Re: Epistled Off

Dear Editor:

I work for a consumer-product company (apparel, not cleaning products), and I know the impact of emails and letters from customers. I think Umbra missed the boat by not suggesting that the consumer send letters by mail, as well as by email. Emails are really easy to miss in the course of a normal business day, but letters are not. The volume of consumer letters has dropped noticeably with the rise of email, so when we receive a real piece of paper sent from a consumer, we collectively sit up and take notice.

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Alyn Beauchamp

Falls Church, Va.


Re: A Vroom of One’s Own

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Dear Editor:

I wonder if Umbra did research prior to her response about retrofitting a 1970s muscle car. Her statement about price might be right, but her conclusions based on cost may not be.

I have wondered if a conversion to a more energy-efficient source of power might be feasible because, like most people, I am concerned about the environment. That is why I took the time to read her answer, but it indicates that she has a perception about these vehicles that is rather dated and out of touch. She mentions a $6,000 price tag as if that is completely unreasonable, but the paint job on my vehicles costs more than that. I really think Umbra has done a disservice to the woman who asked the question by not understanding what the thousands of people who own these types of vehicles do with their vehicles, and how they feel about them.

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J.D. Lentz

Victorville, Calif.


Re: A Vroom of One’s Own

Dear Editor:

Turning a muscle car into an eco-friendly machine will require time, money, and ingenuity … but it’s a worthy challenge and an excellent message.

My guess is an electric conversion would be best suited for a muscle car. And while it may not blow the doors off other cars at the track, it will preserve a beautiful piece of Americana and show the world that gas-guzzling dogs can learn new tricks.

Aaron Townsley

White Plains, N.Y.


Re: This Mortal Soil

Dear Editor:

I normally love Umbra’s column but I feel compelled to write about her advice on mulching. I have been led to believe by the organic-gardening industry that there are many problems with bagged mulch. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I think the advice she gave about indiscriminately using any packaged mulch is questionable. As someone who doesn’t want chemical fertilizers and pesticides used in my home garden, I don’t want to mulch with materials that were contaminated before they were packaged into mulch.

Tara Pavis

Pacifica, Calif.


Re: Let’s Get Quizzical

Dear Editor:

Quick follow-up on Umbra’s quiz: In the questions, you sort of mix up the concept of the natural and the enhanced greenhouse effects. It only really becomes a problem with question 5. Option A could be correct (if you interpret sulfur to mean various forms of sulfur and oxygen). Technically you should always be clear about whether you are talking about the natural or enhanced (anthropogenic) greenhouse-gas effect.

Michael Gillenwater

Environmental Resources Trust

Washington, D.C.


Re: Higher Ed

Dear Editor:

Just wanted to say thanks for running the interview with Edward Norton. Gotta love “Hollyweird.” Those people constitute one of the most important repositories in American culture for the possibility of a better future, especially when, like Edward Norton, celebrities use their position to make good things happen amongst regular folk. And the fact that he is far from alone is energizing. What a down-to-earth champ.

David Payne


Re: Imagine That

Dear Editor:

Regarding Bill McKibben’s article on the lack of art around global warming, I can only assume that, Michael Crichton‘s latest idiotic work aside, you don’t read any science fiction.

Dan Bridgeman

San Francisco, Calif.


Dear Editor:

Thank you, Grist, for making me laugh while reading about the systematic destruction of the earth by greedy, selfish people. I work for the Sierra Club and read one depressing report after another. Laughter is therapeutic and gives me strength for the journey. I laughed out loud several times reading this week’s Grist. You all are as funny as The Onion.

Dominique Dibbell

La Crescenta, Calif.


Re: You Like Us, You Really Like Us!

Dear Editor:

Congrats on your well-deserved Webby Award. Keep up the good work.



Dear Editor:

As a long-time Grist subscriber (probably not many of us in Spain), imagine my surprise this weekend when, while traipsing in the Pyrenees, I discovered a village called Grist. The more common name, I gather, is Eriste, but I like Grist better!

Dror Etzion

Barcelona, Spain