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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of May 21, 1999

This week, listeners respond to recent stories on the future of coal power, the cost of lumber, and roadkill in the classroom.

Transcript

CURWOOD: And now, comments, from you, our listeners.

(Music up and under)

CURWOOD: Matt Donkin, a high school social studies teacher from West Frankfort, Illinois, responded to our story on the future of coal-generated power in the United States. Mr. Donkin writes, "It wasn't so long ago that 90% of the students in my classes would raise their hands to say their dad was a coal miner. Today, most of the mines have closed and the jobs are gone. Perhaps environmentally-friendly companies could relocate to coal country, so that we could give hope to the students who pass through my classroom each day."

Our interview about the idea of pricing lumber to reflect its true ecological value caught the ear of Mark Rehmar, who hears us on KSMF out of Ashland, Oregon. Mr. Rehmar says it's naive to expect consumers to volunteer to pay more for hardwoods like oak. He suggests that a more reliable way to reduce consumption is to live in more modest-sized homes. He writes, "In making decisions on the use of wood in our home construction and finishing, smaller truly is better."

Finally, Joseph Gathman, a listener to WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan, liked the idea of using roadkill as a classroom tool. But he was not impressed with the students' interests in reducing roadkill. An ecologist himself, Mr. Gathman writes, "Feral cats and suburb-adapted animals like squirrels, raccoons, and possum, definitely do not need human protection. These animals frequently reach nuisance densities because they adapt so well to human environments. After all, nobody advocates saving the cockroaches."

You can call our listener line any time at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. Or e-mail us at LOE@NPR.ORG. Our mailing address is 8 Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. Tapes and transcripts are $15, although you can hear us any time on the World Wide Web. Just point your browser toward www.loe.org. That's www.loe.org.

 

 

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