Readers Write: EPA may not be killing jobs, but it's letting honeybees die

Letters to the Editor for the weekly issue of December 26, 2011: One reader says that the EPA may or may not be a jobs killer, but its failure to crack down on pesticide use is killing the vital honeybee population. Another affirms the upsides to unemployment and a circuitous career path.

Jobs and honeybee killers

The article "Is the EPA really a 'jobs killer'?" in the Nov. 28 issue examined charges that the Environmental Protection Agency during the Obama administration has been a "jobs killer."

Would that the EPA sometimes were more "heavy-handed" – especially if we can agree, without gridlock, that honeybees play a preemptive role in food production.

Adult worker bees so often these days simply vanish while the queen and immature bees and honey remain in the hive. The result is the destruction of the entire hive.

In thousands of instances, scientists in Germany and France finally linked this "colony collapse disorder" to the pesticide clothianidin. And in the United States, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a Freedom of Information Act request that the EPA release studies that the manufacturer made regarding the effects of that pesticide on bees.

On Aug. 8, 2008, the NRDC sued the EPA for failing to release the studies.

So the fuss may continue about whether the EPA is really a jobs killer. But there is no question that clothianidin is a honeybee killer. And still at large.

Betty Refior

Whitewater, Wis.

A job worth doing

Regarding Jim Sollisch's Dec. 12 commentary, "The upside to being a jobless college grad": I am so grateful that Mr. Sollisch has shared this much needed perspective with everyone.

I couldn't agree more that the "unexpected" jobs can be vital to our growth as individuals and good global citizens, as well as provide us with a solid basis upon which to build a successful career.

Anyone who wants to develop their communication, project management, intuition, ethics, critical thinking, problem-solving, delegating, and negotiation skills should teach preschool for a year or two, as I did.

My experience in a job most people would never dream of applying for prepared me well for my current work. This experience has also enabled me to provide my friends and family with suggestions and perspectives that they are very grateful for in their different lines of work.

All skills necessary to any worthy endeavor have their roots in qualities: humility, selflessness, patience, persistence, creativity, compassion, and alertness, which are so naturally developed and solidified during jobs like the one Sollisch's son had. Any job that encourages us to express these qualities is a job worth doing.

If these qualities were more in evidence (i.e., if they were more highly valued) throughout the business world, we surely wouldn't be in this mess right now.

Emily Smith

Jamaica Plain, Mass.

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