UPDATE: Ethanol-Basher Scores 100%...in Idiocy - AmericanStinker.com Responds
Anti-Ethanol Writers Must Go!
Author of THE ETHANOL PAPERS
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
I just arrived home from a three-day trip to South Dakota where I participated in two fantastic venues: the Hefty Brother's Annual Ag PhD Field Day exposition, and a Poet Ethanol "Rhyme and Reason" closed-circuit TV program. The focus of my presentations was to talk about the urgent need to educate consumers and consumer influencers about the benefits of ethanol fuel.
Almost simultaneous with my plane touching down in my home city, I learned about a new ethanol-bashing editorial that proved the importance of my mission in going to South Dakota. This latest anti-ethanol piece of garbage was published on a website called AmericanThinker.com. Titled "ETHANOL MUST GO!" the article was presumably written by a guy named Mac Madden.
* AmericanThinker.com has responded & I've included it with my rejoinder at the bottom of this page.
Mr. Madden's story could and should be used in journalism classes, to teach how to write fallacious lie-filled ignorant editorials. If his essay was part of an ignorance test, he would score 100% in being wrong! He got everything wrong. Maybe he got his name right, but given the lack of biographical information that's available about him on the Internet, perhaps he got his name wrong, too.
In the article, Mac Madden cites unfounded, absurd, grossly exaggerated information, that has all been rebutted. Madden obviously knows nothing about the topic, so the best he could do was to refer to 2nd and 3rd party hearsay reports about how some other ignorant ethanol haters misinterpreted original incorrect reports.
Madden begins by citing a Washington Times article, "Biden Administration Raises Amount Of Ethanol That Must Be Blended With Gas." Right away we can see that the Washington Times piece is red herring nonsense. Why do I say this? Because there was no "must" in Biden's E15 order, there was merely a waiver that E15 could be used in the Summertime, just as Donald Trump had ordered when he was in office. And funnily enough, it was Biden who banned the Trump order to allow E15 last year. Although this is a rather small infringement of the truth, it was an entirely unnecessary infringement of the truth.
Madden then really starts his ethanol bashing with reference to what he says was a "study dating back to 2009" that was written by David Pimentel and Tad Padzek. Actually, the Pimentel-Patzek studies were written a few years earlier than 2009. All that Madden did was to cite a 2009 story published on the "Organic Consumers Association" website that referenced the Pimentel/Patzek study(s). This means he didn't take the time to read and understand what Pimentel and Patzek were saying (lying about), and that he never read the Pimentel-Patzek material for himself.
By the way, Pimentel was a Professor of Entomology at Cornell University. Entomology is the study of bugs, not fuels, not mechanical engineering, not chemistry...INSECTS. Padzek had been a Professor of Geoengineering at the University of California at Berkeley. The Pimentel and Patzek reports, which were funded by the oil industry, were significantly rebuked almost immediately by a number of entities. One of the leading entities was the Energy and Resources Group at Patzek's own school, UCBerkeley. Here’s some highlights of the UC Berkeley results:
Ethanol can replace gasoline with significant energy savings, comparable impact on greenhouse gases
• “The analysis, appearing in this week's issue of Science, attempts to settle the ongoing debate over whether ethanol is a good substitute for gasoline and thus can help lessen the country's reliance on foreign oil and support farmers in the bargain.”
• “Dan Kammen and Alex Farrell of the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, with their students Rich Plevin, Brian Turner and Andy Jones along with Michael O'Hare, a professor in the Goldman School of Public Policy, deconstructed six separate high-profile studies of ethanol. They assessed the studies' assumptions and then reanalyzed each after correcting errors, inconsistencies and outdated information regarding the amount of energy used to grow corn and make ethanol, and the energy output in the form of fuel and corn byproducts.”
• “Kammen estimates that ethanol could replace 20 to 30 percent of fuel usage in this country with little effort in just a few years. In the long term, the United States may be able to match Sweden, which recently committed to an oil-free future based on ethanol from forests and solar energy. Kammen last year published a paper, also in Science, arguing that even Africa could exploit its biomass to build a biofuel industry that could meet energy needs for the poor and develop a sustainable local fuel supply, a future much better than using fossil fuels.”
• “The goal of the UC Berkeley analysis was to understand how six studies of fuel ethanol could come to such different conclusions about the overall energy balance in its production and use. Farrell, Kammen and their UC Berkeley colleagues dissected each study and recreated its analysis in a spreadsheet where they could be compared side-by-side. The team said it found numerous "errors, inconsistencies and omissions" among the studies, such as not considering the value of co-products of ethanol production - dried distillers grains, corn gluten feed and corn oil - that boost the net energy gain from ethanol production. Other studies overestimated the energy used by farm machinery.”
• "The assumptions made by the authors (Pimentel and Patzek) were not based on the best data, or were just a little bit too convenient, and had a strong impact on the results," Kammen said.”
(Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group is a collaborative community of core faculty, graduate students, hundreds of affiliated faculty and researchers across the campus, and over 600 alumni around the globe. For more information about ERG's rebuke of Pimentel-Patzek visit https://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/01/uc_berkeley_stu.html)
Another rebuttal study, conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, was presented in 2007 at UC Berkeley – what a coincidence - by Roger Conway, Office of Energy Policy and New Uses at the
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Conway wrote:
"The (Pimentel-Patzek) report showed huge discrepancies in the figures that Pimentel and Patzek used to arrive at their conclusions versus the figures used by USDA’s efforts to conduct their own studies on
ethanol vs. gasoline EROEI. The USDA studies were significantly more favorable towards ethanol production." EROEI stands for "energy returned on energy invested."
(Shortly after the UCBerkeley rebuttals, Patzek left the school. Today he is a professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.)
A third rebuttal study was written by Bruce Dale, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. Professor Dale found that the Pimentel-Patzek methodology is flawed, the measurements of BTU are irrelevant, and the net energy of ethanol is actually higher than gasoline (in other words, EROEI for ethanol is positive, while the EROEI of gasoline is more negative).
In 2005, Professor Bruce Dale participated in a C-SPAN televisied debate against David Pimentel and Tad Patzek. Speaking on Dale's side was John Sheehan, Senior Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The debate was supposed to center on the issue of net energy balance. One of the most important points illuminated in the debate was that even if Pimentel-Patzek's finding that corn ethanol production results in a negative net energy equation that gasoline production is far worse and electric energy is horrendously bad compared to both ethanol and gasoline. After watching the video of the debate it's hard to believe that anyone has taken Pimentel-Patzek seriously, unless all other opposing information is kept from the viewer. The entire video can be watched by CLICKING HERE.
Another report critical of Pimentel-Patzek was published in 2006 by Justus Wesseler, an Agricultural Economist and Professor of Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He called the Pimentel-Patzek work "flawed" and "misleading." Download the Wesseler rebuttal at https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v35y2007i2p1414-1416.html.
Also in 2006, the spring edition of "The New Atlantis" (Journal of Technology & Society) had this to say about Pimentel and Patzek’s studies: "Professors Pimentel and Patzek have published several studies on this subject, and these have been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked in the scientific literature, in government reports from the Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture, in congressional testimony, and elsewhere…Reputable scientists have publicly called the work of Pimentel and Patzek “shoddy,” “unconvincing,” and lacking in basic scientific transparency. The most recent dissection of their claims, appearing in the journal Science in January 2006, found that their results depended upon “some input data that are old and unrepresentative of current [ethanol-production] processes, or so poorly documented that their quality cannot be evaluated.” The complete editorial from The New Atlantis can be found by CLICKING HERE.
In October 2009, ethanol guru David Blume traveled to Cornell University to conduct a workshop on Permaculture. While there he paid a call on David Pimentel and was able to video record the conversation. In the more than 20-minute long conversation Pimentel agrees and acknowledges that many of the conclusions that were drawn in earlier studies he conducted are now incorrect, or could be rendered incorrect given advances in farming and ethanol production – advances that already had been proven by the time of this conversation in 2009. You can watch this entire video by CLICKING HERE.
In 2011, Forrest Jehlik, Research Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory responded to what he felt are the 5 most prevalent myths about ethanol. He said that ethanol does not take more energy to make than it yields, “Argonne National Laboratory research has shown that corn ethanol delivers a positive energy balance of 8.8 megajoules per liter. The energy balance from second-generation biofuels using cellulosic sources is up to six times better…”
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy concluded a report on LIFECYCLE ENERGY BALANCE by stating "...corn-based ethanol shows a clear benefit over gasoline." You can read this report by CLICKING HERE.
In 2016, The U.S. Department of Agriculture released an updated (2015)report that verified corn ethanol's positive EROEI and stated that additional gains had been made since 2008. This report can be found by CLICKING HERE.
And in 2018, DOE issued another updated positive Energy Balance report. Read this report by CLICKING HERE.
Appropriately enough, Mac Madden closes out the segment of his attack on ethanol fuel his by citing the latest fallacious study vilifying ethanol: the "Tyler Lark" trash that was released this past February. I say this was "appropriate" because the Tyler Lark, et al., study is nothing more than a rehashing of the bogus studies released nearly two decades earlier by Pimentel and Patzek. About 4 weeks after Tyler Lark and his buddies released their study I wrote the third of my challenges to Tyler Lark, et al., in a report titled: SLAM! Shutting the File on the Tyler Lark Anti-Ethanol Study.
Although I've called out Tyler Lark several times in my published reports and direct emails to him, he is too much of a gutless coward to respond. Eight days after we published my third, more detailed rebuttal of the Lark study on TheAutoChannel.com, Argonne National Laboratory released a rebuttal written by Farzad Taheripour, Steffen Mueller, Hoyoung Kwon, Madhu Khanna, Isaac Emery, Ken Copenhaver, and Michael Wang. This rebuttal kicked the hell out of the study done by Lark and his crew. Download this report directly to your computer by CLICKING HERE.
The bottom line is that Mac Madden could have mentioned the rebuttals to the Pimentel-Patzek, and Tyler Lark study. Sure, he could have tried to soft-peddle the rebuttals, so as not to destroy his erroneous attack on ethanol, but he didn't. He either ignorantly didn't know about them, or irresponsibly ignored the rebuttals as if they never happened. Either way, this is dishonest, shoddy journalism. If AmericanThinker.com had any integrity they would send Madden packing to Saudi Arabia where he could join Tad Padzek working for the Saudis and OPEC.
DON'T GO AWAY, I'M NOT FINISHED YET
Sandwiched in between the Pimentel-Patzek and Tyler Lark citations, Madden uses other out-of-context fallacious references. For example, Madden writes:
"The EPA's own data show that corn ethanol is worse for the environment than conventional gasoline. In 2010, the agency published a 1,100-page document that detailed the environmental and economic
effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard. The EPA found that ethanol-blended fuel increases 'emissions of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and other pollutants,' and that will
"lead to increases in population-weighted annual average ambient PM [particulate matter] and ozone concentrations, which in turn are anticipated to lead to up to 245 cases of adult premature mortality."
But, the incredible thing about this statement is that Madden didn't quote the EPA's data, he drew his misinformation from a 2016 story published on a junk website called "FEE.com." The story he uses contains a conversation between two jackasses who are associated with the Stink-tank Manhattan Institute. Why Madden didn't go to the actual EPA study is understandable, because if he did he wouldn't have been able to use the crap recited by Robert Bryce and Jared Meyer.
How do I know that Bryce and Meyer are full of malarkey? Simple, I read the EPA study and the EPA never stated that "corn ethanol is worse for the environment than conventional gasoline." Also, because I have previous experience with Bryce and Meyer. In 2013, I wrote a 70-page review and rebuttal of Robert Bryce's cesspool book "Gusher of Lies." I use the word cesspool rather than the word seminal when describing Bryce's book because everything in the book is a pit of festering offal. You can read my review/rebuttal by CLICKING HERE.
As for Jared Meyer, in 2016, I handled him and another incredibly stupid anti-ethanol article he wrote with Bryce titled, "Politicians Love Burning Food For Fuel." Read my response to them by CLICKING HERE.
Next, Madden takes a story about Dutch farmers out of context when he mis-deduces that " Ethanol is not good for the environment." The story that Madden cites never says that farmers said "Ethanol is not good for the environment." In fact, the article never, ever uses or intimates the words ethanol or biofuels. What the farmers said about the Dutch government's unilateral decision to reduce the use of fertilizer to cut down on the amount of Nitrogen Oxide released into the air was that other industries also contribute to the amount of Nitrogen Oxide emissions. If this one example doesn't prove that Madden is a nitwit rat of the first order, then the sun will not rise tomorrow. Read the article about the Dutch farmers by CLICKING HERE.
Madden then changes attack horses when he decides to take up the (mythical) issue of damage caused by ethanol to internal combustion engines. To do this, Madden quotes from a 2010 article
written by some fool named Mike Allen who used to work at Popular Mechanics. Every single point Allen claims (which is then co-opted by Mac Madden) is wrong. This includes everything from saying that ethanol damages plastics to his
explanation of the "blend wall " and "hygroscopic" characteristics. Allen's comments are silly, puerile recitations of the lies invented by the oil industry.
• (NOTE: Please, please, Mike Allen, be so insulted by my calling you "a fool" that you want to debate me in an open public forum with a live audience, or in a public courtroom with a live judge and jury. You use your ASE Certification as a badge to allow you to spew whatever rubbish you want. Well, make sure you bring that badge with you, if you come to the debate, so that people understand that knowing how to change spark plugs doesn't give you carte blanche knowledge of engine fuels. If you want to know the truth about ethanol fuel, read my 600-page book THE ETHANOL PAPERS, it's available to read online for FREE.)
Best of all, or I should say worst of all for Mac Madden, is his inclusion of the "food vs. ethanol fuel argument" in his dope-itorial. This is a never-was issue, and regardless of which schmuck brings it up, it is wrong. My definitive report on this issue closes the book on the issue. Read it by CLICKING HERE.
One last thing, as an extremely proud patriotic and conservative American, I take tremendous exception to AmericanThinker.com claiming to represent patriotic American conservatives. I am an American Thinker and DOER. If this article by Mac Madden exemplifies what you think the conservative American position is or how conservative or liberal journalists should behave, then you better change your name to AmericanStinker.com. I offer you the same challenge to engage me in an open public debate about ethanol fuel, or a debate that takes place in an open American courtroom.
In closing: Gasoline is poison. Gasoline with tetraethyl lead and ethylene bromide is a greater poison. Gasoline with increased levels of benzene, toluene, and xylene is at least as poisonous as leaded gasoline. Ethanol-gasoline blends may be imperfect, but that's because it has gasoline in them.
Gasoline and anti-ethanol writers must go!
UPDATE - 12:01AM ET August 3, 2022
A short while ago, just as I was about to start watching Tuesday night's Greg Gutfeld Show, I received an email blast from AmericanThinker.com in response to the rebuttal above that we published early Monday morning.
As you can imagine, I was very excited, so I tore myself away from Gutfeld's opening monolog and read the missive! It was from (drumroll please).... Andrea Widburg, Deputy Editor, American Thinker! (rimshot and cymbal crash)
Thanks for your take, Marc. I'm so sorry to say that you didn't manage to offend us but good for you for trying!!
Well, there it was...THE RESPONSE! I knew I would have to give serious thought as to how I should handle this, so during the first commercial break in the Gutfeld Show, I tuned out the Mr. Pillow and Astrazenica commercials and furrowed my brow in concentration. Here's what I came up with:
Hi Andrea, thanks for taking the time to read my rebuttal to Mac Madden and American Thinker. I truly appreciate it and it's wonderful to make contact with the other side.
First off, since no one by the name of Mac Madden from American Thinker has responded to me, I assume that I was correct in guessing there is no actual person at AT by that name and that you simply use the moniker whenever you need to publish something that no one has the courage to stand behind.
Second, since you offered no objections to my criticisms, and you provided no follow-up resources or citations to counter my points, you concede the validity of all that I wrote - although you may choose to try to wiggle out of actually conceding that I am correct, which of course, I am.
Third, you took my rebuttal good-naturedly. This is great, because, it means that you or someone else on your staff might consent to engage me in a friendly, yet important debate on the issue. I say important, because judging by the last sentence in your response, you still think that there are valid objections to the issue of using ethanol fuel as a significant, or even primary, engine fuel. And to tell you the truth, a good, solid debate is all I was trying to engineer when I responded to Mac Madden (giggle, giggle) in the first place. Now, one of the reasons you guys might want to consider a debate with me is, that if you seriously object to ethanol, and you (or your team) can prevail in a debate with me (and my team), it could be a momentous occasion for the anti-ethanol side. After all, I'm a leading proponent of ethanol fuel, with a rather huge library of published materials on the subject, and if you beat me then it means you have basically beaten some of the best arguments that ethanol advocacy can offer. That would be an enormous feather in your cap(s).
And just to show you what a good sport I am about this, I'll give you some tips. The arguments you made in your final statement about burning so-called fossil fuels cleanly, and converting food to fuel are losing propositions. You can't burn gasoline and diesel fuels cleanly. If it was possible, they would already be doing it. With the specter of electric vehicles upon us, the oil industry has too much to lose if internal combustion engines get 86ed. Then, there's no such thing as "fossil fuels," it's a flat-Earther term. The correct term is "abiotic fuels." And there is no conversion of food crops to fuel, or as you called it "gasoline." The crops grown for ethanol fuel production are not diverted away from humans or even livestock. The corn, for instance, used is in addition to the surplus of food corn that is available year after year. Additionally, and this is something that ethanol opponents just don't want to understand, the corn kernels that are used to make the starch that is fermented and distilled into ethanol are not thrown away. They get used to make additional products, such as a great protein food for livestock...livestock that people do eat. The result is more fuel and more food!
I'm telling you all this because there's no fun beating up on what amounts to a little girl or boy. If I'm gonna step into the ring, I want a worthy opponent. And this is why you (or whoever you select to represent American Thinker), should read my 600-page book, THE ETHANOL PAPERS. You don't even have to buy it, it's available to read online for FREE! Think of it as training, like watching game films of next week's opponent. Obviously, if I can write a 600-page book about the subject, I already know what you've got. And if we each have some teammates with us, my people know at least as much as I do, and more, so we're good to go.
On the other hand, if you just want to engage in a nice structured discussion of the subject, either in text, or live via ZOOM/FACE-TIME/SKYPE/YOUTUBE for everyone's education and edification, let's do it. At the worst, American Thinker will become better educated and give your organization some needed intellectual honesty. It might hurt Mac Madden's feelings (giggle, giggle, giggle) but he's only a fictitious character anyway, right?
Let me know what you want to do. I'll send you my phone number by email. Call or email whenever, no appointment is necessary.
THE AUTO CHANNEL
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