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Kai Ryssdal: It's still summertime, even though Labor Day's only a couple of weeks away, and our first letter's about all things hot.

We heard story last week about a trend among the ecologically-conscious called carbon off-setting. That is, for all the carbon dioxide we spew into the atmosphere, it's possible to pay to put oxygen back in by doing things like planting trees. Thus offsetting the carbon.

Ruth Sidorowicz of Las Vegas, Nev. wrote to say all the enthusiasm about offsets sounds a little overheated to her.

Ruth Sidorowicz: We all believe we're saving all these energy credits, or you know, it's one person spending it instead of the other person spending it. But it's being spent.

Chances are pretty good we're going to see a lot of money being spent to fix this country's infrastructure — especially since the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Commentator Tim Bedore said last week he thinks the government ought to raise taxes to pay for those fixes.

And many of you wrote to second that notion. But not Bob Pekrul of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Bob Pekrul: Unfortunately, bad things happen in the real world. Mr. Bedore's notion that if we all just paid higher taxes, all of our problems would be taken care of, is wishful thinking. Instead, we need to hold elected officials accountable to spend our money wisely.

The world's biggest toy company's been having some accountability problems. Lead paint on Chinese-made imports forced Mattel to recall 19 million dolls and toy cars last week. But not everything that was pulled off shelves was yanked because of where it was made. Some of the toys had design flaws in them — designs provided by Mattel itself.

Sarah Paris of Lincolnton, N.C., wrote to say we left that point out of our report.

Sarah Paris: In fact, the toys could have been manufactured anywhere — from Montana to Mazatlan — and they still would have been recalled.

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