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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of April 16, 1999

Listeners respond to: a story on the U.S. military’s use of depleted uranium ammunition, and an interview with environmental journalist and media critic Paul Brodeur.

Transcript

CURWOOD: And now it's time to hear from you, our listeners.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Last week we asked you to comment on the US military's possible use of radioactive, anti-tank ammunition in Yugoslavia. The response was overwhelming: 8 to 1 against the use of depleted uranium rounds. This reaction by Oshana Turtle, who hears us on KSMF in Ashland, Oregon, was typical.

TURTLE: For the public to find out that these kinds of shells were even used in previous wars, is essentially telling us that we're declaring small-scale nuclear war. And I think if more people knew that, we definitely wouldn't stand for it.

CURWOOD: But more than a few of you disagreed, including one listener to KSTX in San Antonio, Texas, who asked that we not use his name. He said he was an armored cavalry trooper in the Gulf War, and was frequently exposed to exploded depleted uranium shells, with no ill effects. "As someone who was in the firing line during the ground war," he writes, "I was glad to have the tank-killing shells on our side."

Our interview with environmental journalist Paul Brodeur also provoked a variety of responses. Some listeners agreed with Mr. Brodeur's charge that the media are doing a poor job of reporting on environmental health issues. But Roland Finston, who hears us on KQED in San Francisco, took issue with Mr. Brodeur's own reporting. Mr. Finston cites a report from the American Cancer Society to contradict Mr. Brodeur's claim that cancer rates are going up. "I'm sorry," he writes, "that you were taken in so easily by his most recent expose."

Has our reporting got you fired up? Call our listener line any time at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. Or write 8 Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. Our e-mail address is LOE@NPR.ORG. Once again, LOE@NPR.ORG. And check out our Web page at www.livingonearth.org. Tapes and transcripts are $15.

 

 

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