Jerry Kirshenbaum has outdone himself! His "state of the earth" article (Whither the Earth? May 5) was one of the best pieces to appear in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in the 13 years that I've been reading it. And to think that I've always thought Kirshenbaum's forte was writing about swimming.
Legislative Assistant to Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick ( N.J.) for Energy and the Environment
As a student of sociology and anthropology, I am aware of the suicidal course on which industrial man has set himself. Jerry Kirshenbaum is very perceptive in his analysis of our society's dependency on limited, non-renewable natural resources, and he was also right in noting the blind faith of some people that technological advances will bail us out.
Kirshenbaum's essay only begins to explore the course of action necessary if mankind is to survive. A total shift in our economic system may be in order.
Jerry Kirshenbaum's article on the environment was a succinct, excellent piece of reporting on a subject that will certainly become the most important long-term issue of our time. The only shortcoming of the article was that after stating that the global population explosion is, in the words of William Ruckelshaus, "the single most overriding cause of environmental stress in the world." Kirshenbaum did not expound further on that subject.
In my own view, all attempts to first stabilize and then improve the environment will ultimately fail unless the population problem is solved first. We must quickly take strict, mandatory birth-control measures on a worldwide basis or nature herself will do the job on a much more savage level.
You're absolutely right about the dangers of nuclear power. I propose we shut down every plant in the U.S. And because I hate to see people get hurt or killed, I also propose that we ban air travel, automobile travel and cigarettes.
I realize nobody was killed or even injured at Three Mile Island, but the fact that one or two of the thousands of people who live in the vicinity might develop cancer in 10 or 20 years is just too much for my conscience to bear. I'm also in favor of banning sports such as boxing, football, basketball and baseball because some young people are killed or injured while participating in them each year.
No doubt you'd argue that the benefits derived from sport more than 'compensate for the relatively few participants who are injured. I suggest that this point of view is nothing but propaganda, perpetuated by magazines such as yours for the sole purpose of financial gain.
JAMES P. MOONEY JR.
I was somewhat dismayed to read Michael Baughman's VIEWPOINT (April 14) on efforts to enhance the environment of Yosemite National Park by reducing automobile use and relocating some buildings. I concede that the current revised master plan for Yosemite is better than nothing. But I will not go so far as to say, as Baughman did. "I hope that Yosemite's effort will inspire similar plans elsewhere."
When the revised plan is compared to its original draft, or—especially—to other proposals for improving Yosemite, it appears somewhat less than innovative or environmentally sound. As for public input, the current plan seems to follow rather closely the input of the Yosemite Park and Curry Co.. the major park concessionaire.