Letters to the Editor—France and Australia, streets of Dallas, vaccines, ERCOT, abortion

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France and Australia have understood this

Yes for France and Australia! This is how all countries should react to the unvaccinated. France’s vaccination mandate bars unvaccinated people from just about all businesses and public transport. Australia has expelled an unvaccinated tennis player.

The leaders of these two countries have a backbone and real courage. They do not allow a few to put the majority of their citizens at risk of serious illness or death. Unlike our tasteless government that doesn’t want to offend much.

And what about our Supreme Court? Turns out they’re not so supreme. Mandate this but not that.

Manny Munoz, Duncanville

Use street money for officers

Re: “City Aims for Safer Streets – Officials Say $30 Million Could Eliminate Road Deaths by 2030,” Metro & Business January 11 article.

I would like to make a suggestion. Rather than spending $30 million in a contractor’s pocket to build more ridiculous roundabouts, ridiculous lane reductions and unused bike lanes, spend that money on hiring more police. Traffic enforcement will make our streets safer, not unnecessary construction and lane reductions that impede traffic. Bike lanes are a joke. Cyclists rarely use them for one important reason: they are often filled with broken glass, rocks and other trash.

Chester Warren Dow III, Dallas/North Oak Cliff

Small businesses need a warrant

In a newsletter, Rep. Beth Van Duyne said blocking a federal vaccine mandate was a “step in the right direction for small businesses.” If anything, it’s the exact opposite. Small business owners are faced with the difficult decision of keeping their doors open in order to remain solvent and, unless they have received a government vaccination mandate, continue to put their employees and customers at risk if employees are not not vaccinated.

A vaccination mandate would allow our small businesses to thrive in a safe environment. The debate about personal freedom needs to be engaged after this pandemic is over, hopefully, before the next one inevitably hits. Rather, Republicans and Democrats should work together to pass legislation similar to the 1973 Joint War Powers Resolution to allow a president to adequately deal with future pandemics with proper congressional oversight.

Stephen BuntIrving

Invest in conventional energy

Re: “Texas Needs More Baseload Power Plants – ERCOT Needs to Create Financial Incentive to Invest in Coal, Nuclear, and Natural Gas Facilities,” by Bernard L. Weinstein, notice dated January 16.

The Dallas Morning News The “Keep the Lights On” series to explore building electrical reliability has been of great benefit to the public. Sunday’s editorial “Texas Needs More Baseload Power Plants” by Bernard L. Weinstein points out that ERCOT needs to create a financial incentive to invest in coal, nuclear and natural gas facilities.

Renewable energy – wind and solar – creates two destructive effects for grid reliability. First, wind and solar are unreliable and cannot be relied upon to generate electricity when needed. Second, because they are heavily subsidized, they distort the price market. This economically penalizes the reliability of coal, gas and nuclear.

The capacity factor – the percentage of time wind and solar can produce at full capacity – is less than 30%. Batteries are often touted as a renewable energy backup method, but batteries represent additional operating costs and can only provide backup for a few hours.

There’s a reason a power outage is called a disaster. Texans need conventional baseload energy — coal, gas, and nuclear — winterized to meet 24/7 grid demand.

Robert P. Smith, Dallas/Preston Hollow

Directing energy to the future

Should we always look for solutions in the past even though we are faced with a very different future, especially in the face of climate change induced by these so-called solutions? Natural gas, a cleaner, shorter-term solution to reliability, is written off, again unaware that winterized gas works just fine in frigid Canada (pardon the stereotypes!).

The Economist reports that a high-voltage transmission line under the North Sea will allow excess wind power from Denmark to recharge hydroelectric dams in Norway for use when the wind is not blowing. We can certainly build transmission lines across the Red River (or Rio Grande) to connect Texas to a larger grid and thus access solar, wind, and hydroelectric power outside of our own climate zone.

By advocating old solutions, we lose our claim to be a leader in energy technology. A French company has mastered the difficult technique of high-voltage underwater transmission. Toyota has refused to build its new battery plant in Texas, but battery storage, with its rapidly falling prices, will be a key component of future electrical reliability. Texas must shift its focus from the past to the future, or relinquish its leadership.

Ronald Briggs, Pottsboro

The beliefs of the Church dictate the law

I believe the strong presence of Roman Catholics at the January 15 anti-abortion march in Dallas underscores the religious nature of much of the opposition to abortion. The opposition is based on the belief that a fetus, viable or not, is a living person. This is a religious belief and not a scientific fact. Moreover, what is now called the heartbeat of a fetus in Senate Bill 8 is really nothing more than an electronic vibration of tissue, because there is not yet of formed heart. Again, this is not science but emotionality surrounding a fetus.

In America, we are supposed to have a separation between church and state, but SB 8, along with many other anti-abortion laws, creates a permeable boundary between church and state. Essentially, specific church beliefs dictate the law on medical procedures in which churches should have no say. Other religious denominations disagree that a fetus is a living human being. Some, citing the Bible, believe that the breath alone determines whether someone is alive or not.

Pregnant women and their doctors, not legislators, remain the best decision-makers on abortion.

James R. Bridges, Destiny

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