The May 16 Blade editorial on rethinking nuclear power was a very useful and rational discussion of the importance of using nuclear power to help solve America's energy problem. Wind and solar power can make only token additions to our power-generating potential. Nuclear energy, despite all the roadblocks thrown up against it, already provides more than 20 per cent of America's electricity.
We have been held hostage too long by the "China syndrome" paranoia about the dangers of utilizing nuclear power. As the editorial points out, "nuclear has been a remarkably clean and safe form of energy." The hand-wringing surrounding nuclear waste disposal is ridiculous. France, which gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear generation, stores all its 30 years' of nuclear waste material in one building.
Unfortunately, it is much more politically rewarding to champion so-called green energy solutions and protect voters against the supposed dangers of nuclear generation than to lead a call for more nuclear electric plants. We need some far-sighted and courageous leadership in Washington to get this done.
The Blade's May 14 editorial, "Big 'no' to bigger trucks," contains falsehoods and errors propagated by anti-truck groups.
Contrary to the editorial, the University of Michigan study found that trucks above 80,000 pounds have a lower fatal accident rate than trucks of less weight. Truck weight is not a contributing factor in fatal accidents involving trucks.
The study also confirmed that class of roadway was the leading factor in truck-involved fatal accidents. Interstates had the lowest accident rate and undivided roads had the highest rate.
Freezing the current truck weight, as the editorial supports, would increase accident risk by preventing states from moving heavier trucks onto roads with lower accident risk.
Also, there's absolutely no evidence of negative effects on handling when comparing 5-axle 80,000-pound trucks to 6-axle, 97,000-pound trucks. Additionally, the claim that one tractor-trailer is equal to 9,600 cars [in regard to wear on pavement] is absolutely false. There is no study that supports that claim.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a 97,000-pound truck with the required sixth axle will cause less pavement damage than an 80,000-pound truck. Increasing truck productivity will reduce the number of pavement interactions and lessen pavement wear.
As population and gross domestic product increases, so will freight volume and the number of trucks needed to serve a growing population and economy. More productive trucks alleviate the need for capacity expansion, reduce fuel use and emissions, and lower costs to American manufacturers and consumers.
American Trucking Associations
Did you hear? The recession is over. Well, the big oil companies must think so.
As I understand it, the price of gasoline is directly related to demand and the spot price of crude oil. And since the barrel price has been rising, demand must be up and the recession must be ending. After all, did you see how much the price of gasoline moved last week?
Or was it the Memorial Day holiday? Oh, you know, that yearly opportunity to stick it to us at the pumps. We get another shot on the Fourth of July and then again on Labor Day.
Crude oil prices have been moving over the last few weeks and in recent years have increased during the month of May. The trend of supply and demand seemed to work in a normal economy, but I'm not so sure about right now, at least here in Middle America.
Will holiday weekend travelers absorb the additional 60 or more cents per gallon? Or will that planned family jaunt be canceled due to the unexpected increase in travel costs on an already crunched budget? The outcome will be seen in the oil company's results when second-quarter earnings are released. Let's hope the gains don't exceed the trends from other industries during the same period.
I'm not seeing the recession quite finished and I'm not looking to be taken for another ride by Big Oil.
It is with great interest that I read of General Motors and Chrysler, as new semiwards of the state, each being assigned a federally appointed czar to oversee their respective operations.
What a chuckle. That is kind of like the blind leading the blind when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Think federal government and you automatically think trillion-dollar deficits, Social Security in the red, Medicaid and Medicare in a mess, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae debacles, and so on.
Oh yeah, things are going to really start looking up at GM and Chrysler. To paraphrase that great American patriot Patrick Henry, I know not what course others may take in regard to the future purchase of an American-made car, but as for me, give me Ford or nothing at all.
John M. Stewart
In reference to the excellent May 23 article about the community coming together in conjunction with the city because of poor budgetary times to donate money and time to plant annual flowers, I have a suggestion. How about planting perennials?
Or, better yet, how about working in conjunction with the Toledo Zoo Butterfly Conservation Center and/or the Oak Openings Region Conservancy to plant perennials natural to northwest Ohio, and work them into the fabric of downtown and citywide.
This would not only reduce the expense of purchasing new flowers year after year but would also show a commitment to local biodiversity.
It was an eye-opener to read in your May 21 editorial "Sri Lanka's choice," which stated "How he [the president of Sri Lanka] chooses is critical because failure to address the root causes of the 26-year-old insurgency will only give rise to a future generation of rebels."
For years, I have written dozens of letters that applied this wise statement to the United States' war on terror, letters that you consigned to the trash can. How is it now that for Sri Lanka you are able to prescribe this same correct and insightful suggestion? Did it not apply to the United States when we decided to exterminate a whole nation and create a refugee population of 2 million in Iraq?
Can you cite a single editorial in The Blade that called for the search for the root cause of 9/11 before we burnt a trillion dollars and sacrificed so many of our brave soldiers, not to mention the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians?
We still don't seem to get it. Will you kindly call upon Washington as you have called upon the Sri Lankan president?
V. N. Krishnan
I am delighted we will have urban fl ower beds again this year, and proud that city officials have the courage to continue this program. It is one of the many things about Toledo I imagine make visitors say, I wish we did that.