Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Still Some Work To Do

On Earth Day 2008, there's lots of pooh-poohing over whether such a day matters anymore. WaPo's Hank Stuever writes its obituary.

Earth Day was 38 years old. What killed it? A long but admirable struggle with celebrity piety and corporate baloney, mainly.

"Hometown Columbia" would rather save worms:

I’m just so tired of causes, preaching and big-cost events to show alignment with values. So, I skipped the Green Apple Festival in DC and went brown. Yes, brown as in earth, dirt, soil.

See, yesterday, a friend of mine and I were carpooling to an event in Virginia. When I got to her house, early in the morning, I noticed dozens of sad souls: vibrant earth worms struggling against an inevitable fate: death by drying out on a concrete driveway.

So, I got to work. I knelt. I picked up a worm. I put it on the moist grass so that it could find its way back down under. And then I hit the *repeat motion” button in myself, saving dozens of worms from a cruel and unfair death. My friend, not one oriented toward squiggly, wiggly, slightly mucous-covered worms, followed in my footsteps, perhaps with a little less zeal, but with plenty of heart.

WaPo's David Fahrenthold discusses the "good and the bad" of Earth Day:

Almost everybody seems to be doing -- or buying -- something to lighten their burden on the environment. Twisty light bulbs. Hybrid cars. At Whole Foods, "bananas with a conscience."

But it can still seem as though nobody is doing enough.

Nationally, climate change has become a galvanizing political issue. But real-world changes still lag: U.S. emissions are projected to rise, not fall, over the next two decades.

In the Washington area, disconnects between environmental participation and environmental results can appear in frustrating microcosm.

On Earth Day today, area activists can celebrate grass-roots support for the Chesapeake Bay, the D.C. region's top-10 rank in hybrid-car ownership and its 1.9 million energy-saving compact-fluorescent bulbs.

But the Chesapeake is not getting cleaner. Cars in the area are still driving more miles. And, no matter what its light bulbs look like, the region is steadily using more electricity.

Closer to home, there's this update by WaPo's Christy Goodman:

Water quality in the Patuxent River received poor marks in an assessment released yesterday by the Patuxent Riverkeeper and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences.

Data collected by state and federal agencies regarding dissolved oxygen, aquatic grasses and other factors were used to determine the overall health of the river, a method similar to determining the health of the Chesapeake Bay for its annual report card. The river was given a D-minus. The bay got a C-minus in 2007.

The Patuxent Riverkeeper, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, is recruiting volunteers to conduct water quality tests for next year's report card and for a daily log on www.pwqi.net.

The Patuxent is a Chesapeake tributary and drains some 900 square miles. It is the longest waterway located entirely in the state, running from Howard and Montgomery counties.

1 comment:

Iconic Xer. said...

Thanks, Dan. I was just outside, taking advantage of the moist soil and removing dandelions by hand and with a weed digging tool. My fingernails will attest that this is so. :-)