Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s story, “Life on Refinery Row” (Summer, 2012) was simply great. Corpus Christi’s story could very well be that of El Paso, TX. Even though ASARCO’s copper smelting plant here was at least five miles away from residential neighborhoods, it still impacted communities. (The plant was shut down in 1999.) North of the smelting plant was the more affluent community that only had to complain about winds blowing in its direction for the plant to shut production. But if the wind blew toward poorer communities in the south and southeast, or into Mexico, production would be cranked up. It’s the same old story of agencies that are meant to protect the environment protecting the corporations instead. We, the Ex-ASARCO Workers of El Paso, hope that one day people will mean more than profits.
El Paso, TX
Letters to the Editor
Earth Island Journal
2150 Allston Way,
Berkeley, CA 94704
In the debate “Worth a Dam?” (Summer, 2012) Tim Redmond makes sound points all around when he argues against restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley. I would add two more. First, it would cost an enormous amount of money. The California Department of Water Resources estimates that dismantling the O’Shaughnessy Dam and restoring the valley would cost up to $10 billion. I doubt that spending that much on one restoration project is the best use of taxpayer dollars. Second, as Redmond says, San Francisco is “pretty darn good” at water conservation – the best in California actually – and if you check out water use rates around the Bay Area, you’ll see that the city’s neighbors aren’t doing a bad job of conserving water, either.
San Francisco, CA
Julie Zickefoose’s argument for having children, “To Breed or Not to Breed” (Spring, 2012), is as flawed as her math. Producing two kids does not “replace” she and her husband’s burden. It delays the inevitable for one generation and doubles their footprint. Let’s face it, Zickefoose’s example of brilliance, Steve Jobs, didn’t save rain forests; he made computers. I’m very different than my parents, both of whom tried to instill in me their strong work ethic and family values with no concern at all for social or environmental issues. I work for a well-known environmental organization and I see reality every day, which is why my wife and I decided three decades ago to not breed. Wearing blinders, like Zickefoose, in the hope that your children’s passions will mirror yours is naive at best.
Erica Gies is on point. If you need children, adopt them, then train them as Zickefoose suggests. No matter how one looks at it, birth rate reduction is the only answer.
San Francisco, CA
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