Tag: Toyota

And another postscript!

Further reflections on Tom’s essay Is Climate Change a Crime Against Humanity?

If you are new to this thread then drop in here to read the essay and here to read my postscript from last Monday.

This further postscript is founded on a recent email from Dan Gomez that included two stories that seemed relevant to the theme.  I’m going to reproduce the email as Dan sent it to me.

Idealism, Pragmatism, Irony and Hypocrisy

Two short stories attempting to explain why everyone should think twice about their leaders, their promises and their intent regarding climate change and money:

Story One

The guy who just made the big global warming/climate change announcement, President Obama, today [Dan’s email was dated 7th July] flew into Los Angeles at around 5PM, rush hour. At a cost of $6M and unbelievable amounts of expended carbon matter, one B747 and two C-141 four-engined jets landed at LAX. LAX TCA [Terminal Control Area] was tied up for hours. And this is to say nothing of the traffic disruption caused by multiple street shut-downs as everyone headed home.

The C-141 delivered Marine One, Obama’s helicopter; a Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King. After assembly, Obama flew 12 miles to a hotel in Beverly Hills. This only cost several thousand dollars and just a bit more hydrocarbons.

Why did Obama come to LA? To raise Money. Really? Millions to raise a million?

At a Beverly Hills hotel, and after several SUVs, also flown in, dropped off the support team, Obama and his entourage delivered a dinner speech to many wealthy Hollywood types to raise money for the Democratic Party. Most expensive “donation” – $38,500 per plate. Just think, all this public money spent for a partisan political campaign revenue event.

This is the guy who the day before claimed that “climate change” and CO2 contributions were causing the destruction of the planet. In one event, over a couple of hours, he wasted millions of tax payer dollars and injected a shit load of carbon into the atmosphere to wine and dine a few very wealthy party donors.

Why the press does not point out this obvious hypocrisy, I’ll never know.

Why the public and climate idealists who live the dream cannot understand that their leaders are as greedy, corrupt and egocentric as any Wall Street Hedge Fund Manager, I’ll never know.

Anyway, this is the guy who everyone loves and ostensibly believes has the best interests of his constituency and the future of the world at heart. Right.

Story Two

Last week, Toyota announced it was vacating California for Texas after more than 50 years running its USA business from Torrance, CA. Taxes and local EPA regulations finally drove them out. Over the years, all of Toyota’s production lines were developed in other business friendly states. With HQ finally debouching, 3,000 good paying jobs are gone, mostly due to strict environmental regulatory laws harder and harder to comply with.

Now, Tesla, the new, tax-payer supported, alternative car company, who has declined to build any manufacturing plants in California is being aggressively wooed by Governor Brown. Brown wants Tesla’s battery technology to be manufactured here. Fits with his idealistic view of California’s future. Only thing is, Tesla wants no part of this due to the same issues that Toyota, a conventional auto builder, has stated. It’s too expensive in California with too many regulations and unknown future regulations. California’s predatory regulatory agencies are now “bending” all the rules to try to get them to come into California. Irony and hypocrisy, all rolled up in one.

Crazy world.


Reminds me of the old saying, “There are lies, damn lies, and politicians!”


It also reminds me of that wonderful Irish response to a young Englishman who was asking an elderly local how to get to Tipperary in Southern Ireland.  The old Irishman pulled at his grey beard for a while, looked the young man full in the face and said, “I’ve been thinkin’ about it and have to tell ‘ee, me young man, that if I were going to Tipperary, I wouldn’t been startin’  out from here!

So whatever the rights and wrongs of Dan’s two stories, core issues, as in deeper, more fundamental concerns, override them both.

More on the theme tomorrow.

The Toyota Fiasco

Toyota – How not to do business!

Learning from Dogs was created by a few people who felt compelled to promote the values of “integrity”, which is often in short supply in the modern world, though perhaps it always has been to some extent in all civilisations. Is dishonesty an eternal part of Human Nature? We like to think not …..

Well, “Integrity” includes being honest, open and dedicated to the truth, even if this is personally inconvenient. It may seem a somewhat forlorn hope to promote something that for an important minority of people is and will probably remain an alien concept, these being people who put self above group. However, the recent Toyota fiasco reminds me that perhaps integrity’s time has indeed arrived, for this is THE INFORMATION AGE. It is NO LONGER easy to hide the truth, which tends to come out now with greater frequency due to a variety of factors including most importantly the Internet. But there are other reasons, too. To take Britain, for example, we now have the “Freedom of Information Act”, which – despite some limitations – has done wonders in allowing the free press (another essential ingredient of course, and sadly lacking in so many countries) to reveal wrong-doing, principally by appallingly-incompetent governments.

Toyota chief Akio Toyoda

As for Toyota, what has staggered me is that the company KNEW of these accelerator & brake problems several years ago. Indeed, people began having crashes as far back as 2006. Yet only recently has it done anything serious about putting things right.  One has to wonder what on earth possessed the Toyota bosses to think that they could get away with it, which on the face of it seems to be exactly what they were trying to do. Who was advising them? It seems to me to have been INEVITABLE that the truth about their cars’ problems  would come out, so even from a cynical and selfish point of view they should have recalled the defective cars at least two years ago. But quite APART from the wisdom of doing that in practical, business terms (the result of delay being to devastate the company’s image to a far greater extent than would otherwise have been the case) there was a MORAL aspect to the problem, too. By ALLOWING the problems to go unresolved they put people at risk. And not just ANY people, but their customers! As has been said before, but sadly with all too much frequency, “You couldn’t make this up.”

How could the world’s number one car manufacturer get it so utterly and totally wrong, both from a moral and practical point of view? I am wondering if Toyota can recover from this. Yes, I know they are big, but there are PLENTY OF CHOICES for people seeking to buy a vehicle. Who in their right mind is now going to buy a car from a company which A) made defective cars (and MILLIONS of them) and B) HID THE TRUTH while people were dying in crashes?

One reason may again be the Japanese obsession with “face”. It was probably difficult for the world’s number one company, which seemed capable of nothing but success, to admit publicly that it had got things badly wrong. The Chairman is now admitting this, but to be frank it reminds me of the old expression about getting blood out of a stone, or being dragged kicking and screaming to the confessional.  And from what I read today he seems to be blaming the troubles on the fact that “the company may have grown too quickly.” I could describe this utterance with an extremely rude word or two but as this is a family site I will refrain. Let’s just say that the company WASN’T HONEST.

I remember as a kid growing up in the shattered London of the1950s the lessons I got from teachers and parents. One of those which stuck in my mind was “Honesty is the best policy.” This has never been more true as it is now. For the Brave New World we dream of honesty is a sine qua non. We must be honest with ourselves, our friends, families, companies and the public. There is no other way to happiness. Will Toyota’s disaster be a lesson for other companies?  NOBODY can get it right all the time and there is no dishonour in the occasional failure, only in the lies involved in trying to cover it up. How many times has this been demonstrated? Had Nixon come clean at once about Watergate he might have survived, but the cover-up was worse than the deed.

On a practical note, I sincerely hope that the families of those killed or maimed in Toyota accidents will sting the company for every yen they can; that is no more than the company deserves.

By Chris Snuggs

[BBC News had an item on the 24th that makes interesting watching. Ed.]

Bananas and common sense!

This is more than about the problems with Toyota.

The Economist is a newspaper.  It was first published in September 1843 which, of itself, makes it a notable newspaper.  Many years ago, more than I can recall just now, I became a subscriber to the newsprint version of this weekly paper.  It has become such a companion, so to speak, that when I left the UK in September 2008 to come to Mexico I made arrangements to continue receiving The Economist each week.

However, the Mexican postal system, despite being thoroughly reliable, is rather slow and, rather logically if you muse on it, the postman always only delivers when there is more than one item.  Thus the particular copy of The Economist that carried the story about Toyota arrived late and with three other editions!

Let me turn to the point of this article.

Read more of this Post