Senior Editor Paul Rauber may not be an idiot, but whoever came up with the title "Population Bust" ("Lay of the Land," July/August) must be. How else to judge the intellectual level of someone who can label a 50 percent increase as a "bust"? The world is facing the twin horsemen of population growth and consumption growth. To dismiss an increase of 3 billion people as a bust insults readers of the magazine.
El Cerrito, California
I'd like to thank Paul Rauber for highlighting population issues. The article, however, failed to mention why the United States should increase its investment in voluntary family-planning programs, particularly in less developed countries. Such an investment helps ensure a decline in fertility in the least developed countries, where unsustainable growth rates are still a reality; increases women's and girls' access to education and economic opportunities; and helps alleviate pressures on fragile environments. Sarah Fairchild
Director, Sierra Club's Global Population and Environment Program
HE AIN'T SAYING
With interest I read Bill McKibben's article "Green From the Ground Up" (July/August). The big missing piece is: What did it cost to build this home? Sierra should make a better attempt to help its readers understand the costs of energy-efficient alternatives. Jim Folger
TOXIC FISH FROM AFAR
"Reel Toxic" ("Lay of the Land," July/August) might have noted that mercury pollution is both a local and a global problem. In the eastern United States, mercury comes primarily from poorly regulated coal-fired power plants. Here in the Northwest, recent research has shown that a portion of our mercury problem can be traced to coal-fired plants in rapidly industrializing China. Our local efforts at controlling mercury are now challenged by this globalization. This only emphasizes the need for international trade agreements with effective environmental clauses. Bruce Hope
Senior environmental toxicologist, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Portland, Oregon
"Et Tu, NRA?" ("Lay of the Land," May/June) was interesting.
I am a member of both the Sierra Club and the NRA. Love of the environment and supporting the constitution are not mutually exclusive. Jay E. Meyer
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Thank you for the article on paddling in U.S. cities ("At See Level," May/June). You did, however, overlook Detroit. Paddling on the Detroit River (and its tributaries, the Huron and the Rouge) offers access to one of the nation's best urban parks (Bell Isle), a great city skyline, views of the area's industrial past, an international border, and some amazing natural areas in the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. The Detroit Heritage River Water Trail was unveiled last September to great acclaim. David Howell
Chair, Friends of the Detroit River
"Disinformation Superhighway" ("Lay of the Land," July/August) misstated the length of the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor. While the project encompasses a network of roads totaling 4,000 miles, the section from Laredo, Texas, to the Oklahoma border will cover about 500 miles.
In "New, Improved New Orleans" ("Sierra Club Bulletin," July/August), we mistakenly implied that Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 storm when it struck the Louisiana coast. Katrina had been a Category 5 at sea, but it made landfall as a weaker Category 3 storm.
The May/June cover should have been labeled as the east shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada, not California.
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