Although I support many of the points George Black makes in "Patagonia Under Siege" (Fall 2006), I find it hard to accept that salmon farming is intrinsically bad, as he seems to suggest. Since having open-heart surgery, I have been advised to eat salmon and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Overfishing is rapidly depleting the resources of the sea, and fish farms can make a real contribution to preventing unsustainable fishing practices.
Princeton Junction, New Jersey
The Numbers Crunch
After reading about salmon farmers killing seals, drugs in the water, and tons of e-waste, it occurred to me that our environmental problems are the result of too many people consuming too much of everything. Now that evangelicals are working to save creation, isn't it about time to broach the subject of population control? I'm 46; no kids.
Fort Lee, New Jersey
Preaching to the Choir
Let me, a retired old-geezer pastor, contribute a couple of historical observations to the views expressed by Bill McKibben in "Will Evangelicals Help Save the Earth?" (Fall 2006). In the 1950s, at the Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my classmates bound for rural and village pastorates in mid-Atlantic parishes took a course in rural theology, in which they learned about such things as soil conservation, living in harmony with God's created order, and agricultural cooperatives in places like Denmark. And in my younger years, it was through church-sponsored summer camps, where our congregation's youth spent a week or two each year "communing with nature," that I first learned to walk lightly upon the land like the Delaware and the Mohawk. So in my own experience, the mainline churches have a long record of active concern for stewardship of the land. It's the use of the word "environmentalism" that's relatively new.
As a follower of Christ, I am filled with joy to see Christian groups take environmental problems seriously and environmental groups willing to work with them. Regardless of what many of us may think about one another's beliefs, we all require a hospitable earthly environment to live them out.
Bill McKibben refers to an "upstart" group called Episcopal Power and Light. In fact, there are now at least 20 Interfaith Power and Light groups in as many states, from Maine all the way to California, and together they showed Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, in about 4,000 congregations during the month of October 2006. Upstart no more!
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Before the battery-powered bike light, I powered my bike light using a small generator that ran off the wheel. The energy-harvesting technology described in "Marching Boots and Dancing Feet" (Frontlines, Fall 2006) works the same way. Perhaps all those people who drive to fitness centers in order to walk on treadmills would get more satisfaction out of their workouts if the energy they expended in the gym -- on stair climbers, stationary bikes, and treadmills -- was also used to power the televisions, lighting, and ceiling fans. I have suggested we do this on the university campus where I work.
Urban Tree Hugger
Hamilton, New York
I'm always looking for ways to sustain our environment as a consumer. Harvesting dying and fallen trees in Chicago to make lumber ("Logging Crews in Chicago," Frontlines, Fall 2006) is a great idea for every city. We all need to vote for the environment with our dollars. It's the only language many corporations understand.
Norwich, New York
Erratum: In the Fall 2006 issue, the credit for the photograph that accompanies "Now on the Menu" (Frontlines, page 10) is incorrect. The photograph was taken by Joe Treleven.