TAKE PHOTOS NOT FLIGHTS
I believe that a more sustainable model of behavior is suggested in "Photography of Hope," by Sebastião Salgado (January/February). Instead of each of us consuming tons of fossil fuels to transport ourselves and our gear to distant places, we should simply send a few scientists, artists, and writers to be our emissaries. Our personal need to experience the awe of these places can be fulfilled through the images and ideas they send back.
John E. Davis
THE LAST WORD
Bill McKibben's article "Year One" (January/February) inserted the period that ends the discussion, silences the debate, and answers the question "Is this nightmare reversible?" How sadly interesting to be living at this point in human history. How strangely calming to know, at least, what lies ahead. Gary Summers
An important fact relating to "Sticker Shock" ("Lay of the Land," January/February, page 13) is the way these EPA [mpg] ratings are calculated. It is the 48-mph constant speed used for testing that is the problem, not the dynamometer. Dynamometers are useful tools for engineers and can be programmed to emulate street driving more effectively. Lori Linder
West Salem, Ohio
Editor's note: In January, the EPA proposed changes in its testing procedures aimed at bringing mileage ratings closer to what consumers experience on the road.
BATTING AT WINDMILLS
In "The Green Life" section of the January/February issue, you opined that we should feel good about eating burgers cooked on a wind-powered grill ("Fast-Food Notion," page 16). Yet recent studies indicate that, in addition to killing thousands of birds across the United States each year, wind turbines are killing thousands of bats. Bats are our country's primary predators of nocturnal insect pests, like mosquitoes and crop moths, and are the world's slowest-reproducing mammals for their size, with most species bearing only one pup per year. If no solution is found to protect them from wind-turbine blades, we could lose huge populations that help protect us from West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases. Cynthia Myers
San Diego, California
ON A ROLL
Savannah Walters's actions [to keep tires properly inflated] are superb ("One Small Step," January/February). There's another way to save gas. It's called coasting, taking one's foot off the gas when the stoplight ahead turns red, even a block or more away. People these days keep up their speed until the last minute and then brake sharply. A slight change in driving habits could result in significant gas savings.
In "Digging Up Trouble" ("Bulletin," January/February, page 52), we misstated how much land has been stripmined in Florida. The correct amount is 460,000 acres, not square miles.
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