Editor: In celebration of Earth Day we were urged to plant
trees. From an environmental perspective there seems to be a conflict.
In order to grow tall and strong a tree needs the carbon from carbon dioxide and the oxides of nitrogen for nourishment. Carbon dioxide is pictured as being responsible for the greenhouse effect, while the oxides of nitrogen add to acid rain. Both effects, we are told, are harmful to trees.
However, the real reasons we plant trees make sense. Trees prevent soil erosion, feed the hungry, shelter us and provide shade. They help educate us, they nest the birds, they heal the sick.
Perhaps the greatest reason why we should plant trees was expressed by Joyce Kilmer in his poem, ''Trees:''
I think I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
! Martin Sanders. Baltimore.
Editor: Congratulations to the National Coalition of Free Men for deftly exposing one of the many double standards now ruling academia. Perhaps our students will learn something from the embarrassment, namely, that an expensive degree is diminished its holders are not respected for fairness and integrity in the wider community.
I know that at least some faculty at Johns Hopkins welcome the interest of the community in resisting the political correctness steamroller loose on campuses across the nation. Having been steeped in such narrow views as ''justice is simply the will of the stronger party,'' ''double standards are acceptable as long as they are enforced to the benefit of minority victims'' and ''power is the most concrete and useful perspective not only from which to understand the inequalities between women and men but also to promote changes that overcome such traditional inequalities,'' is not surprising that perfectly nice students do not exercise power very wisely when given opportunity.
The first two quotations are samples of current ideology uncovered by Dinesh D'Souza. The third comes directly from the advertising for a recent feminist textbook. Mr. D'Souza's critical book on campus life, ''Illiberal Education,'' is strongly recommended for any family or legislator contemplating an investment in higher education. Whether we can get administrators and trustees to read it remains to be seen.
Robert A. Gordon.
The writer is a professor of sociology at John Hopkins.
Editor: This is in response to John Money's and Josh Kendall's letter, April 12, concerning ''Sexological Ills.'' The citizens of Maryland do not need ''more rational biomedical approaches'' to anything. We do not need or want more drugs for our ills.
Spending $276,898 in 1989 for their grant money does not get us a panacea, it just increases their bank accounts or gets them a degree. Sexological research in the biomedical laboratory hasn't cured a single person in the past, and will not cure in the future.
Our society needs to demonstrate that violence will not be tolerated, and until that day comes, in the laboratory and on the street, no amount of research will help us.
The wise citizenry demands progressive preventive research, not pseudoscience.
Editor: Tom Teepen's suggestion that Jimmy Carter run for president again in 1992 is just the prescription we need to cure our feelings of pride and euphoria with another strong dose of malaise.
And unlike the dreaded ''Reagan years,'' during which the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, Jimmy Carter would take us back to the times when we all got poorer.
Mr. Teepen was kidding, wasn't he?
Dave Reich. Fallston.
Editor: I would like the opportunity to respond to the letter by Wendy Haw Warren regarding County Councilman Bill Howard.
Mr. Howard's response to a bill that would give Baltimore County police and firefighters a ''one-time'' $700,000 bonus was in no way unorthodox.
As a constituent, I would rather have my councilman take the time to guarantee that this is a one-time bonus and not something that will be considered an ongoing practice.
Why the War?
Editor: I note with considerable disgust that President Bush is willing to forgive and forget if Saddam Hussein will just vanish to some never-never land forever and ever.
This only highlights the point that President Bush never had a workable plan for dealing with possible after-effects of the war. Saddam Hussein is still in power and in control of Iraq.
He will probably remain a thorn in the Middle East for years and a future threat to the Middle East oil supply. He is obviously a cold-blooded murderer with no concern for the well-being of his own people. And we let him off the hook when we had him on the ropes.
For this we picked up a $30 billion war expense and we will have to waste more billions with our military presence in the Middle East for years.
Such a useless waste.