Detroit Auto Show: GM>>Next Press EventS

GM's new green push, dubbed GM>>next, shows what happens when a global multinational throws a few tens of millions in public relations and directs marching orders toward facing down rival Toyota's reputation, deserved or not, for greenness. It's the marketing wrapper under which all of GMs's alternative energy projects exist. One of those is GM's backing of E85 Ethanol, the increased production of which they're saying will reduce the use of fossil fuels to the tune of 30 percent by 2030. In between, the speculation on corn will continue to drive the price of dairy products, Cheetos and high-fructose corn syrup through the roof. The visual metaphor for the press event was extreme juggler Chris Bliss, who did a truly outstanding juggling number to the tune of the Beatles' "Carry That Weight." The balls were yellow, the color of GM's Ethanol initiative, corn itself, and many other things like Rick Wagoner's tie, bananas and one-fifth of Toucan Sam. Can midwest plus corn equal page inches? They also introduced the Hummer HX concept, whose V6 is set up to handle E85. GM also announced a partnership with Ethanol producer Coskata, which says it's got a way to make production more efficient and get more energy out of every drop. Harumph. Do these guys know how much Corn Flakes are now? Like $800 bucks an ounce.