RSC features prominently on US national TV
01 May 2008
The RSC featured prominently on the Monday 28 April episode of "The Colbert Report", a hugely popular American satirical TV programme, in a piece taking a sardonic look at public views on biofuels.
The piece made the clearly tongue-in-cheek point that America had "solved its energy crisis" with ethanol. Central to host Stephen Colbert's mock rant was an article issued by the RSC which called into question the viability of biofuels.
The article, detailing comments made last month by RSC Chief Executive Dr Richard Pike, made the claim that a whole year's biofuel yield from 30 football pitches' worth of crops would power only a single flight from London to New York.
Colbert ironically blamed the RSC, and "the British" in general, for "raining on our petro-parade," in reference to Dr Pike's concerns over the viability of biofuels.
Through satire, the piece intelligently highlights the fact that "ethanol makes us feel like the energy crisis has been solved, and allows us to keep living the way we always have."
Dr Pike's statement is summarised by Colbert: "The fuel for one transatlantic flight would require a year's worth of corn from 30 soccer fields." He also drily adds, "The Royal Society [sic] calls this an "extremely inefficient process" - it is very efficient. You get to fly across the Atlantic and destroy soccer at the same time."
It should be noted that Dr Pike's original comments were not addressing bio-ethanol but bio-kerosene, which is being considered for air flight.
The rest of the piece focuses on the marketing of ethanol as a saviour of the environment, as Colbert notes: "is there no problem we can't solve with alcohol?"
The Emmy-nominated Colbert Report will be transmitted in the UK on the FX channel from 6 May 2008.
You can view the piece on The Colbert Report's website.
Also of interest
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The Colbert Report
RSC on The Colbert Report 28 April 2008
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Contact and Further Information
Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA