From Naomi Rachel
Last spring at The Conference of World Affairs, three female NASA scientists talked about their hate mail and death threats related to their work on global warming. I was horrified and amazed. Then I encountered similar hatred for a minor issue. We are avid backpackers and visit Canyonlands and Arches National Parks several times a year. Last Spring, I noted that the new superintendent at Canyonlands had many of the educational signs about the importance of biological soil crust removed. Arches had signage that Canyonlands did not and as a result, people were walking off trail and creating mini dust storms by trampling the soil crust. I wrote a letter to the superintendent but he did not respond. Last Fall Break we were there again and saw more damage. This time I decided to write a letter to the editor and submit it to several publications in Utah. I received a great deal of hate mail. I was accused of being ” an over educated liberal female” and some writers even checked out my university courses and commented on them. I was amazed because my topic was benign and certainly not as controversial or important as global warming. I am convinced that if my name had not identified me as a female with a PhD, my pro education, mild comments would not have elicited such negative responses.