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

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

Listeners comment on our reports about Occidental Petroleum, anti-noise measures in rural Massachusetts, and the cause of floods in Vietnam


CURWOOD: And now time for your comments. A number of you responded to our story about Occidental Petroleum and its history with the people and land in South America. Reverend Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley who hears us on WBUR in Boston writes: "I am still reeling from your report. I learned about this issue last Spring and have been advocating for my pension fund, Fidelity, which invests in Occidental, to be reviewed for social screening. It was not until this morning's report that I really FELT the impact of this reckless corporate greed." And Deborah Ofsofwitz, who listens to WMFE in Orlando, Florida had the following observation: "Isn't it interesting that the lawyer representing Occidental makes no distinction between legally correct and morally correct. They have done nothing wrong in Peru legally, perhaps, but that doesn't make it right... it makes the law wrong." Our story about an Amherst, Massachusetts man who's suing a nearby farmer for noise pollution drew this suggestion from one listener. "Buy some earplugs!" (Amherst farmers asked for and won an exemption from the town's noise law, by the way.) Meanwhile, Elizabeth Parker called in from Camden, Maine, where she listens to Maine Public Radio. Ms. Parker says that in her part of the world it isn't only noise that's driving people away. "We here have the ironic condition now of our mountains being protected from sprawl by the pesticides that are sprayed on the blueberries. People like to build on the mountain tops because they think it's a pure environment and then they get sprayed by helicopters that are spraying the Maine wild blueberries." And Mark Coats, who listens to KUT in Austin, Texas says our coverage of the floods in Southeast Asia reinforced a common misperception by placing some of the blame on the victims themselves. "I lived in Southeast Asia for years," he writes, "and living close to the river is not new. The size of these floods is. The logging and cutting of the mangrove trees is not the work of the poor. The hills upstream... are clear cut for their valuable hardwood. The mangroves give way to commercial shrimp ponds, to grow shrimp for export. Both are done by companies to export product to international markets. It isn't healthy to give corporations and the rules of global trade a free ride for their part in floods." Your comments on our program are always welcome. Call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. Our e-mail address is letters@loe.org. Once again, letters@loe.org.



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