Throughout history the importance of public opinion has shown to be a linchpin of consequence. Abraham Lincoln stated, “Public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed.” He added, “The power goes to those who mold it.” It is a great quote and very true, but today has a lot more variables than before.
On many issues the public does not have fully formed and clear views. Not that there is anything wrong with the public. In a democracy, citizens are typically more concerned with some matters than others which leads to their level of engagement, and these days the noise level is deafening. Too recently at home, we all have witnessed a growing battle of public opinion that has no boundaries and absorbs almost everyone in its path. Our industry is no exception, once being the darling of the liquid fuels space, we became a lightning rod when running into a storm of myths and misinformation planted in the field of public opinion. We became very aware that our growing market share illuminated us as enemy of the old guard.
These days we have a wealth of channels at our fingertips to mold and consume public opinion. Media moguls, socialites, athletes and actors all have an opinion and a following on social platforms. Social media networks, communities and influencers shape the way their followers think and act about issues and products. Some don’t even let truth get in the way of a good story.
The difference between a truth and a “good” story?
Here is a truth: Bioethanol can lower emissions right now by 46% compared to gasoline by just filling up with E15. Here is a “good” story: Electric cars are the immediate answer, they emit zero emissions. In this example, our truth has scientific fact behind it, while the story is just an aspiration.
Anyone reading this column should know that the production of car parts and electricity — depending on where they get it — produces a lot of emissions, but the influencer sharing this story may not know, not care or may believe the end justifies the means.
Our philosophy since the beginning of Growth Energy is “truth will win and we will speak truth to power.” When we assemble a team to speak on the behalf of biofuels, we demand the same.
Our performance team is a cross section of powerful influencers and third-party validators that can speak our message. The message that once focused on octane and high performance has also fit right into the climate conversation. Now “regenerate,” “sustainability” and “carbon neutrality” are descriptions we use when discussing the benefits of bioethanol along with being a high-performance biofuel under the most extreme conditions.
Going forward in this column, we will not focus only on NASCAR and the success we continue sharing in the sport. We are going to highlight our entire performance team’s work from
coast to coast.
Austin Dillon in the #3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet will continue battling for us on and off the track. Ryan Bader, Logan Storley, Darrion Caldwell, Michael Chandler and Joseph Benavidez will continue dawning our colors in the MMA fight space. Don Onken and the American Ethanol Mystic will continue on the water for us after just bringing home the 7th Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Championship. Tractor pullers from Illinois, truck pullers from South Dakota, fishermen from Missouri and many more supporters will be able to share their own accomplishments and fact-based stories in our combined relentless pursuit to promote low carbon fuels.