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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the evils of industrialization, abolishing the NCAA, and animal versus human intelligence.

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A just society is a sustainably built society

Regarding Beth Kowaleski Wallace's March 22 Opinion piece, "Britain's ban on the slave trade: moral lessons for today": The article points out that many Britons, while they took no active role in the slave trade, benefited from this evil.

It then poses a daunting question: "Where are we similarly complicit with invisible or hidden social or commercial injustices?"

I would submit that it's nearly impossible to be a member of an industrialized society without being complicitous in some form of violence against indigenous cultures, nonhuman species, and the land we depend on for survival.

For example, if you're living in the Midwest, there's a possibility that the electricity that enables you to read this letter came from coal extracted through mountaintop removal, a process that destroys communities and streams.

Was this process harmful to the planet? You bet! Is a lifestyle based on such practices sustainable? Not on a finite planet with finite resources. Until we rely on sunlight for energy, our complicity in systemic evils such as global warming is inevitable. Building a modern society congruent with sustainabili­ty is the great challenge facing humanity today. We ignore it at our collective peril.

William W. Hollad
Montpelier, Vt

Let college basketball, football go pro

In response to your March 30 editorial, "NCAA's gambling madness": The term "scholar-athlete" is a sham in big-time collegiate men's football and basketball.

Players are recruited and given scholarships to be athletes, not great students. They are there to prepare for possible careers in professional sports.

The main function of the NCAA is to enforce rules that prevent colleges from uncapped financial bidding for the best athletes. Fans understand this, and most love the system. Colleges understand this as well and make big bucks from it.


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