Not Screwed Yet
Climate change, peak oil and economic collapse are complex and challenging topics. Kudos to Gianna De Persiis Vona for writing about them both accurately and compellingly (). I'd just add that what many see as reasons to despair may also be causes for hope.
Yes, we Americans are by far the biggest contributors to climate change—which means that we Americans can do the most to change direction. Yes, time is short—which means that we cannot ignore our responsibility.
And, yes, the problem is much bigger than changing light bulbs. It requires a powerful political movement, deep structural change in our economy and a shift in our social values—which means that we are the first generation in human history to face the challenge, and the opportunity, of building a truly sustainable global culture.
The danger is huge, but so is the promise. Imagine a society that devotes its resources to democracy, ecological restoration and strong local economies, rather than war, overconsumption and poverty. We can build that society from the ashes of the current failing empire if we start now, act strategically and work together. Future generations are counting on us; we cannot afford the luxury of despair.
Disseminate the moth myth
Congratulations for running that excellent article by Steve Hahn ("Invasive Procedures," March 26) on the light brown apple moth. I wish you would disseminate it to other news sources—especially TV. Hahn's is one of the most comprehensive and (I believe) fair examinations of the horror of aerial spraying of pesticides for period over three years.
Gov. Schwarzenegger and the California Department of Agriculture are actually planning to bomb us from us the air unless every citizen in the North Bay knows about it and voices an opinion on it. Only with more coverage will people in the Bay Area realize this is really going to happen unless we rise up against this stupid, scary, unproven, untested nonplan. Thanks again for your great coverage. Please send it everywhere else.
Shirley and Len Pullan
a modern proposal
Jonathan Swift in 1729 suggested in his essay that the Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling children born into poverty as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. The modern phrase "a modest proposal" derives from the work. I read John Sakowicz's article (Open Mic, "Modest Proposal," March 26) thinking of it as being more of "a modern proposal." What is rather compelling is the similarity between the blind wealth-taking of the rich, and the many who are starving with a poverty of information. Ignorance is not bliss. Thank you for supporting this article. As difficult as it is to imagine, it could easily occur. Knowledge is power. Many of us ignorant financial peasants might be rendered powerless if it were not for the wisdom of truth. Good work.
Jane via email
I was almost ready to ignore Mary Moore's fawning and tiresome adoration of Jeremiah Wright's vile screechings (Open Mic, "Was Wright Right?" April 2), when a single word of Moore's caught my eye. I realized that I couldn't let it pass after all. The lady is surely entitled to her own opinions; she is not entitled to her own facts—especially when they slander somebody else's good name.
The Israelis did not "uproot" anybody in 1948—although it's astonishing that they didn't. Indeed, given the nature and magnitude of the provocation, they would have had a perfect right to, had they elected to do so.
It is a clear, amply documented and undisputed fact that in 1947-1949, five neighboring, sovereign Arab states and armed detachments of three other Arab armies, plus the Palestine Arabs, all piled on in a wolf pack assault designed, as announced, to "massacre" and "annihilate" Palestine's Jews, as the latter's independent state was struggling to be born.
Uprooting such a proven enemy of demonstrated treachery would have been a thoroughly understandable response to the attack, which left 1 percent of Israel's citizenry dead. (One percent of this country's present population is 3 million.) Yet there was no mass expulsion of the local Arabs by the Jews.
Mary Moore would do well to spend a little time in the public library once in a while. The history section—horror of horrors!—might be a good place to start. As for the good Reverend, the ghost of the elder Hamlet had it right: leave him to heaven.