Letters & E-mails


Not an Informed Debate

I thoroughly enjoyed the Summer issue of the Journal, but I was disappointed by the article on nuclear power by Gar Smith (“Spyhopping: Don’t Mini-mize the Dangers of Nuclear Power”). The article basically said: “I think that nuclear power isn’t accident proof, and so did David Brower. Here is a list of accidents to prove it.”

We are a planet of nearly 7 billion people with huge energy needs and, therefore, complex choices. None of our current significant energy sources are problem free. As a community, we need to be informed and we need to be able to discuss these issues in an open, thoughtful, and non-polarized way. I did not think this article moved us in that direction.

John Welch
Santa Cruz, California

Wolves Betrayed
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Letters to the Editor
Earth Island Journal
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As a grassroots wolf defender, I read with much interest James William Gibson’s fine article, “Cry, Wolf” (Summer 2011), about the plight of wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. It is insidious how the wolves were betrayed by Congressman Simpson of Idaho and Senator Tester of Montana – as well as by environmental organizations including Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club (the Humane Society was the honorable exception). Those groups’ collusive agreement with the Secretary of the Interior to sacrifice the endangered gray wolf in order, supposedly, to prevent other species from being removed from the endangered species list is a monumental disgrace. It is a grievous injustice to these majestic wolves.

Frederic K. Bardelli
Osburn, Idaho

cartoon showing two cockroaches in scholar's robes, one asking 'and yet can a speices that eliminates itself in just a few million years be called successful?' and the caption, the year 3011bizarrocomic.blogspot.com.

I would like to thank James William Gibson and Earth Island Journal for the excellent article on wolves and for pointing out again the myths and downright lies that contribute to the blind hatred that so many people have toward these animals. I hope more people will be educated by this incredibly well-researched article and speak out on behalf of wolves, which have done nothing to deserve this. I am sure I am not the only one who finds it ironic that by allowing Senator Jon Tester and Congressman Mike Simpson’s wolf-delisting rider to remain in the budget bill, President Obama has only further perpetuated the right wing hysteria. Obama was going to bring science-based policies back to the White House. Instead, we are faced with a heartbreaking situation in the Northern Rockies.

Rhonda Lanier
Oceanside, California

Glass Half Empty

Mark Hertsgaard’s remedy [to climate change] is utopian (“In Review: Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth,” Summer 2011). The idea that from now on “humanity must pursue both adaptation and mitigation at maximum speeds” is childish. What he calls “humanity” is not a collective body aiming for the common good. Humanity is, and always has been, conflict and disorder and destruction. We can’t even agree that a problem exists, so how does he expect all of humanity to work together to mitigate that problem? I am almost 90 and expect (hope) to live out my life in relative peace and tranquility. But I fear that my 5 children and 11 grandchildren will eventually be stuck in a situation wherein the living shall envy the dead.

Herb Hain
Santa Monica, California

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We are standing at a pivotal moment in history, one in which education and advocacy around the climate emergency, public health, racial injustice, and economic inequity is imperative. At Earth Island Journal, we have doubled down on our commitment to uplifting stories that often go unheard, to centering the voices of frontline communities, and to always speak truth to power. We are nonprofit publication. We don’t have a paywall because our mission is to inform, educate and inspire action. Which is why we rely on readers like you for support. If you believe in the work we do, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end donation to our Green Journalism Fund.

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