Readers write: Climate resolution, true freedom

Letters to the editor for the Dec. 12, 2016 weekly magazine.

Amanda Paulson/The Christian Science Monitor
Steve Wells sits in his office, a warehouse on his 32,000-acre ranch in Colorado's Weld County.

Climate resolution

Regarding the Nov. 14 cover story, “Climate rift in the Rockies”: To help resolve opposing views on climate disruption, let’s ask, “Which would produce worse consequences – underestimating the threat, or overestimating?”

Underestimating continues the status quo, with the United States transitioning to carbon-free energy at its economically driven pace. Although that’s a comfortable strategy in the short run, it risks tipping the world into an unbearable state of climatic, economic, and geopolitical upheaval. 

Overestimating the threat may cause unnecessary acceleration of the transition to carbon-free energy, bringing extreme discomfort to investors and workers in the fossil fuel industry, a problem that can be repaired. 

We also could create a cleaner and healthier environment, cheaper energy in the long run, and, perhaps immediately, more jobs in clean energy than are lost in fossil fuels.

There would also be a more robust energy infrastructure and freedom from energy dependence on troubled regions of the world. 

We also could check climate disruption before it becomes unbearable.

William H. Cutler

Union City, Calif.

True freedom

The Nov. 7 cover story, “Memo to: the next president,” describes the conflicts that arise over defining the word “free” and points out the multiple failures of the US to be both fair and free. 

In the same issue, the editorial “Why rule of law must rule the roost” quotes Thuli Madonsela, former public prosecutor in South Africa, who says, “Meaningful freedom is freedom from all corrupt practices in state affairs and private life.” 

Instead of seeking an answer in geography, or the word “free,” perhaps the discussion should center around a definition of the word “meaningful” in “meaningful freedom,” which should be everywhere in the US, in a big city or a small town.

Anna Lisa Goldschen

Henderson, Nev.

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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.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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