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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Living on Earth Mailbox

Air Date: Week of September 24, 2004

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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. Time now for comments from you, our listeners.

[LETTERS THEME]

Our recent stories about the Bush administration’s environmental track record and its response to global warming drew plenty of heat from listeners. Judith Sookne tunes in to Living on Earth on WUNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She thought our report on President Bush’s environmental record did not give enough voice to administration critics.

“Yes, you did interview one expert who told the truth – that this administration has the worst environmental record of any administration, ever,” writes Ms. Sookne. “But most of the report was a careful effort to whitewash that record. You aired Bush doublespeak concerning their policies,” she continues. “And you let them have the last word – more doublespeak, but persuasive.”

Bonnie Parker-Duke listens to Living on Earth over the Internet in Magnolia, Arkansas and heard our story about a recent White House science report that acknowledges the human influence on global warming.

“Has the Bush administration really changed its stance and admitted that this global warming and climate change that we’re involved in might be partially caused by man,” asks Ms. Parker-Duke. “Or is this just something that this administration is saying to appease those of us who believe it -- until after the election when they’ll forget everything that’s been said and do as they please, just as they always have?”

And finally, Richard Brown, a retired nuclear physicist in Ann Arbor, Michigan, agreed with a recent study that says the nation’s major newspaper coverage of climate change sacrificed accurate science reporting by giving disproportionate weight to the views of a small group of skeptics.

“In the extremes there will be very small numbers of people with significant disagreement with the mean,” he writes. “The success of science is that the mean is always being tested. With reason and experiment as the guides, rather than ideology, the mean of scientific opinion is usually quite reliable. An over-emphasis on dissent, says Mr. Brown, is “good entertainment,” but it “ does not help the public to understand the current status of science.”

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 at loe dot org. Once again, comments at loe dot o-r-g. And you can hear our 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 o-r-g. CD's, tapes and transcripts are fifteen dollars.

 

 

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