Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 23, 2014

ED VASICEK: A 'sure thing' doesn't exist in today's world

Time will tell whether new policies succeed

Although I still consi­der myself a White Sox fan, my interest is marginal. When I was a lad, however, I knew all the players and watched or listened to as many games as possible. Early in some seasons, I was sure the Sox would be serious contenders. On paper, they seemed to have a fantastic lineup. Yet, during some of those seasons, they lost more games than they won.

A “fool proof scheme” or “sure investment” does not exist in our world. Who would have thought the once prosperous Delco would be reduced to a profitable — but so much smaller — Delphi? I remember when Sears reigned, but Kmart was pulling ahead of them. Now, together, they are surviving — but are a far cry from the industry leaders they once were.

A few years ago, I supported alternative fuels. I still support using wind power to bolster our nation’s electrical grid. Yet I no longer support making fuel from soybeans and corn. Besides raising the world’s food prices, these fuels may no longer be able to compete with the more bountiful oil supply on the way. Advances in oil technology mean the wells we once capped can be reactivated for the deep oil we once had to leave behind. According to CNN Money, “The United States will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s biggest oil producer before 2020, and will be energy independent 10 years later, according to a new forecast by the International Energy Agency.”

I also thought solar plants were the way to go. If you would have asked me about investing in solar plants 10 years ago, I would have said, “Sounds like a good idea to me.” That’s why you should never ask me for investment advice!

The New York Times recently reported, “NIPTON, Calif. — The Ivanpah solar power plant stretches over more than five square miles of the Mojave Desert. Almost 350,000 mirrors the size of garage doors tilt toward the sun with an ability to energize 140,000 homes. The plant, which took almost four years and thousands of workers assembling millions of parts to complete, officially opened on Thursday, the first electric generator of its kind.

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