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

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

Listeners respond to our segments on: the threat to rain forests due to global warming, fur trappers in Connecticut, and our portrayal of the predatory Northern Shrike. (rhymes with "strike")


CURWOOD: Craig Federhen, who hears us on New Hampshire Public Radio, appreciated our interview with Geoffrey Jenkins, a British scientists who predicts that in the next 50 years global warming will bring massive rainforest die-backs. But he questions Mr. Jenkins' time frame, and invites the scientist to visit his 50-acre woodlot in southeastern New Hampshire, which happens to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation. Mr. Federhen writes, "I'd be happy to point out the scores of sick, dead, and dying pines, spruces, butternuts, dogwoods, maples, elms, and cedars. Middle of the next century? The die-back is here, now."

Our story on fur trappers and animal-rights activists in Connecticut drew a number of responses. Most took the position of Leisha Eastergard, who hears us on WLTR in Columbia, South Carolina. Responding to the argument that trapping is acceptable because it has a long tradition, Ms. Eastergard writes, "It wasn't too long ago that tradition was a defense for keeping slaves." Ms. Eastergard was also amused by the trappers' claim to love the animals they kill. She writes, "I hope these men don't love women as much as they do animals."

Finally, commentator Sy Montgomery's thoughts on the Northern Shrike prompted a call from Elizabeth Ur, who listens to WNCW out of Spindale, North Carolina. Ms. Ur was troubled by our commentator's portrayal of the bird's eating habits, which include impaling its prey on sharp objects the way we use a knife and fork.

UR: Why do we have to put human traits onto animals? I think it gets them into a lot of trouble. It's very sensationalist. And I don't think it served the public to really be informed about this bird's very interesting habit, for sure, but not gruesome.



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