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

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth dips into our mailbag to hear from what listeners have to say.



CURWOOD: Time now to catch up on comments from you – our listeners -


CURWOOD: One of our musical listeners, pianist Joel Wizansky of the Yale School of Music who tunes in to WNPR was taken by a story from the U.N. Climate summit in Poznan – but thinks that maybe we goofed.

WIZANSKY: I very much enjoyed the piece on the alphabet soup of abbreviations at the climate change conference in Poland. However I do feel obliged to point out a certain haziness in your use of the word acronym. An acronym is a series of initials pronounced as a word – like RADAR, UNICEF, or HUD. When pronounced as letters - NBC, PRI, or CIA, I think they are simply initials.

CURWOOD: You’re right Mr Wizansky – obviously we don’t know our acronyms from our initializations from our abbreviations!

Eric Sosman hears us on WBUR in Boston. He got us thinking about our recent Cool Fix for a Hot Planet segment describing a fungus from the Patagonian rainforest that produces hydrocarbons that could be used in cars. He wondered if this Fix is really cool?

SOSMAN: Turning cellulose into diesel fuel by fungus is very interesting but how does it cool the hot planet? Won’t the carbon dioxide from burning this fuel be just like the carbon dioxide from burning ordinary diesel?

CURWOOD: Well, yes, Mr Sosman, you’re right - burning fungal fuel would release carbon dioxide. But it’s the same amount of CO2 as the trees took out of the air for photosynthesis before the fungus broke them down into hydrocarbons.

The trouble related to global warming comes from releasing carbon dioxide from fossil fuels that were deep in the earth for millions of years before we refined and burnt them as gasoline or diesel.

And finally Ev Shafrir of Mountain View, California, called our holiday special featuring Asian-American storytellers “your best show EVER!” He writes - “those voices and stories are amazing. Why not include a story in EVERY show?”

Well, thank you all for being in touch – and you can always reach us at comments@loe.org. Once again, comments@loe.org. Our postal address is 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts,02144. And you can call our listener line, at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-99-88.

Coming up – President Bush draws a rare cheer from environmental activists for creating an extraordinary marine reserve.

REICHERT: It’s the only place on earth that has huge active mud volcanoes underneath the water; one of them is more than 31 miles across. There’s the second pool of boiling sulfur ever discovered, the first one is on one of Jupiter’s moons, Io; Rose Atoll which is the third monument contains the highest density of live coral cover of any place in the world - and we can go on and on

CURWOOD: Stay tuned to Living on Earth.

ANNOUNCER: Support for the environmental health desk at Living on Earth comes from the Cedar Tree Foundation. Support also comes from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund for coverage of population and the environment. And from Gilman Ordway for coverage of conservation and environmental change. This is Living on Earth on PRI, Public Radio International.

[The Blue Note 7: Dolphin Dance from Mosaic (Blue Note Records 2009)]



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