Letters: Trash for energy, the costs of telecommuting

Marketplace Staff Feb 2, 2011
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Letters: Trash for energy, the costs of telecommuting

Marketplace Staff Feb 2, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: It’s Wednesday! Time to check the inbox.

Thomas DeCarlo from Bloomington, Ind., wrote to us about our story on turning trash into electricity. He thought the environmental friendliness of the idea was garbage.

Thomas DeCarlo: Hearing the business rep say that their modern facility is non-toxic is like the coal industry making up the idea of “clean coal.” If it is possible to incinerate garbage without creating dioxins — a very dangerous byproduct of burning plastic — and simultaneously eliminate all the toxins we throw away, then that should be the story here.

We focused early this week on the Egyptian government blocking Web access. Fred Kinch of Westfield, N.J., wrote to complain that the press assumed social media played a bigger role than it did — and, that we fell into the same trap.

Fred Kinch: As if Blackberries and iPhones were the only things capable of catalyzing a revolution. They seemed to forget that the Bolshevik Revolution, the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and even the Boston Tea party were all fueled by a more traditional form of social media, word of mouth.

Charles Sandmel of Brookline, Mass. heard our story on the panic lurking in the municipal bond market. He wanted to clear something up — municipal defaults are very rare.

Charles Sandmel: No major local government has filed for bankruptcy since Orange County in 1994 and no bonds defaulted in that event. No state has defaulted since Arkansas did so in the 1930s, and the state cured the default the next year.

Finally, Mark Duggan of Palm City, Fla., heard our story on some environmental drawbacks to telecommuting. So he came up with a few reasons for not driving to the office.

Mark Duggan: Wear and tear on the car — tires, brakes, oil changes — all require energy to replenish; dress clothing, anything made of polyester or a blend is petroleum-based; also dry cleaning for work clothes, the chemicals are all derived from petroleum and hazardous to the environment.

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