Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mr. Wilson's Proposal to Ford Shareholders

Mr. Frederick Wilson, of Grand Blanc, MI, submitted a proposal titled “Don’t Waste Corporate Funds on CO2 Reduction,” which was voted on at the May 13, 2010, annual meeting of Ford shareholders. Wilson, who ran unsuccessfully on the 2008 Republican ticket for the Genesee County office of Register of Deeds, an office he pledged to eliminate if elected, is a “life member” of the National Rifle Association, and “a member of the Linden Sportsmen Club, and Ottawa Hills Cabana Club swim team.”
Wilson worked 30 years for General Motors and its affiliate Delphi, but he apparently invested his hard earned dollars in Ford stock, of which he owns 450 shares. Mr. Wilson's proposal included statements that were illogical and/or patently false. This could have been determined by anyone who wasn't too lazy, ignorant, or politically predisposed against climate science to do so. His proposal, reproduced below, was soundly defeated, garnering only 2.1% of the votes cast. And yet that 2.1% represented 854,187 shares voted by those lazy, ignorant, and/or politically predisposed shareholders. The number of shares voted in favor of Mr. Wilson's proposal is troubling, but what is more troubling is Ford's rationale for recommending that shareholders vote against the proposal. Instead of saying, in so many words, that Wilson is a wing nut, they write about how research in CO2 reduction might meet Ford investment return targets.
Proposal 8
Mr. Fredrick Wilson of 1305 Rollins St., Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439, owner of 450 shares of common stock, has informed the Company that he plans to present the following proposal at the meeting:

Don’t Waste Corporate Funds on CO2 Reduction

Whereas: Newly Corrected Data from NASA shows that the warmest year in the last 129 years is 1934. No year since then has been warmer. Check it out .
Whereas: The Concentration of Atmospheric CO2 has increased by approximately 33% since 1889, or from 290 to 385 Parts Per Million, with most of that increase occurring from 1934 to 2009.
Whereas: If the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the causative factor for Global Climate Temperature Change, then the increase in CO2 has caused Global Cooling. Since Mr. Wilson is incorrect in his assertion that global cooling is taking place, this assertion, ipso facto, is also incorrect.
Whereas: 1998 is the warmest recent year. There have now been 11 years of global cooling. The winter of 2007-8 set global records for cold temperatures and large amount of snowfall, erasing the approximately 20 years of warming from circa 1980 to 1998. The IPCC is now stating that the globe is cooling. Huh? Globally, 2009 was tied for the second hottest year on record. And if the El Nino effect this year is as strong as expected, 2010 is likely to be hotter yet. The globe is not cooling, the IPCC has never stated that the globe is cooling, and, in fact, the IPCC Chairman, addressing attendees at the December 7, 2009, climate conference in Copenhagen, said, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global sea level”; and “most of the observed increase in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.” Check it out .
Whereas: Over 90% of the Earth’s ice is in Antarctica, which is growing in both mass and thickness. The Winter of 2007-8 fully replenished the coastal ice banks that had been recently reduced. Check it out .
Whereas: Over $50 billion has been spent to document man-made global warming. The latest IPCC report said that the temperature might rise about 1⁄2 (0.50 C) of a degree this century, about the same as last century, and that sea levels might rise about 1 foot this century, about the same as last century. Which is no real problem. No real problem for whom? According to the IPCC, If greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized (fat chance), sea level would nonetheless continue to rise for hundreds of years. After 500 years, sea level rise from thermal expansion may have reached only half of its eventual level, which models suggest may lie within ranges of 0.5 to 2.0 m and 1 to 4 m for CO2 levels of twice and four times pre-industrial, respectively (1 meter = 3.281 feet). So, tell the people in Bangladesh that sea level rise is "no real problem."
Whereas: The science is not settled, it has never been settled. There is no “consensus” of scientists, there has never been a “consensus”. At OISM.ORG is a list of over 31,000 scientists (with over 9,000 Ph.D’s) who state that global climate change is a natural, not man-made, effect. This Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OSIM) balderdash has been debunked so many times it's hardly worth the effort. But the linked web essay is a fun read.
Whereas: A chart of CO2 and temperature over the last 650,000 years, an Al Gore favorite, when properly examined, shows that the temperature goes up or down, and 400 to 1000 years later, CO2 goes up or down. CO2 is a trailing indicator, and not a causative factor for global temperatures.Well, Mr. Wilson is right about one thing, temperature does "go up or down." But the temperature trend goes up, and up, and up. Check it out.
Whereas: According to Reid Bryson, founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology, called the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world: “Eighty percent of the heat radiated back from the surface is absorbed in the first 30 feet by water vapor ... And how much is absorbed by carbon dioxide? Eight hundredths of one percent. It is one one-thousandth as important as water vapor.” Water vapor is a climate feedback, not a forcing function, as is CO2 and other GHGs.
Whereas: Water Vapor, cloud formation and interactions with the Sun and its various cycles, and with the Sun’s solar wind and interaction with cosmic rays, are all valid science that need to be studied, since CO2 does not correlate as a causative factor. Wrong again, Mr. Wilson. Check it out .
Therefore: Ford should not fund or undertake any energy savings projects that are solely concerned with CO2 reduction, but that each project must meet Corporate Return on Investment guidelines and any CO2 reduction would solely be a by-product of any energy cost reductions.
The Board of Directors recommends a Vote “against” Proposal 8.
The Board opposes this proposal because we do not believe it is in the best interests of the Company or shareholders. Reducing CO2 emissions from our products and facilities has many benefits and the Company has funded many projects that have made our products and facilities more efficient. These efforts will continue. The development of the EcoBoost engine is just one example of a project that has increased the efficiency of our products while also reducing CO2 emissions. Customers value vehicles that limit CO2 emissions.
Research into reducing CO2 emissions could lead to other improvements in the efficiency and the value of our products. Adopting the proposal would limit the Company’s ability to conduct research that may lead to further improvements in the efficiency of our products and facilities. The proposal would require that such research meet corporate return on investment guidelines prior to determining whether that result is achievable. Research allows us to determine whether a particular project is worth pursuing and it is only later that we learn whether any individual research project will meet our investment return targets. If our research staff were limited in the manner suggested by the proposal, the future innovations our engineers and scientists may bring to our products could be severely curtailed. Consequently, the Board does not believe that the proposal is in the best interests of the Company or shareholders. The Board of Directors recommends a Vote “against” Proposal 8.
Mr. Wilson's proposal was indeed defeated, 97.9% to 2.1%.

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