Forget Paris, It’s Oshawa that’s Burning

General Motors announces plans to cut 30,000 jobs.

Four-thousand-five hundred of the lost jobs are to be in Canada, including the closing of an Oshawa facility known as North America’s “most productive” car manufacturer (yawn).

While we at the ALLDERBLOB feel the pain of those who are losing their jobs, and demand to know, with CAW Union president Buzz Hargrove, GM’s logic in slashing jobs at its number-one plant, we nonetheless welcome the news.

Why?

Because the automobile is so “last century.” The whole hydro-carbon thing is just too much hot air to take anymore.

Literally.

And anyway, it’s high time we start walking the walk of sustainable urban design [whatever the hell that is–ed.]. Carbohydrates, man, that’s what’s eating us these days [shurely you got that backwards? –ed.].

We note on the same day the front page trumpets GM crapping on Canada, a sidebar in the business pages speaks about new government investment in wind farms across Ontario.

And we note (from Citystreets.org, a “pedestrian rights and advocacy group” based in New York City):

In the 1890’s there were 1200 makers of bicycles and parts in New York City with 83 bicycle shops within a one mile radius of lower Broadway . By comparison today there is one bike maker in New York City, no makers of parts, and less than 83 bike shops in all of Manhattan.

For a short period of time the bicycle industry was driving our nations economy. In the mid 1890’s there were two patent offices. One for cycling, and another for everything else.

When we think about that history, and we think about the tremendous cost and waste associated with car-dependent society, we find ourselves cheering at the news of GM’s (and imminently we hope, Ford’s and Chrysler’s) failure.

Our only sorrow is knowing about the hard landing of those who have made the mistake of investing in a future that relies on such miserable business models. Our only wish is that our government opens its eyes in time to the corrupt character of the industry it promotes so heavily (some $400 million of our tax revenue was ordained this year in support of automobile production in Ontario).

And our only request is the government stop talking out of both sides of its mouth with regard to car-culture, and simply outlaw the promotion and marketing of these machines of death.

One Response to “Forget Paris, It’s Oshawa that’s Burning”

  1. rick says:
     

    From the Globe Business section:

    General Motors Corp. made a significant wager yesterday
    that sales of full-sized sport utility vehicles will
    rebound and gas prices will continue falling.

    In its job-cut and plant-closing announcement, the world's
    largest auto maker left untouched all eight plants in Canada,
    the United States and Mexico that crank out full-sized SUVs
    and pickup trucks.

    That contrasts sharply with .. mid-sized SUVs such as the
    Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and others. That new
    vehicle program, while also profitable, is on hold,
    one industry source said yesterday.

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