Coal plants 

Nobody is against electricity. The problem is the pollution caused by burning coal to produce electricity in a power plant that is designed with yesterday's technology. The burning of coal can harm people, wildlife, the environment and affect the global climate.

At this time, the technology for burying carbon (sequestration) is still being developed and might not be available for several years. Until that time, our demand for electricity can easily be reduced by improving efficiency and reducing unnecessary consumption.

The first suggestion for dealing with carbon emissions is typically a “reforestation program.” The question is: How many trees will be needed to offset the CO2 from one coal plant? Here is the data I've collected: One 600 MW coal plant, over its 50-year life span, will produce over 400 billion pounds of CO2. It will take 120 million trees to offset just one coal plant.

There's a lot of talk about “clean coal.” Talk is not enough. Current, off-the-shelf technology (coal gasification) is not economically feasible when a cheap and dirty coal plant is allowed to be built. We need to demand that if a coal plant is to be built in Arkansas, only a truly clean coal burning plant is acceptable.

Evan Brown

Little Rock

Sen. Larry Craig

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ernest Dumas' recent column, “Larry Craig: victim,” particularly as he highlighted many of our politicians' unfortunate holier-than-thou attitudes (the whole Clinton episode and its affair-ridden aftermath was quite enlightening indeed) and our political system's tacit encouragement of such behavior until it becomes no longer “career enhancing.”

I submit that yes, politicians are human beings, and yes, entitled to an all-too-common human behavior, which is to first deny when confronted.

I have greater respect for someone, that also means an elected official, who has the courage of his /her convictions. I may not support that person's politics, but I will respect that person.

To earn someone's respect is still a very solid value, don't you think?

Jean-Louis Arsenault

From the Internet

I have given a copy of Ernest Dumas' column “Larry Craig: victim” to my high school age daughter. I don't agree with him on all points, but I thought it was an excellent essay. It satisfied all those writing skills I was taught in college but rarely mastered. It also shows that sometimes humor can be the sharpest sword. Well done.

Also read his piece “Nightmare of Generals” about the war in Iraq. The biggest closet is filled with Republicans (like me) who think we should get out of Iraq starting NOW. Most Repubs I know, many with long military experience, think this war cannot be won. I'm old enough to have served in Vietnam and I hate to see history repeat itself so soon.

Bob Ross

Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Re Ernest Dumas' column on Larry Craig: Why don't you just state the facts as they are without putting a slant on the issues? Too many people of mass visibility abuse their opportunities to state their observations. People can weigh the facts without the benefit of promotional slants from bloggers and journalists.

Also, why do the two political parties never agree on any damned thing? I, for one, am sick of all of these overpaid, pompous, out-of-touch-with-reality elitists. Why pander to the libs by knocking Christian values? That is also getting old. Why not quit your own version of “bashing” and stick to the fact that the man pled guilty without benefit of counsel and now regrets it. Yes, even though he holds a very high office in our government, he still is not smart enough to ask for counsel. I also would bet that if he was not tied to the homosexual charge, that you would not even think to refer to him as a victim. Plenty of victims are not homosexuals.

Phyllis Knox

From the Internet

Visit the churches

Once again, no good deed goes unpunished. In spite of the fact that the members of churches in the Heights and Hillcrest areas of town are active in the Interfaith Hospitality Network housing and feeding homeless families in their churches, are building houses for Habitat for Humanity, are feeding the hungry by taking turns serving at Stewpot at First Presbyterian and the Community Breakfast at Quapaw Quarter United Methodist, are collecting food for Watershed, are providing food for Robert Johnston's breakfast ministry in the trailer under the bridge downtown, and are reaching out in other ways too numerous to mention, your Observer Aug. 30 would rather criticize their handing out of water “like the people in the Heights area need cool water.”

In spite of the fact that the members of churches in the Heights and Hillcrest are spending their vacations on mission trips to build homes and wells and provide medical aid to those living in deprived areas of the United States and the greater world, your Observer thinks it's terrible that these same church members are also offering a bottle of water to their own neighbors once in a while.

I invite you to visit these churches and ask for a list of their outreach activities. Your Observer's column won't be large enough to run all of the good these churches are doing for those in need. I don't know which church was handing out the water. I wish it had been mine.

Shari Coote

Pulaski Heights Christian Church

The counter-observance

Renarda Williams' article about a black group's counter-observance of the 1957 school crisis was incorrect regarding black children's education and the workforce.

Little Rock schools have come a long way since 1957. From whose perspective do you say most black children do not receive adequate education. That is false. My grandson is black. I don't know how close you are to the schools, but you may want to take a closer look.

You also stated that black parents are either unemployed or underemployed. That is false. Black and white parents have a lot of job opportunities. Some choose to stay home and not better themselves and live off the government. I know that because I was in property management for 17 years.

I graduated from Central High and my class recently visited the school. It is in tip-top shape and the staff is doing a great job.

Dana Fowler

From the Internet


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