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Happy Earth Day

President Bush is in Sacramento today to help celebrate Earth Day by visiting the California Fuel Cell Partnership demonstration facility in West Sacramento.

In addition to his expected praise for alternative fuel sources (ahem), the Texas oilman (ahem, ahem) strongly feels “… the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” So do I, Mr. President. So do I. Well, probably not salmon, trout or tuna, but definitely other species. Someday. Maybe. One can only hope. You’re such an optimist, Mr. President, I’ll bet you can envision a world in which, one day, cars are powered by the renewable fin power of peaceful fish. Peaceful fish that are paid a living wage and whose children attend better schools. Better schools for schools of fish! Dare we dream this American dream?

President Bush also makes the bold ecological statement that “It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” Really gives you pause, doesn’t it?

Happy Earth Day.

Barbara Martin Says Earth Day Should Frighten You

I agree. Here’s her timely blog post.

Are you celebrating Earth Day every day? Sometimes it’s hard to do it every day and in every way, but we can all take little steps that will have a lasting effect. Earth Day’s a great day to buy a worm bin or start a backyard compost pile, plant a tree, sign up for a creek clean-up, or send a donation to an environmental organization.

Nature Conservancy
Sierra Club
Sacramento Valley Conservancy
California Oak Foundation
California Native Plant Society

When I was a kid growing up in Sacramento, I remember playing in the field next to my grandparents’ house in the Arden area. The field had a creek, tall grasses, ladybugs, polliwogs, frogs, turtles and snakes. Then came the Alta Arden Expressway. The creek was dammed. Then came the developers. The field of my childhood, where I learned about bugs and flowers, cardboard forts and first kisses, is now a parking lot and more homes.

The other day I visited the Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s Deer Creek Hills Project near the Rancho Murieta gated housing community, country club and golf course. I was very startled to see a turtle at Deer Creek Hills. Was it alive? Yes! Was it a real turtle just like the ones in my old field? Yes… only Deer Creek Hills is teeming with much more wildlife and unspoiled beauty than my nostalgia-blessed suburban field. Is this turtle safe? Probably, because it’s living on protected land. Are developers itching to build new homes all around it? Is the pope Catholic?