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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of November 25, 2005

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We hear from our listeners about recent Living on Earth stories.

Transcript

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

[LETTERS THEME]

CURWOOD: After our report about proposed changes at the National Parks Service, some listeners thought a shift in emphasis from conservation, to conservation and public enjoyment, could mean increased noise and pollution. Carol Hinkley Thompson, a listener in Lubbock, TX also called in to say the parks can save money by making better use of volunteers. She opposes the notion of raising funds by putting brand names on park structures.

THOMPSON: If the director is really wanting to raise money, no commercialism is needed. There are plenty of excellent ways to bring in contributions, give recognition to the donors and maintain our park service as it has been.

CURWOOD: Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan’s call to tax the so-called windfall profits of oil companies struck a nerve with John Felmy, the chief economist of the American Petroleum Institute, who says such a tax would be unfair to the millions of Americans who invest in oil companies.

FELMY: Make no mistake: a windfall profits tax would be a blow to the nation’s energy security. It would cut U.S. oil production and drive up oil imports. That’s exactly what happened the last time we had a windfall profits tax. Moreover, oil and natural gas companies already pay huge taxes. And most of what they earn goes to covering the cost of operations and to support investment in new oil and gas production.

CURWOOD: Seventeen year old Kathy Jetnil listens to our show on KIPO in Hawaii. Her family hails from the Marshall Islands and she e-mailed us after hearing our story about the legacy of displacement and illness caused by U.S. nuclear testing on the Islands a half-century ago.

“I grew up hearing stories about the nuclear testing that took away so many of my relatives, including my grandparents, who died before I was born,” writes Ms. Jetnil. “It is a vital part of our history, something we never forget. I just wanted to thank you so much for such an excellent program that brought attention to a subject virtually unknown by the public.”

And finally, some listeners went, shall we say, ape over our story about plans for a refuge for bonobos in Africa. Something about these primates’ peace-loving, matriarchal society touched quite a few of you, including Joan Qualiardi, who listens on WBEZ in Chicago.

“Having struggled through many years in our society as a single mom and grandmom, the report made me smile,” Ms. Qualiardi writes. “I’m emailing it to my granddaughters.”

If something you hear on our program makes you smile, or frown, call our listener line anytime at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-99-88. Or write to 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144. Our e-mail address is letters at loe dot org. Once again, letters at loe dot org. And visit our web page at Living on Earth dot org. That's Living on Earth dot o-r-g. CD's and transcripts are fifteen dollars.

 

 

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