April 13, 2017 5:34 AM EDT


Justin Worland’s April 17 feature on the state of the coal industry sparked thoughtful debate. “Clean energy provides WAY more jobs than the coal industry,” @VHodgeAuthor wrote on Twitter, expressing the belief that President Trump “conned” miners with promises of work. Meanwhile, Tyler Miller of Silver Spring, Md., argued that in a changing energy market, there are other factors to consider. “Coal is no match for natural gas,” Miller wrote. Given the situation, both Imran Contractor of Valley Stream, N.Y., and Gordon D. Barnes of Mukilteo, Wash., called for increased funding for continuing education and mentorship to help coal workers hone their transferrable skills.


Joan Dubie of Westborough, Mass., was among the readers moved by Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad’s open letter to President Trump in the April 3 issue, in which the fencer criticized travel bans targeting her fellow Muslims. Her message is “striking in her unflinching respect for all parties concerned,” wrote Bradford Smith of Bend, Ore. Ann Pompelio of Sparta, N.J., said the op-ed is a testament to “our country’s ability to fight bigotry and hate with love.” Joan S. Wechter of Mount Laurel, N.J., thanked TIME for devoting a full page to it and wrote, “It is depressing and tragic that such a letter needs to be sent to a President.” Not everyone agreed: Don Ward of Lake Oswego, Ore., thought that the author’s take was “well written” but “misguided.”


Sea ice usually covers more surface area in the Canadian Arctic in early April than at any other time of year. This year, due to rising temperatures, that sea ice has decreased by 500,000 square miles, compared with the average for recent decades, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Getty Images photographer Mario Tama followed a team of NASA scientists to document these receding ice sheets. His photos, like this one from Ellesmere Island, show the fragile state of this special ecosystem–one that scientists now say might be disappearing faster than previously anticipated. See more photos on time.com/lightbox


TIME Labs mapped data that used 33 factors–like credit scores, divorce rates and sleep rates–to quantify stress in every U.S. state and D.C. (Lucky Minnesota fared best.) See the full list at time.com/stressed-states

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This appears in the April 24, 2017 issue of TIME.

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