Air Date: Week of April 14, 2000
This week's letters include responses to our coverage of conservative environmentalist Peter Huber; George W. Bush's environmental agenda; the new, low-emission cars and journalist Jamie Kitman's expose of the history of leaded gasoline.
CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.
(Music up and under)
CURWOOD: "Perhaps your guest has not seen the widely-circulated figure that the United States, with only five percent of the world's population, consumes 25 to 30 percent of the world's natural resources." So writes Robin Salzburg, a listener to KQED in San Francisco, in an e-mail this week. She's responding to our conversation with author Peter Huber, a conservative who calls himself a hard green. Mr. Huber asserts that it's the developing world that's causing some of the biggest environmental problems these days, not the United States.
But Ms. Salzburg writes, "It's insulting and flat-out wrong to blame the massive environmental destruction of the Earth's ecosystem, caused by our consumer culture, on the Third World. Allowing Mr. Huber to share his ideas without thoughtful critique on your part was a great disservice to your listeners."
John Kohler, another KQED listener, criticized our coverage of George W. Bush's new environmental agenda. "Your broadcast," he writes, "implied that Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush are the only candidates in the election. They may be the principal candidates, but Ralph Nader is the one who considers environmental issues as central to our life on earth."
We got lots of response to our piece on new low-emission cars. Mike Larson, who hears us on KUSU in Logan, Utah, spoke for many listeners in saying that hybrid and fuel cell cars shouldn't be considered the Holy Grail. Mr. Larson writes that, "These new vehicles eliminate only the most immediate and obvious threat, but fail to consider that the roots of the poisons are much deeper. Sprawl and roads will continue to grow, and our roadways will continue to squeeze out bicycles and pedestrians. The same will always be said for automobiles, no matter what energy source they use."
Finally, Patrick, a listener to WBUR in Boston, who didn't want us to use his last name, called about our interview with journalist Jamie Kitman, and Mr. Kitman's research into the secret history of leaded gasoline.
PATRICK: I thought that was the most interesting segment you've ever run. I thought it was a better expose, actually, than the whole thing with nicotine and the cigarette companies, because this one has been so nefarious. And I just hope you follow up, and that you keep on this story. I've noticed that no other media seems to have picked it up, and except for "The Nation" magazine, that you guys have the scoop.
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