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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of January 7, 2005

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

Transcript

[LETTERS THEME]

CURWOOD: Time now for your comments on our program.

[LETTERS THEME FADES UNDER]

CURWOOD: Listener response to our roundtable discussion about recent critiques of international habitat conservation efforts was a study in contrasts. In our story we looked at charges that some conservation groups engage in preservation schemes at the expense of the indigenous people who live on the lands to be protected.

Katalin Fabian, a listener in Easton, PA, was angered by our treatment of the issue.
“Your interview’s point seemed to be railing against large conservation organizations,” she writes. “The interviewing method you applied omitted the advantages and successes that large, internationally connected conservation groups can and do muster” – gains that she says “would not have occurred without establishing larger-than-local environmentalist groups.”

But Peter DuMont, a listener in Berkeley, CA, who hears us on KQED FM in San Francisco, had a different take on our interviewing method. He praised us for “taking the responsibility of mediating conflict on the air.”

DUMONT: And it was really, really very impressive, very skillful, dog on the leg, you know – sorry for the expression, but, you know, to kind of get to the points and everything and not let people off the hook, but then let them off at just the right moment. You know, it was really very impressive.

CURWOOD: Our story about the displacing effects of climate change in the Alaskan Eskimo village of Shishmaref struck a chord with many listeners as well.
Stan Polanski hears Living on Earth in Franklin, N.C.

“Given the real-world implications of the dislocation of a society attempting to hold onto the core of its traditional life in the face of impending ecological catastrophe,” he writes, “the program is a dagger straight to the heart.”

The report also resonated with Mary Haydon, a former resident of Nome, Alaska, who now calls Montana home. She says, “Thank you for giving the ‘outsiders’ – an Alaskan term for anyone living outside of the state of Alaska – such a realistic picture of the Native people and their predicament. I personally hope that the bureaucrats in Juneau will see fit to provide the funding for relocating the village, thereby sustaining Shish’s culture.”

Sustaining regional culture carried over to our holiday special, which was dedicated to tales from Appalachia. Jennilyn Weight, who listens to KPBX in Spokane, WA, was deeply moved by Pinckney Benedict’s fictional story “Mercy.”

“I found I was both laughing and crying as I listened to this moving love story of a father, son and some neglected horses,” she writes. “I was so touched I had to pull over and listen to the whole story uninterrupted by traffic. It is amazing how much emotional impact can be released by such a short story.”

And finally, a correction and an apology. For those of you who searched in vain on our website after hearing about a Living on Earth South Africa safari trip during last week’s show, sorry. There is no safari trip this year, at least not so far. Last week’s show included elements of a previous broadcast a rebroadcast and a now outdated announcement was included by mistake. Our bad.

Your comments on our program are always welcome. Call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-99-88. Or you can send real mail to us at 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144. Our e-mail address is comments at loe dot org. Once again, comments at loe dot org. And you can hear our program anytime on our web site, Living on Earth dot org. That's Living on Earth dot org.

[LETTERS THEME FADES UP AND OUT]

 

 

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