Letters & Emails


Anywhere Row

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.

Carlos Rodriguez
El Paso, TX

Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the Editor
Earth Island Journal
2150 Allston Way,
Suite 460
Berkeley, CA 94704

Not Worth the Cost

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.

Adrian Covert
San Francisco, CA

Flawed Argument

drawing of men at a tv-style desk, one saying, The American people are tired of political pundits telling them what they're tired of!www.bizarrocomics.com

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.

Michael Hawk
San Francisco, CA

You Make Our Work Possible

You Make Our Work Possible

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.

Get the Journal in your inbox.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Subscribe Now

For $15 you can get four issues of the magazine, a 50 percent savings off the newsstand rate.