The Economy page column "Public, Not Business, Pays for Cleanup," June 22, has missed many of the important issues of the recent Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Other equally important issues include consumption of natural resources and various countries' contributions to global warming. These two issues are examples of the rich countries and the polluting industries (including their customers) being responsible for the bulk of the problems - problems which potentially impact upon every being on the planet.
And everyone on the planet pays for these problems in the form of lost livelihood, habitat, and health. Only a fraction of the people pay in the monetary sense. This is what we mean when we say that innocent third parties pay the cost of a company's pollution and a culture's consumption, a point the author disagrees with.
Another fact this column ignores is that controlled pollution is still pollution, and leaves us much worse off than if it had never been created. This is because no pollution can be entirely controlled or thoroughly cleaned up. And there are many polluting substances not recognized or regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
It is time to change "business as usual" and "consumption as usual." The rich countries need to truly be world leaders on global issues, not rest on our dubious laurels. Larry Kaatz, Minneapolis Language by drill
The last line of the Science & Technology column "A Software Path to Learning Languages," June 24, reads "Freed from drill-and-practice, teachers can make the classroom the ultimate avenue for interactive learning."
Regarding the reference to drill-and-practice: For one year in Europe my sister and I and eight other students entered a small classroom three times a week and were "drilled" in English grammar by Mr. Sbordoni. His technique made it possible to learn because he forced each and every one of us to parse sentences from a book called "Simplified English Grammar."
All that I now understand of American grammar I attribute to this period of learning. If I could, I would provide the same experience for every American student. R. Donaldson, Concord, Mass. Macedonian history
In the article "How All the Empires Finally Struck Out," June 18, the author states that "[Ottoman] Turkey lost control of Greece in 1829, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria in 1878, and Albania in 1912." But, he fails to mention Macedonia.
Macedonia also received its independence from Ottoman rule in 1878, but was returned to the Turks through the Treaty of Berlin. Two Balkan wars were fought over Macedonia: the first to gain its freedom from the Ottoman Empire, the second to divide it among the victors - Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria.
Our organization was founded in 1922, just nine years after this partitioning, by immigrants from all three parts of Macedonia. Today our members still have family connections in each of the three sections. Our concerns are for them.
With the rules of the European Community in a new Europe, existing borders will be maintained and have been guaranteed in the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia. Virginia Surso, Fort Wayne, Ind., Macedonian Patriotic Organization