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Environmental advocates vs. champions of unregulated free-market prosperity 

Street Smarts

With the pie shrinking and the number of pie-eaters growing, we're headed for some showdowns between environmental advocates and champions of unregulated free-market prosperity.

click to enlarge John Bauer

John Bauer of Woodland Park works for Hewlett-Packard

Does environmental news get too much or too little coverage? Too little, at least in the mass media.

What's our biggest local problem, environmentally? The power plants are all coal-powered. That has advantages and disadvantages, but we have resources like wind that should be used more.

How about nationally? Nuclear power. I'd like to see it used more, but the big, inescapable problem is what to do with nuclear waste. Until we solve that, we shouldn't increase its usage.

Where have you seen environmental progress in recent years? Things have come up in the solar power industry and in micro power generation to help homeowners offset their power bills.

click to enlarge Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson of the Old North End is a musician

Do environmental stories get too much or too little media coverage? Probably not enough. Maybe people don't care enough.

What's the biggest environmental problem we face? Global warming, carbon emissions.

Where, environmentally, have you seen progress recently? President Obama has at least taken some baby steps toward environmental responsibility. There's more popular awareness of environmental problems.

How generally hopeful are you about the future of the environment? I'm hopeful in a vague way, but that may be nothing more than cock-eyed optimism.

Name a personal environmental dilemma. I'm a classic American contributing to over-consumption. I use products I probably shouldn't. I drive a car too much.

click to enlarge Stephanie Smedley

Stephanie Smedley of downtown is a stay-at-home mom

Rate the media's coverage of environmental stories. Grossly inadequate. There's tons of coverage of frivolous things, though.

What accounts for that? Americans are complacent. As long as they have their two-car garages and big-screen TVs, everything's fine. My husband and I lived in Germany for six years. Everyone recycles there; people don't litter.

Identify our biggest environmental problem. Businesses and corporations need to be held more accountable for CO2 emissions. Some people still think that global warming is a myth. Lobbyists have way too much power.

Where have you seen environmental progress in recent years? People starting to think in terms of sustainability. They're driving more fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles.

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