Readers write: cities for elites; Clinton's energy policy; small joys

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 12, 2015 weekly magazine.

Courtesy: Eko Atlantic
An artist's rendering shows one of the entrances to Eko Atlantic, a private city being built south of Lagos, Nigeria, at a cost of $6 billion.

Cities for elites only
I was extremely disappointed in the Monitor’s Sept. 21 cover story, “Rise of the insta-city.” The story posed these “new” city developments as a positive development without regard to the larger story. These developments are really just exclusive enclaves for rich and powerful elites to wall themselves off from the larger problems of their societies, problems that these very elites have contributed to creating. These enclaves allow the elites to leave the rest of the people to live in poverty, dust, and despair.

Especially in Nigeria, many of the super rich have gotten that way through graft, corruption, and the exploitation of their nation’s wealth. It would be much better if the resources intended for these so-called insta-cities were spent on providing schools, health systems, and other needed infrastructure development.
Steven Prochter
Redwood Valley, Calif.

Clinton’s emerging energy policy
Regarding the Sept. 23 online article “Hillary Clinton opposes Keystone XL, but is it already dead?” (CSMonitor.com): Although Hillary Clinton was slow to state her position on the Keystone XL pipeline, she is spot on in relegating the controversial pipeline to a relatively low place in the scheme of energy matters. It is just a symbol, although a powerful one, of the critical debates and decisions that lie ahead. Without making promises that will be impossible to deliver, Mrs. Clinton shows a broad and fairly deep understanding of complex energy issues and the urgency of meaningful action on climate change.
Carol Steinhart
Madison, Wis.

Joy in the little things
I was so delighted reading the Sept. 14 Home Forum essay “Little big league.” Being someone who has worked with young children as a schoolteacher for 40 years I could so relate to what the author described.
Elizabeth Walling
Keyport, New Jersey

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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