GM, as the number one automaker in the world, has been in the best position to switch up their product and put something better out — electric and/or battery powered cars — but instead they remain stuck on the same gasoline-crack powered vehicles. So Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai — or let’s call them Marlo, Chris and Snoop — came onto GM’s own turf and edged them out.Â Â For this reason alone, the idea of GM crawlin’ back to Congress with their greasy hands out again should get the gasface. Â
It’s not like the GM-Unit didn’t see this coming. Back in ’81 Dr. James Hansen warned the world that the increasing bulk-blasts of carbon dioxide into the troposphere was quickly bringing a greenhouse gas effect that was about to make things really hot. He noted that it wasn’t just the usual industry BS: coal-burning, oil-refining, metal-smelting, etc., but also the bulging number of planes, trains and automobiles that were being manufactured and operated to accommodate the booming U.S. population that was flooding the atmosphere with CO2. Hansen told us that by 1990 city streets and farm lands would be baking like never before. By the time Spike Lee’s hot-ass Do the Right Thing dropped in 1989 we were already roasting, and it just continued to get hotter.
The GM-Unit paid this all no mind, and decided to gamble on a notion that Americans wanted their vehicles bigger and deffer, forget about better. They noticed that hustlas and rappers in the City who used to push Jeep Cherokees were now pushin’ Suzuki Sidekicks, Mazda MPVs and Nissan Pathfinders. Toyota followed with the Land Cruiser. Next thing you know every domestic from Ford to Chrysler was introducing new lines of SUVs. Jeep started making jeeps that were no longer jeeps, as in no longer pure off-road material, but instead just carbon(-emitting) copies of their G.M. clique. Even Cadillac and Lincoln dropped SUV lines — Escalades, Navigators — which made for great video props, but were complete fuckovers on gas consumption and carbon emissions. Then Hummer went commercial and it was a wrap.
Most of us ate it all up. All it took was for GM to put Mary J. Blige, T.I. or Ludacris in a commercial for regular Americans to try rolling large like the Cash Money cats. But just as those Cash Money cats found out when Katrina hit New Orleans, none of those sport utility vehicles had much sport or utility in them and everyone’s whips were washed away. Katrina was a category 5 hurricane that emerged from overheated waters in the Gulf of Mexico, which itself was a symptom of global warming. Global warming, of course, is the result of trapped heat and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and those gases got up there in large part by that which was emitted from the tailpipes and exhausts of dirty-burning vehicles like the ones made by GM, Ford and Chrysler. About a third of the carbon dioxide in the sky come from petro-powered transportation. Until companies find cleaner ways to generate power for cars, more Katrinas can be expected.
There were many opportunities for our homegrown auto companies to start switching to fuel alternatives: electric, battery, hybrid. But instead they wanted to keep giving more of the same. After Katrina, and during a period of war with the Middle East, gas prices steadily rose and both the American public and the Big Three acted like it wasn’t shit. Meanwhile, Japan was sneaking in the basement opening up Toyota and Honda shops in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Korea soon followed with Hyundai and Kia. Their cars were more fuel-efficient and they had hybrids. They relied less on SUVs and opted for better designed, sleeker cars. They also paid less to workers, refusing them the right to unionize, and without the decades of being in business like their U.S. counterparts, had no pension or other legacy funds to pay out.
They ain’t have it for cheap, they just had it for better, and while Michigan is hemorrhaging revenue and jobs by the millions, Alabama and Tennessee are making a slow creep to the top of the food chain. Now Michigan wants another handout, another $30 billi on top of the $17 billi they got in December 2008. Now GM gotta re-up again. If Uncle Obama won’t front them the extra billis, and they can’t get any work on consignment, then guess what? As Santigold puts it: “Lights out.” GM has to change their product up. They’ll have to carve a new place in the market and come up with something better. Call ’em green-tops: New cars that run off of green energy (hybrids, battery- or electric-powered) which give green jobs, as opposed to the red-tops bullshit they keep releasing. In fact GM gotta change their whole steez. Keep the GM initials, but lose the no-frills “General Motors” tag. They need to change it to “Green Money.” And like Wanda Sykes said, ‘quit making them damn PT Cruisers, and quit throwing Fif in commercials and videos with those cheapass, wackass Pontiacs.’ But first they gotta kick that habit: petroleum. It really got them looking like Amy Winehouse right now.
In addition, check out “Will Van Jones work in the White House?”
Be Mockâ€™d is one of PLRâ€™s featured contributors on the environment, politics and how the hood gets mocked by both. Like his perspective? Read the rest of his opinions here.