Wednesday, January 10

Chicken Little?

You don't think he's biased do you?
Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched a fierce attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their "Chicken Little" attitudes to global warming.
His attack is in sharp contrast to the green image that the US car companies have been trying to promote at this year's Detroit motor show.
Mr Jolissaint was speaking at a private breakfast where the chief economists of the "Big Three" US car firms presented their forecasts for auto industry sales this year.
Most of the audience - which was mainly made up of parts suppliers - seemed to nod in agreement with Mr Jolissaint.
Mr Jolissaint, a Chrysler veteran said that since he started spending more time at the company's corporate headquarters in Stuttgart he had been shocked by the absurdity of European attitudes towards global warming.
In response to a question from the floor, he said that global warming was a far-off risk whose magnitude was uncertain.
He said that from an economic point of view, it would be more rational to spend lots of money on today's other big problems, and only make small and limited changes in policies relating to global warming, such as a slight increase in gasoline or carbon taxes.
Mr Jolissaint was particularly scathing about the Stern Report, which was recently published by the UK government.
The report urged governments to take urgent action now to tackle climate change, arguing that it would be much cheaper to act, rather than face the $10 trillion cost of not doing anything until later.
Mr Jolissaint said the report was based on dubious economics, did not include a discount rate, and was written by an informal adviser to Gordon Brown - in fact, at the time of the report, Mr Stern was the Second Permanent Secretary at the UK Treasury.
He said that he had been surprised by how much support there had been in the Daimler office in Stuttgart for these "quasi-hysterical" policies that smacked of "Chicken Little" politics - referring to the US children's story in which Chicken Little runs around in circles saying "the sky is falling".
But they are also consistent with the cynical view held by some in the US environmental lobby that announcements by car companies about the future development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing.
A drop in the price of oil will boost demand for larger vehicles he says, as a result, he argued, demand for big, gas-guzzling cars would recover.


Anonymous said...

Amazing how the Americans will try and take everything for themselves, Chicken Little is not a US childrens story, but a story dating back to the 3rd century AD (often called Chicken Licken) :?

wil said...

His response is about as valid as those from the tobacco industry that kept telling us there was no connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.