Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

November 4, 2012

VASICEK: Breakthroughs in energy

Kokomo — I was minding my own business: daydreaming and raking leaves. As I turned aside, I was nearly scared to death.

“Elmer, what are you doing here?” I shouted. “Why are you sneaking up on me like that? You know I have a stent.”

“Hee, hee, got ya!” Elmer beamed, his gold tooth gleaming. He soon returned to his usual, whiny self.

“Them Japanese, they keep changing their minds,” he complained.

“What do you mean, Elmer?” I queried. “Have I missed something in the news?”

“Yep,” Elmer replied as he unfolded a paper from his pocket. “Oh, it’s stuck. Got pancake syrup on it. Why do they call it ‘maple syrup’? It’s corn syrup with maple flavoring. Oh, here it is.” Elmer read the article from the Independent, a United Kingdom newspaper.

“With Japan’s oil and gas plants firing at full capacity, officials here say there is little chance of meeting a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly over the next decade, a startling retreat for a country that once spearheaded an international agreement on climate change.

“The [Japanese need to] ... burn fossil fuels and maintain a steady electricity supply in the wake of the country’s abrupt turn away from nuclear power.”

“Well, Elmer, I can understand this. We had our Three Mile Island incident a few decades ago. We turned away from nuclear power, too. The Japanese had that nasty nuclear meltdown, and now they are turning to traditional – albeit polluting – fuels.”

“Albeit,” Elmer mocked. “Reading fancy stuff again? I say they are a bunch of hypocrites! Remember all that Kyoto Protocol stuff?”

“I’m not going to fight with you, Elmer,” I asserted. “On the positive side, an article I read said that here in the U.S., we now have enough wind power to provide electricity for 13 million homes. Those police cars escorting those oversized loads you’ve been seeing – those loads are wind turbine parts. So even if the Japanese have needed to retreat, the world is heading toward cleaner fuels.”

“Yeah, but electric cars aren’t catching on, Ed. Remember the grant money Obama gave to companies to develop electric car batteries? Now they’ve been downsizing. And those solar power plants – even that one near Tipton – government money, tax credits, you name it, it’s not working. We need a good, liquid fuel.”

“You’re right, Elmer. I thought electric cars would do better. Maybe the time isn’t right yet? But I did read about this guy in the U.K. who is developing gasoline from the air. The Brits call gas ‘petrol.’”

Elmer objected: “Making it out of the air? I don’t believe it!”

I leveraged a paper from my pocket. Mine had no syrup on it, but it was stained with my official watermark: coffee. I read it aloud.

“A small British company has produced the first ‘petrol from air’ using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“... The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral.”

“This is great stuff,” I explained. “They take out CO2, mix it with oxygen removed from water. This takes electricity, but the electricity can be produced via wind power.”

“Well, in that case, ‘Viva carbon pollution!’ More fuel. Let’s pollute.”

I do not understand it, but even when Elmer is cheerful he manages to add a negative spin.

My cellphone began chiming. I chatted and then informed Elmer: “The wife just ran over a nail. I have to go.” Of course I never told Elmer that the nail was a finger nail.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Turner ethics case tests bounds of 'citizen legislature' When a legislative ethics panel meets this week to review the case of House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner, members could have trouble finding clear-cut answers, in large part because of the Indiana General Assembly's status as a "citizen legislature."

    April 22, 2014

  • Cleaning up Indiana could be as easy as a bottle deposit Scan the roadside on a drive through the Wabash Valley, and you might spot an empty pop bottle or two. Or two dozen. Or 200. Drink bottles have become our litter du jour. They compose an estimated 40 to 60 percent of all litter, according to the Mich

    April 21, 2014

  • Wolfsie: High-tech got you down? I love where I bank. It’s a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 21, 2014

  • Vasicek: Celebrating Easter I have shared a few bits of Easter humor over the years, so I thought I’d start with a new one. Joseph of Arimathea was the wealthy Pharisee who is famous for helping to bury the body of Jesus. He procured the body, asking Pilate’s permission, and, w

    April 20, 2014

  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller