Readers Forum


A captive audience

I just finished ordering 28 gift subscriptions to YES! This, in my mind, is a contribution to the Earth. Perhaps it will help nudge some minds to broader thinking. While I was at it, I sent a subscription to all my doctors, where I know your magazine will be read by dozens of people. Maybe next year I’ll just open the phone book and send it to all the offices with waiting rooms. I hope other readers will copy my idea. Thank you for your thoughtful work.

—Virginia Malmquist, Bellingham, WA

Minty-fresh fly-swatter

One more thing to add to the Yes! Picks: Fly Patrol (Summer 2009): Putting a few drops of pure peppermint oil on a cotton ball on a little plate will clear flies from the kitchen! A couple drops in the trash  keeps them from there, too!

—Diane Eardley, Los Angeles, CA

Call for a new economy

I’m writing to respond to David Korten’s commentary, “Why Not An Economy of Real Wealth?” Amen! I felt so much saner after reading Korten call our current economy what it truly is: insane.

—Carolyn Hauck, San Francisco, CA

Where money comes from

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to hear about your summer issue: “The New Economy.”
This couldn’t come at a better time. It’s a sad state of affairs that most people still don’t understand that the current system of international finance pivots on “money out of thin air” that is created PRIVATELY.

To gain momentum, this has to be more than a themed magazine issue. Would YES! consider keeping a column/section open in future issues for The New Economy?

—Chris Davenport, Toronto, ON

Editor’s note: YES! has continuing coverage at

Use a “peace” indicator?

What if we linked our dollar with “indicators” of personal, cultural, and ecological health?
If our residents know that PCE (pronounced “peace”) health is the goal, and we have indicators of progress, won’t it give us a sense of confidence amid the turbulence of transitioning?

The dollar was linked to gold because gold was valued, then it was disconnected from gold around 1970. So now, why not link it to health, because we value health now? What if currencies all over the world were linked with “indicators” of local and global PCE health?

—Linda Redman, Fairbanks, AK

Banning big-box stores

Here on Maui, we are trying to get an ordinance passed through our county council, limiting big-box stores from opening in new locations and restricting new stores to 90,000 square feet.

We want to maintain our small-town character and island lifestyle. The proposed ordinance has a lot of support from the small-business community, some unions, and informed residents.

We are trying to create a sustainable future: an economy based on community-­owned businesses, energy independence, and a locally based food supply. YES! Magazine has become my favorite subscription—the examples of other communities who are developing sustainable models is educational and encouraging.

—Kai Nishiki, Maui, HI

Pedaling in search of new views

My partner and I are beginning a project called The Path Less Pedaled—a pedal-­powered project to seek out and tell the stories of people who have followed some sort of intuition—independent ­makers, small business owners, community activists—folks who have eschewed the status quo in search of a life less ordinary.

I want to ask what it means to be small by choice. There are people who are building a “new” economy around the idea of neighbors buying into their community. I want to see how life is different. There are people who are promoting alternative transportation as a mainstream idea. I want to experience their journey.

The entire project will be managed from two bicycles. Follow us at

—Laura Crawford, Long Beach, CA

Responses to our July online newsletter, which asked readers:

What is the most important thing you've learned?

I have been a teacher and a university professor for some 50 years. I believe that the most important thing that we can teach students—if it is teachable at all—is to be prepared to deal with uncertainty. It seems that each one of us has to learn this lesson anew, considering the fact that so few things in life are certain.

—Shimon Gottschalk


Most important thing I learned: Never give up.

—Robert S. Kirsner


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