Re: The Noble Citizen

Dear Editor:

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This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt moved to cry upon hearing that someone I didn’t know personally had died. I feel that I’ve come to know Donella Meadows in the past couple of years. Many times I have praised her writing, her clear thinking, and her easy style; I regularly sent her articles to my friends.

I will miss knowing that she’s there, working and speaking for all of us who are less eloquent. Thank you for the article telling me more about her as a person.

Mary Ellen Vincent

Kansas City, Mo.

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Re: The Noble Citizen

Dear Editor:

I have been a subscriber to Grist for about a year, and in that time, I think I have read just about every article written by Donella Meadows. I have always found her articles to be compelling from a political, social, and scientific perspective, yet also so very readable. Perhaps because her views so closely paralleled my own, I was drawn to her writing, for it is not often that I see my thoughts, ideals, and beliefs brought to light in the media.

I, for one, will truly miss her contributions to Grist, and am saddened that the environmental movement has lost such a tremendous advocate, articulate proponent, friend, and comrade to our cause. What a loss.

Emily Harting

Brookline, Mass.


Re: The Noble Citizen

Dear Editor:

I was so shocked and grieved to learn of Donella Meadows’s death. Where will we turn now for an informed, balanced viewpoint on environmental issues?

Ann Lamb

Knoxville, Tenn.


Re: Daily Grist

Dear Editor:

I was a devout Grist reader until Bush was given the presidency. Now, I can’t bear to read any environmental news, fearing that it will be too dismal to bear. Previously, there seemed to be some hope. Now the best I can do is try to ignore the next four years.

I don’t want to have to do that, and I won’t unsubscribe, but it’s a real problem. I wonder if any other readers have experienced a similar shutdown.

Carla Williams

Santa Fe, N.M.


Dear Editor:

When is Ralph Nader going to realize that his opponents are the Republicans and their strong agenda against all environmental programs? Nader and his Greens helped screw up the election last November, and they will create an even greater problem next time around by their misdirected efforts.

The Greens have a chance to work with the left for the changes they want, but have little possibility for progress with the conservative right. Gads, when will Nader wake up? How can we awaken all his Green followers to reality?

Ed Marshall

Chicago, Ill.


Dear Editor:

C’mon, give Nader and the Greens a break. Remember that our last Democratic president was the guy that let the salvage rider sail through, among many other pro-business/anti-environment policies. The Socialist Party of the Eugene Debs era 100 years ago didn’t win many elections, but its agenda — income tax, women’s suffrage, etc. — became mainstream ideas.

The Green cries in the wilderness will move the Democratic agenda to the left, as they should.

Henry Edwards

Alexandria, Va.


Re: Detroit Sucks

Dear Editor:

Who sucks more? The city planners suck for not providing adequate public-transit incentives. They suck even more for failing to recognize that the most energy-efficient and elegant form of transportation, the bicycle, has been used as a valid mass-transit method for years in Europe and Asia. They suck even more when they don’t make the bicycle a major part of driver’s education courses, and we bicyclists have to contend with drivers out on the road.

You know who sucks most, though? The enviros who think that having a clean car is the solution. Clean car? Even if a car emits much less pollution than an SUV, it still takes a huge amount of energy to produce just one. Has anyone even bothered to tally the amount of carbon dioxide and toxic pollutants released in the process of melting all that aluminum, steel, plastic, and rubber into a car?

David Nghiem

Watertown, Mass.


Re: Detroit Sucks

Dear Editor:

I wish that I could get to work without the negative environmental impact, but eliminating the car just is not practical for me.

I live in metro Atlanta. I bought an affordable house as close as I could to my place of employment: 13 miles. I estimate that for each mile closer to my office, real-estate prices increase about $60,000. As I get closer to my office, the homes become million-dollar houses. Change jobs to something closer to my house? The pay drops as I move further away from the city, so I would have to move to a new home further out and then I would be in the same situation.

I live over a mile-and-a-half from the nearest public transportation. The county where I live uses a different transportation service from the county where I work. If I were to walk to the bus stop and take public transportation, I would have to make four or five transfers before getting to my office and spend about three hours commuting each way, rather than my current 30-minute commute.

Ride a bicycle all the way to my office … in Atlanta traffic? Suicide. Walking? Thirteen miles each way. Telecommuting? The nature of my business makes telecommuting impractical. Carpooling? None of my coworkers lives close to me.

Buy an environmentally friendly car? I wish! I looked into electric vehicle options at my last vehicle change and found that there was none in Atlanta. The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are both out of my price range. For now, a “green” car is not an option. I am forced to rely on my $15,000 car with a combustion engine.

John Brandt

Marietta, Ga.


Dear Editor:

As a citizen of the U.S., I take exception to your referral to the president as Dubya. While you have the right to object to anyone’s remarks, I believe the office of the president deserves respect. Mr. Bush is “Mr. President” in the same way Mr. Clinton was.

Tongue-in-cheek does not need to be mean-spirited.

Margaret Ann Howard

Jacksonville, Fla.


Re: Daily Grist

Dear Editor:

I really appreciate the Daily Grist for its coverage and interesting format (interpretive synopses plus original sources), but I just love the headlines.

I hope several of you work on them together because it would be such a waste to laugh alone when you come up with an especially good one.

E. Graffy

Madison, Wis.

Editor’s n
ote: Thanks for the compliment. Several of us work on the headlines, but truth be told, one headline genius of a fella deserves credit above all others, Punster-in-Chief Clark Williams-Derry.


Re: Zed, last of his species, in “Bright Lights, Dark City”

Dear Editor:

I’m all for humor and free expression — but why is California Gov. Gray Davis (D) whaling on Jane Fonda in the latest Zed cartoon? She’s one of our best supporters! I keep thinking of that old saying: “How do progressives/liberals/Democrats stage a firing squad? They get in a circle!”

It could be just me, but I think there are lots of other high-profile women who get facelifts and who don’t give a damn about the environment … like Katherine Harris in Florida, for example. Heck, you could have really gone out on a limb and named Gale Norton!

Harolynne Bobis

Seattle, Wash.


Re: Easement Does It

Dear Editor:

I’ve been heavily involved in the creation and management of a 17,500-acre conservation easement in southern Arizona. Easements are attractive mainly because they are cheaper (economically and politically) than outright acquisition of property. We won’t be able to pass absolute judgment on the concept for another 100 years or so, when someone has the benefit of substantial hindsight. My recommendation for the moment: Be very wary of the cheaper solution.

Matt Chew

Phoenix, Ariz.


Re: Letter of the Law

Dear Editor:

Kudos to Charles Wilkinson, the University of Colorado law professor who argues convincingly for using the language of inspiration in our debates over environmental laws. Indeed, we cannot capture the true value of American landscapes without conveying the divine inspiration and sense of place these ecosystems give us.

Check out this new website, which connects landscape, literature, and activism to provide the passion and the fuel that Wilkinson speaks about. Organized by ecoregion, the site includes the great works of nature writing by those who have inspired us for the past 100 years (John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, and Aldo Leopold) as well as more recent writers (Rick Bass and Paul Gruchow). Inspiration, art, and beguilement will take us where statutes and scientific data cannot.

Megan O’Hara

Minneapolis, Minn.

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