To the editor: Nancy Stuart's recent letter really resonated with me.

I just returned from an 18-day trip (taking care of family business) to Lake Jackson, Texas, a town of 25,000 and home to one of Dow Chemical's largest chemical plants.

Like Tennessee, Texas has restrictive and regressive policies regarding reproductive rights and treatment for the incarcerated. Texas also has a "Wild West" atmosphere regarding gun ownership — laws that allow its citizens to mostly carry guns wherever they choose. But what disturbed me were the observations I made regarding the culture. Some things (like Ms. Stuart) I found "eye-opening" and "disheartening":

1. Minimal acknowledgement of the climate crisis. Little effort to recycle or reduce the use of plastic. I saw scant evidence of solar panels. Despite Texas being sunny and having ample land, I see more solar fields in the Berkshires than I did in Texas. And, in Texas, the bigger (and less fuel-efficient) your vehicle is, the better; hybrid vehicles are few and far between.

2. Minimal accessibility to quality journalism. One Sunday, I spent 30 minutes searching for a Houston Chronicle to purchase. And, forget about a New York Times. I only need go to one of three small country stores 15 minutes from my home to purchase (along with an Eagle) an assortment of award-winning newspapers. While Lake Jackson isn't a "food desert," I felt it was an intellectual one.

3. The honoring of a slave holder. Abner Jackson (after which Lake Jackson and a major thorough are named) is notable (unlike Jefferson and Washington) for no other reason than he owned the plantation on which Lake Jackson was built.

4. Rampant COVID misinformation. I met folks who believed (even some health care providers) that the vaccine was developed using newly aborted fetal tissue.

5. Widespread adoration for Donald Trump. An investment app promoted by the former president was recommended because "everything he ( Trump) touches turns to gold."

I realize there are folks in Massachusetts who are climate and COVID deniers and devotees of Mr. Trump. Thankfully, those folks are the minority. Here, we value science, education and environment, and promote and protect those values. In Texas, everything takes a back seat to the pursuit of money.

Thank you, Ms. Stuart, for articulately expressing why you feel "lucky" to live in Massachusetts. I feel exactly the same way.

Melissa Bye, Sandisfield