Michael Moore nails it on farewell letter to old GM

Submitted by Susan Miller on Mon, 06/01/2009 - 19:44.

Michael Moore says goodbye to the old General Motors and offers some really good advice to President Obama.

He offers nine really good suggestions for the GM makeover (that'd be our taxpayer makeover of GM). The first one sets the stage well.

Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call "cars" may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true -- that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

Read the entire letter at the link above.

James Howard Kunstler has had some of the same conclusions.

the Happy Motoring era is over and to devote our remaining resources to re-localization, walkable communities, and public transit. It obviously requires a very drastic revision of our current collective self-image, of what we aspire to and who we are. If the car companies have any future at all, it should be based on making the rolling stock for public transit -- and for now the most intelligent choice for us is to fix the existing passenger railroad lines instead of venturing into grandiose new transit systems requiring stupendous capital outlays. Let the car era wind down gracefully. Triage and prioritize the highway maintenance agenda -- we won't be affluent enough to keep repaving the whole existing system -- and let other nations meet the diminishing demand for cars in the USA. This would be a "best case" scenario. (Other nations may decide to go further up the Happy Motoring road at their own eventual peril.)


Green Space - Eco Transit - Urban Renewal

Susan, excellent post.  And I should say that I think Mr. Moore's line of thinking appears to be on the minds of many Americans...in one form or another. 

There is a magazine called Good that I like to read online.  Recently they ran an interactive project piece called "Redesign Your Street" which used a flash interface to allow readers the chance to virtually redesign their burnt out or neglected streets and neighborhoods.  Anyone interested in sustainable living definitely needs to check this out

In Atlanta, our current mayor Shirley Franklin, with the help of a graduate student from Georgia Tech and a panel of other informed groups and individuals, have been for the last 6 years or so working on a city-wide revitalization plan to overhaul the old rusted out rail system that encircles the city's entire inner core.  This project, dubbed the Atlanta Beltline, will cost billions, but has already taken flight as it has become most apparent that the profit made from urban growth will exponentially eclipse the initial investment principle.  

Visionary Atlanta Mayor

  Eternity--your visionary mayor, Shirley Franklin, was featured in the documentary Liquid Assets.  She prides herself on saving water.  It is refreshing to see a public official who understands the relationship between our sewer systems and our drinking water systems.  She is fast becoming one of my ecological heroes.

We know that our transportation infrastructure is falling apart, because we can SEE it, but if WE DON'T SEE it--do we just ignore the reality that our water infrastructure throughout the country is falling apart, too?   The Denison project in my neighborhood is just one example of "leadership" ignoring that reality.