Back on 30 March 2010, fellow CT200hForum.com Super Moderator Flipside909 and I were privileged to attend Lexus' original Darker Side of Green Debate / Cocktail Reception, held at the Skylight West in New York City on the eve of the Lexus CT 200h's North American debut at the New York Auto Show. This cocktail party, complete with <A HREF="http://www.ct200hforum.com/forum/lexus-ct200h-videos/117291-video-3-30-10-ct200h-kick-off-party-ny.html">celebrity guests</A> and a DJ spinning music, included, as its centerpiece, a lively debate on global warning between renewable energy advocate Amanda Little and skeptic Phelim McAleer, moderated by comedienne Sarah Silverman. The event was duly documented via Flipside909's photos that appear on <A HREF="http://www.ct200hforum.com/forum/lexus-ct200h-general-discussion-forum/117290-pics-video-coverage-3-30-10-ct200h-kick-off-party-skylight-west-new-york-ny.html">a CT200hForum.com thread</A> and, naturally, he also took advantage of the opportunity to get <A HREF="http://www.ct200hforum.com/forum/lexus-ct200h-general-discussion-forum/117298-upclose-personal-2011-lexus-ct200h.html">up close and personal with the Lexus CT 200h itself</A>.
The initial Lexus Debate was enough of a success that the carmaker has launched a mini-tour sequel, now including an additional live music component, visiting four U.S. cities. Unfortunately, we got word of this on the eve of the first stop, tonight (8 July) in Los Angeles, and that performance is seemingly sold out. Here's the most pertinent information, at a glance:
Thursday, July 8 — Los Angeles
Debaters: Simran Sethi (environmental advocate), Phelim McAleer (climate change skeptic)
Moderator: Andy Samberg
Music: Paul Sevigny and Myles Hendrik
Tuesday, July 20 — Miami
Time: 8 PM-12 Midnight
Place: Grand Central, 697 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33136
Debate: 9 PM-9:30 PM
Debaters: Amanda Little (advocate), Christopher Horner (skeptic)
Moderator: Jamie Kennedy
Music: The Misshapes and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tuesday, July 27 — New York City
Time: 8 PM-12 Midnight
Place: The Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003
Debate: 9 PM-9:30 PM
Debaters: Eric Bates (advocate), The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (skeptic)
Moderator: Tracy Morgan
Music: Harley & Cassie and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Thursday, August 5 — Chicago
Time: 8 PM-12 Midnight
Place: The Ivy Room, 12 East Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611
Debate: 9 PM-9:30 PM
Debaters: David Roberts (advocate), Steve Everley (skeptic)
Moderator: Mark McGrath
Music: The Misshapes
If you are interested in attending any of these events, RSVP by visiting <A HREF="http://lexusdebates.com/">LexusDebates.com</A> . You and your guest must be age 21 or over, and you MUST register and RSVP in order to attend. As with the initial New York event, the Lexus Debates tour is proudly sponsored by Tequila Patrón. Lexus has also issued the following Press Release that greatly expands on the essential information mentioned above:
LEXUS INTRODUCES ‘THE DARKER SIDE OF GREEN’ DEBATE SERIES TO SHOWCASE THE CT 200h
Series brings together environmental thought leaders and a star-studded list of moderators to encourage discussion between opposing sides on ‘green issues’
To introduce the all-new CT 200h premium compact hybrid in the U.S., Lexus is expanding on its unprecedented ‘green issues’ debate by presenting a series of lively discussions between proponents and skeptics of climate change.
Welcome to the darker side of green.
Designed to inspire a new audience to consider luxury hybrid vehicles, the debates will be moderated by some of entertainment’s most intriguing personalities, including Andy Samberg, Jamie Kennedy, Tracey Morgan, and Mark McGrath. They will also host many of the leading environmental thinkers on both sides of the discussion – environmental advocates Simran Sethi, Amanda Little, Eric Bates, and David Roberts and climate change skeptics Phelim McAleer, Christopher Horner, Lord Monckton, and Steve Everley.
The original Lexus debate, held on March 30, 2010, was moderated by the one-and-only Sarah Silverman and included a global warming debate between renewable energy advocate Amanda Little and skeptic Phelim McAleer. This new series of debates will expand on the success of the original event and will be just as thought provoking.
“Lexus hybrid vehicles seamlessly brings together two different lifestyle characteristics – unabashed luxury and modern green technology,” said Andrea Lim, Lexus events marketing manager. “Expanding our debate series helps to reinforce the message embodied in the CT 200h – that two behaviors, not often found side by side, can successfully merge and become a way of life.”
The first debate in the series, moderated by digital shorts auteur Andy Samberg, will be in Los Angeles on July 8, and features an exchange between Emmy Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi and journalist, skeptic, and filmmaker Phelim McAleer. Sethi is an associate professor at the University of Kansas, where she teaches courses on sustainability and environmental communications. She is also the founding host/writer of the Sundance Channel’s “The Green” and has been lauded by media as the “environmental messenger.” In 2006, Irish journalist and filmmaker McAleer produced Mine Your Own Business, one of the first films that asked difficult questions of the environmental movement. His 2008 documentary, Not Evil Just Wrong, explores what McAleer views as the negative impacts of green policy and questions scientific claims made by prominent global warming proponents.
When asked how he thought Sethi and McAleer would get along, Samberg responded, “I mean, I don’t wanna say I EXPECT it to turn ugly, but if it did, I’m not gonna break it up. It’s the only real way to know the truth about global warming.”
The second debate, to be held in Miami on July 20, will be moderated by stand-up master Jamie Kennedy. The exchange will include author and sustainable energy advocate Amanda Little, and author and climate policy skeptic Christopher Horner. Moved earlier in her journalistic career by the events of 9/11 and the 2003 NYC blackout, Little set out on a cross-country journey to investigate the United States’ energy use. The result was Power Trip, a book chronicling America’s history and relationship with fossil fuels, as well as Little’s perspective on the most promising renewable energy technologies. Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and has represented scientists and members of congress on matters of environmental policy in forums as high as the Supreme Court. He has written several books on global warming, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism and Red Hot Lies. Horner received his Juris Doctorate from Washington University.
In the third installation, scheduled for July 27 in New York City, a greenexchange will be moderated by the Tracey Morgan and brings together two provocative speakers on the environment – Eric Bates and The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. Bates is executive editor of one of the most influential magazines in the country – Rolling Stone. Its controversial cover story, entitled You Idiots! discussed the international debate over global warming and listed its picks of the climate’s worst enemies. Author, journalist, and public speaker The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, known widely as Lord Monckton, is a former policy advisor to U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. During his tenure as policy advisor, Monckton’s advice was to take seriously the issue of global warming. He has since become one of the world’s leading global warming skeptics.
The final debate in the series will be held on August 5 in Chicago and will be moderated by famed singer Mark McGrath. Featured debaters include David Roberts and Steve Everley. Roberts, staff writer for the heralded environmental news site Grist.org, is known widely for his focus on finding concrete solutions to our energy problems. He is a respected pundit and rising voice in environmental media that has made a name among the eco-literati as a formidable vblog debater. Everley is the manager of policy research at American Solutions and contributing author to Newt Gingrich’s To Save America. He graduated with the highest distinction from the University of Kansas. Everley and Roberts have had an ongoing online debate about energy and global warming issues that will come to life offline at this event.
Each debate will be followed by a chic, music saturated, reception, –with libations provided compliments of Patrón Spirits for attendees’ responsible enjoyment. DJ sets will vary per city and will include dance floor favorites The Misshapes, Paul Sevigny, Myles Hendrik, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the duo Harley & Cassie.
As a visual representation of the debate series message, Lexus commissioned Nondesigns, a Los Angeles based design studio, to create an artistic representation of the CT 200h that will be displayed at the debates. Specializing in creating objects that carry on a dialogue with their surroundings, Nondesigns created a magnificent pixilated interpretation of the compact premium hybrid that treats viewers to the two personalities of the vehicle. When viewers walk around the art installation, entitled the CT Umbra, they experience a change in color from luxurious gold hues to organic tints of green and blue – representing the two seemingly contradictory perspectives of Lexus’ fifth hybrid.
“Lexus designed the CT 200h to have higher fuel mileage and lower emissions, without sacrificing the fun,” said David Nordstrom, Lexus vice president of marketing. “CT 200h brings energy to the new compact premium hybrid segment with its sleek styling and dynamic handling.”
The Lexus CT 200h was styled with optimum aerodynamic efficiency. Its size, packaging and hybrid technology meet the requirements of the discerning, environmentally conscientious consumer in the emerging premium compact market. It offers no compromise on the quality, refinement and driving pleasure that hallmark the progressive luxury inherent in every Lexus.
Lexus engineers paid particular attention to the driving dynamics of the CT 200h. Its fun-to-drive experience is aided by the lowest possible center of gravity for the car, enhanced structural rigidity, unique lateral stabilizers to minimize unnecessary engine movements, a custom suspension design, and a front and rear body-damping system – a first to the Lexus line-up to minimize undesirable body vibrations. All of these design elements help ensure the handling prowess of the CT 200h without sacrificing the unequaled comfort to which Lexus drivers have become accustomed.
Our thanks to Kevin Watts (krew) of <A HREF="http://lexusenthusiast.com/2010/07/07/lexus-darker-side-of-green-debates/">The Lexus Enthusiast blog</A> for bringing this story to our attention.