Plant Trees SF Events 2011 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
1.   Knowland Park hearing postponed to April 27
2.   Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? held over another week in Berkeley
3.   39th Annual Wildflower Show Sat-Sun at Mission College in Santa Clara
4.   Gardening with Natives online forum
5.   Halt Utility Box blight in San Francisco - be there April 26
6.   Plumbing the depths (and shallows) of the most important and problematic resource issue confronting the American West:  water
7.   Nothing to be lost by achieving universal access to reproductive health care services
8.   LTE on the price of gas
9.   Mayoral candidate David Chiu - community voices on the environment event
10. Earth Day weekend celebration in the SOMA
11. Several Earth Day events in the East Bay
12. Another Earth Day event on Albany Hill, uh....TONIGHT 6 pm
13. New GM of East Bay Regional Park District talks on April 27
14. SF Housing Action Coalition, a force for improving neighborhoods - Monday 25 April
15. Mike Vasey to receive OPen Space Hero Award 4/25
16. Freshwater mussels have a remarkable life cycle
17. Botanizing in northwest Argentina April 26 at Ted Kipping potluck
18. Black plants instead of green?  On some exoplanets, yes
19. From my archives:  David Brooks, thoughtful commentator
20. God really does talk to George Bush
21. Save the date:  Bay Area Open Space Council Conference May 12
22. The California buckeye, by Jake Sigg
23. Why our brains do not intuitively grasp probabilities
24. Antibiotics may weaken flu fight/The emergence of superweeds also raises questions about justifications for genetically engineered crops
25. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats:  The Song of the Jellicles
26. Notes & Queries:  Is bottled water the biggest con-trick in history?  Or religion?


 “The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.  It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007)


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1.  Knowland Park hearing postponed to 27th

(Immediately after I sent out the last newsletter on Wednesday I received messages that the meeting had been postponed a week.  JS)

The Oakland Planning Commission changed their meeting to April 27 because the commission didn't have a quorum present.  

Knowland Park expansion
April 27 - 6 p.m., Oakland City Hall

The Oakland Planning Commission will be deciding whether to approve the zoo expansion project in Knowland Park this coming Wednesday (the 27th) at 6 o'clock in City Hall.  Public comments will be permitted.  Friends of Knowland Park encourages everyone who values this vital open space to attend.  Now's the time to speak up!  Learn more at www.saveknowland.org.

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2.  The outpouring of support for ‘Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?’ has been astounding. We are so very appreciative of any help you were able to give spreading the word about this important independent film. Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? - Official Trailer

Due to popular demand, The Rialto Cinemas in Elmwood has agreed to EXTEND our run.
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood
2966 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

We will be screening 4:45pm matinees from April 22nd-April 28th 
The link to the theater website is here.
Another honey bee documentary will be playing on May 15th called "Vanishing of the Bees". 
www.queenofthesun.com

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3.  39th Annual Wildflower Show being held Sat-Sun, Apr 23-24 10am-4pm at Mission College in Santa Clara.

This is a free, two-day expo devoted to California's plant diversity. Over 400 species of plants will be on display, accurately labeled and grouped by families.
Want to learn to identify wildflowers? Come to the free class on Saturday at 11am.
Want to learn about the best wildflower viewing spots in the Bay Area? Come to the free class on Sunday at 11am.
Want to learn about gardening with native plants? Come to any or all of the free classes on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 2:30pm.
The complete class schedule is given below. Bring a friend, neighbor, or loved one.

CNPS Wildflower Classes
Saturday, April 23, 2011, 11am-12:00pm
Wildflower Identification for Beginners - Toni Corelli

Saturday 23 April, 1-2pm
Converting a Lawn to a Native Plant Garden - Annaloy Nickum

Saturday 23 April, 2:30-3:30pm
Native Plants for the Garden - Chris Todd

Sunday, April 24, 2011, 11am-12:00pm
Bay Area Wildflower Hotspots - Cindy Roessler

Sunday 24 April, 1-2pm
Easy to Grow Native Plants - Radhika Thekkath

Sunday 24 April, 2:30-3:30pm
Gardening for Wildlife - Kevin Bryant

Free and open to all
Campus Center Room 219/220 • Doors close once class starts; please be on time.
Books and notecards will be available for sale.
Kids can make their own wildflower bookmarks and other crafts at the children's activities table.

Directions: Take 101 to Santa Clara. Take the Great America Parkway North exit. Take the first left on Mission College Blvd and follow it as it turns right and loops around campus. Then take the 2nd left into Lot C (free parking Sat & Sun in Lot C only; $2 elsewhere). Walk to Campus Center (Cafeteria building).

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4.  Gardening with Natives

Online Forum

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This egroup is for individuals interested in growing California native plants in their home gardens, parking strips, school gardens, parks, and elsewhere. This is a forum for communication, for asking questions, and for providing helpful answers. Members come from all backgrounds, from beginners to experts. This forum is particularly welcoming of those new to native plant gardening; they are encouraged to join and post their questions.

Brought to you by the Yerba Buena Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.  

Subscribe at:  

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GardeningWithNatives-YB/
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5.  Act Now to Halt Utility Box Blight: Be there on April 26th!

The San Francisco Planning Department has given AT&T a blanket go-ahead to install 726 huge utility boxes on public sidewalks throughout the City. Most utility boxes would be roughly 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 30 inches deep.

 
They would be installed citywide, each within 300 feet of existing utility boxes. AT&T is implementing its rollout neighborhood by neighborhood, so many affected communities are still unaware of the AT&T project and its adverse impact on city sidewalks.
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In granting AT&T's plan, the City ignores its own regulation that such equipment normally be housed underground or on private property. That regulation was put into effect by Mayor Ed Lee in 2005 when he was the head of the Department of Public Works (Order 175,566).

 
The Planning Department's decision to exempt AT&T from an environmental review sets an ominous precedent. The concessions made to AT&T must be extended to the other firms, including Comcast, who are expected to launch their own major citywide expansion.

 
Why did this happen so quickly?

 
San Francisco Beautiful (SFB) and Planning Association for the Richmond (PAR) have filed an appeal of the Planning Department's decision to exempt AT&T from an environmental review. That appeal will be heard by the full Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 26, at 4:00 PM.

 
1)   Write, call or email all the members of the Board of Supervisors before April 26. Ask them to require an environmental review of the AT&T "Lightspeed" Network Upgrade Project. Send a copy to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors (see sample letter and contact information below).  

 
2)   Tell your neighbors, neighborhood association and merchant association and ask them to oppose AT&T's plans by sending emails to the Supervisors. Almost all of San Francisco neighborhoods will be impacted by AT&T's proposal.

 
3)   Attend the Board of Supervisors hearing and show your support for requiring an environmental impact report on this project:

 
Tuesday, April 26 at 4 PM
Board Chambers, 2nd Floor, Room 250
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place  

 
Neighborhood Support (partial list)
Cole Valley Improvement Association
Dogpatch Neighborhood Association
Dolores Heights Improvement Club
Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association
Haight-Ashbury Improvement Association
Lake Street Residents Association
Pacific Heights Residents Association
Planning Association for the Richmond
Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association
San Francisco Tomorrow

 
“...My heart is moved by all I cannot save:
so much has been destroyed

 
I have to cast my lot with those
who age after age, perversely,

 
with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.” 
         Adrienne Rich

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6.  For more than a decade, High Country News contributing editor Matt Jenkins has plumbed the depths (and shallows) of the most important and problematic resource issue confronting the American West: water.
MattVideoGrabOverlay.jpg
Watch Matt talk about the importance of water in the West


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7.  From the Population Institute:  Mothers and Mother Earth: Making the Connection
World leaders face some very tough choices.  Deciding whether to expand family planning and reproductive health services is not one of them.  It’s a ‘win-win’ proposition for everyone, including mothers and Mother Earth.

That’s why the “Million for a Billion” campaign is developing action steps for each of the 17 days between Earth Day 2011 and Mother’s Day 2011.  It’s time to show the world that there’s nothing to be lost by achieving universal access to reproductive health care services…and everything to be gained.
When women everywhere have access to family planning and reproductive health services, there are fewer unplanned births, fewer women die as a result of pregnancy-related causes, and more children survive infancy.  That translates into:

• Less poverty;
• More primary education for girls (and boys);
• Greater gender equality and women’s rights;
• Improved health for women and their families;
• Less stress on the environment and resources; and
• A healthier planet.

In a report issued last year, the United Nations Population Fund found that:
Investing in sexual and reproductive health is one of the surest and most effective ways to promote equitable and sustainable development and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). If we can reach the poorest and most vulnerable populations with reproductive health information and services, we can save many lives and improve countless others. We will also make significant strides in reducing poverty, advancing development and protecting human rights.

Achieving a just and sustainable world is no easy task, but it will be a lot harder if women and young people do not have access to the family planning and reproductive health services that many of us take for granted.

The United Nations has set 2015 as the target year for achieving universal access to reproductive health services, but if that target is to be reached, the United States and other donor nations urgently need to step up their support for family planning and reproductive health programs.    More than 200 million in the developing world who say they want to avoid a pregnancy are not currently using a modern method of birth control.   Meeting their needs and the needs of the world’s largest generation of young people is important to people and the planet.

Help us spread the word over the next 17 days and beyond….
Those interested in participating in the campaign can check our blog, our Twitter, or our Facebook pages for daily updates and action steps.

We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out. – Paul Newman

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8.  LTE, San Francisco Chronicle

Help us, Mr. President
When is President Obama going to man up and find a way to lower the price I pay for gas? At $4 per gallon, gas is now nearly as expensive as bottled water. At 10,000 miles a year and 20 miles per gallon, a $1 per gallon increase in the cost of gas amounts to nearly $1.40 per day, or almost one-third the cost of my venti mocha.

When things get this bad, its time to use up our strategic oil reserves, give the nation a gas tax vacation and add a fourth or fifth war in the Middle East. If nothing is done soon, I may have to start driving less!

Jerry Robbins, Alameda

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9.  David Chiu Community Voices Policy Event – Environment
Time: Saturday, April 23, 1:00pm-2:15 pm
Location: Local HERE 2, 209 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco

We will break out into smaller groups to voice thoughts and solutions on topics including resource efficiency, innovative environmental policies, Re-Imagining the Civic Center, waterfront management, environmental justice and other topics.

Please RSVP here so we can have an accurate headcount:
http://davidchiuformayor.com/content/community-voices-policy-meeting-environment-0

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10.
Earth Day Weekend Celebration: Garden Beautification Day - FREE!
Saturday April 23, 2011 - 11:00am-4:00pm
SOMArts Cultural Center (934 Brannan @8th)

Following Earth Day this Friday April 22nd, we are eager to tackle the winter growth in our garden and patio.  Join us for a fun afternoon of digging in the dirt, pulling out the weeds and getting the garden ready for all of the great events coming up this spring and summer.  All volunteers are welcome.

We will develop a work plan with Amber Hasselbring of Mission Greenbelt Project, our official garden guru and artist extraordinaire.  In fact, most recently Amber was selected as one of the artists for the Art on Market Street. project with the Arts Commission so it is great to welcome her artistic vision back to the garden at SOMArts.

We will have the tasks and the tools ready and we will serve up drinks and refreshments to keep the troops happy.  Come and join us - when you are enjoying a nosh in the garden this summer during an event, you will thank yourself and we will thank you, too.  For more information or to RSVP, email volunteer@somarts.org or phone 415-863-1414, x111.

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11.
Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday!
Join us at one of our Creeks Challenge locations
Saturday, April 23rd, 9am-12pm

The Watershed Project asks the community to step up and help clean our neighborhood creeks. Celebrate Earth Day by participating in a creek assessment and learn about the amount and types of trash that end up in our waterways. Please bring work gloves and a water bottle if you have them.

Creek sites:
►Verde Elementary: 2000 Giaramita Street Richmond, CA
►Wildcat Creek Staging Area: An East Bay Regional Park located off the Richmond Parkway between Gertrude Ave. and Pittsburg Ave., Richmond, CA
►23rd St. Plaza: Corner of 23rd St. and San Pablo Ave., San Pablo, CA
►Boys and Girls Club of El Sobrante: 4660 Appian Way, El Sobrante, CA - there will be a free BBQ for all volunteers following the clean up.
►Albany Bulb: End of Buchanan St. behind Golden Gate Fields, Albany - there will be games and art-making in addition to the clean up efforts. 
--
For more information, please email juliana@thewatershedproject.org or call 510-224-4085. RSVP for groups of 10+.

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12.  Celebrate Earth Day with Friday evening walk on Albany Hill:
This Friday, April 22, we'll join with Transition Albany and Huchiun Ohlone member Corinna Gould on our second annual Earth Day evening walk on Cerrito Creek and up Albany Hill. This walk involves fording the creek and a substantial climb on narrow trails. Rewards include wildflowers, nature in this remarkable urban wilderness -- and great refreshment at the top!

 
Meet at 6 PM at Peet's Coffee, San Pablo at Carlson. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants and sleeves; bring sticks if you use them. Free, all welcome!


Meanwhile, enjoy the outdoors as well as wonderful nature talks coming up.
At our May meeting Monday, May 2, 7-9 PM at Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin, bird- and nature-lovers will enjoy hearing Allen Fish, director the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, speak on "East Bay Cooper's Hawks -- Sentinel Species for Happy Urban Creeks." Free, all welcome, and delicious refreshments!

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13.  Bob Doyle, the new General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, will speak on “Progressive Transitions: The East Bay Regional Park District in 2010 and 2011” on Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 pm, in the Auditorium of the Orinda Public Library, 24 Orinda Way.

Please join the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society in celebrating Bob’s appointment to head the Park District. This meeting, like all East Bay CNPS membership meetings, is free of charge and open to everyone. If you have questions, please contact Sue Rosenthal, 510-496-6016 or rosacalifornica@earthlink.net.

Directions to the Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way:

From the west, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda/Moraga exit. At the end of the off ramp, turn left on Camino Pablo (toward Orinda Village), right on Santa Maria Way (the signal after the BART station and freeway entrance), and left on Orinda Way.
From the east, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda exit. Follow the ramp to Orinda Village. Turn right on Santa Maria way (the first signal) and left on Orinda Way.
Once on Orinda Way, go 1 short block to the parking lot on the southeast side of the two-story building on your right. There is additional free parking beneath the building as well as on the street.

From BART (4 blocks): Exit the Orinda station, turn right and cross a pedestrian bridge, then cross a second pedestrian bridge on the left. Walk 1 short block on the sidewalk to the third pedestrian bridge. Walk 2 blocks on Orinda Way to the Orinda Library.

The Auditorium is on the second floor of the Orinda Library building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. The Auditorium opens at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm.

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14.  S.H.A.R.P. April General Meeting  Monday, April 25 - 7PM

1736 9th Ave. San Francisco

Please join what promises to be a lively discussion on how housing, land use and environmental issues affect our neighborhoods. These are not abstract questions, but ones that affect our City's neighborhoods every day.

Tim Colen, the Executive Director of the SF Housing Action Coalition, and West Portal resident, will join us to present a perspective on how "smart growth" can actually be a strong force for improving neighborhoods. The SFHAC, of which SHARP is a member, works on how to harness the imperative for change and our environmental challenges into making our neighborhoods better places to be. Is it possible to thoughtfully accommodate increased height and density and not sacrifice neighborhood character?

"*The SF Housing Action Coalition* advocates for the creation of well-designed, well-located housing, at ALL levels of affordability, to meet the needs of San Franciscans, present and future."

www.sfhac.org 

More information at *www.sharpsf.com*

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    15.  Mike Vasey to receive OPen Space Hero Award Monday 4/25
     

        On Monday night, the annual OPen Space Hero Award will be awarded to Mike Vasey. It would be great if you could attend the  Pacifica City Council Meeting (starting at 7 p.m.) and applaud him. 

If you park in the lot you will need to go into the building, get the parking pass and put it on your dashboard (others get ticketed).  

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16.  From Xerces Society ("We protect the spineless")

"Look out, monkeyface!" 
"Careful, wartyback!"

These may seem like insults, but these exclamations would excite people interested in clean water and healthy fish populations, because monkeyface and wartyback, along with pistolgrip, heelsplitter, and pocketbook, are freshwater mussels. These colorful names belie the unobtrusive appearance of these animals burrowed in the substrate beneath you as you swim, fish, or boat.

fish.jpg
Freshwater mussels have a remarkable life cycle that is inextricably linked with native fish and healthy waters. The early stage of a mussel's life is spent attached to a host fish, typically a native species. Some species of mussel release their larvae (glochidia) freely into the water. Others package them into structures that resemble small fish (as shown in this photo) or invertebrates. Fish bite on this expecting a meal, but receive a faceful of glochidia instead. 

Host fish are amply repaid as adult mussels improve water quality. Mussels filter water as they feed, and mussel beds are often associated with cleaner, clearer water. Freshwater mussels also stabilize stream beds and their shells provide habitat for caddisflies, stoneflies, and other insects that fish eat. 

People have used freshwater mussels for millennia. Many Native American tribes gathered mussels for food and used their shells as tools and ornaments. The scale of exploitation changed in the mid-19th century when pearls were discovered, and then mussel shells were used to make buttons. By the mid-20th century, when plastic buttons were introduced, tens of millions of freshwater mussels had been stripped from rivers and creeks. Even today, some mussels are harvested so pieces of shell can be used as 'seeds' in the oyster pearl industry. 

mussels2.jpg
North America has a remarkable richness of freshwater mussels, with about 300 species. Most of these are found in the east; the west has only eight species. Freshwater mussels are the most imperiled group of animals in North America. Creeks and rivers are threatened by dams, channel modification, pollution from farming and development, water withdrawal, and the spread of alien species, and many of these impacts are further exacerbated by climate change. Seventy-one eastern species are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and many more are declining. 

Until recently, very little was known about freshwater mussels in the western states. There may be only a handful of species but they are no less important for healthy creeks. To help fill this gap in knowledge, Xerces recently completed a status review of western species. In collaboration with mussel researchers and museums, we collected thousands of mussel records and compared each species' historical and current distribution. Western species in dramatic decline include:
• Western pearlshell 
• Western ridged mussel 
• California floater/winged floater group  
Xerces is also working with watershed organizations in the Northwest, training staff and volunteers to survey for native and invasive mussel species in urban and urbanizing streams. With this information, the conservation needs of freshwater mussels can be better considered in stream management decisions. 

Visit these links to learn more about freshwater mussels in your region and what you can do to protect them: 
• Pacific Northwest Native Freshwater Mussel Workgroup 
• Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society 
• Freshwater Mussels of the Upper Mississippi 
• Fun With freshwater Mussels (for kids)
• Unio Gallery   

One mussel can filter up to 18 gallons of water a day!

 
Some mussels can live up to a century!  

 
Of the 1,000 species of mussels worldwide, around 300 are native to North America!  

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17.  Ted Kipping pot luck/slide shows
4th Tuesday of the month at 7 pm (slide show at 8 pm) at the San Francisco County Fair Bldg, 9th Av & Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park
Served by Muni bus lines #6, 43, 44, 66, 71, and the N-Judah Metro

*Please bring a dish and beverage to serve 8 people

Apr 26  Peter Wan, Botanizing in northwest Argentina

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18.  Center for Biological Diversity
Wild and Weird -- Alien Plants: Totally Goth

Would you laze in the shade of a black elm tree? Eat black lettuce in your salad or play soccer on black grass? New astrobiological research suggests that on a different world, green plants might not exist at all. They might even be black.
That's because Earth gets its light from a unique star -- one whose color, temperature and distance from us makes photosynthetic plants absorb all wavelengths of light except infrared and green (the green is reflected back for our eyes to see). Most stars in the Milky Way aren't like our sun at all -- in fact, about 80 percent are red dwarfs. Photosynthetic plants absorbing the light of these kinds of "suns" could reflect hues of red, blue, yellow, purple or even grayish-black. And according to the new study, plants on planets with two red dwarfs in the sky, which are pretty common, would probably look plain old black.
So there's another reason to take care of this colorful world. Happy early Earth Day.
Read more in National Geographic.

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19.  From my archives:

(JS:  New York Times columnist David Brooks interviewed by Scott Schaefer on City Arts & Lectures, KQED FM 8 Aug 04.  My notes reflect what I was able to scribble quickly, not necessarily what is important, and they are also sporadic and disjointed--but I found the talk interesting.)  

People tend to be in political party they were born into, or in which they have always been, rather than party membership reflecting their true interests.  In other words, they adopt as their own the views of the party.  Educated people are more likely than uneducated to stay in party, rather than stray to another.

Everyone is polarized, and you speak only to those who think like you; you can't have a conversation in Washington DC.  If you reach out to others you are slapped down.  You can't be candid and you cannot talk to the other side - those rules don't apply anymore. 

The rules don't allow you to admit you made a mistake.  That would expose you to attack and ridicule, so you must tough it out.  Bush is not allowed to admit Iraq was a mistake.  The last time an American president was allowed this was JFK and the Bay of Pigs; that kind of admission is not allowed anymore.  In addition, Geo. W. Bush, because intellectually limited, will not engage in open debate.

Everyone says mean things about their opponents; however, vitriol is reserved to those in your own party.  John McCain is civil to his opponents, but he called Dick Cheney "a fucking asshole".  You can say--and think!--only what is in your self-interest. 

Americans' optimism formed by exploiting virgin land.  Westward migrators kept going, passing up good farmland because they were convinced there was something even better ahead.  Today we will work long hours because we're convinced that we'll thereby have greater means for attaining simplicity.  On average we work 350 hours a year more than Europeans. 
Brooks cited examples of what we do with our wealth--e.g., cell phones.  He says listen to what people use their cell phones for.  While boarding a plane they will call their spouse and relate that they're putting their luggage in the overhead racks, while on the other end the wife informs him that she's now driving past the hardware store.  (The conversations I have overheard are of a similar nature.  Amen!  JS)

(JS:  David Brooks and Mark Shields are regular Friday night pundits on the Lehrer News Hour, respectively of conservative and liberal leanings.  David Brooks appalled me by supporting both George Bush and the Iraq war.  I wondered how such an intelligent person could do such a thing.  As the falsity and shallowness of the war and its execution became increasingly apparent, Brooks softened his views and slowly, almost imperceptibly turned against Bush and the war.  He endorsed Obama in 2008.  

I was fascinated by this evolution.  My changed feelings towards Brooks has less to do with his opinions, which are now closer to mine, than that he has been able to evolve.  I find that to be rare; most of us don't change that much, although we modify with age.  I now find Brooks to be very rewarding to l
...

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For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.