Friday, April 01, 2011

Bizarro Business News

A due diligence trip in the last week have me a chance to catch up on magazine reading.  Imagine my surprise in reading in the most recent issue of Newsweek that off-shore wind farms cause whales to beach themselves.  The article entitled “Is there any safe energy?” is in the March 28, 2011 issue.

Didn’t a UK publication, the Daily Telegraph, already get its nose slapped with its own newspaper for printing the same nonsense?  In an article published on March 15, 2011, the Daily Telegraph quoted scientists at the University of St. Andrews as having found in their studies that "offshore wind farms are one of the main reasons why whales become stranded on beaches."  The scientists promptly disavowed the claim and the Daily Telegraph had to print a retraction.  

Along with the retraction was the explanation from the scientists that the construction activity associated with putting up an off-shore wind farm would likely to cause some whale species to move away and to disturb their feeding and reproductive cycles.  The St. Andrews scientists specifically stated that their studies had found no direct link between whale beaching and off-shore wind farms. 

The retraction was published on March 17th, well before the Newsweek article went to print.  Looks like somebody at Newsweek read the Daily Telegraph on the 15th and neglected to confirm their facts.

It is a lesson we could all take to heart as we make investment decisions of one kind or another.  Dropping a wind farm stock on the Newsweek article might have been a big mistake.

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