GRAVE MATTER (CONT.)
Many people undoubtedly feel that your article, Mortgaging the Old Homestead (Feb. 2), had very little to do with sports. Nevertheless, it was probably one of the most important stories ever published by SI. The irresponsibility of industry, the apathy of the citizen and the ineffectualness of our government in the face of the rapid decline and destruction of our environment is the greatest threat to the U.S. today.
THOMAS J. MARTIN JR.
Little Silver, N.J.
From one nonscientifically oriented citizen who is deeply concerned with the state of our environment—bravo! Lord Ritchie-Calder's frank report was as effective a piece as I've ever read (and I've read many) in getting across to the layman, interestingly and understandably, some of the many facets of this dilemma.
I applaud your posture in presenting this vital subject, which, of course, will be criticized as being beyond your editorial scope. As far as I'm concerned, this could be the beginning of a great series—the objective of which should be to give the average American citizen some hints as to what he personally can do. Not everyone, unfortunately, can be a Ralph Nader. I always leave such articles wondering what I can do besides to stop breeding [see SI, Feb. 16, My Struggle to Help the President].
After reading the article, I made up my mind to do something about water pollution. It took your article to wake up a lot of people. My thanks to Lord Ritchie-Calder for his excellent research and for his contribution to the field of science.
ALFRED M. GOMEZ
Thank you for the hard-hitting article. Your statement that this article deserves the widest readership aptly sums up my feeling. Hopefully, many of the sports addicts who rarely read anything else will strain their scope of interest by reading this along with the rest of the magazine.
My thanks, appreciation and congratulations to you for accepting a responsibility that, eventually, all Americans must realize if our life is to "have a quality, a zest, which transcends bare—or even plentiful—survival." May others in positions similar to yours not be too late in accepting this responsibility and obligation of emphasizing the deteriorated state of our environment. Only when we have mass awareness will we have effective retaliation.
BRIAN L. ALBERG
Among the growing number of articles about the environment I have read during the last five years, Lord Ritchie-Calder's stands alone in its scope, conciseness and persuasiveness. Its closing two paragraphs remind us, as many such articles fail to, that one of the distinguishing features of the species is to perceive and plan for the future.
The article does indeed deserve the widest readership. Certain audiences especially must be reached soon. We have such an audience at the University of Minnesota. Each year 250 young engineering students study thermodynamics under my direction. Many will be concerned with energy-conversion devices during their professional practice, and the performance of these devices exerts a strong influence on the environment. I want to be sure they receive Lord Ritchie-Calder's message, so I ask for your assistance. I would like to purchase 250 reprints of Mortgaging the Old Homestead for distribution and discussion in our engineering classes.
WARREN E. IBELE
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean, Graduate School
University of Minnesota
I'm glad to see that all of you "older folks" aren"t sitting by the river on Sunday afternoons with your empty beer cans, rotten insecticides, filthy oil slicks and the rest floating by and murmuring how ("us") kids will be the death of you. Thank you, SI, for opening a few more eyes to our ever decreasing timetable for survival.
NORMAN L. HANSEN
The LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER (Feb. 2) about Lord Ritchie-Calder reminded me of the days I spent in the Scottish town of Forfar. However, I am not sure that Lord Balmashannar is much of an improvement on Lord Topflat. If my fading memory does not play me false, the local name for Balmashannar hill is Bummie.
JAMES T. CLELAND