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Letters & Emails

Melting Away

Thank you for Jeremy Miller’s excellent, but troubling, report on the Sierra Nevada’s glaciers, “The Dying Glaciers of California” (Summer 2013). Reading the article brought back many fond memories. I began hiking in the Eastern Sierra in the 1980s. It’s sad to think that places I visited then are quickly becoming so different. The findings of paleo-climatologists working throughout California and beyond create a new urgency, both for recreationally enjoying the glaciers while we can and for rethinking our state’s water supply.

Lori Saldaña, San Diego, CA
California Assembly Member, 2004-2010

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Stand Up, Speak Out

The Summer 2013 cover story, “We’re Being Watched: How Corporations and Law Enforcement Are Spying on Environmentalists,” was an eye-opening example of investigative journalism at its best. The fact that it was written prior to the recent NSA surveillance disclosures enhances its value even more. I have sent copies of the article to my Congresswoman and Senators, and I urge other Earth Island Journal readers to make their voices heard in a similar way. Events are forcing us to take a strong stand to protect environmentalists’ right to speak out.

Donald Heller, Tucson, AZ

Money Talks

cartoon of children opening lunchboxes; one holding a sandwich, the other a cleaver, a live chicken near. She's saying, My mommy insists all our food be local, organic, and totally

The argument about natural capital versus the intrinsic value of nature, “What’s a Tree Worth” (Summer 2013), has been going on for years, and it’s not going to be resolved until we change our entire economic way of thinking. We need to answer such questions as: When is enough enough? What is the purpose of business? Does anything have value besides money? I think the natural capital argument has come out of our economy’s evolution to a monetization of everything. In order to salvage something of nature, conservationists began trying to make a case for the monetary value of nature. Does that cheapen nature? Probably. But until we begin to assign value that doesn’t involve money, it might be expedient to point out the cash value of natural things.

Faith A. Colburn, North Platte, NE

A More Humane Solution

The report on rat poison and raptors, “Rat Poison Could Cause a Silent Spring for Raptors” (Summer 2013), was interesting. Let’s not forget that humanely cage-trapping and relocating the rodents far, far away from your property is an option, too. Besides, a still-living rat might provide a snack for some other lucky raptor.

Gabrielle DiFonzo, Staten Island, NY


Our Summer edition contained several errors.

The story about the environmental risks of Myanmar’s economic opening mistakenly said the capital is Yangon. In 2005 the capital was moved to Naypyidaw.

A photo in the Raptors Are the Solution project report mistakenly identified a red-shouldered hawk as a Cooper’s hawk. The article also stated that the National Animal Poison Control Center annually receives about 160,000 reports of rodenticide poisoning. That is the total number of calls the center receives. Each year there are about 4,440 reports of poisoning.

Our cover story, “We’re Being Watched,” misspelled the name of a Pennsylvania anti-fracking activist who had been spied on. His name is John Trallo, not, as we reported, Trolla.

We regret the errors.


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