Meet the scientists who tried to warn Ford and GM about climate change decades ago

Scientists for Ford and General Motors knew as early as the 1960s that the vehicles the companies were making created emissions that cause climate change, according to an E&E news investigation. But the big automakers not only were reluctant to act on that science, they sought to suppress it through decades of lobbying to undermine worldwide attempts to reduce vehicle emissions and make U.S. efforts to make vehicles cleaner.

  • Instead of updating business models to reduce emissions, Ford and GM invested in producing vehicles such as pick-up trucks and SUVs, which consume higher quantities of fossil fuels.
  • Ford and GM both point to steps they are currently taking to address climate change, such as developing electric vehicles.
  • However, the companies also defend discontinuing electric car experiments in the 1990s, including GM’s EV1, subject of the 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, and an electric Ford Ranger pickup.

Today’s headlines:

🚙 TRANSPORTATION: Zero-emissions vehicle startup Nikola, which announced a tentative partnership this year with GM, is viewed as one of the companies driving the trend toward hydrogen-fueled heavy-duty trucks, reports USA Today.


  • U.S. Court of International Trade judge this weekend put a temporary restraining order on President Trump’s proposed plan for tariffs on bifacial solar panel imports, reports Greentech Media. The restraining order will last for two weeks unless the court takes further action.
  • Kirksville, Missouri-based PVpallet has launched a product it says is the first-to-market adjustable, reusable, and recyclable pallet for solar modules. The startup is seeking investors, reports Solar Power World.

🏆 AWARDS: Chicago-based Aeromutable is the runner up in this year’s Cleantech Open competition for its technology that modifies trucks’ shape to make them more aerodynamic and energy efficient.

💻 EVENTS: Representatives from Iowa State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Michigan State University will be among the speakers at a virtual agtech symposium about linking artificial intelligence to agricultural systems. Improving crop sustainability through technology use is one of the focal points.

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