Global warming was far from Rick Wagoner's mind in November when he was asked whether his company believed it was real.
"I think our policy statement, as I recall, was crafted about 10 years ago, when Harry Pearce was here," General Motors' CEO said in his office high above the Detroit River. "And the comment was along the lines that there's certainly ample debate on both sides."
In the decade since Pearce, then vice chairman, urged government, industry and environmentalists to study the issue and seek ways to head off potential problems, scientists have reached near unanimity that human activity - including the burning of gasoline in cars and trucks - contributes to global warming.
And they say the phenomenon is happening faster than they had feared. Average global temperatures in the past 10 years were among the highest since records have been kept.
During that same period, automakers have fended off nearly every government attempt to reduce the fuel consumption of cars and trucks.