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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of May 21, 2004

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Comments from our listeners.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Time now for comments from you, our listeners.

[LETTERS THEME]

CURWOOD: Our story about the new crop of super-clean, fuel-thrifty cars coming onto the market inspired plenty of e-mail traffic. Many who wrote in appreciated the focus on greener driving options. Others took exception not at what was included in our report, but what was left out.

“While Ingrid Lobet’s piece was interesting, I was rather surprised that she did not mention diesel automobiles,” writes Mark Wilson, who hears Living on Earth on WVPR in Vermont.

He notes that diesel cars get superior mileage compared to gas ones and declares that when the European automobile manufacturers such as VW and Mercedes introduce diesel hybrids, mileage will far surpass any gas hybrid.

Reid Pallady, a listener to Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon, lamented the omission of another clean car technology from our round-up. “There is an alternative fuel on the market right now that is being treated by the media like a step-child,” he writes.

“It’s called biodiesel. Made from any vegetable oil, methanol or ethanol and a small quantity of lye, it could immediately take a huge chunk out of our foreign oil consumption if just used in all diesels on the road today. Who needs to go hybrids?”

Jennings Heilig,, who hears us on WVTF in Roanoke, Virginia, curbed his enthusiasm for the cleaner car technologies we described. He’s waiting for cars powered exclusively by renewable energy sources.

“I came to the conclusion a long time ago that America will never end its affair with the automobile,” he writes. “What we will have to end our love affair with is non-renewable fossil fuels. Getting more miles to a tank of fuel is an outstanding first step, “he writes, but what would really get him excited is “an affordable, efficient way to harness the sun and/or wind energy that is going to waste now.”

Mister Heilig,, I ask you to please check out our website, Living on Earth dot org, for last week’s program on the latest developments regarding the renewable energy source – hydrogen. And in upcoming programs we are planning to examine the role that diesel and biodeisel vehicles may play in our transportation future.

Your comments on our program are always welcome. Call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-99-88. Or write us at 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144. Our e-mail address is comments@loe.org. And you can hear this program, and all our previous programs, for that matter, by visiting our web site Living on Earth dot org. That's Living on Earth dot org.

 

 

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