Effects of overseas production, newest national parks coverage

Letters to the editor for the Sept. 19, 2016 weekly magazine.

Matthew Brown/AP
Mountains surround the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park.

Effects of overseas production

The Aug. 8 cover story “The truth about free trade” discusses US jobs gained and lost and the effect on prices of a free trade regimen. There are other impacts to consider. 

When trade lowers prices, when some far-away corporation or nation can produce more cheaply, capacity to produce is lost. Dependence created by trade can weaken both sovereignty and security. The nation that depends on trade for its food supply is but one cataclysm (natural or man-made) away from catastrophe. 

Irrigation, locally adapted seeds, and other aspects of food production that have been abandoned because trade made them unprofitable are not easily replaced. Farmers displaced by imports stop farming and often move to the cities for work. They will not be there when suddenly the imports are not.

A secure nation is able to be self-reliant in the production of what it needs. A few global corporations may produce at a lower cost today, but local producers provide resilience. “Protectionism” has become a dirty word, but it is worthwhile to protect the ability of nations or regions to provide for themselves.

Jonathan Spero

Grants Pass, Ore.

Newest national parks coverage

Upon returning home to New Hampshire after 10 glorious days in Acadia National Park, I eagerly read the July 25 cover story “Parks under pressure.” The story brought to mind the series “Will Success Spoil the National Parks?” published in the Monitor in 1969 that earned your environmental correspondent, Robert Cahn, a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize. Surely one article on national parks in 2016 is hardly sufficient in this, the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service. 

How about a follow-up piece on the issues addressed by Mr. Cahn seen through the lens of reporter Todd Wilkinson’s experiences 47 years later?

Sharon Francis

Charlestown, N.H.

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