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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of April 19, 2002

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This week, we dip into the Living on Earth mailbag to hear what listeners have to say.

Transcript

CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. Monarch butterflies in peril. We'll look at a program that pays residents of central Mexico to protect butterfly habitat. But first:

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CURWOOD: Time for comments from you, our listeners. Verlyn Klinkenborg's recent commentary about the wild horses of the American West prompted a number of responses, including this note from Kathleen Bauer. She listens to WBBA in West Lafayette, Indiana.

"Thank you for bringing the severe plight of America's wild horses to the attention of the public,” she writes. “These animals, born wild and free, deserve something much better than capture by the Bureau of Land Management. Really rankling is the fact that these animals are removed from public land, leased to ranchers at a minimal fee. Cattle and sheep destroy the grasslands, and make life for the horses, and native animals, extremely difficult, and yet they, never the ranchers, are penalized. The demise of the wild horses is another bitter era in this country's history."

Helen Tanguis, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, also asked, “If these people are accepting the land, then what do they have to complain about? Whatever came of the saying, 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth?’"

Cindy Westerman hears us on WSKG in Binghamton, New York. She left a message on our listener line about Tom Springer's commentary on dark night skies.

WESTERMAN: I just wanted to thank you 100 percent, just thank you for doing that. That was a wonderful thing to bring out. I am an amateur astronomer. I also like dark skies. And I just cannot stand the proliferation of these suburban lights, people with these spotlights, and all the lighting in malls. It's just such an important issue. I just was so glad to hear it brought up on Living on Earth. Light pollution is just as bad as any other kind of pollution.

CURWOOD: Our interview about the hidden dangers of cosmetics with “Drop Dead Gorgeous” author Kim Erickson got some listeners blood boiling. John Knox heard the interview on WMRA in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He writes, “I was dismayed when the interviewee suggested that use of natural products will be preferable to the use of lab synthesized substances. It is a very common misconception to assume that natural products are benign or even helpful, and that lab synthesized products are more likely to be dangerous."

Or as WBUR listener, Howard Karten of Boston, put in an email message, “Arsenic and asbestos are natural ingredients, too. Do you want them in your cosmetics?"

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CURWOOD: We want your comments on our listener line anytime at (800) 218-9988. That's (800) 218-9988. Or write to us at 8 Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138. Our email address is letters@loe.org. Once again, letters@loe.org. And, visit our web page at www.loe.org. That's www.loe.org. CDs, tapes and transcripts are $15.00.

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