Your views: KFC, dolls, climate change

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Kai Ryssdal: Free gets our letters segment going today. Free chicken, specifically. A couple of weeks ago I sat down with our senior editor Paddy Hirsch to talk about the value in food giveaways. A chicken dinner from KFC, in Paddy's case. He confessed he doesn't mind waiting around for his discounts. But many of you, like David Spaulding of Durham, N.C., said it's just not worth it.

DAVID SPAULDING: The reality is that a free food giveaway like this attracts a lot of people. Many of them the kind of rabble that I don't want to be in line with and jostling for my complimentary morsel.

He is many things, but Paddy Hirsch is definitely not rabble, I must say.

In that same show Sally Herships told us about a new doll in the incredibly popular American Girl line. Her name is Gwen. And she's homeless. The company says they hope she raises awareness of kids without a home. Did I mention the price tag is $95? We also learned in out letter segment this week that there is nothing like a high-priced toy to get you all to write in.

Most of you felt like Patricia Johnston of Walpole, Mass.

If middle and upper-class children need to become aware of homelessness, she wrote, parents can take them to volunteer in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter.

Last week we talked poverty with University of Michigan professor Sheldon Danzinger. About how the official poverty line of the future might be measured. David Burns from Needham, Mass., especially enjoyed the good professor.

DAVID BURNS: His B.Q. or his bloviation quotient is zero in this piece. I hope to hear more from him.

BQ, by the way, is now an official Marketplace criteria for how we book all of our guests. We kicked off The Climate Race last week, a series on global warming. Lots of letters on that one.

Cathy Schwemm is an environmental scientist from Ventura, Calif.

CATHY SCHWEMM: Discussions about where to get energy, coal, wind, nuclear, etc., only look at one side of the equation. What we need to be concentrating on is the demand side of the supply equals demand balance. If we could really learn to use less energy we wouldn't have to worry so much about production.

Murr Rhame from Charlotte, N.C., offered this perspective about the earth's rising temperature.

MURR RHAME: Assuming global warming was caused by human activity, in what way would that be unnatural? Humans are as much a part of this planet's natural environment as any other critter. If people have changed the climate, the climate is still in a natural state having not been adulterated by any unnatural influence.

One last thought about covering climate change before we move on. This isn't one of those stories where you can make everybody happy. Or include every point of view. About all you can hope to do, no matter how much time you spend on it, is make people think. So, if we did that, or if we just made you mad, let us know.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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