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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Letters from Listeners

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth dips into the mailbag to hear from our listeners.


GELLERMAN: It’s Living on Earth. I’m Bruce Gellerman.


GELLERMAN: Now it’s your turn – we open the LOE mailbox. One Green listener, actually, Jim Green, wrote in. He catches our program online and hauled us over the coals for our story about which was the more eco-friendly way to cook outdoors: gas or charcoal.

“I was disappointed that your oxymoronic piece on ‘green grilling’ didn't address the bigger problem” – he writes – “what is being grilled? From what I've read reducing meat consumption is something (and perhaps the most useful thing) everyone can do to reduce greenhouse gasses.”

GELLERMAN: Several vegetarian listeners skewered us on the same point – including James Van Allstine of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society. He hears us on WAMC in Albany, New York, and cites a Cornell University study that shows the amount of grain consumed by U.S. livestock could feed over 800 million hungry people.

Jim says that’s enough calories to end world hunger. Another WAMC listener found our story about National Train Day on track. Diane Crane called our comment line.

CRANE: When I heard that investors were starting to make inroads investing in rails again, I nearly stood up and cheered. There are too many trucks on the road. I think the rails should carry freight and people – Europe does it – why can’t we?

GELLERMAN: Our “Cool Fix for a Hot Planet” from listener Steve McArthur drew a lot of attention. Steve makes his refrigerator more energy efficient by encasing it in styrofoam. But Carol Springer in Connecticut thought styrofoam might be a baaaad idea and proposed a green alternative. The WNPR listener uses 100 percent wool insulation on her fridge. It’s called “Whisper Wool Underlayment.”

After hearing our story on WHYY, the whole idea of wrapping a refrigerator gave Dan LeFevre an itch to call us.

LEFEVRE: A lot of refrigerators at one point, and a lot of freezers I think still do, have coils built into the surface on the inner side of the exterior case. So if you insulate it, you’d only be making it use more energy because it can’t expel its heat.

GELLERMAN: Well, thanks Dan. And if you’re hot under the collar about something you hear on Living on Earth – have a yarn to spin – or just want us to stop making puns – don’t be sheepish – our email address is comments @ loe.org. And for our listeners – we’re always all ears. Call 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988.



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