Letters to the Editor: Don’t expect debt-loaded students to save the world from climate change

Climate strike
Students concerned about climate change take part in a Boston rally on Sept. 20, 2019.
(Matt Stone / Associated Press)

To the editor: I am sick of reading propositions put forth by older people for students to rally to fix a world set on a collision course by their elders. (“Take a coronavirus break, college students, and use it to save the world,” Opinion, April 27)

While I appreciate his sentiment, Joseph J. Ellis fails to account for the fact that many college students will have interest accruing on loans that they took out if they take a year off to mobilize a movement.

Ellis is an emeritus professor; it is not surprising to me that someone so ensconced in the ivory tower has little idea of the realities that my generation and those younger than me face.

The abundant generosity, courage and intelligence of young people are not enough to fix the world. We young folks need more than calls to rally from older generations. We need material support in the form of loan forgiveness and other progressive policies now more than ever if we are expected to clean up the mess that was left for us.


David Nasca, Chicago


To the editor: I like Ellis’ suggestion for college students to take a semester off to turn out the vote in November. And let’s include high school seniors too.

The last year of high school is legendary for its inefficiency. To many, it’s a waste of time.

Let’s turn that time into something productive, an opportunity for students to get out into the world with a mission. Then have them reconnoiter for the spring semester to write and share their experiences before they graduate.

David Comden, Ventura


To the editor: Ellis’ is an inspired idea that is coming at just the right time. Here’s hoping and trusting that the author’s confidence in the existence of a benevolent, highly contagious activism virus will be nudged into life in some of the young people who read this piece.


The future of our country and the world may be in their hands. Yes, this is their time, and this would be the best use of it.

Gertrude Barden, Porter Ranch