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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)


Air Date: Week of

Listeners respond to features on oil spills and nuclear power.


CURWOOD: Barry Schwab of Nashville, Tennessee, takes us to task over some of our coverage of recent major oil spills. He says we should have been tougher on our guest from the Oil Spill Intelligence Report. We asked her what it would cost to reduce the risk of spills by 90 percent, and she replied that as long as we move oil around in tankers, spills are inevitable. Mr. Schwab writes, "We would totally support hard-hitting interviews. Of course," he says, "it did get my dander up enough to see the ludicrous nature of her fossilized position. Uh, sorry for the poor pun."

From Pasadena, California, Kuram Khan writes that our report didn't emphasize tanker design as a preventive measure. "A possible safe design," Mr. Khan writes, "would be a multi-chambered hull, which would restrict the oil spill to a portion of the total oil carried."

But Jane Tucker of Oklahoma City called in to tell us that the real issue is not how the oil is transported, but rather, why.

TUCKER: The government of this country is requiring us to import the oil when it is already here. We could take care of at least 80 percent of the oil required by this country, in this country. It is not the problem of the people who are driving automobiles. It's the problem of federal control, because they have made agreements with other countries that we will import their oil.

CURWOOD: Commentator Janet Reynolds' criticism of a new nuclear power industry advertising campaign, aimed at women, brought a number of responses. Denise Grevell, who calls herself a "grateful grandmother from Maine," writes, "Thank you! Our grandchildren will not only inherit our national debt, they will inherit our nuclear waste!"

But J.W. Morris of Aiken, South Carolina, suggests that wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. "All nuclear waste is being handled very safely in this country," Mr. Morris writes, "as it has been for decades. High-level nuclear waste is not yet subject to ultimate disposal, but the technology needed is available today and can be implemented - when Ms. Reynolds and others like her see the light and get out of the way."

And we received this call from Kathy Roach, the director of media services for the US Council on Energy Awareness.

ROACH: "Women are about half the population, control most of the money, and are increasingly well represented among today's opinion and business leaders. So, are women a special target of our advertising? You bet. Ours, and every other advertising campaign."

CURWOOD: If you have any comments, complaints, suggestions, or questions, get in touch. Our listener comment line is 617-868-7454. That's 617-868-7454. And our address is Living on Earth, Box 639, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02238. That's Living on Earth, Box 639, Cambridge, Mass. 02238.

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