It’s always very troubling when a person touted as having a high proficiency in one area tries tackling something in which they have zero proficiency. I think this may be the situation with Debbie Carlson, a professional writer who typically pens financial articles. Two days ago TheGuardian.com published her story titled ” Energy hypocrisy: Ethanol isn’t a good fuel, but it’s not going away anytime soon.” Ms. Carlson apparently failed to investigate the subject sufficiently. (Read her entire article at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/28/ethanol-biofuel-corn-expensive)
To be fair, if fair is the correct word to use, the genesis of Ms. Carlson’s article may not have come from an original inspiration; it may have been initiated via a solicitation from an interested subjective party. These kinds of solicitations usually come to freelance writers and speakers with suggested phrases and key points that must be addressed in the presentation. Because these solicitations often emanate from what seem like respectable middlemen and public relations companies, the freelancer often does little or no independent fact checking, choosing to just rely on the veracity of the information provided.
Given the large number of inaccurate statements in Ms. Carlson’s article, it probably wasn’t her investigative skills that were at fault.
My problem with Ms. Carlson’s article begins with the title. There are two reason for this: First, it’s untrue, ethanol is an excellent fuel. Second, she included nothing within her story to support calling ethanol a bad fuel.