Re: The Violence of the Lambs

Dear Editor:

The item about the first organization dedicated to combating eco-terrorism was rather disturbing by virtue of the manner in which it mocked industry for having funded such an endeavor and the way in which it glamorized the eco-terrorist with David Barbarash’s asinine quote.

What we have to remember is that in retaliating against people and companies for exercising the rights they have, terrorists are not assaulting criminals — they are assaulting liberty. If the problem is that companies have the freedom to plunder and plow, then we must work to revoke that freedom through legislation. In resorting to terrorism, environmentalists are asserting their ineptitude at convincing people.

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I hope every eco-terrorist is caught, tried, and punished as an unqualified terrorist. Terrorism is the bane of the environmental movement and a disgrace to humanity.

Payam Minoofar

Los Angeles, Calif.

Re: The Violence of the Lambs

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Dear Editor:

When I read your item about the Oregon organization opposed to “eco-violence,” I wanted to laugh out loud.

It seems typical that a public relations firm would be involved in something like this. What “violence” are they spending their money to counteract, anyway — the violence of a person chaining herself to a tree, as opposed to the violence of a company sawing down a 500-year-old forest?

I’ve seen those clearcuts in Oregon, Washington, Canada, and my own home state of California. I wonder how much public sympathy the “Stop Eco-Violence” organization will get. Somehow I just can’t see a well-fed C.E.O. of a major polluting paper mill company being the mascot for an ad program.

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Lonna Williams

Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

Re: Wen Bo, Global Greengrants China

Dear Editor:

I couldn’t agree more with Wen Bo’s article describing South Korea’s raging consumerism. Koreans are buying big SUVs, big-screen TVs, big refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and furniture — all like it’s going out of style.

But the average apartment here is very small, so it’s common to see perfectly usable things just thrown out on the garbage heap, and garbage heaps are everywhere.

As someone with an extensive background in waste reduction and recycling, it’s hard for me to see this and not become utterly vocal about it. The cheap furniture doesn’t last long, and one often sees bureaus and tables sitting in pieces in the gutter. But sometimes you see perfectly wonderful things. I’ve been able to supply my apartment with all the dishes I need by gathering them from the gutter when a small restaurant was demolished. I also found a black-lacquered, shell-inlayed mirror and wardrobe lying in the street where a family had moved out. What the environmental impacts of all that shell inlay is, I can only begin to speculate.

Koreans are paying a price for their consumerism in the form of full landfills (the Sudokwon landfill is among largest in the world), sewers beyond capacity, and trash piled in the gutters. And, they’re getting into debt. Personal debt in Korea is rising at a phenomenal pace. Eventually, something will have to give.

Fortunately, there are those here who are working to educate people on better recycling and resource use. One such organization is the Korea Waste Movement Network. They work on landfill issues, incineration issues, resource and recycling issues, and zero waste. They’re small voices in a big storm of waste and consumption, but at least they’re there!

Kat Bradley-Bennett

Seoul, South Korea

Re: Con Trails

Dear Editor:

Perhaps you should spend some time in Portland. All our so-called “water vapor” trails (and there can be as many as 50-60 a day) seem to come only from south of Portland, near a military base. It is extremely rare to see any emanating from the airport, which is north of Portland. Doesn’t that seem a little odd to you? I don’t claim to have suffered any ill effects, but it is rather coincidental that I know a great number of people who have at least one or two nosebleeds a month. I also have looked through binoculars at the jets creating the trails. The trails come from the tail of the plane, not from the jets on the wing. Would you mind explaining that discrepancy?

Real contrails dissipate completely within a short period of time and do not spread out across the sky. (If you doubt this, talk to airline pilots). Chemtrails last hours and spread out over hundreds of feet in very unusual cloud-like patterns. We have also observed two jets in the sky, both leaving what appeared to be contrails. One dissipated within 15 minutes and the other was there for over 3 hours. I don’t know what these trails are, but I do know they are not contrails.

If you want some serious documentation from people who have spent a lot of time studying the issue, try one of these sites:

Renee Kimball

Portland Ore.

Re: The Paper Chase

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the letter about how a corporation can reduce its waste, specifically paper. I don’t know if you are aware of ISO 14001, but it is a system designed for corporations to address all aspects of how they impact the environment (paper waste, water consumption, energy demands). Of course, this system requires top-level management to be committed to the process and it doesn’t sound like Beth is in that position. However, if employees were to show a desire for the system and if “top” people were made aware of the benefits (cost savings, increased productivity, improved environmental and worker health, and reduction of liability), then I believe her company might jump on the bandwagon. For many companies, the only direction their environmental performance can go is up.

Stephanie Marsh

Houston, Texas

Re: No Farm, No Foul

Dear Editor:

I live in the Pacific Northwest, on the coast. As you may know, this has been a commercial and recreational fishing area since before the 1900s. Nowadays, the “take” at any given time is usually a mix of natural and farm fish. It’s impossible to tell the difference unless the fish is tagged, because they inter-breed without difficulty.

This area has been known as the Salmon Capitol of America for a very long time. The ability to harvest and replenish salmon stocks is of vital importance to the health and well being of many a family in my immediate area as well as up and down the coast. When sport fishing, fish with tags are not kept. Females are often not kept, and large, young males are also often released as well.

Salmon is still considered the best eating fish in the Northwest and in many other parts of the United States. This industry is watched closely by the appropriate agencies for any problems.

I’ve seen that many times people are using an emotional reaction to create an issue that is, in reality, a non-issue. This is a common occurrence in my area, and is partly responsible for the loss of jobs and deadly damage to an entire industry. Our unemployment rate is in the double digits, higher than the rest of Washington state.

We welcome everyone who’s wants to know what’s happening out here “in the trenches” to visit and see for themselves what is really being done and how it’s being done. One very good organization to contact is Friends Of Grays Harbor of Wesport, Wash.

Joe Bryant

Aberdeen, Wash.

Re: Nuking It Out

Dear Editor:

I’m writing in response to the reader in Wisconsin who commented on Grist’s “scare” tactics regarding nuclear power. I agree that “Nuclear power is by far the most efficient and reliable source of energy we have.”

But as the letter-writer goes on to say, “The amount of waste generated by a reactor in a year is the size of a car.” If that is true, and if we along with the rest of the world shift our energy dependence to nuclear power, how may car-sized chunks of waste will the world generate? Given the numbers of reactors and the annual accumulation of waste, we will collectively face a disposal problem that will dwarf our Yucca Mountain problem. The waste will be spread around the globe, subject to who knows what security risks, and transported who knows how to who knows what disposal site that can be secured for how many years …?

So the issue in this “cost-effective” era is: When should efficiency defer to safety?

Sara Fotopulos

Tampa, Fla.

Re: When the Latter Day Saints Go Marching in

Dear Editor:

I thoroughly enjoy most of the Grist insight in the emails that I receive, but was opposed to the view presented in this news summary.

I agree with Marnie Funk, the communications director for the House Resources Committee, who said that the Mormon Church has a proven record for doing an outstanding job of restoring and preserving historical sites and that few, if any, other entities do a better job.

Martin’s Cove is a historical site where many of this church’s members died, and I believe that given the church’s good record, it should be able to preserve those people’s legacy.

Kimberly Stevens

Eagle, Idaho

Re: Nalini Nadkarni, Evergreen State College

Dear Editor:

Nalini Nadkami’s decision not to accept the gas-guzzling SUV from Toyota in the guise of “helping her environmental research” was the right one. What insight and courage it took to make such a decision.

What an amazing person she is! How I wish I had the benefit of such a teacher when I was in college.

Cindy Symington

Austin, Texas

Re: Labor’s Love Lost

Dear Editor:

Great article! I believe that dialogue is the way to go, and I think Keith Schneider did a great job of getting at the realities of the situation. Keep up the good work.

Stuart Sarbacker

Chicago, Ill.