If I was to write the word “renewable energy expert” what would leap to your mind? An academic, a writer perhaps. Certainly a paid lobbyist for the renewable energy industry is not what you would have in mind. Strangely however this seems to be what Fiona Harvey of the Guardian has in mind.
Writing about a newly opened biofuel plant in the UK, she says: “Renewable energy experts and farming representatives hailed the new plant, but there are also concerns over the greenhouse savings from biofuels, and the potential for food price rises as crops are diverted to produce ethanol.” Who are these experts? Only one is named and it is “Clare Wenner, head of renewable transport at the Renewable Energy Association.” Remarkably this is the second time in a week that Harvey has referred to a paid lobbyist as a “renewable energy expert.”
Now, given that Harvey writes professionally about energy and once wrote that coal use had been in long term decline until a year ago I don’t have high expectations. However surely an editor at the Guardian could notice that “renewable energy expert” is not a very apt description of someone from a renewables lobby group?