Autoblog highlights a silly rebate scheme that has annoyed Honda:

We reported last month that the automaker was irritated its Fit just missed qualifying for a federal ecoAUTO rebate of $1,000 CDN that was established to promote the purchase of fuel efficient cars. The rebate applies to new cars that use less than 6.5 liters of gas for every 100 kilometers driven. The Honda Fit uses 6.6 liters/100km, which means shoppers who purchase a Fit aren’t eligible for the $1,000 rebate. Honda claims it designed the Fit to be both safe and environmentally responsible, and refuses to sacrifice one attribute for the other.

One of the Fit’s direct competitors, the Toyota Yaris, consumes 6.4 liters/100km, and is thus eligible for the rebate. As such, according to this report, Toyota is practically the only automaker in Canada not upset about the federal rebate program that officially began on March 19th.

Honda will have the last word, however:

The company has bought ad space in newspapers across Canada and is publishing an open letter that criticizes the Canadian government’s rebate program. If any Canadian reader finds the ad, we’d love to know everything that’s said, but one quote from Honda president Hiroshi Kobayashi will be, “At Honda, we offer pride of ownership because we do not sacrifice safety for the environment.” Honda is also offering its own $1,000 rebate on the Fit to match the government’s offer, even making it retroactive for those who purchased a Fit all the way back to March 19th.

You hear that? It’s Honda’s Kobayashi saying, “Eat it, Flaherty!”

Honda has a substantial investment in its Honda Canada Alliston plants. The Canadian government must have been very short-sighted to slight such a major in-sourcer.

But governments pursuing the green vote often make stupid decisions. Kimberley Strassel explains all the unintended and uniformly bad economic, social and environmental consequences of the ethanol boondoggle:

Corn ethanol seemed unstoppable, but a remarkable thing happened on the road from Des Moines. Just as the smart people warned, the government’s decision to play energy market God and forcibly divert huge amounts of corn stocks into ethanol has played havoc with key sectors of the economy. Corn prices have nearly doubled, which means livestock owners can’t afford to feed their animals, and food and drink manufacturers are struggling to buy corn and corn syrup. Environmentalists are sour over new stresses on farmland; international aid groups are moaning that the U.S. is cutting back its charitable food giving, and many of these folks are taking out their anger on Congress.

Similar reactions will be seen when the current slight warming trend becomes a cooling trend.