Mail Call: Election & Climate

'Who's the Greenest of Them All?': Readers hailed the candidates' increased environmental awareness. One pointed to the sophistication "sweeping the nation that goes beyond thinking recycling cans equals going green." Others underscored simple steps such as switching light bulbs to fluorescents. One was troubled that hot-dog wrappers will be recyclable while large-scale factory farming remains an environmental nightmare. As for overpopulation, one said, "Celebrities who bring home a victim of overbreeding could help by offering birth-control measures."

On 'China Feels the Heat': "So I have a fantasy. That Olympic sponsors, investing millions of dollars, can be outraged by more than poor profit reports. Let them insist that China turn around its human-rights violations. Imagine capitalism at its noblest."
Danielle Karson, Rockville, Md.

How Green Is Our Election?
Regardless of who is elected in November, the candidates all seem to be putting the hybrid cart before the horse ("Just the Tree of Us," April 14). With about a third of voters citing the environment as an issue they care about, we need to educate the public more seriously before we can hope to effect any consequential change. Only then will the White House be able to promote an energy plan capable of transforming it into the Green House.
Dennis B. Appleton
Madison, Wis.

Though all candidates claim that they are actively pursuing a way to solve the current down spiral of our environmental condition, I wonder if any will actually keep their promise when they are elected to the presidency. Every four years it seems as if the environment is put on the legislative back burner because no one at the national level can agree on a policy that would suit our country. Politicians seem too easily discouraged that the environment is not a quick fix.
Katie Nelson
Berkeley, Calif.

Here's a suggestion for our national leaders—the president, members of the Senate, Congress, cabinet officials. Why don't you all agree to lead by example? Take an energy audit of your homes and offices in 2008. Compare your personal and office energy use in 2009 to 2008. Release these energy audits annually. Let's see which of our elected officials actually practices what he or she preaches. Elected officials and key appointees currently release ethics and financial data to the public. Why not also report personal energy-usage data?
Paul Feiner, Town Supervisor
Greenburgh, N.Y.

For the Record
In your April 14 Periscope interview with Ben Stein ("You Say You Want an Evolution?"), one of Stein's responses contained a serious error: He said, "There are a number of scientists and academics who've been fired, denied tenure, lost tenure or lost grants because they even suggested the possibility of intelligent design. The most egregious is Richard Sternberg at the Smithsonian, the editor of a magazine that published a peer reviewed paper about ID. He lost his job." Sternberg has never been employed by the Smithsonian Institution. Since January 2004, he has been an unpaid research associate in the departments of invertebrate and vertebrate zoology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Sternberg continues to enjoy full access to research facilities at the museum. Moreover, Stein's assertion that Sternberg was removed from a Smithsonian publication is not true. The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington is an independent journal and is not affiliated with the Smithsonian.
Randall Kremer, Director of Public Affairs
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C.

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