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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of July 17, 2009

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

Following environmental news can be a pretty gloomy task. But Living on Earth has its rays of sunlight, too. We dip into our mailbag to hear what on Earth keeps our listeners happy, as well as what they want to gripe about.

Transcript

[LETTERS THEME MUSIC]

YOUNG: And now – time for your comments.

Our interview with Harvard Professor Graham Allison about nuclear terrorism set off an explosion of comment – some accusing us of fear mongering, others thanking us for moving the issue off the back burner.

Peter Keenan of Maynard, Massachusetts who hears us on WFCR in Amherst, liked Allison’s “proposal to safely lock away all the world's nuclear weapons” – and wanted it to go a step further.

He writes “if it is feasible to bring all nuclear-armed countries to agree on a lock-up regime, wouldn't it be equally feasible, and much more desirable, to agree on complete abolition of nuclear weapons? Why not?”

And then there was this email from Pat Churchman of Bridgewater, Virginia. She hears us on station WMRA in Harrisonburg. “Just wanted to say, how extremely depressing almost all environmental news is and has been in recent years. Those of us who are trying to do something lose heart and those of us who feel they can't do anything significant anyway, don't even bother to try.”

Well, those words struck a nerve with us here at Living on Earth – we often feel that paralysis of doom and gloom as well – so we called her up.

Pat are you there?

CHURCHMAN: Yes, I am.

YOUNG: Well thanks for joining us. Pat, you sound a little down.

CHURCHMAN: Well, you know, when I wrote that I really was. But I have something to add to that.

YOUNG: Yes?

CHURCHMAN: Last week we went to an environmental conference held at Montree North Carolina Presbyterian Church, which is what we belong to. And we got to go on a field trip to Warren Wilson College.

YOUNG: Uh-huh.

CHURCHMAN: And we were so excited. They showed us their environmental dorm, and they used as much as possible all local materials, timber from their woods. And they had plantings all the way up to the door practically, edible plantings. And they had this amazing composter. They compost the food from their dining hall. I was so impressed, I wrote a letter to Michelle Obama and said you have to go visit Warren Wilson College.

[LAUGHING]

CHURCHMAN: There are positive signs, and we have to look to those.

YOUNG: Well thanks very much for your time. I appreciate it very much, and I hope you keep listening.

CHURCHMAN: Thank you.

YOUNG: Pat Churchman of Bridgewater Virginia.

Well – bad news – good news – or anything else in our show – please get in touch. Email comments@loe.org – or call our listener line, 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-99-88.

[LETTERS THEME MUSIC]

 

 

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