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Facts

Agriculture.com Staff 04/24/2008 @ 10:12am

A few months ago, I took my wife to the hospital for a stress test scheduled for her by her doctor after she told the doctor of some pains she was feeling. As if being married to me is not stressful enough, the hospital was going to put her under more stress and measure her body's response.

Now my wife is somewhat pessimistic by nature and I assured her she would be fine when it was done. To show her my belief in a positive outcome, I told her I would bet her $100 that at noon she would walk out of the hospital on her own two feet. That did put her in the predicament that to win the bet, she has to lose her test and whatever the outcome, I was going to have a healthy wife or $100. I may have to be more careful about how I express my positive attitude in the future.

While we were waiting, I bought her a copy of her favorite daily newspaper out of Minneapolis. She showed me a front-page story the paper had written questioning the water usage of ethanol plants. I was immediately indignant and she observed that around me, nobody could say anything bad about ethanol. She did have a point; I am a true believer of the future of ethanol for many reasons.

What struck me about this story insinuating that ethanol plants could be sucking the state of Minnesota dry is that if Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, does not have enough water for the ethanol industry, then who does.

The story was long on innuendo and short on specifics. Nowhere in the story did it give water usage by ethanol plants and compare it with water usage by other facilities. For example, how much water does the Minneapolis airport use? There is a whole lot of toilet-flushing going on there.

To prove my point about assembling facts to create a wrong conclusion, I told my wife here are three facts. In the late 1990s, I took my uncle to the hospital many times and he died. Also during the late '90s, I took my dad to the hospital many times and he died. After my dad's death, I took my mother to the hospital many times and she died. Here we are today and I have taken you to the hospital. What is going to happen next?

It is an election year, politicians are busy telling us the facts, and who can dispute the facts? However, whether you are the Minneapolis newspaper or someone seeking political office, I am sure you will not mind if I disagree with your conclusion even after you have presented me with your version of the facts.

To add to my example of my uncle, dad, and mother who died after I took them to the hospital many times over several years, is it possible that by my taking them to the hospital, they actually lived longer? I hope so. Am I the angel of death? I hope not.

There you have my story on the facts. In spite of the news story by the Minneapolis paper, I do not believe ethanol plants are going to make Minnesota that state of "less than 10,000 lakes."

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association has since stated that the amount of water used by all the ethanol plants in Minnesota for one year is the same amount used by the Twin Cities metropolitan area in two days.

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