The Braer Tanker and Ocean Pollution

The article "Britain Begins Look Into Causes of Spill," Jan. 8, regarding the Braer tanker disaster along the coast of Shetland in northern Scotland, brings to mind a fact I have not read in any report on the disaster.

On the average, every day of the year, 1,644 tons of oil end up in oceans around the world due to normal shipping operations. The Braer was carrying 85,000 tons of oil, so, normal daily oil losses in the ocean are equivalent to a Braer disaster occurring every 51 days. In one year, the equivalent of seven Braer tankers are losing their entire contents into the oceans. It certainly is time for the International Maritime Organization to apply tighter controls over tanker construction to assure that 1,644 t ons of oil are not lost every 24 hours in the normal course of ocean oil shipping.

The expense of taking appropriate precautions needs to be mandated as a part of the normal cost of shipping oil. It would help reduce a serious negative impact on our oceans' ecosystems, which are being impacted adversely by so many sources of pollution. G. B. Lloyd, Southwest Harbor, Maine

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. People-oriented reconstruction

The article "Ethiopia Rebuilds Ruined Economy," Jan. 13, is very timely, as the efforts in that country may serve as a model of what will be needed to rebuild Somalia.

Real, lasting peace must be negotiated in Somalia before any rebuilding can occur, but we must broaden peace negotiations to include more than just militia leaders; it must include village elders and remaining professional or women's groups. Once civil war can end peacefully, rebuilding of the Somali infrastructure and society can begin, and that reconstruction must be directed by that country's own people.

Only with real long-term aid that is people-oriented rather than weapon-oriented, will successful reconstruction occur. Robert N. Wiedenmann, College Station, Texas

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

In a letter to the editor by Alistair Budd, London, Jan. 20, a wrong word was inserted. The letter should have read: "The Monarchy today has little relevance to the vast majority of British and Commonwealth citizens." The Monitor regrets the error.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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