Reviewing: Can We Transform the Auto-Industrial Society? By Emma Rothschild

In the February 26, 2009 New York Review of Books is published

Can we transform the auto-industrial society? by Emma Rothchild 

Other writings by Emma Rothschild 

 To the question embedded in the title of Ms. Rothchild's article: There is still quite a bit of work to do to construct a framework of social requirements to give shape and specific implementations to the changes needed for moving to a low CO2 emission society.

But wait, there is much interesting history and analysis in this article.  

Ms. Rothschild was writing about the General Motors and Chrysler Bailout Loans issued by the outgoing Bush administration. The sale of Chrysler to Fiat and the bankruptcy reorganization of General Motors are  not discussed in this article.

Ms. Rothschild wrote a major study of General Motors in 1974 titled  Paradise Lost: Decline Of The Auto-industrial Age.  Around those years, General Motors was the largest industrial corporation in America. 

This New York Review of Books essay was written at about the time when the accounting value of General Motors had dropped to the bankruptcy point.

  • The loan to the auto companies was explicitly structured to assist the companies in getting back to "financial viability".

  • The loans were made short term, to allow the incoming Obama administration some time to perform an assessment of the entire American recession situation. 

  • A future aiming for 80% less CO2 emissions based on a linear extension of a model of a "hybrid future" with solar panels and electric cars and the same American use of suburban space and long solitary commutes has scaling problems when similar patterns are applied to China and India.

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