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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Protect community | Nuclear power wisest | Have done splendidly

April 28, 2021 at 3:13 a.m.

Protect community

There must be some evangelical religious leaders who believe that God has graced us with science and scientists capable of helping us fight the covid-19 virus. It is past time for you to speak up and be vocal about protecting your flocks. Maybe host vaccination clinics in your churches. Maybe write an op-ed in this paper extolling the benefits of the vaccine.

Just find some way to speak up in support of this miraculous vaccine God has given us.

No one is protected from the virus by using wishful or magical thinking. Every one of us is a potential vector for the virus. Once vaccinated, you are no longer a vector. The virus then has to find somebody else in order to continue spreading. As more people get the vaccine, the virus has fewer hosts. This approach has saved us from polio and smallpox. It can save us from covid-19 as well.

Please, evangelicals, get the vaccine. It would make God happy to know you are protecting yourselves, your family and friends, and your community. Your fellow Americans are counting on you.



Nuclear power wisest

Energy, like so many other issues these days, is a contentious subject. Meeting the growing energy needs of our nation while preserving the environment for future generations is a challenging task. Climate change due to greenhouse gas (gg) emissions and habitat loss are two key environmental issues that should be driving some of the policy decisions regarding how we generate our electricity in Arkansas.

According to the EPA, 27 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions come from the generation of electricity. Thus, reducing gg emissions from electricity production would reduce overall emissions substantially. The lowest emissions come from the production of electricity by nuclear power. Median life-cycle emissions for nuclear power is 68 times less than that of coal and virtually the same as wind and solar.

Nuclear power plants produce maximum electricity 92 percent of the time compared to 40 percent for coal and less than 35 percent for renewable sources like wind and solar.

Nuclear power gets a bad reputation due to highly publicized incidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima, but nuclear power is the safest form of power. Coal power causes 100,000 deaths per terawatt hour produced, nuclear causes only 90. Wind and solar are less safe with 150 and 440 deaths per terawatt hour respectively. Further, nuclear power has a similar physical footprint to coal at less than 13 acres per megawatt hour produced, which is substantially less than the 43.5 acres for solar and the 70.6 acres for wind, thus reducing the amount of habitat destruction.

The safety, environmental and reliability numbers speak for themselves; nuclear power is something that we should be looking to increase in our state and nationwide. Many environmentalists are coming to this conclusion; I hope to see our lawmakers begin to embrace nuclear power once again.



Have done splendidly

An Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reader apparently believes Arkansans do not know what legislation our legislators are proposing and voting on. For some people, he is probably correct, but I believe the legislators know what their constituents want. Mine does.

I know one person who is a subscriber to the ADG but still did not know that the fee for hybrid vehicles was being proposed and then enacted, but remember very few of us have hybrid vehicles; therefore their cow was not gored. And I believe fairness is served when hybrids help repair city streets since they drive on them. If you think about it, why wouldn't Mr. Tesla want to do his share in keeping those streets and roads repaired? Streets and roads need all of the potential money that legislators can find.

In 2021 our legislators have done a splendid job in this 93rd General Assembly. I applaud their accomplishments. If this session is not the best legislative session ever, then it is clearly one of the finest sessions for all the people of Arkansas. With all these "progressives" writing to grumble about this legislative session, I want to thank our legislators for their hard work for Arkansas in spite of our head of state sometimes choosing to go against us Arkansans.


Hot Springs Village

The worst legislators

Fortunately for Arkansas, the 93rd meeting of the Arkansas Legislature is to temporarily adjourn Friday after a 79-day run. During that time, it has passed some of the most inane laws on record. I believe history will record this as the worst group of legislators that have ever held that position.

I was not able to find the projected cost of this fiasco, but it will run into several million dollars. The annual Arkansas salary for a legislator is $42,428. The per diem is $55, and $151 if they live over 50 miles away. There is a travel reimbursement of 57.5 cents/mile. There are always committee meetings that have to be attended when the "Ledge" is not in session. More income. It is the best job some of them have ever had.

I do not resent the cost when we enact sensible laws that do not take us back to being considered as totally hillbilly and as ignorant as the legislators that passed those laws.


North Little rock


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