Some years ago my wife submitted an editorial to our local newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal. It spoke out against the plan for a company headquarters building to be erected in our neighborhood right along the lake which would have necessitated the demolition of the neighborhood of houses, including the one we were renting.

Her editorial was published in its entirety (it was quite a long article). In the end, the corporation gave in and decided to build their building elsewhere. I’m sure my wife’s article was at least partially responsible. Unfortunately the neighborhood still got bulldozed. But at least there isn’t some monstrous building right on the lakefront.

The point of this is that editorials in the newspaper, also known as op-ed (opinion-editorial) pieces, can make a difference. If you care about something and you don’t feel the issue has the visibility it deserves, then write to your newspaper. Craft a well thought-out op-ed piece. In fact, I think we should all be doing this sort of thing once a year, not just as a one-off.

One thing that really bothers me about New Zealand (which is where we live now) is that catalytic converters are not required by law. So, in the name of the Almighty Dollar, every imported used car gets their catalytic converter snipped off and resold overseas. Consequently when you drive on the motorway you choke on disgusting polluted air from the cars ahead of you. I find this appalling; a law should be passed to prevent this from continuing.

That is just the sort of thing one can write an editorial about. And if not you, then who?

So I guess I had better get started on that article. ;-)

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