In Eco Debates, Include Population Growth

Regarding the editorial "Hot World, Cooler Growth" (Aug. 13), the econ-eco debate concerning sustainable development must include a significant other consideration - world population growth. We share the Monitor's hope that ecologically benign processes can be put into place which will permit industrial growth. But without a reversal of population growth, most of the world's people may find improved standards of living an impossible dream.

Productive natural resources of most developing countries already are stressed just to sustain burgeoning populations. Many of these areas, even now, cannot totally feed their people, and populations continue to grow at an alarming rate. Soils are overcultivated and overgrazed, irrevocably eroded. Water tables are exhausted. Desertification continues apace. Public policies are ineffective at addressing population growth in these countries, and they depend ever more on external food aid. Sustainable development debates have to include the population factor if they are to be more than academic.

Allan Dean

Swannanoa, N.C.

Shifting from bilingual education

In response to "California Educators Struggle with End of Bilingual Education" (Aug. 10), I am glad to see the shift away from bilingual education in California. I know this is rough on the educators there. Often teachers are forced to make laws work that are not best for children. They do it so well that they get invested in the process and find it hard to change direction, but it is best for California and the nation.

As a former school administrator in charge of instruction for a school system, I had to deal with the problems and federal requirements associated with bilingual education. They were daunting, but we, too, learned to live with them.

I always found that educating children in English was the best policy. Children who live in the US must eventually learn English, and the sooner the better. The best way to do this is immersion. Young people learn English rapidly when they must use it daily under all circumstances. The more they are confronted with English, the better they can communicate, and the quicker they learn.

Bilingual education also causes a heavy financial drain on school systems and on taxpayers as a whole.

Don L. Griffith

Decatur, Ga.

US pop culture

Regarding "US Pop Culture Envelops Globe (Globe not entirely pleased)," (Aug. 7), I live in the US and I am not entirely pleased either. US pop culture - Hollywood-style - is also enveloping US culture There is, unquestionably, some excellent material coming out of the film industry. There is also, indisputably, an amount of trash.

Just because it speaks with an American accent and takes place in America, that doesn't mean it isn't alien to the true spirit of America or true humanity. I doubt the foreign culture ministers are concerned about the small percentage of excellence. They are concerned about the amount of trash which to them still looks foreign - but to us, well, it looks like us, it sounds like us, it must be us.

Lynne Clark

Conroe, Texas

New sports fan

Concerning Monitor sports columnist Doug Looney, I never read anything on sports before. I always thought it was boring. Now I read everything Looney writes. You make sports entertaining, and now I have something to say to my father-in-law (a major sports fan). Of course, he rarely agrees with me. Stick with it.

Tammy Daubach

El Centro, Calif.

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