Readers write: Apple picking, Palestine, and more

Letters to the editor for the November 22, 2021 weekly magazine. Readers discuss the joys of nature and somber lessons from human history.


Seeing the full issue

The Oct. 25 cover story, “Untaming a river: The stakes behind America’s largest dam removal,” is excellent. I have watched the bear cams in Alaska’s Katmai National Park on for four years, and have learned ancillary information about salmon runs on the West Coast. Thanks to your article, I have a better understanding of the former and current salmon runs on the Klamath River, the dams, and the history of the Indigenous people. I live in Southern California, and I am always interested in environmental and cultural issues on the West Coast. Thank you for your well-researched writing.

Kim Lyon
San Diego

Applying Nuremberg lessons

I enjoyed your Oct. 18 Upfront column, “Lessons from Nuremberg, 75 years on.” Being a first-generation Arab American, I was wondering about the plight of the Palestinians, which is a horrific example of how we sometimes refuse to learn from history. Every two or three years they are bombed to the Stone Age – men, women, children, hospitals, schools, you name it.

It’s much like a holocaust, but we are not allowed to use that word. To me, it shows that we don’t learn from the lessons of man’s inhumanity to man. In the case of Gaza, it rarely gets the coverage it deserves, and we are told very little about this atrocity. 

Carl & Deanna Karoub
Northville, Michigan

No time left for NIMBYism

The NIMBYism seen in the Oct. 19 Daily article “Solar panels make money in rural America. They don’t always make friends.” is not new. It peaked 10 years ago off Cape Cod with a proposed offshore wind farm.  

One thing that has changed are the dire warnings related to climate change, which were included in a report released this summer by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One statement in the report stands out: “Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region around the globe.” 

Talk to the folks who live on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and they can tell tales of how much stronger the hurricanes are. Land used for solar farms can also be productive in agriculture. A report by the United States Department of Agriculture titled “Solar Energy Use in U.S. Agriculture” outlines how vegetables, bee hives, and sheep can co-exist on a solar farm.

Bottom line: We all must do our part fighting climate change. The cost of inaction keeps mounting.

Earle Mitchell
Springfield, Virginia

Hope for nature

In response to the Oct. 18 Home Forum essay, “An autumn harvest of joy – and apples,” I am delighted with the computer generation’s zeal for nature – and apple orchards. May they enlighten us all and help us to transition to a more caring attitude toward our lovely planet home.

I too dream of green and greener fields. I too long for fruit I pick myself. I grew up in upstate New York where we had strawberry festivals and lilac festivals celebrating the joys of nature. Now I live in Southern California where we pray for rain so desperately. To watch as trees fade to brown before my eyes is heartbreaking. I watch leaves dropping not because the winter is coming but because they thirsted for a drink and got none. How sad to see Golden California now browning in the ever-present sunlight and drought.

Shirley Prescott
Agoura Hills, California

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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

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