And so this is Earth Day

“Though I treat her carelessly, Mother Earth provides for me” —songwriter Eric Kaz

In 1970, the year of the first Earth Day, President Richard Nixon devoted a full two-thirds of his State of the Union address to environmental issues. This year, President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address contained not a single reference to the environment.

This could mean two things: Either the Earth’s ecological health has so improved in the past 34 years that there’s no point in even discussing such matters, or somehow we’ve dropped the ball, and protecting the environment doesn’t much matter anymore in our undying pursuit of material gain.

Unfortunately, the latter answer is far closer to the truth. We are consuming more resources than ever, fouling our waters, polluting and warming our atmosphere. We are engaged in a war based in no small part on our desire to burn endless amounts of crude oil. We are living like there’s no tomorrow. If we’re not careful, we just might be right.

With this in mind, we present this Earth Day issue and ask you to re-examine your relationship with Mother Earth.

First we have a story profiling Stephen H. Schneider, one of the world’s experts on global warming and its potential consequences. A professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Stanford University, Schneider has warned of the dangers of human-caused climate change since the 1970s.

One of the chief causes of global warming is the exhaust created by the internal-combustion engines that power the millions of environmentally harmful vehicles we can’t seem to live without in this country.

So we consider two roads less traveled— the bus route and the bicycle path— and hope you do too.

It’s getting hot in here
Global warming is a trend, not a certainty, a Stanford scientist says. But do we want to gamble that it won’t get worse?

Get on the bus
It’s easier, cheaper and more fun than driving, riders say. You just need to try it

Two-wheeled liberation
For these two men, living without a car is not only possible, it’s easy