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A message of danger

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just released a report, and it's stark. Keeping the planet at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times is barely possible, but will still cause suffering and death from climate disruption and weather extremes. The conclusion: Greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2020, then drop 50 percent by 2030, then achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

That's a tight schedule, a big ask. Unprecedented international cooperation and infrastructure transformation are required. Physically possible, but not probable politically, says IPCC. This is a "Danger: Iceberg dead ahead!" message.

Eighty-five percent of the world's energy still comes from burning fossil fuels. No longer may we be content knowing that we have done a little bit that helps. We have been given an evidence-based emissions target and a timeline for achieving it. We can set verifiable milestones of accomplishment.

Time is short. We must use every tool and technique at our disposal in the most effective manner. That includes nuclear power, which currently provides 76 percent of the clean, zero-emission electricity for Arkansas.

Summing up the IPCC report: If the entire world gets its act together and pushes--hard--starting today, we might just miss hitting the metaphorical iceberg, and sustain only "tolerable" damage to our vessel. Or we can head down to the lounge for another cocktail and strike up the band, secure in our belief that no action is required, that all will be as it has ever been.

The choice is ours. This is our "Titanic" moment.



Choosing best people

Mr. John Brummett's column Sunday made the perfect point in this most-important election cycle. It brought back vivid memories of my corporate career.

Elected positions are not rewards, power-grabs, or legacies. They should never be embroiled in bitter partisanship manifested by "Rs" and "Ds" up and down the page. They are job openings to choose the best people to serve our state. The best resumes--barring ones from serial killers--should win every time. They are real jobs with real responsibilities--to us.

I worked in the energy industry at a time when I was seeing more of the pilot of our company plane than I was of my friends, family and dog. Acquisitions and mergers were an everyday occasion and my travel schedule exploded. In my absence the staff I depended on every day would be responsible for the company's core resource (information) we were all committed to protect. All of their resumes had not only matched but exceeded the job descriptions for which they were hired. I had an ethical duty--and that's the big point, ladies and gentlemen--to my company to choose the best.

Mr. Brummett is dead-on about Susan Inman's qualifications as a candidate for secretary of state of Arkansas. Candidates like this don't come around that often in politics. My husband and I wish her and Arkansas the best. This time, let's choose wisely.


Bella Vista

The game for cheats

Golf seems to be the only sport created so that everyone could and would cheat. In tennis there are linesmen to call the shots. Football and basketball have referees. Baseball has umpires. Track meets have timers. Golf doesn't have those.

I won't say that I've never cheated, but I've always tried to keep it to a minimum. When one is accused of cheating, how he reacts depends on the size of the accuser. If he is slightly built, then great umbrage is taken by the accusee. I used to play golf with Muscles Campbell. He played football for the Razorbacks and the Chicago Bears. If he had accused me of bending the rules I would have said, "Mr. Campbell, I'll see to it that never happens again."

If the state Legislature made cheating at golf illegal, a few in my group would get a verbal warning. Others might get probation. Some might receive a suspended sentence and, yes, several would get the electric chair.



Grandfather's ritual

My family always took the Gazette ... that is, until integration hit Little Rock. It was a ritual for my grandfather to get up and have breakfast, then sit in the porch swing for more than an hour, reading his copy of the paper. He would wave to the neighbors, watch the preacher arrive at the Methodist church across the street, and oversee whether the grass needed mowing yet.

Papa wasn't for integration; he was old-school in that way. When the Pulitzer Prize was awarded the paper, he stopped taking it immediately. My grandmother was surprised when he didn't resume his morning ritual one day. Upon asking, he announced they would no longer get "that" Gazette. No matter that she preferred it.

The days thereafter proceeded without many words between them. What was to discuss later in the day when the afternoon Arkansas Democrat arrived? Papa sat in the same spot on the porch, reading as he had before. But seeing him engrossed in the paper wasn't the same. What was to discuss when it was almost dark when he came in for supper? My grandparents usually ate pretty much in silence. The day had gone on without them anyway.



Concern for veterans

Over the last several years, I have had the pleasure to be a friend and guardian to Willard Blake. Mr. Blake served honorably in the United States Army during World War II, served in the 2nd Armored Division in the European Theater, and saw battle in seven separate campaigns.

As a friend and guardian to Willard, I spent many hours working on applying for VA, Medicaid and Medicare benefits. You might be surprised to learn that the majority of our veterans do not receive health care through the VA, but typically, according to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, depend on other types of insurance like Medicare and Medicaid. This was certainly the case for Willard.

That is why I am concerned, and why I write today. Our leaders have let our veterans down. Congressman French Hill voted "yes" on HR1628, the American Health Care Act. If passed, this bill would have cost over 4,000 Arkansas veterans their health-care coverage, and HR1628 would remove coverage for pre-existing conditions. Can you imagine the impact that would have on our veterans?

We cannot elect members of Congress who campaign as friends of veterans but act in the exact opposite way with their votes. My pastor has often said that you can tell what your priorities are by looking at your checkbook and your calendar. Looking at French Hill's checkbook (his votes), his priorities are not with our veterans.

We need a congressman who really cares about our veterans like Willard Blake, and the thousands of others in Arkansas. We don't need lip service.

Please think about our veterans when you go to the polls on Nov. 6. Vote for Clarke Tucker.



Editorial on 10/18/2018

Print Headline: Letters

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