Dec 162008

I’ve just read through an article in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Drive section about ethanol blend fuels that totally misses the point.  Are they deliberately trying to manipulate the general public?

It is extremely frustrating to find misrepresentation and manipulation like this in the media, as it seems hard to convince people that what the read in the paper might be wrong.  Ironically, those same people are often simultaneously eager to mistrust Wikipedia.

Richard Blackburn’s article in the SMH is primarily about the financial cost of various types of fuel, but it opens with the ambiguous statement:

A fuel derived from plants might appear to be a cheap and green alternative but exclusive Drive research proves this is not the case.

Does this “exclusive” research prove biofuels are not cheap or not green?  It seems the agenda is to claim both.

The point of plant-based fuels is that when they are burnt they only release carbon that was recently part of the natural carbon cycle.  This is in stark contrast to burning fossil fuels, which release carbon that has been stored away from the natural carbon cycle.  In short, biofuels release no “new” carbon into the atmosphere and thus cause no systematic increase in carbon dioxide.

Quite obviously, this makes them a whole lot more environmentally responsible.

  One Response to “Manipulation by missing the point”

  1. Had a quick browse of the artice. They do acknowledge, right at the end anyway, that E10 is better for the environment. To me it seemed the point of the artice was to prove that biofuels, as they are distributed now, are not cheaper than regular fuel which, given the differences in scale of distribution and investment, is less than surprising. My response to the article is an emphatic, “Who cares?”

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