Air Date: Week of January 13, 1995
In response to a recent story, listeners speak out for and against the lowly microbes.
CURWOOD: Our story on efforts to preserve endangered microbes brought this comment from Paul Ryan, a scientist at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania: "I agree very strongly that there should be some action to save the varied and unique environments that microorganisms inhabit," Mr. Ryan writes. "Biotechnology would be impossible without many of the organisms described in your broadcast. Many of the antibiotics and antifungal drugs we have today were discovered from such microorganisms. Thanks for tackling a difficult issue. Most bacteria and fungi are not very cute, so it may be difficult to get people excited about their futures." Indeed, this listener from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was less than excited about bringing endangered microbes into the public eye, given the divisive fights over such creatures as the spotted owls.
CALLER: The sizable portion of the public was amazed that the eco-groupies were willing to put people out of work to save an endangered species that you can see. Let's not give Rush Limbaugh any more ammunition. Just as the biosphere is intricate and complex, the solutions to the problems are more so, because the economic, political, and social concerns are interwoven into this. With Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, it's only a matter of time before James Watt is resurrected. As they say in Alaska, it's time to wake up and smell the low tide.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.