Readers write: Rising to challenges, from guns to climate change

Changing the weather

I’m disheartened by the Sept. 4 cover story, “Cruel summer.” It suggests that the evil of global warming lies in “putting long-term economic growth in peril.”

There seems to be deep concern for insurance companies whose response to unexpected fire and flood claims is to stop selling high-risk insurance, transferring the damage to folks who lose homes. The story highlights a company that “aims to transform ... capital markets to reduce the economic risks of the climate crisis.” It suggests that global capitalism may pressure modern economies to become “carbon neutral,” while in fact, global capitalism is the modern economy.

Will the fox that raided the henhouse last night become today’s vegetarian guard dog? Pardon my doubt. And can money measure anything when all things are in mortal peril? The article’s most discouraging thought is from a quote in its last lines: “‘I try to just humble myself, get through it, because we’re not God. ... We can’t change the weather.’”

But we have changed it – and giving up doesn’t help at all!

Bob Weeden
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Can guns ever be safe?

In the article “In Tennessee churches, a new message: Gun safety” from the Aug. 21 Weekly, a Monitor source describes this as a “complex topic.”

In fact it couldn’t be simpler. Gun safety is an oxymoron. You can have guns or you can have safety, but you certainly can’t have both. Guns kill people just as they are designed to do.

As long as people insist on retaining the Second Amendment, America must accept the consequences of using guns. I realize that this will seem judgmental to you, and we Canadians are certainly not perfect on the issue either, but perhaps it takes a different pair of eyes to see the problem in perspective.

Jim Lane

Pride amid challenges

From a native Portlander: The Sept. 11 and 18 cover story, “Oregon’s bold drug policy isn’t working, yet,” made me shed tears of pride and affection for my struggling city. You have my gratitude for the time and consideration you took to examine Portland’s history, and approach our current situation from all angles. I especially loved the thoughtful photographs of thoughtful stakeholders and real, everyday people in “glasses and sensible shoes” trying to understand and solve our challenges here. I wish everyone in America would read this article.

Mary K. Hayden
Portland, Oregon

The pitfalls of compassion

Compassion is good – and the loving way that they are trying to deal with drug addiction in Portland, as described in the Sept. 11 and 18 cover story, “Oregon’s bold new drug policy isn’t working, yet,” is to be commended. What’s not addressed are the business interests that depend on spreading drug addiction and ensuring that their consumers don’t recover.

Decriminalizing drug usage may be compassionate for victims, but it also seems to enable the success of those who supply said drugs.

Linda Foreman Rolfes
Plano, Texas

The joy of spelling

Thank you for the Home Forum essay “‘Skrzypce’ to ‘syzygy,’ falling in l-o-v-e with spelling” in the Sept. 4 Weekly. My family loves spelling, and it hasn’t hindered poetry or prose writing (as mentioned in this essay) since we’ve seen how accuracy encourages creative endeavor rather than stifling it.

Also, in the In Pictures feature from the Aug. 28 Weekly, “When the journey becomes the destination,” the writers said they “gained a sense of strength not by relying on a power source or our devices – but by navigating the cardinal points on a map.” This was a delight to read. I learned to read maps when I was a child, and find them an accurate way of finding and remembering places.

Robin Pryor
Eugene, Oregon

Related stories

Read this story at

Become a part of the Monitor community