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Lamberty Report: "The Running of the Lions"
by Ron Lamberty

A group of people on safari was separated from the main party and found themselves lost, wandering through the jungle. Suddenly, one person stopped. Up ahead was a lion – and that lion had clearly seen the people and was slowly heading toward them.

As the group began considering their options, one person bent down and began re- tying his shoes. The others stopped their conversation and one of them said, “What are you doing? You can’t outrun a lion!”

The person stood up, looked at the group and said, “I don’t have to outrun the lion… I just have to outrun one of you.”

Sometimes it’s a bear, sometimes it’s just two people, but some version of that story is often used to describe the state of today’s ethanol industry. But my version of the story goes on a little further – as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.”

The group tried to reason with the individual while he continued to adjust his clothing and prepare to run for his life. They were working on a plan and surveying the surroundings to find weapons or shelter, when, without warning, the lone runner sprinted away from the group.

The lion had been intently observing the group’s activity while he measured his attack. But as the single person bolted from the safari group, the lion instinctively broke toward that individual and quickly took him down.

Now that could be the end of the story, the point being that those who break from the group become easier targets for those who want to feed on the carcasses of the weak. And while that is something of the point of the story, my version goes on just a bit more.

As the lion began feeding on the now lifeless safari member (with tightly tied shoes), the others in the group slowly moved in to separate positions and used the stones and spears they had collected to execute their plan and kill the lion. They built a fire to cook the lion meat and create smoke to alert the original safari group to their position. They kept their weapons within reach while they scanned the horizon, looking for more lions.

We all have “weapons” and roles we need to play in the survival of this industry. But honestly, survival is not what brought us here. We came to the jungle to take down the lions.

© American Coalition for Ethanol, all rights reserved.
The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industry�s hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanol�s carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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