Radical environmentalism threatens human rights Regarding "Activists step up war to 'liberate' nature" (Jan. 20), environmentalists have long valued raw nature above the values of human civilization. Their ideology of "intrinsic value" in nature inevitably leads to the sacrifice of human rights on its behalf.

Environmentalism is no longer about preventing harmful pollution. As long as environmentalist ideology of nature worship is publicly condoned, it should surprise no one that we are seeing both a rise in ecoterrorism and the advancement of radical schemes like Gore's proposed billion-dollar-a-year off-budget Federal entitlement to continuously take over private property on a massive scale into the indefinite future.

It is time that the government turned its attention to protecting our rights against the actions of those motivated by primitive, anti-man ideology instead of standing by doing nothing in the face of terrorist groups and actually promoting forced preservationism as government policy.

Erich Veyhl Concord, Mass.

Cost of prosecution I'm a Canadian and a longtime reader of your publication. I've greatly appreciated your balanced and substantive coverage of the impeachment case and trial of President Clinton in the Senate.

Unless I've missed something, conspicuous by its absence is any analysis or assessment of what this process, from beginning to end must be costing American taxpayers. Your country was founded on the essential democratic principle of "no taxation without representation," and I don't see that transparency in this process or the coverage of it in the press.

If I were a US citizen, I'd want to know the total cost - including the entire independent counsel and impeachment process, the legal fees, the value of the time of all those elected representatives and their staffs (including the president) and so on. I'd also be insisting that whichever party loses the case, the Republicans or the Democrats, pay the legal fees of both sides.

Blair Dimock Toronto, Canada

Olympic cynicism Regarding "And now, a word about bribery" (Jan. 22) by sports columnist Douglas Looney, I was shocked at the cynicism of this article, written as if there was no hope that anything could ever be done to curb bribery in sports or, for that matter, any other area.

Resignations of Olympic committee members, Looney says, will make no difference [because] bribery will still go on.

Looney says he is not defending "illicit carrying-on," but he makes not one constructive suggestion to curb it. I am, frankly, surprised The Christian Science Monitor would give space to an article so sarcastic and fatalistic in tone.

There is a place for an in-depth article on the prevalence of bribery, pointing out its causes and effects, and giving a number of examples of ways it can be - and is being - curbed in sports, business, and government around the world.

J. Stuart Nall Wrentham, Mass.

Old-fashioned red pens For tests that require an exact answer, the computer may be an adequate corrector ("Essays get the electronic red pen," Jan. 12). And although the article states that creative writing cannot be graded by computer, as a retired teacher, I'm still concerned. For the quiet student, the returned and corrected paper is often his only contact with the teacher.

A "brave new world" is not always a kind one.

Mary Meyer Pasadena, Calif.

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Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

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