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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

This week listeners speak up about vaccinations, the rehabilitation of endangered species, bison hunting in Yellowstone Park, and our recent feature on centenarians.


CURWOOD: And now, comments from our listeners.

(Music up and under)

Physician Steven Bova, who hears us on WJHU in Baltimore, commented on our report about possible links between vaccinations and health problems, including autism. "In requiring vaccination," he wrote, "there is an essential tension between the public good and private interests. But any rational examination of the issue shows that both the public and private benefits obtained massively outweigh private interests. If we can't require this of parents, we are not a civilized people."

Bill Stevens, who listens to us on KOPB in Portland, Oregon, is a wildlife rehabilitator. And after hearing our coverage of recent experiments to freeze the sperm and eggs of endangered species, he was left with some doubts. "When the animals we rehabilitate are ready to be released back into the wild," Mr. Stevens writes, "our celebration is usually tempered by the fact that each year it gets harder to find wild habitat to release them into. If the frozen zoo workers and rehabbers want to have anywhere to place the endangered creatures we all raise, this civilization will have to start returning captured habitat to its wild state in a big way."

Mary Jane Newborn, who hears us on WNKU in Cincinnati, called after she heard our report on Indian tribes seeking to resume hunting buffalo in Yellowstone National Park.

NEWBORN: I've been an animal rights activist for decades, and I really would prefer that people only ever hurt or kill another living being out of necessity. But if anybody has the right to hunt bison, it is surely the Native Americans. If it's going to go on at all, by anybody, that's who should exclusively be doing it.

CURWOOD: And our features on centenarians sparked this memory for Kevin Parisot, who listens to KPCW in Salt Lake City. He was raised by his great-aunt and uncle. "Your story gave me a new perspective on the incredible gift I've been so fortunate to receive over the years," Mr. Parisot wrote. "I'm an organizer for a nonprofit environmental group, and attribute my knowledge of the natural world and desire to defend and protect it to my aunt and uncle. Besides keeping a garden and composting their waste, they've passed on their experience of living, working, and playing outside with the Earth every day."

Your comments on our program are always welcome. Call our listener line any time at 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. Or write 8 Story Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. Our e-mail address is letters@loe.org. Once again, letters@loe.org. Tapes and transcripts are $15. Or you can hear our program on our website at www.loe.org. That's www.loe.org. It's NPR's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood.



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