On 8.14.08, a photo of mine was used by NowPublic Media (similar to Associated Content) for an article on fish herpes. Though i’m glad they could use it, it’s tough for me to think my fish now in terms of an STD. Creepy.

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In February 2008, the water industry magazine ‘OpFlow’ published a lead article about the effects of global warming and the filtration technologies available to combat the problems. By March, they’d received numerous letters from water plant operators across the country berating them for publishing false science and bemoaning the magazine’s perceived left-wing political views. The attacks mirrored the anti-global-warming/anti-science rhetoric promulgated by the federal government for the last several years. Below is a reprint of a response to those attacks I submitted to “OpFlow”. It was published by them in May 2008.

“Climate Change Revisited

I was amazed to see the vehemence of objections to your recent article on global warming and it’s effects on water supplies. Now that the politically-backed debate on this issue has essentially ended, the continuing negative attitude is surprising. I would be interested to know whether you choose to publish just the negative responses, or if you did actually receive a disproportionately large number of them.

As water manufacturers, we’ve had the privilege of watching our government tell us on one hand that global warming is a myth, while on the other telling us that we must update our process to compensate for ongoing biological changes in our water sources or risk violations. Same government, two departments, two stories. How water purveyors can question the environmental changes going-on around us confounds me. We, unlike most workers, are directly affected by the small seasonal and biological changes from global warming on a daily basis. These changes have made our jobs harder and our facilities in desperate need of redesign. Techniques and processes which have lasted 100 years are suddenly overcome by these effects, and we are left scrambling to keep up.

It’s been said that the water industry is slow to change. There is a bureaucracy and intolerance to fads which may slow innovation, but does serve to keep our water consistently safe. It is a philosophy that has served us well for many years, but that time has ended. When it comes to the implementing of new techniques, we may no longer have the luxury of time to wait and see, but we’ve NEVER had the luxury of ignoring the science itself. Our science is what allows us to provide safe water in the first place. Ignoring science doesn’t just put our industry at peril, but our customer’s safety as well. These angry letters, especially from actual water workers, are inexcusable. ”

Douglas K.
May 2008

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On August 2007, Discover Magazine published the following article in their reader response section regarding June 2007 articles “Soul Search” by Jane Bosveld and “Quantum Consciousness” by David H. Freedman. The articles covered the current relationship between the current state of scientific research, including ‘quantum neurology’ and the phenomenon of near-death experiences.

“Soul Search” : Physical vs. Psychical

Parapsychology, the broad field of investigation encompassing the issues discussed in this article, had reached an impasse. For many years, the most common activity in the field was the re-analysis of previous experiments and cataloging of anecdotal evidence. The anatomical foundations of these phenomena were treated as almost taboo. There was a lack of investigation, and funding, in the ‘biophysics’ of the ‘soul’. This did not stem from a lack of will, but of tools. The technology needed for further investigation always seemed just out of reach, and there was little more that could be achieved with available psychological techniques. Various institutions have attempted to tackle the issue over the years, but with limited results. Even now, with great technological developments in both cognitive neuroscience and particle physics, the needs of psychical researchers are still an order of magnitude above the new tools they have. The steps taken by Hameroff and Penrose are the types of collaborations that need to happen if this field is going to advance. I am happy to read that baby steps toward scientific integration in parapsychology are finally taking place. Hopefully, we’ll soon see meaningful results. But, as the last hundred years of parapsychology should have taught us, hope is always more abundant than advancement.

Douglas K.
July 2007

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In Ohio, a law was passed allowing the concealed-carry of handguns (CCW). A license is granted after a background check and passage of a CCW class. A local newspaper acquired a complete list of license-holders in the area from the local sheriff’s office. The poorly-written laws regarding privacy in the matter were still being interpreted and argued within the police department and judges, leaving the police clerks with no clear directives either way. The newspaper then published all the names on their website, starting a backlash against the newspaper the city had never seen before. CCW issues were published on a daily basis for several months, both for and against the law, the police decision, and the newspaper itself. The editorial staff not only did not apologize for the action against the license-holders, they attempted to justify their actions in a long series of editorial articles filled with colorful reasoning and vehemence. The staff admitted that they were influenced by an industry activist group, known as the Ohio Newspaper Association, or ‘ONA’. The reporters detailed the ONA’s belief that releasing the information was necessary to protect citizen safety and equality. When the state legislature began discussing closing this privacy loophole, the ONA fought back. Following is a letter to this newspaper published in a June 2007 issue.

CCW Citizens and the ONA

Your recent article “CCW: Privacy vs. Democracy”, has me wondering what the real motivation behind the Ohio Newspaper Association actually is. Of all the recent controversial laws enacted in this country, why has the ONA decided that Concealed-Carry should be poster child for totalitarianism? The war cry of “Protect Democracy!” doesn’t quite work. Our government, at every level, has documents that are not for public viewing. Yet, America continues to exist. Where were these ‘patriotic’ reporters during Ohio’s voting irregularity scandals, or the federal administration’s linking of Iraq with 9/11? Why do we finally hear these protests over a law that genuinely protects the citizens?

The list is not news. At best, it’s gossip- who might have a gun, who might not. At worst, it’s a tool for criminals looking for an easy score. In a state where gun-ownership is such a divisive issue, the possibility that this information will be used improperly is infinitely greater than any so-called ‘oversight’ benefit a reporter might provide. Remember, this is simply a list of names who have complied with a law. If a criminal applies (doubtful) and is mistakenly issued a permit, it won’t actually change the situation. Criminals will continue to carry without a permit.

There is another possibility here. It’s possible that the state understands that journalism has changed in recent years. With everyone from terrorist paparazzi to propaganda news networks being granted the label of “Journalist”, the bar for news standards has been severely lowered. It’s possible that, for once, the state is trying to protect our rights from certain political organizations that are trying to remove our freedoms in the name of democracy. In this case, it’s the freedom to protect ourselves not just from criminals, but lobbyists too.

Douglas K.

June 2007

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In 2006, there was a large media push for Ethanol gasoline, knows as E85. Because Ohio’s major cash-crop is corn, the state stood to benefit greatly from the national adoption of E85 as an alternative fuel. The local newspaper began running a series of articles espousing the virtues of E85 and it’s local production. One small point seemed to be missing form the information they were providing, and I decided to ask why. Following is a letter sent to the two Ethanol reporters, Carol Harper and Benjamin Roode.

“In your recent article about flex fuel, you neglected to mention anything about the vehicles involved beyond general statistics. Yes, we can now get E85 locally. But, there are more obvious questions here. What local repair shops stock and install E85 retrofit kits? What vehicles can be retrofit? What local dealerships stock flex-fuel cars? For alternative-energies to really take off, these are the questions average drivers need answered. The fuel supply is only half the story.”

I received an intriguing response. They didn’t know themselves, but encouraged me to find out what I could. So I did. After a survey of the local dealerships of the county, I discovered a disturbing trend. Following is a letter to the editor published in the newspaper in October of 2006.

Ethanol Made to Fail?

Recently, reporter Carol Harper wrote about the lack of local corn sales for the refining of ethanol. Ethanol use is growing all over the country. We now have our own area ethanol station, as reporter Benjamin Roode wrote about just a month ago. So what’s the problem?

Surprisingly, I found that no one in Erie county that sells ‘flex fuel’ (ethanol) conversion kits. And, more importantly, there’s an incredibly limited availability of new flex-fuel vehicles. The closest place that will sell and install the only domestically available conversion kit, seems to be a single shop in Kalamazoo, MI. As a matter of fact, the EPA has effectively outlawed all conversion systems, publicly stating “they don’t meet emissions requirements”. Individual states have only recently taken it upon themselves to begin testing conversion kits for emissions since EPA seems unwilling or unable.

As for new vehicles, I contacted 5 random new car dealerships in Erie County. Three had flex fuel vehicles in stock, but they were all full-size SUV models. No vans, pickup trucks, sedans, or economy cars were offered locally. Now, who drives full-size SUV’s? Predominantly, it’s the same demographic of people least likely to be concerned about fuel economy. It’s no wonder why there isn’t any demand for ethanol to spur local manufacture of it.

Is E85 being set-up to fail? Bio-fuels do have their problems, but these are good ideas for the short term. However, without some intervention from consumers, the Bio-Fuel initiatives could quickly disappear into history.

Douglas K
October 2006

References:

http://domesticfuel.com/?p=829

http://e85vehicles.com/e85/index.php?PHPSESSID=9ec33e22fb3b2a5d442a5570edce6c67&topic=332.new

http://www.state.mn.us/portal/mn/jsp/content.do?id=-536882793&subchannel=null&sc2=null&sc3=null&contentid=536911229&contenttype=EDITORIAL&programid=536899674&agency=Commerce

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4 Responses to “Published”


  1. […] shiny white paint glistened in the sun. It’s been a year and a half since I first wrote “Ethanol..Made to Fail?” , and 2 years since oil companies and car dealers in my area began pushing for local adoption. At […]


  2. […] Published […]


  3. does anyone know a very realiable car dealer in greenwell springs LA ?*~;


  4. well, we always choose very reputable travel agencies when we are travelling abroad `

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