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


Air Date: Week of

Audience response and turns of phrase.


CURWOOD: And now it's time to hear from you, our listeners. Our use of the phrase "ecoterrorism gone wrong" to describe a recent mink release in Oregon prompted a note from Neil Murray, a listener to Vermont Public Radio. He vehemently objected to the use of the prefix "eco." "The animals were probably released by vandals or animal rights activists," he writes. "To smear environmentalists wholesale with a term designed to create a violent backlash against conscientious individuals is a tactic anti-environmentalists have used with some success. For Living on Earth to repeat this smear is inexcusably poor journalism."

On the other hand, Bob English, a listener to KALW in San Francisco, objected to the terrorism part. He writes, "Who exactly is terrorized by the release of minks? I see no good reason to connect environmentally motivated acts of sabotage to bombings and shootings. It demonizes those involved."

The final analysis goes to Professor Emil Posovac of Loyola University, who listens to us on Chicago's WBEZ. He says, "The phrase 'eco-terrorism gone wrong' begs the question: what kind of terrorism is justified? Terrorism itself is wrong," he writes. "It cannot go wrong unless one believes that terrorism is okay."

We always appreciate your comments, questions, and story ideas. Give our listener line a call. The number is 800-218-9988. If you'd rather write, send e-mail to LOE@NPR.ORG. Our postal address is Living on Earth, 8 Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. And check out the Living on Earth web site at www.loe.org. Transcripts and tapes are $12.

It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.



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