GM's U-Turn on Heartland
This week General Motors announced that its General Motors Foundation would stop funding the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank that has made itself famous denying the science behind global warming. The news was reported by Greg Dalton of Climate One, the Commonwealth Club of California’s sustainability project. A campaign by Forecast the Facts, an advocacy group that works to get TV meteorologists to report on climate change, had garnered 20,000 signatures, half of them from GM vehicle owners, protesting the automaker’s donations.
Earlier this month, Dalton interviewed GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson about his position on global warming and why GM supported Heartland. Akerson surprised the audience with his response: “The first time I was interviewed by the press, I was stunned with the following reaction. Some guy says, 'Do you believe in global warming?' And I said, 'Well, yeah, I do.' Several GM executives said, 'You don’t say that in public!’ Well this may surprise you, my underwear doesn’t have GM stamped on it and I am an individual and I do have my own convictions.”
--Reed McManus / Photo of Chevy Volt by GM