Letters to the editor, May 2022

Comments from readers.



Your April edition was terrific — great photos and graphics as well as quality stories. I particularly enjoyed Wufei Yu’s research on one Chinese American family’s history in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with its connections to Jemez Pueblo (“Origin Story”). It is difficult to be reminded of all of the mistakes our lawmakers and citizenry have made over the years in limiting the rainbow connections of all immigrant groups. Hopefully, we as a nation are learning to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences, however slowly.

Jamie Gagan
Tesuque, New Mexico


What a valuable issue! It’s so good to see and share diverse memorabilia and legacy. Appreciate that your focus was a variety of collected and documented memories of women. So good to see my grandparent’s generation through the Indigenous eyes of Jennie Ross Cobb (“What Jennie Saw”). I’m delighted that documentation of family is becoming easier for Chinese Americans (“Origin Story”). Lydia Otero’s “box of life” will surely be welcomed by an archive (“Here and Queer”). The illustrations by Kate Samworth (“Nature’s File Cabinets”) made me rush to Google to see if I could order the charming pack rats, critters that plague me considerably here in the desert.

Linda Laird
Green Valley, Arizona


The April 2022 issue was another disappointment. Information related to current environmental issues concerning the West seems to be growing increasingly scarce. Editorial standards have been too hipped-up and too dumbed-down for me. I encourage you to hold to hard-hitting environmental topics, suggesting alternatives and solutions and providing info whereby readers may take action. Get radical!!!

David Lasserre
El Prado, New Mexico



I want you all to know how much I appreciate your focused attention to Westerners beyond the Euro-American white male perspective that we almost always assume. Your thoughtful and thorough exploration of the lives and experiences of the diverse peoples of the West is so needed, and has deepened my understanding and appreciation for the cultures and struggles of these many unacknowledged Westerners.

Maybe humanity will someday get that kindness and compassion toward all of us humans is the only and ultimate way to create peace and well-being on our fragile planet. In the meantime, I am so grateful for HCN for caring, for opening our eyes and for working so brilliantly toward such a day. I love the West, and I love the awareness, the witnessing and the documentation that you provide with every issue. Thank you!

David A. Yeats
Boulder, Colorado



I enjoyed your story about the Tangs in Albuquerque (“Origin Story” April 2022). It was fascinating to read about the long history of the family, and I am always saddened by how Asians were and still are treated in this country. I never knew we had a Chinatown in Albuquerque. 

Beverly Barsook
Denver, Colorado



Excellent reporting, as usual, about a vital and contentious issue here in Arizona (Colorado River Basin Spotlight, March 2022), especially for the tribes who have been cheated of their rights for so long. I was surprised, however, that one of the Colorado River’s most significant tributaries was not mentioned and doesn’t even show up on the map! The Gila River and its tributaries are essential to several nations and have been sucked dry by the Salt River Project, which facilitated the establishment and growth of the city of Phoenix. The Akimel O’odham, whose very identity comes from these rivers, have been waiting for decades for effective recognition of their rights.

Donna Tang
Tucson, Arizona



Framing climate change as a hyperobject that defies our ability to comprehend it prevents us from being able solve this crisis. As Adam McKay states plainly in his recent interview with Ben Goldfarb about his film Don’t Look Up (“How do you make a movie about a hyperobject?” February 2022), abstract problems evade straightforward solutions. Instead of pointing to “capitalism, electoral politics and human psychology” as McKay does in the interview, treating climate change as the product of a set of industrial practices with industrial policy solutions will better equip us to confront the challenge at hand. As writers at HCN have reported extensively in recent years, including in this issue, decarbonization of energy infrastructure will involve real, local environmental impacts, but a commitment to solving climate change requires these sacrifices. We should view climate solutions in concrete terms, while acknowledging that the benefits of decarbonization will be diffuse, hard to see and global in nature — a hyperobject in itself.

Mara McPartland
St. Paul, Minnesota



I thoroughly enjoyed “I pray, you pray” (February 2022). The writing exhibited all the trademarks of HCN’s journalism: an environmental issue with cultural meaning, scientific integrity, humor, enlightenment and all-around great writing. Though I was vaguely familiar with the lamprey, having grown up in Oregon, I am now a big fan of key’ween. Let’s not be the reason for this remarkable creature’s extinction.

Lorena Williams
Ignacio, Colorado

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