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

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth fields listeners’ complaints, corrections and compliments.


GELLERMAN: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Bruce Gellerman.

[MUSIC: Michigan Groundwater: Orgone “Duck And Cover” from Killon Floor (Ubiquity Records 2007)]

GELLERMAN: Time now to open the L-O-E mail. A few weeks ago we reported on a new international agreement designed to cut the emission of greenhouse gases from jet airplanes. In our interview with Sarah Burt from Earthjustice, she told us things in the sky could be a lot more efficient.

BURT: For example, we use, in the United States, a ground based navigation system, which means that aircraft actually have to zigzag across the sky, so that they have to lower their altitude to make contact with navigation systems on the ground and then go back to higher altitude again. Whereas if we had a satellite-based navigation system, they'd be able to fly at a more constant altitude, which would be much more efficient.

GELLERMAN: Many LOE listener including Richard Rhoton of Pittsburgh zagged when Sarah Burt zigged. “This is utterly false”, writes Mr. Rhoton. “No changes in altitude are required for proper navigation”. Well, to help us straighten up and fly right we called Paul Takemoto, of the Federal Aviation Administration. Seems planes don’t need to fly up and down to make contact with ground control, but they do “gently zig-zag” from one directional beacon to the next.

TAKEMOTO: So if you look at their route from a distance it’s essentially a straight line. But as you get closer and closer you’ll see that there are actually geometric edges to that line because they’re flying from one ground based nav aid to the next.

GELLERMAN: And Paul Takemoto says in the works is that satellite system that will smooth things out in the future. Thanks for setting us straight, Paul!

Our interview with super- safe, fuel-efficient champion trucker Carl Krites drove many listeners to send in their fuel-saving tips. Steve emailed, “ I set my cruise control at 60 and let the world buzz by. I am in no hurry. I find myself with the same crowd at the next light anyway, they’ve just been sitting there longer.”

And we got this comment from Alan Bau who tunes in to KRCC in Colorado Springs: “ I never drive around in a shopping center trying to get the closest parking space to the entrance. I take the space at the end of the row of cars and park. If I can pull through, I do, so I don't waste fuel backing out. Then I walk to the entrance. It may be a few more steps, but I save time and don't waste fuel.”

And as promised, we’re sending out official, LOE tire gauges to those whose fuel saving tips we used on the air. And if something we say gets your pressure up, or lets you down, let us know. Our email address is comments at L-O-E dot org. That’s comments at L-O-E dot O-R-G. or go to our Facebook page – it’s PRI’s Living on Earth.



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