Yesterday and today, I was invited to a couple of online student conferences to discuss climate change and waste, respectively. Some people asked questions that were not related to the speakers' topic and others asked questions that could be found in about 5 minutes on google. This is also the case when I give a presentation, it doesn't make sense to present answers that are the first thing that comes up on a google search, and I think it's a waste of time for both sides to ask such questions to someone who is supposed to be an expert.
What I think is good to present or ask is to clarify your positioning and provide your own judgement, including your personal experience, on the question or presentation topic. As you cannot speak immediately about all the information in the world, it is more helpful to at least clarify your position and say that you are speaking from that position. Also, if you listen to people who don't have a lot of technical knowledge on TV or internet debates, you'll see that they only answer questions about things they don't know, and they end up liking or disliking them or something like that. People who talk about why something is good or bad, or works or doesn't work, rather than what they like or don't like, are the experts.
For example, today, I was asked, "Tell me about an area in Indonesia where you think biogas would work well?" I replied that, as a researcher on biogas for a couple of European Commission projects, I think it would be better to target off-grid factories or Indonesian farmers in remote areas. Indonesia's power is controlled by a monopoly, PLN. Independent Power Producer (IPP) can sell electricity to PLN, but the fact is that PLN is not so willing to buy power from us. Therefore, it is better for them to produce and consume their own electricity, either for local consumption or through a prosumer system, rather than selling it to PLNs. In this sense, it makes sense to build biogas plants in nata de coco and palm oil factories in remote areas and generate electricity to independently consume electrical energy. Farmers in remote areas are also prosumers as they consume the biogas they produce as heat energy for cooking. Indonesia spent about 7 trilion rupiah to subsidise LPG in 2019. This was the same amount as the national energy budget that we had planned to spend at the beginning of the year. This means that all the money we were supposed to spend on energy as a country disappeared as LPG subsidies. 30% of Indonesians are farmers, and many still use firewood and charcoal as their primary source of energy. Can we use the LPG subsidy, which has just had a flare up, to help these remaining 30% switch from firewood to LPG? Even if biogas is subsidised, it only supports its installation and not on a use basis, as is the case with LPG.
So if you spend part of your 7 Trillion Rupiah on biogas, then you will be able to continue to provide clean energy to farmers without having to pay a subsidy.
In this example, too, I am making my position clear and offering it by making my own decision, which is more than just whether I like it or not. If you're smart enough to listen to this, you'll also be able to decide for yourself whether you believe my opinion or not. If you want to know a little more, I suggest you read the New York Times article. Whereas most news articles provide only plain information, the New York Times sometimes include not only information in the article but also the reporter's opinion as a judgment.