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Protecting the Arctic Environment

Regarding the Opinion page article "Arctic Pollution Cleanup Overdue," Feb. 8: As a scientist who has spent 12 years working in the Arctic, most recently assessing the incredible dangers of nuclear and chemical waste in the Arctic region for the Environmental Defense Fund, it is indeed heartening to see the issue finally getting some long-overdue notice.

I would be remiss if I did not correct your characterization of PCBs, which you wrote as "polyvinyl chlorides," rather than the more accurate "polychlorinated biphenyls."

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Scientists researching Arctic pollution would also be remiss if we did not emphasize that diplomacy is the key to protecting the Arctic environment. The Arctic is the only marine region in the world that does not have a multinational agreement to protect its resources. The negotiation of a new and comprehensive Arctic treaty is essential to ensure that the natural benefits the Arctic region holds for the planet - in terms of climate regulation and marine resources - remain for future generations. Given t he magnitude of the problems facing the Arctic and the ignorance about them in the Western world, the Arctic must become a new and rallying ground for environmental action. Kathleen Crane, PhD Washington Consultant, Environmental Defense Fund

The environmental movement, like most successful political activities in the United States, tries hard at, and is often rather successful at, concealing complex and troublesome facts from public view. Please don't take me for supporting unregulated Russian forestry or industrial pollution, but the notion of global warming centered on the North Pole is dated and contradictory to observations.

The complex and troublesome fact is that air pollution, especially burned sulfur, increases cloud brightness and frequency, thereby reflecting sunlight and at least partly countering the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, especially in the industrial northern hemisphere and the cloudy Arctic Ocean. Douglas Lilly, Norman, Okla. Bullfights and books

In a world struggling to realize more humanity and full of enlightening, edifying literature, the fact that the Monitor published a review of James A. Michener's books "Mexico" and "My Lost Mexico," Feb. 4, featuring bullfighting, is disturbing. Despite myth and tradition, this "sport" is horribly cruel, if not pointless. Behind-the-scenes findings have revealed barbaric practices involving the animal even prior to what spectators view in the ring.

Why reinforce, even to a degree, this activity in the world and in young minds still forming concepts and attitudes on how they will treat the planet and its beings? Joanne Hedge, Hollywood, Calif. Audrey Hepburn

Thank you for your tribute to Audrey Hepburn in the article "The Amazing Range of Audrey Hepburn," Jan 28. Her film career brought her to the notice of millions. We laughed, cried, applauded, and awarded her talent. Yet, it was the few memorable moments of seeing her touch the famished with her singular gift of grace that gave us an insight into her depth and, almost to our surprise, her quiet strength. Remembrance flows into gratitude for her lovingkindness. Dawn Stanger, Lexington, Mass.

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