Carmakers' Brave New World

Regarding the article "Carmakers Race for New Engines," Aug. 15: One is almost daily reminded of how Mustapha Mond, a World Controller of Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World," slated a brilliant scientific treatise for censorship and chose a humdrum derivative one for publication. The automotive industry leaders insist that more stringent fuel-consumption requirements are "impossible" to fulfill, largely to appease oil producers.There are now engines, like one developed by Ken Galitello of Torrington, Conn., whose beauty is that they couple electrically instead of mechanically to wheel hub motors in automobiles and trucks. Energy transmission is therefore more efficient and largely wear-free, providing perfectly apportioned all-wheel drive and nonmechanical ABS braking. Vehicles with this engine could conceivably run for a while on batteries where you don't want to burn fossil fuels. Yet Galitello is having trouble selling his product and getting development money - here in a New England state aching for industries. John F. Withey, Washington, Conn.

The net loss of 'mudholes' The editorial, "Guard the Wetlands" Aug. 19, appropriately reminds President Bush of his acknowledgment that wetlands are a public good deserving protection. While the Bush administration stated that every "mudhole" cannot be protected, it neglected to mention that without many of these "mudholes," valuable habitats would be destroyed and water contamination increased. The administration's narrow definition of wetlands could mean the loss of protection for half of the nation's remaining wetlands. President Bush cannot define away another broken campaign promise. The self-proclaimed "environment president" should stand by his promise that there would be "no ne t loss" of wetlands instead of playing with definitions to please developers and deceive the American public. Robert A. Roberts, McLean, Va.

The Iraq baby-formula solution? The article "Despair Is Deep in Postwar Iraq," July 22, contains this comment about a woman struggling to feed her family: "She has just given birth to her eighth baby, and she is not sure how her husband, who earns 90 dinars a month, can provide baby formula for the child." The issue of getting enough baby formula seems to be a constant one for Iraq; formula was one of the first items Saddam mentioned when he spoke last fall of the negative effects of the embargo on Iraqis. In all the discussion of the political and humanitarian issues surrounding the Iraqi crisis, I have yet to see anyone ask why these women are not nursing their babies. Being dependent on imported baby formula seems ludicrous given the fact that women the world over possess mammary glands which exist for the sole purpose of producing the optimal food for infants. It is a tragedy for families with so little money to spend precious resources on baby formula, which is, after all, only an artificial, imperfect simulation of breast milk. Nicky Hardenbergh, Manchester, Mass.

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