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April 22, 2008

Erosia (Letters from the Editor)

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.Yelp for Welp(s)!I laughed out loud reading Jim Welp’s “OCD is the New Green” (LEO, April 2). His jesting proposal to rename “carbon footprint” to the more appropriate “carbon assprint” keenly reminds us that true environmentalism requires diligent daily practice and an ever-alert Earth consciousness ruling our every choice. While most of us are unwilling to forgo our cars and suburban residences, we do seem able to recycle, turn off the lights and use compact fluorescents.The same LEO readers were invited, in an ad on the back page, to participate in community-supported agriculture through Grasshoppers Distribution LLC. By supporting local farmers, we can reform our petroleum-driven food distribution systems that are wasteful, costly and environmentally unsound. To support our local farmers this season, and quit dousing our food in petroleum, call 582-1731 or visit localharvest.org. (But hurry, this season’s deadline to order is May 1.) If you can’t sign up for a season of fresh local food, then please support your neighborhood farmer’s market.Another greening option, offered by LG&E, is the chance to tap into renewable energy sources by paying an additional amount to our monthly energy bills. We all grumble a bit when required to open the wallet wider, but if we can’t forgo the car, perhaps we could contribute an extra amount of “green” to fund renewable-energy technologies.How lucky we are to have the wit and talent of siblings Jim and Mary Welp. Kudos to LEO for (publishing) two of the best writers in Louisville.Karen Kaye, LouisvilleGreen Root of EvilThe times have indeed changed me as well, Mr. Welp. From being a nonchalant-about-earth-and-this-so-called-climate-change young adult to an environmentally conscious older young adult, I, too, have taken on the mantle of obsessive compulsiveness. All for our planet.“An Inconvenient Truth,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and other films based on outdated science once had a powerful impact on me. I discerned their truth from fiction and decided I wanted to avoid an impending environmental apocalypse. So, being a good Cub Scout, I began recycling. I drove less. I only flushed when absolutely necessary. This meek undertaking became a hulking obsession. I remember stuffing my backpack full of empty bottles and used paper; saving every morsel of biodegradable garbage for the dorm’s recycling bins. What discouraged me, however, was the image of mismatched items in recycling containers and garbage sprawled across campus. Though the sanctimonious tingle of accomplishment felt nice, I wanted to believe this was for a reason. I wanted to know I wasn’t the only one who cared.Then it dawned on me. It was like trying to end violence, drugs or tornadoes.People are people. Some will shrug at the notion of a world smothered in smog and soiled water. Global warming is all too real, but people will inevitably leave a carbon footprint despite obsessive-compulsive efforts. All we can do is keep fighting the good fight; try and maintain balance in our off-kilter ecosystem.I still keep garbage in my backpack.Elijah McKenzie, LouisvilleOutside the BoxI really enjoyed Stephen George’s article on Sojourn (LEO, April 9). He obviously took great pains (and perhaps endured some pain) to be thorough and as objective as possible. I appreciate that he covered the various facets of Sojourn’s activity and wrestled faithfully with Sojourn’s theology and its approach to a wide variety of sins.The only disappointments were the quotes from the Rev. Joe Phelps. As an insider, Joe is in a position to understand the nuance inherent in such discussions. And yet, he insisted on describing Sojourn as “fundamentalists” — as if anyone who disagrees with him should be stuck in that box, and as if those in that (false) box are equivalent. Whatever one thinks of Sojourn, it is clear that they are not at all equivalent to what all of us understand to be a “fundamentalist” approach to matters religious, scientific or otherwise. For Phelps to obliterate that line and, ironically, to feed prejudices and intolerance, is highly regrettable.D. Eric Schansberg, JeffersonvilleDangerous CrossingThanks to LEO for the article on the challenges to Louisville pedestrians (April 16). Issue should be taken with the article’s criticism of pedestrians crossing mid-block and cyclists going through lights. Intersections are dangerous. They are no place to hang out. Cyclists should leave intersections as soon as it is safe to do so. Pedestrians should cross streets mid-block where they only have to watch for cars from two directions, rather than four or more directions at intersections.Jackie Green, co-owner of Bike Couriers Bike Shop, LouisvilleMiddle Ground RhetoricThe argument that forced maternity is akin to slavery is an extremist viewpoint, equivocal to labeling abortionists guilty of genocide (regarding Lucinda Marshall’s Connected Diss column, LEO, April 16). Each argument has a proposition that is not universally granted. Observe the disconnect between pro-choice and pro-life rhetoric.Roe v. Wade was pro-choice, in that Justice Blackmun’s opinion allowed states to restrict abortion after the first trimester, while it prohibited states from restricting abortion during the first trimester. A similar ruling from a pro-life point of view would allow abortion during the first trimester and prohibit it thereafter.The subtext was that equal rights were under attack. Thus its support rests on feminism. Yet are the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ordinal? Might not the fetus be more oppressed than the woman? Liberty is granted to the living.Can one define liberty before defining life? Would not a fairer compromise compel or prohibit equally from that point we decide life begins? It has nothing to do with religion to admit that we may need to define when personhood begins. If an 8-month-old fetus is deemed a person, then the state should be compelled to protect his rights regardless of paternity or maternal health risks, just as a 1-month-old zygote deemed not to be a person may be destroyed. Consider that a term fetus may be a person regardless of its location. Consider that a week-old zygote may just be a collection of tissue. Consider a middle ground, free of prejudice. Now we converse.Ben Schoenbachler, LouisvilleMcThunderI really liked Brian Orms’ “Liberal Dose” cartoon this week concerning Thunder Over Louisville and the McDonald’s ad that was jammed in the middle of the show. I thought I would suggest LEO do an article on corporate sponsorship. Everybody hates to see ads like McDonald’s in the middle of Thunder. We hate seeing ads for the next show in the bottom corner of the show we are watching. No one likes the football bowl games with the sponsor name coming first (Nokia Sugar Bowl, etc.) or how almost every stadium has some corporate name on it. So, if all of us consumers hate it, why do corporations continue to line up to get their name plastered on everything? Was there a rush to McDonald’s after Thunder? Are people really that ignorant that they are so easily persuaded by these types of ads? I’m thinking one of your investigative reporters could find out the truth. Tim O’Rourke, Louisville