Mark Jacobson Responds to Vinod Khosla

Following the previous response by Vinod Khosla, I sent a link to Professor Jacobson and asked if he had any comments he wanted to make. I received the following, along with permission to post it:

Thanks for your email. With regard to the comment that Khosla stated publicly my study was funded by Exxon Mobil, this was reported to me by a student who was at his talk at the Business School at Stanford. The student was the one who asked him the question what he (Khosla) thought of the study at Stanford about ethanol health effects and who told me of the response. I never solicited this information from the student nor even knew Khosla was giving a talk.

With regard to the comment “He has heckled met at my speeches for a while,” this is a lie. I have been at two talks by Khosla, and at each talk, I asked him normal questions at the end of his talks, just like others did, in my case about the health effects of ethanol versus gasoline and also about why use ethanol instead of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. Instead of responding politely, at the first talk, he went on a tirade and insulted most people in the audience by labeling me an “environmentalist” and calling environmentalists “stupid” (his exact wording) for supporting things like wind power instead of nuclear power. He did not have an answer the question on health effects beyond the statement to the effect, “E85 is better than E10”. In my entire career, I have never been at a professional seminar where the speaker used such demeaning language. There were over a hundred people in the audience as witnesses who can corroborate these events.

At the second talk, which was similar to the first, I asked him a similar question about the health effects of gasoline versus ethanol. This time, he hurled a personal insult at me, calling me an “idiot” in front of a large crowd in an effort to avoid answering the question. Again, there were many witnesses. Frankly, there is no room for this type of behavior by a public seminar speaker.

Also, in response to NRDC’s comments, can you please refer people to the point-by-point responses located at

The original article is there as well.


Mark Z. Jacobson,
Associate Professor
Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Terman Engineering Center, Room M-31
Stanford University
Phone: 650-723-6836
Fax: 650-725-9720 Stanford, CA 94305-4020
Web site:

I will let both responses speak for themselves, and refrain from further comments on the matter.