Letters to the Editor for May 01, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
NUMBERS TELL A STORY
Please accept a generous thank you to Mark C. Anderson for filling in many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding of Ed Leeper [“Piece of Work,” April 24-30]. I have followed, from a distance, many of Ed’s projects, and always been impressed, but was thankful to learn more as a result of the time Mr. Anderson took in putting together his piece. Two numbers, which are clearly important to Mr. Leeper, struck me as particularly interesting—and sad, when looked at together. How much higher in number could the 14,794 names in the 1959 Encyclopedia Britannica potentially have been in future editions had it not been for the more than 6,000,000 people lost in the Holocaust?Peter Hiller | Carmel
Stop pandering, Weekly
The stated intent of the newly featured column “Ask a Mexican” is to challenge racism; however, it falls short of its goal. By portraying stereotypes in a humorous way, the reader is distracted from their malicious impact and disconnected from the institutional foundation that sustains them. While I’m all for an edgy and honest discussion of racism, particularly how it is perpetrated against those of Mexican heritage, I fail to see how this column will further a constructive and intercultural dialogue that our country needs so desperately. This column panders to the problematic practice of requesting that an individual from a minority group speaks for an entire race, gender or ethnic group. I suggest instead that we engage in a process of personal discovery, uncovering and acknowledging our own contributions to the systems of racism and oppression that tarnish our society.Maya Crone | Monterey
TRY A NICE JUICY PLANT
More than 100 million people are being driven deeper into poverty by a “silent tsunami” of rising food prices, according to World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran. A dozen countries have experienced food riots and strikes.
Prices for basic food staples such as rice, wheat, corn and soybeans have skyrocketed. They are driven by rising fuel and fertilizer prices, diversion of corn to produce biofuels, drought in key food-producing countries, soil depletion through overgrazing, and growing demand for meat in China and other nations.
The resulting hunger afflicts nearly 1 billion people, mostly women and children. It kills an astonishing 24,000 per day. It’s not just a problem for strangers in faraway lands. It affects millions of Americans, and some U.S. stores are already rationing food.
The good news is that even a small shift toward a plant-based diet in the United States and other developed countries would free up enough land, water and fuel to feed everyone. More than 80 percent of U.S. agricultural land grows animal feed. A plant-based diet requires only 16-20 percent of the resources of the standard American diet.
Every one of us can start abating the scourge of world hunger today by reducing our consumption of meat and other animal products and by supporting food distribution agencies.Clarence Wells | Monterey
Carmel Building & Design President Rob Nicely was incorrectly identified as Monterey Green Action’s Andreas Baer while riding a bike that powered a laptop and a light bulb [“Color of Money,” April 24-30]. We are fully confident that Baer could get the lightbulb lit, as well.