Wednesday, April 09, 2008

On the Show: The Media Attack on Biodiesel

The media is like the kid who is always demanding something, often (if not usually) without regard to consequences. Furthermore, when they get what they want, they tend to dismantle it with passion.

A great example of this is the recent attack by the media on biodiesel fuels. For years, maybe decades, the media has told us we needed something different from the fossil fuels that are destroying the environment and are in limited supply. The free market responded to the criticism by developing natural alternatives such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Recently, Time Magazine wrote a scathing article about "bio fuels" and, in typical media ignorance, treated ethanol and biodiesel as if they are synonyms. They are not. On a recent show, Kent Batman of Hardin Fuels decisively showed the differences. Kent also wrote a persuasive article on the debate in the Houston Business Show and Review site that was further picked up in Houston's dBusinessnews.com under the title "Time Magazine vs. Biodiesel?"

In the article he tackles the following major myths:

  • The biodiesel industry "takes food" and makes it into fuels.

  • Biodiesel increases pollution and must have additives to be used, or mixes must be limited to 20%.

  • We could never replace fossil fuels w bio-fuels.

  • Biodiesel uses as much energy as it creates.

Kent's article is powerful, persuasive, and concise and you can find his response to these statements here. Or you can hear his interview where he discusses these issues in two parts, here and here.

In sum, the Time piece is filled with a mixture of arrogance and ignorance. The writer was clearly unaware and uninformed. The goal seemed to be to inflame, rather than inform the reader. Like many of those in the media, they know not what they write, but they know they need to sell magazines.

For a copy of the free report, "Why Your Marketing Isn't Working," email Info@HoustonBusinessShow.com and put "marketing" in the subject line.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.


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