Haiyan’s Wake

4 minute read
TIME

Haiyan’s Wake
Re “The Typhoon’s Toll” [Nov. 25]: It looks like these storms keep getting stronger. After the relief aid and the cleaning up, the clever town planners we have all over the world should suggest solutions like rebuilding farther away from the sea. We cannot go on year after year just looking on as these catastrophes happen.
Clorinda Schaumburg,
Tübingen, Germany

The horrific devastation brought by Supertyphoon Haiyan in the central Philippines in the first week of November has brought trauma to the Filipino psyche. We are thankful as a people that so many nations have lent a helping hand to those who have suffered greatly — truly a lesson to be learned as a powerful image of the best of humanity!
Herminio Arcales Jr.,
Manila

Mother of Inventions
Re “The Spark of Invention” [Nov. 25]: In the article on inventions, you identify the three most important, but you missed the one that fundamentally changed history: printing. Where would TIME magazine or the Internet be without it? Nonexistent! Mankind would not have progressed without it.
Denis G.W. Mullan,
Bristol, England

A graphic lists electricity, the Internet and the wheel as the three most important inventions. Surely you have missed the most important invention of all time: the transistor. What item that we use today would exist without it? Cell phones, computers, alarm clocks, TV remotes and cruise control, to name a few.
Doug Robinson,
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

You have omitted the mother of all inventions: religion. Like almost all inventions, it has been blamed for much suffering and distress, but it should be credited with an overwhelming accord as the conduit for so much good in our world. I cannot conceive of any invention either behind us or ahead that is likely to exert more influence on humanity.
Jack Lynes,
Middlesex, England

Eating Right
Re “Trimming the Fat” [Nov. 25]: It is laudable that the Food and Drug Administration is beginning the process of eliminating trans fats from the U.S. food supply. Even so, there will be no appreciable decrease in the rates of obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes until sugar is universally recognized as the major causative factor in these diseases. Don’t expect the solution to come from food manufacturers. The only way to reverse this epidemic is through relentless consumer education.
Brian Russell,
Ellenbrook, Australia

The dictionary definition of food as “anything that sustains or nourishes” can hardly be applied to the three items photographed. Doughnuts, frozen pizza and crackers, whether cooked in trans fats or otherwise, are not food, and a diet of such junk would ultimately result in declining health and premature death. The debate should not be over whether these, or any junk food, are cooked in trans fats but whether they should be produced at all. Mother Nature has provided us with everything needed. Why should we mutilate and squander her abundant gifts in the interest of profit?
Valerie Xanthopoulou,
Athens

Room for Royalty?
Re Conversation [Nov. 25]: I am a supporter of a pressure group called Republic, which wants a referendum on the British monarchy. Too often important news stories are sacrificed to make way for some inane news about the Windsors. I’m very pleased that TIME magazine had the courage to publish Ross Lewis’ letter.
Julian Watmore,
Hove, England

Lewis must have the most enormous chip on his shoulder if he wants to go about casting derision upon the Queen and her family. Judging from the number of visitors attracted to these shores by the mere existence of the monarch and her family, by their royal contribution to the national economy they are probably doing more than most to help keep him in business.
Gerald FitzGerald,
London

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