UPDATE: GM Responds to RAN Activists!

By Robin Beck

Last week I told you that RAN supporters shut down interactive features on General Motor’s new greenwashing website, gmnext.com.

We posted pictures of student activists at the Detroit auto show protesting automakers on the site and thousands of RAN supporters flooded GM with comments supporting the students and asking the giant automaker to take real steps, not just greenwashing PR, on climate and green jobs.

Within a matter of hours GM shut down comments on the site.

Then, Christopher Barger, Director of Global Communications Technology for GM, came to our blog and wrote that they turned of the interactive features because “‘dialogue’ does not mean ‘open to demagogues.'” One of his employees–who it seems didn’t realize that her IP address identified her as part of the GM PR machine–going by the name “betty” also commented on our blog and started a lively conversation.

I know, hilarious.

Anyhow, Mr Barger also promised that they “are planning to have an open forum — possibly even a series of them – in the coming weeks where we will address green jobs, the quest for 100 mpg cars and other pressing environmental issues.”

Well, to give him credit, GM has announced the first of those forums.

Mr. Barger left a note on our blog and everyone who left a comment on the site got an email today announcing that:

“GM executive Brent Dewar will be on hand to answer your questions about GM’s environmental policies and initiatives. The chat will take place Wednesday, February 6 from noon to 1 p.m. EST. To access the chat, go to http://www.gmnext.com/LiveChat.aspx and register with your e-mail address. On the day of the chat, click the “Enter Chat” button and join the conversation.”

Great! Let’s ask some questions! I’ll be in the chat and I hope to see lots of RAN supporters there asking GM why they are doing so little about global warming, green jobs and social justice.

Don’t expect a lot of candor or honesty, we are, afterall, dealing with the PR apparatus of one of the biggest corporations in the world. Instead, I expect more of the same–greenwashing slogans and little real action.