Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers write in about the state of the environment, the merits of homeschooling, ways to honor a relative, and more.

A Planet’s Revenge?

Thank you, Alan Weisman, for pulling together the environmental clues that speak to human beings’ actions that endanger life on our planet (“Is Mother Nature Trying to Tell Us Something?” April 26). Short-sighted, greedy thinking does a lot of damage. Remember, Mother Nature bats last!

Karin Peterson, Gloucester

Weisman’s most important sentence is “Endless economic growth clearly isn’t possible on a planet that doesn’t grow.” And yet every politician runs on a platform of “growth.” Where is one who promotes “slowth”? What economist or political leader worries about the state of the country, or the world, 50 or 100 years from now?


David Kelland, Lexington

This piece is the first sensible essay I have read that places blame where it belongs: on ourselves. Some 50 years ago, the great cartoonist Walt Kelly published a strip in The Globe in which Pogo the possum declared, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Bert Waters, Brookline

Weisman’s precise description of where we are should be indispensable for all of us. Let’s pray it’s not prophetic and come November there will be something we can do to lessen the inevitable carnage.

Richard Stayton, La Crescenta, California

The author suggests that women could help [clear space] by having only two children. Maybe a better solution would be an automatic vasectomy for every male after his second child. Not that men should ever be responsible for anything, of course, but why not give it a try? Earth requires human population control, so men —get with it!

Carla Wong, Livermore, California

The thinking is so clear, the prose so lucid, the facts so incontrovertible, that Weisman made me cry—for this earth, for all of us.

Claude Caswell, East Rochester, New Hampshire

Teachable Moments

In the April 26 Perspective (“Parents are Unqualified to Homeschool Their Kids. Here’s What They Should Do Instead”), David Bulley writes: “Quite frankly, you are not capable of teaching the entire normal curriculum. So please: Stop worrying about trying to accomplish the impossible.” As a homeschool teacher of 20 years, I’ll tell you that many parents can. All four of the children that have graduated from our homeschool were accepted into every college they applied to. I understand that educating children at home is not right for everybody. I agree with the great ideas Bulley has on reading, family history, science, and instilling a love of learning. It is those ideals that are successfully taught in most homeschools because there is time to do those things. This is the time to come together, and encourage, not minimize each other. Don’t make parents thrust into this new position as teacher feel unworthy of that role.


Jennifer Hardy, Indialantic, Florida

I’m with Bulley all the way, nodding in agreement as he extols the virtues of reading—and then he stabs me deep in my librarian’s heart: “Don’t forget to check out the list of children’s audiobooks that Audible has made available for free during the pandemic.” How about this instead: “Check out the downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines your public library has available 24/7, during good times and bad. Check out the live streaming and recorded story times, book clubs, online scavenger hunts, and links to authors reading aloud their own books and publishers giving free access to large swaths of their catalogs, all for free at your local library.” I’m trying to think of reasons why an educator would encourage parents to start anywhere but the library for reading material and I can’t think of anything. The silence is almost audible.


Laura ES Ford, Falmouth Public Library, youth services librarian

Bulley’s article was very helpful to parents during this epidemic. Lots of reading, learning real time history via your ancestors, and practical math and science with easy do-at-home experiments! I do take exception to his portrayal of substitute teachers, however (leaving directions directly to the students or playing a movie)! I’ve subbed in four districts in Rhode Island and actually teach. I do not show movies! Further, I leave detailed notes (accomplishments and behaviors) for each teacher. Higher expectations for subs might result in better outcomes!

Peter Sheil, Tiverton, Rhode Island

Words of Wisdom

Matthew Bernstein’s Connections piece (“As My Father Used to Say,” April 26) had many similarities and emotions that I too have experienced having lost my father when he was 56. I remember turning 56 and thinking I was on “borrowed time.” It was a bonus to me, then I felt a bit winsome. My husband and son never met my father. I try to keep him as part of our family and remind them that “Papa” would have adored and been so proud of both. A quiet man, my father never really used to say many things. But I do. And maybe one day my son will remember me as well as you your father.


Nancy Yonge, Belmont

Comments on Coverage

Refreshing, uplifting, and informative articles (Globe Magazine, May 3)—something for everyone in this time of COVID-19. I will indeed pass it on to family and friends.

Lyndy Rogers, North Chatham


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