Wednesday letters: Road rage, nuclear power, vote for women’s rights
Why the road rage?
I’m not a slow driver. I run yellow lights and send the occasional text. I’m not a perfect driver, just one who is wondering, what’s with the road rage on Highway 82?
I’m not talking about getting irritated with the car driving 45 in the fast lane for miles. Yes, that’s annoying. So, you mutter “wtf” and go around. These people are seething, froth foaming from their bared teeth, positioned rigidly over their steering wheels, ready to yell obscenities at your family before they flip you off and floor it when the signal turns green. And why? Because I waited an extra 10 seconds to pull into traffic from a dangerous intersection?
It could be because I’m driving 70 in a 65 (that was a joke, but this isn’t). It’s like 80 is the new 65, and anything less is grounds for feeling downright frightened. It’s also worth noting we all end up at the same stoplight despite this behavior.
Mostly, I keep it cool, focusing not on Mr. Mouth Frother but the ice threatening to slam us into the Snowmass Canyon wall. I can handle the aggression better than my permitted teenager, but I’m worried when I’m not there to encourage her to ignore these drivers.
She and I need to know: What’s with the road rage on 82?
Melissa Cook, Carbondale
Nuclear efficiency questionable
Recently a few pieces in this paper discussed a nuclear power plant at Craig. Our county commissioners endorsed this with a letter including a statement that “wind and solar … lack baseload capacity and 24/7 reliability.” Yes, but around the world, and closer to home, 24/7 reliability is being created from variable wind and solar without new baseload power plants.
“Backup” power sources are needed to “firm up” variable renewables. “Backup” is very different than “baseload.” Good backup power sources have the intrinsic ability to quickly start, ramp up, modulate, ramp down and stop. Nuclear power plants are generally not suitable for this.
Perhaps new “modular” nuclear power plants will modulate better, but they are projected to be very expensive, so they will need to run all out to pay back their construction and staffing costs. This “baseload” operation does not integrate well with a grid dominated by inexpensive variable renewables.
Many options exist to store renewable power output and then use that for backup. Over in Delta, Utah, some salt domes are currently being excavated to store a few weeks’ supply of hydrogen to be made using excess electricity from Wyoming wind and nearby sunshine. When electricity is needed in Los Angeles, this hydrogen will fuel a slightly modified gas power plant that is replacing Delta’s coal power plant. Initially, the H2 will be mixed with fossil gas, but the CH4 proportion will decrease over time. This backup generation is expensive, but it is only needed a small fraction of the year. Most of the year, power needs can be met with inexpensive wind, solar and intermediate cost storage using water, iron, zinc, sodium, compressed or chilled gas, or other alternatives to lithium batteries.
And importantly, wind and solar photovoltaic electricity generation do not require water evaporation for cooling. Nuclear powerplants have traditionally evaporated more water than any others.
Fred Porter, Carbondale
Let’s enshrine women’s rights
By overturning Roe vs Wade, the Supreme Court overturned women’s right to keep control over our own bodies. We have already seen the true cruelty of this decision: a 10-year-old rape victim refused an abortion, a woman whose fetus has no chance of survival forced to carry it because her doctor could face life in prison for reducing her suffering.
But we are not far from the possibility of having this tragedy reversed. Congress can pass a law enshrining a woman’s right to choose. In fact, the House has already passed it, in the form of The Women’s Health Protection Act.
This law could be passed by a simple majority if 50 senators voted to overturn the filibuster.
Currently, two Democratic Senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, have refused. But if Democrats are able to keep a majority in the House and gain two more seats in the Senate, the filibuster will be overturned and a woman’s fundamental right to control her own body will be made legal again.
In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet has consistently supported women’s right to choose while his opponent, Joe O’Dea, has pushed for restrictions.
Adam Frisch believes that the government has no place in decisions between a woman and her doctor. His opponent, Lauren Boebert, has passed over a dozen bills restricting women’s right to access reproductive health.
It’s time to get angry and reclaim our rights.
Get registered and vote Nov. 8 for Sen. Michael Bennet and Adam Frisch for representative.
Adele Riffe, Hesperus, Colo.
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