Letters to the Editor- Weekly Issue of November 1, 2010

Readers write in about the book review of John Stewart's "Earth," bullying responses, and immigration and overpopulation.

Review of 'Earth' was wrong

I couldn't disagree more with Steven Weinberg's Oct. 18 critical review of the book, "Earth," by Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show" writers, saying it "stretches credulity." As a college biology instructor for 30 years, specializing in environmental biology for the past 16, I can say the book didn't stretch anything. The writers not only got their science right, their book serves as a supplementary text to an environmental biology course. And it's a lot funnier than a standard textbook.

Deborah Bird

Pima Community College

Tucson, Ariz.

Responses to bullying

In her Oct. 18 commentary ("What works against bullies"), Patricia Criswell notes that parents "hold their breath, hoping their child isn't targeted," and advises on how to empower kids to stand up for themselves. But shouldn't parents also be concerned that their child not be the bully? We must also teach kids fairness and respect for others.

Joan Jacobson

Lakewood, Colo.

Ms. Criswell's advice on combating bullying is powerful, and a potent reminder as to what kids today face. Our granddaughter was bullied in junior high, and the school was not much help. She continued to endure more bullying. Eventually her self-worth was so low that in her early 20s she took her own life. If we'd only known ways to have been more supportive. I am so grateful that help is now available.

Margaret Collins

Bellevue, Wash.

I was so moved by Lisa Suhay's Oct. 25 Home Forum piece, "Facing down a bully." She gives a wonderful account of her little boy learning to defuse a bully.

Ms. Suhay helped her son to stand tall and even raise the bullies up too. Young Quin took away the power from his opponent, and made him a friend. What a remarkable example of strength and power for us all. Modeling "forgive and forget," Quin told the boys on the playground that day: "You are all gonna be the good guys now."

Sally Lind

Encinitas, Calif.

Migrants and overpopulation

The Oct. 11 story on immigration ("Keep Out! Immigration Curbs Sweep the Globe") ignored the elephant in the room – the root cause driving mass migrations: overpopulation.

With fewer people, governments would be better able to cope with problems like drought. There would be less political instability and fewer frictions over contested resources.

As populations rise, people try to flee their circumstances, while a jaded developed world, overwhelmed, slams the door. The only way to avoid a world of growing unrest and poverty is for global leaders to address overpopulation.

Kathleen Parker

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

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