Earth Day! Our own little shout out to the home planet.

Carla Axtman

We're a holiday-loving species, aren't we? We've got tons of them. From remembering dead presidents to honoring our ancestors to paying homage to various spiritual/religious stuff, we're a soup to nuts of celebrations.

Earth Day is a relatively minor blip in this firmament of holiday goodness. But it's one for which I have a special fondness. We've only got one big, blue marble. This is a nice reminder to help us reconnect with it.

I'm planning to get in touch with the earth later today (literally) by working in my garden. There are spring bulbs to get into the ground and some veggie seeds to plant, too.

Other, more ambitious and smart people, write articles and have them published in the O.
Attorney General John Kroger, for example:

Right now, we face serious environmental challenges. From the Willamette to the Malheur, every major river in Oregon fails federal and state water quality standards for at least one contaminant. Toxic concentrations in Portland's air exceed federal standards, and the fog blowing into the Columbia River Gorge during winter has higher acidity levels than Pittsburgh's. Clearly, this is no time to rest on our hard-earned reputation.

While these challenges are significant, we have a great opportunity for Oregon's Departments of Environmental Quality and of Justice to work together to make real progress. While DEQ has faced serious budget shortfalls for years, and continues to do so today, DEQ and DOJ are already making improvements in our enforcement effort.

If you're still looking for a way to commemorate the home world today, here's a few distinctly local ways to do it:

1. Earth Day acupuncture at Curves in Forest Grove

2. Earth Day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport

3. Earth Day "Think and Drink", Rontoms in Portland, 6:30 PM. Also in PDX, the Children's Museum Trash to Treasure Bash

4. Recycled Art Show and Contest, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls

5. Southern Oregon University in Ashland is all over Earth Day...from schooling the masses on growing medicinal mushrooms to Earth Day yoga.

6. The Oregon Garden near Silverton has free admission today.

7. Willamette University in Salem is hosting "Special Indian Country Conversations event" 8 p.m, at Willamette University's Hudson Hall.

8. Oregon State University in Corvallis has a full slate of earthy stuff, including a film that may be even too wonky for me: a documentary on the life-cycle of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)-- manufacture, use and disposal issues. Wow.

If there's something going on near you to give a shout out to the Earth, feel free to put it in comments.

  • Dan D. (unverified)

    [Obnoxious comment deleted. -editor.]

  • (Show?)

    On Earth Day 2009 - of all days! - the AP reported that European astronomers discovered on Tuesday a pair of planets similar to Earth.

    One's nearly the same size as our planet, named Gliese 581e, but it's too close to its sun to suggest habitability. Still, it's the smallest exoplanet discovered (only 1.9 times the size of Earth) versus the many others which have been many times larger that the Earth (more comparative in size to Jupiter, for example).

    The other planet discovered is within the same system - a a neighbor dubbed Gliese 581d. What makes this planet most interesting is that it keeps its orbit at a distance from that sun within the warm-to-cold-temperature-ratio scientists refer to as "The Habitable Zone".

    Whether the planet maintains a geosynchronous spin is unknown, but the positioning within the habitable zone is cause enough to suggest other planets may be out there with the proper orbit, distance and size to sustain life.

    20.5 light years away seems closer than ever before, and today's discover becomes more of a reason to believe that our progeny may one day be celebrating Earth Day extra-terrestrially.

  • dan (unverified)

    lets help the earth by introducing a fat tax

    if you love the planet start chargin the fatties

  • Billy Busdriver (unverified)

    In memoriam. Was a nice little planet. Now its indoor/outdoor habitat for humanity.

  • Ten Bears (unverified)

    We are but fleas agitating the hide of a far greater organism.

  • Ten Bears (unverified)

    Yeah, tax fat people, tax the shit out of them. Tax churches, tax teabaggers. Generate a hell of a lot more revenue than taxing hand rollers of loose leaf tobacco.

    That, without Faux Fanfare, is my now week old "Tax Day Protest". After forty years of hand rolling loose leaf tobacco I'm not going to pay you fat fuckers' new tax, not gonna' pay a tax at all. And as soon as that first batch of beer is seasoned, I'm no longer going to pay any taxes at all.

    Ever notice how them taxed to death teabaggers are the loudest to declare freedom isn't free?

  • Richard (unverified)

    Ten Bears,

    How about a tax on profanity?

  • Mike (unverified)

    Check out what the opposing side is thinking. I received this e-mail today from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

    Today is Earth Day - a day when many Americans make resolutions to voluntarily conserve more energy and work toward cleaning up their local environment.

    Unfortunately, some politicians in Congress are using Earth Day to ultimately push more taxes on American employers and working families.

    And they're doing it all in the name of the environment.

    As we emailed you last week, President Obama has already admitted his "climate bill" will mean higher taxes on energy use for everybody in America.

    Now, Congressmen Waxman and Markey have proposed a new bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions and create regulations on everything from:

    New homes "with slanted roofs," meet a "solar reflectance" standard if they use "fiberglass asphalt-shingle roofing."

    ...furnaces, laundry machines, dishwashers, "showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals," even jacuzzis. Jacuzzis?

    We're all in favor of going green, but not at the cost of American jobs, economic recovery...and household appliances.

    In honor of Earth Day, tell us your thoughts on Congress' climate change agenda.

    Post your comment now and read what others have to say.


    Bill Miller Senior Vice President and National Political Director U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    P.S. If you didn't have the chance to watch Obama's "Higher Energy Costs" video last week, view it here.

    Appalling, no?

    I get these e-mails from the Chamber every few days and they all sound as if they're written by Fox News staffers. We should try to hijack the Chamber's leadership and turn it into a Progessive voice.


  • Ten Bears (unverified)

    On one word, sure, what, a buck? Or is the whole thing so profane it touched a nerve? For that I gladly pay the price I already pay.

  • Vince (unverified)

    Great post Carla, thank you for all the local resources. Earth Day should be everyday and more of a major holiday, it is good that there is at least one day to spread awareness. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to help the Earth:, you can add your own suggestions.


connect with blueoregon