Thank you for printing Thomas Friedman's column regarding Costa Rica's environment ("Pay Up," April 14). Reading about Costa Rica's system of environmental protection, I was simply amazed. It seems absolutely perfect, or as perfect as a country can achieve when dealing with environmental and economic issues. As a middle-school student, I'm worried about the future of our country's economy and environmental health.
The article states, "Costa Rica is insisting that economic growth and environmentalism work together." The United States also needs to address these two issues as one, by charging the companies, not the consumers, for their environmental damage. In addition, Costa Rica saves the environment and money all at once by receiving more than 95 percent of its energy from renewable resources.
Basically, Costa Rica is in near-perfect shape. It is reversing deforestation, and poor villagers are able to earn money by preserving their water. The citizens are saving money, and the environment is thriving. Also, biodiversity of the area is protected and remains as interesting and varied as ever.
Though the work to improve our environment to this state would cost a lot of money at first, the short-term and long-term results will easily cover that debt and bring our country more economic stability than ever. I know protecting the environment is on everybody's minds these days, but is buying eco-friendly bags and water bottles enough? No. We need to take a page from Costa Rica. It's time for real action, America.