FAMED BUT FLAWED
"Hall of Fame" (July/August) labeled Seattle as one of "five cities whose green leadership sets the bar for sustainability." While Mayor Greg Nickels (D) is enjoying applause for the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, we Seattleites are languishing in some of the worst traffic in the nation. It is appalling that we have been unable to come up with a mass-transit solution that will encourage residents to drive less.
While I cheer San Francisco's reputation as a green city, it lacks leadership when it comes to using Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park as a water-storage facility. That's a serious shortcoming when national attention is being paid to the possibility of removing Hetch Hetchy Dam, and numerous scientific reports suggest there are viable alternatives. Rebecca Livingston
I'm disappointed that you would even consider cities for your "Hall of Fame" that must import almost all their food. As Wendell Berry has written, New York City could never be sustainable, nor could any other large, high-density city, because it does not have adequate countryside to support its consumption. Michelle Barber
Municipal officials should not only encourage developers to build green ("Green Streets," July/August). They should also mandate green buildings in new developments. This will speed efforts to make our nation independent of foreign oil. Paul Feiner
Greenburgh, New York
Thank you for "Leave No Child Inside" (July/August). As a 14-year-old environmentalist, I was glad to read an article by someone who shares my view that all the talk of environmental destruction is scaring children. Since I was very young, I have often felt overwhelmed by environmental issues. It was refreshing to read something other than the typical "turn off the television and go outside" spiel. Madisen Bonnell
I'm a science teacher in an inner city in Missouri. In a class on the topic of seed dispersal, I mentioned the fun I once had walking through waist-high jewelweed because the seedpods burst when touched and flew out everywhere. One student exclaimed, "Weren't you afraid?" I answered, "Of what? The seeds?" She responded, "No, of walking through plants that high!" Then I realized that most of these children have never ventured beyond a well-mowed lawn. J. Gyhra
St. Joseph, Missouri
In the July/August "Profile," we described Michigan's Au Sable River as "rich with native brook and brown trout." In fact, the brookies are native, but not the browns. In "A Working Marsh" ("Lay of the Land," page 16), we should have stated that the new water-treatment facility in Petaluma, California, will recycle 4 million gallons of water daily, not over the entire summer.
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