Posted by keith on November 19th, 2008
Eco Spam of the week goes to the National Ethanol Vehicles Coalition, as promoted by that true friend of the planet General Motors. Here’s the email, with a few salient points picked out…
As your readers make their annual snowbird trek to warmer climates, let them know that their trip could help kick our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
Snowbirds traveling along the I-65 Biofuels Corridor, the first national, cross-country corridor of E85 ethanol stations, can drive from the shores of Lake Michigan in Indiana all the way to the Gulf Coast in Alabama and be at least a quarter of a tank from an E85 pump. New stations along this stretch of highway have opened over the past year in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama giving consumers the option to refuel with E85. Flex-fuel vehicle owners can refuel with ethanol to help reduce the nation’s dependence on petroleum and reduce carbon emissions.
Your readers can find stations along their route by visiting the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition’s (NEVC) website -http://www.e85refueling.com/.
If you’re interested in learning more, please let me know. I’d be happy to provide additional information about the I-65 Biofuels Corridor and GM’s efforts to pursue alternative fuel solutions.
Mullen for General Motors
Ok, so what do we have here? First is the incredible assumption that “my readers” (who she assumes are all based in the USA of course – as people like this do) like to take annual trips south to their second homes, clocking up thousands of miles in the process and emitting tons of carbon dioxide as they go. In her defence — if there is any — she actually sent it to Green Seniors, which I help run, but still completely ignored the fact that “my readers” aren’t so dumb to be taken in by the oily words of one of the world’s largest (for the time being) corporations.
Second, that E85 — a mix of ethanol and petrol — actually has any environmental benefits. In the first instance, corn based ethanol is very energy inefficient to produce so even though it is plant-based, it is almost always heavily fertilized, processed, blasted with heat to distil it…all of which produce a great deal of greenhouse gas. If that weren’t bad enough, this is a classic case of Business As Usual Ethics making people think that because something is “greener” then they can carry on using it to their hearts content, without thinking of the repercussions of their continued high-consumption way of life: this is what the corporations want, and this is why they greenwash.
Finally, GM itself has as its (thankfully shrinking) core business, huge investment in the kind of trucks and SUVs seen in the photo: by showing an interest in E85 and making their gas-guzzlers able to take this fuel, they can carry on selling them, without having to compromise their abhorrant business in any significant way. The vehicle in the photo does a combined 17MPG!
Here was my response:
General Motors, environmentally friendly? Don’t make me laugh!
Remind me at what point GM decided to stop marketing gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups to the general public, and what marvellous strides GM have made to bring the USA’s emissions down by the required 90% by 2030? Sorry, I must have missed that among all your other efforts to screw up the planet.
P.S. For your greenwashing efforts, you have just booked yourself a spot on The Unsuitablog (www.unsuitablog.com)
I strongly recommend you follow the link, and find out what GM are really all about.