Letters to the Editor
Readers write about Costa Rica tourism, ranchers on public lands, Putin's new post, corn-derived fuels, and girl video gamers.
Regulate Costa Rica tourism to keep animals wild
Regarding the April 17 article, "Costa Rica sees a dark side of tourism": The remaining wildlife that survives the tribulations of the tourism industry exist as hungry pets of the public.
I spent spring break in Costa Rica examining sustainable development with a college class and was struck by the animals inhabiting a popular beach at Manuel Antonio National Park. While we relaxed on the shore, a classmate spotted a pair of three-foot-long iguanas meandering toward us from a rocky embankment. Naturally, we were excited and shot a few photos, assuming this to be a fleeting glimpse of "wildlife." However, this sighting turned into a battle when we took out sandwiches – both iguanas darted forward and were only deterred when I flailed my arms to shoo them away. As we were leaving, a crowd surrounded a white-faced monkey perched on a tree near the beach. These animals have been converted into exhibits and their ecosystem into a zoo. Costa Rica's tourism industry needs greater environmental regulations to ensure that the remaining wildlife continues to be feral.
The importance of domestic food
Regarding the April 22 article, "Western ranchers fight for a new deal on wilderness": A few years ago, I'd have been solidly on the side of the "purists," who want to restrict cattle grazing on public land. But when I look at this article and the one about the rice shortage in Asia, and when I see that most of the food in my grocery store comes from elsewhere in the world, well, I have come to see the purists as short-sighted.
The art of civilized compromise is rarely a bad idea.
Fort Worth, Texas
Russia needs a way to phase out Putin
Regarding the April 16 article, "Putin cements hold on power": Vladimir Putin's assignment as prime minister and chairman of the majority party seems too personally positioned – a tree planted on shifting rocks.
Thinking out loud, I would suppose a better-suited assignment for Mr. Putin would be a permanent position in Russia's Senate-equivalent chamber or maybe in some third house of retired national heroes, presidents, judges, generals, and admirals – a kind of think tank with legislative capability.
It just seems to me Russia is once again facing that Old East respect for the patriarchal generation of leaders.
Raymond Kenneth Petry
Stop promoting ethanol
Regarding the April 18 article, "Rising impact of oil prices": We are not ready for new technology to replace fossil fuels.
We need to use clean coal and nuclear energy, drill everywhere for oil, and continue to develop alternative clean energy as fast as possible.
Diverting corn from the food supply to make ethanol, starving and impoverishing the world's poor, is immoral.
Women play video games, too
Regarding the article, "Gaming gains among women online": The article makes some good and relevant points. I agree that new advances in game playability and free to play, try-before-you-buy games are inviting many new people to the gaming market. I object to the generalizations about women and their money- and time-spending habits. I think that the attention drawn to the gender of gamers is unnecessary and honestly discriminatory.
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