Readers' Forum

Reader responses to our Climate Solutions issue.

Diet for a Warming Planet

I am thrilled to see the article by Bill McKibben in your climate change issue, and am thinking of starting a climate change awareness program here in Australia.

More global warming emissions come from animal agriculture than from all the world’s motorized vehicles. I often wonder why that information is not available to the public at large, so they can make decisions about how their diet affects the planet.

Volunteers here in Australia are sending letters, DVDs, and flyers to our councilors, leaders, and members of Parliament to get the word out.

Penny Bassett-Scarfe, Victoria, Australia


Climate Change and Stuff

Thank you for reviewing the film Story of Stuff in your Spring issue. It rounds out the discussion on global warming beautifully.

Since the birth of the Public Relations industry in the 1920s, we have been subjected to massive advertising campaigns that have had disastrous consequences for the planet.

Len Beyea, Santa Cruz, CA

Let’s Talk Overpopulation

Your climate change issue is a great call to action. But I found no mention of overpopulation—a suitable topic for a next issue. I’ll wait hopefully.

Ernie LeVon, Evanston, IL


A Climate Mobilization

I am inspired by Sarah van Gelder’s introduction to the climate change issue. I was 17 years old in 1941, when the United States entered World War II. We can and must mobilize as a nation now, as we did then. In the 1940s, we understood the threat and willingly accepted the conversion of industry and jobs as we became the “arsenal of democracy.”

Thanks to YES! for providing the why and how for today’s mobilization to combat global warming. 

Bill Densmore, Worcester, MA


They Love Erica, Too

I shared the article about Erica Fernandez (featured in “People We Love,” Spring 2008) with my 6th grade class, and had them write letters to Erica, who lives in a town near ours.

The students were moved by Erica’s story and poured their hearts out in their letters. Erica responded, saying it was the best thing that has ever happened to her. We have invited her to join us for “An Evening of Music from the Americas,”  so my students and the community will get to meet her.

Thank you, YES!, for helping us bridge our communities and make our world a healthier place for all.

Brett Drugge, Huntington Park, CA


Your Backyard Footprint

The hypothetical Jones family’s achievements (“Beyond Lightbulbs,” Spring 2008) in reducing their carbon emissions from housing and transport are impressive. But why is nothing said about their yard? Surely, they don’t continue to maintain the big lawn and alien ornamental plants that characterize suburban landscaping. A lawn small enough for a push mower and the use of native, rather than alien, plants would reduce the Joneses’ carbon footprint further, save water, and support wildlife.

Nancy Small, Kalamazoo, MI


Simplistic on Bolivia

Your article on Bolivia’s new constitution (“Signs of Life,” Spring 2008) gives progressivism a bad name. The piece is simplistic and ideological.

Having just returned from Bolivia where I talked politics with every taxi driver and grocery store clerk I met, I can report that it is not just “conservative elites” who have misgivings about the new constitution and Evo Morales. I encountered opinions that were varied and nuanced.

Jabe Blumenthal, Seattle, WA

Author Juliette Beck responds:

Politics in Bolivia are indeed complex, and frustration has grown with the Morales administration’s inability to deliver on popular demand for change. Yet few deny that large land-owners (latifundistas) and agribusiness elites in eastern Bolivia are leading the opposition to the constitutional process and are aggressively fighting any progressive reforms.

Misgivings about the Morales government and opposition from powerful economic groups should not obscure historic advances in the new constitution.


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