Global environmental challenges
When 2009 began, both General Motors and Chrysler were sliding toward bankruptcy. As the year ends, both companies have survived to fight another day.
The same can’t be said for their senior executives.
Of the top 10 executives at GM’s glass-towered Detroit headquarters in January, only one — Bob Lutz – remains. At Chrysler, only two of the 10 highest-ranking executives are still in Auburn Hills.
At GM, the churn took a dramatic toll at the vice president level. Of the 55 top executives, including vice presidents and divisional leaders, who were at GM at the start of the year, 26 have left the automaker. Of the remainder, few remain in the same positions they held, according to a Reuters tally.
The sweep was made near complete on Dec. 1 when the board at General Motors Co parted company with former chief executive Fritz Henderson after he had the post for only eight months.
Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and is a regular contributor to this page. Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
The use of SUVs by UN staff in Nairobi is rankling some bloggers. They are posting pictures on their blogs, and have even created a flickr pool called ‘Kick The Habit’. The title of the set of pictures borrows from UNEP’s (United Nations Environment Program) campaign from June of this year, which encouraged ‘countries, companies and communities’ to reduce their CO2 emissions.
As part of my job covering the world of alternative fuels, General Motors last week gave me the keys to a hydrogen-powered SUV, the Chevrolet Equinox. You won’t find the Equinox in any showrooms, and in fact, the car I drove for four days is one of just 100 such vehicles in the United States.
Despite their small numbers, GM and others hope hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles will be critical to reducing greenhouse gases and our dependence on ever-costlier gasoline. Hydrogen can be produced by breaking apart water molecules, and it is also made by stripping hydrogen from fossil fuel natural gas. To see an animation of how a fuel cell works, click here.