Letters from the issue of Thursday, May 1, 2008


Dining on our neighbors' pets: I applaud New Times for debunking a lot of the politically correct dogma that passes for environmental activism these days ("Green Fatigue," New Times staff, April 17).

Yes, the good news is that most people's hearts are in the right place. However, the bad news is that their heads are still up their butts. The big picture is this: The planet is overpopulated and the trend is accelerating.

Consider people from certain religious groups (who, by the way, will benefit directly from John McCain's proposal to raise the child tax subsidy to $7,000 a head) who are brainwashed into having a minimum of four children, who in turn have four children, who in turn have four children . . .

Then there is the unfettered flow of Third World immigrants who bring their quaint Third World customs with them like, say, having as many children as is biologically possible. Multiplying four by four by four or eight by eight by eight indefinitely results in a really big number. And that really big number is how many more houses, lawns, cars, etc. will be required as the population of the United States doubles in the next 10 years.

By then, it's not going to matter if rooftops have solar panels or if cars are all Priuses or if people recycle.

All this is good news for corporate America, which will profit from the population boom. The rest of us will be dining on our neighbors' pets and scrounging for whatever we can get our hands on.
Michael Rhodanz, Mesa

We fail at the three Rs: The recent set of articles on the whole green fad can be summed up in a single sentence: They are lying to us. Who are "they"? "They" are you and me. It's about what we tell ourselves and each other.

The biggest thing you can do to really "go green" is move from being a net consumer to a net re-user, and hopefully end up a net producer. Figure out how to re-use and re-make what other people throw out or give away (or sell for nothing at a garage sale). Figure out how to raise a portion of your own food. Figure out how to generate your own energy. Stop buying a new car every year. Keep the one you have for as long as you can, and when it dies, buy a used car with cash. Yeah, get rid of your credit cards and plan a budget.

Perhaps if more people bought pre-owned houses that, yes, are smaller, there wouldn't be insane housing and lending issues. Some of the money saved could be put to use installing solar panels and energy-efficient appliances and windows. By having a smaller house you would use less energy for heating and cooling.

As a society, we fail at the three Rs: reducing, re-using, and recycling.
Andrew L. Ayers, Glendale

Make some intelligent choices: Your green issue was pretty ridiculous, but it was a bit late for April Fool's Day.

Megan Irwin's "Waterlogged" article was delightfully absurd for suggesting that water is wasted if it is allowed to stay in rivers instead of used by humans in orgies of excess.

Sarah Fenske's "The Green Machine" article was the most ridiculous of all. She preaches against taking little steps to help the environment because she thinks that being green is painful. She's reluctant to pay a dollar for a reusable bag when she can get plastic bags for free. It's definitely the right choice to buy the bag. It's more convenient, carries more groceries, and does not rip before you get home.

Ultimately, being green is about making intelligent choices. Don't buy incandescent light bulbs when fluorescent bulbs cost much less. Insulate your home instead of paying huge power bills. Finally, don't buy dumb 411-page books.
Evan Lawrence, Glendale

Everybody's cringing: I hope you had a lovely Earth Day! I just wanted to point out the subtle hypocrisies of your little exposé "Green Fatigue."

I loved how, in the opening paragraph, you state how you're not going to get all preachy and then, two or three paragraphs later, the article advises people not to take their cars to an eco-friendly fashion shows. Instead, save up for solar panels. Hmmm, sounds preachy to me.

I can't decide whether this is a thinly veiled "we care more than you" elitist piece or whether you're all a bunch of closeted conservatives who honestly don't give a damn.

While your writers may have done a nice job pointing out accurate fallacies about this movement, I don't agree with the way you condescended to those who sincerely work hard in it (myself and colleagues included).

I may even agree that I, too, cringe a little when I see how environmentalism is turning into such a fad. However, growing up in a generation that is absolutely plagued with apathy, I don't see how it's useful to send out the message: "It doesn't matter — you shouldn't care because you'll never make a difference."