Letters to the Editor

Readers write about abstract art, the politics of global warming, bikes and oil prices, and cutting back on water usage.

Less flash and shock for the art world

Carol Strickland's Dec. 19 Opinion piece, "The trouble with Western art today," was right on target regarding how many of us working fine artists feel.

The curators of major art institutions in this era often seem far more concerned about flash and fire, with attention-getting shows to further their own careers, rather than being absorbed with the lasting value of the art itself. As a fine-arts photographer, I have seen bias by museums toward experimental technique, shock, and the new, all at the cost of meaningful emotional depth within the artwork.

The breeding ground for the curators and artists of these meaningless shows comes from our universities. We have created institutions that are in education as a business. They, too, use flash and shock in what they teach to attract students who have not learned that art is about emotional truth and beauty – which students will never learn from their college education.

There are plenty of great works of contemporary art available that fuel the soul. It's unfortunate that we will not find them in our museums, but rather in the back streets in the studios of unknown artists.

Pete Myers
Santa Fe, N.M.

Political will needed on global warming

Regarding the Dec. 18 book review, "Newt Gingrich explains why red staters must turn green": I am heartened to see this article (and Mr. Gingrich) touch on the need for cooperation on global-warming policy.

Unfortunately, the political status quo cannot and will not address greenhouse- gas emissions enough to prevent the worst-case scenarios. Never before has an issue required collective action on the scale this emergency demands, and never before has our country been so divided and unable to cooperate. The scientific evidence rolling in is daunting, but I have hope.

The technologies and policies to stop global warming, grow a green economy, and lift people out of poverty already exist. What's missing is the political will in Washington and a unified demand for action from people on both sides of the aisle.

On Jan. 31, 2008, more than 1,000 college campuses in all 50 states plan to hold simultaneous teach-ins as a part of Focus the Nation. Members of Congress, along with countless local and state legislators, have already been invited to participate in solution-oriented roundtable discussions on global-warming policy.

As a parent, I urge all concerned citizens, journalists, and politicians to help us focus on global-warming solutions together.

Alexander M. Tinker
Portland, Ore.

Organizer, Focus the Nation

For oil prices: bikes, not Iraq

In response to the Dec. 17 article, "The one-word answer to sky-high oil prices": Why are sky-high oil prices a bad thing? Oil and oil-based manufactured products only encourage a lifestyle that is gluttonous, selfish, unhealthy, and not self-sufficient.

By the way, I was hoping the one-word answer to sky-high oil prices was going to be "bikes," not "Iraq."

Rudy Schwarz
St. Louis

Learning to live with less water

Regarding the Dec. 19 article, "To fight drought, Georgians get creative": I have been without well water for a good period of time and have to haul water using my pickup truck and 45-gallon plastic drums. It's hard-won water, and I hate to waste it. As a result, we use the bathtub (no showers) for the two of us. The water is saved and used to flush the toilet.

John D. Young
Falkand, B.C.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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