Issue 323 | The Sun Magazine

November 2002

Readers Write


A large, shiny safety pin; a fallout shelter; an old beekeeper’s shack

By Our Readers


Myth: we have to save the earth. Frankly, the earth doesn’t need to be saved. Nature doesn’t give a hoot if human beings are here or not. The planet has survived cataclysmic and catastrophic changes for millions upon millions of years. Over that time, it is widely believed, 99 percent of all species have come and gone while the planet has remained. Saving the environment is really about saving our environment — making it safe for ourselves, our children, and the world as we know it. If more people saw the issue as one of saving themselves, we would probably see increased motivation and commitment to actually do so.

Robert M. Lilienfeld and William L. Rathje

The Sun Interview

Before We Leap

Carolyn Raffensperger On The Revolutionary Idea Of Putting Safety First

The precautionary principle is a simple yet revolutionary idea that turns our culture’s practice of science on its head. It says that, when you have scientific uncertainty and the likelihood of harm, you take preventive or precautionary action. On the most basic level, there’s nothing more to it.

By Derrick Jensen
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Some Shelter

The atomic bomb would fall and we would duck and cover and it would be ok. There wasn’t a child in the room who didn’t know this was a baldfaced lie, the height of adult mendacity — as the older boys said, “Bullshit.”

By David Romtvedt
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Ancient History

I stayed in bed, letting the news sink in. My father, whom I both loved and hated: gone. His death was a blessing. It was. I stared out the window at the gray Vermont sky. The house was quiet with the presence of death.

By Linda Sweet
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Distant Signals

Dad always gave elaborate instructions on how to use things. Most of Dad’s instructions were negative, as though the right way to do things would occur to one eventually if all the ways to do it wrong could be enumerated and cautioned against.

By David Brendan Hopes

Mr. Jordan’s Arrival

Seth was talking about baseball, and we were looking forward to our little game, when we heard Ted bark: two sharp, eager barks coming from the woods. As we got closer, we heard what sounded like a whimper. And then a voice, a command. Seth looked up at me — who was out there in the woods?

By Keith Lee Morris

baby blood

Silas started the way all babies do: a divided cell, a spot of blood. Then, after all the work, the perils of miscarriage, the sickness and swelling, he was born too early, and I found that my precious boy had a bad heart. He needed blood and money and about a million years of good luck.

By Cynthia Gregory