Can anyone tell me what kind of tree this is, spilling its crimson beauty outside a local creche and office block? Reflected in the glass windows of the building is a crane across the street, where an underground parking lot next to a church is under construction. Work began in 2006 and is scheduled for completion sometime in 2008.
Remember the "purple mountains majesty" for which America is renowned? Yes, remember is the operative word. Because the Bush administration has greenlighted many mountaintops to be bombed and destroyed. You may be aware of this shocking story about what's happening to the Southern Appalachian Mountains, but it hasn't been reported in Europe. It makes me so sad and angry that no one has been able to stop the rape and pillage of our natural resources.
I've written previously about how the Bush administration has dismantled more than 400 environmental protection laws passed over decades. Now the administration has allowed deforestation and devastation of America's rain forest, causing landslides, flooding and polluting rivers and streams and poisoning the air with as much as 38 million tons of carbon dioxide, scientists say. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 800 square miles of mountains have been destroyed, equal to a one-quarter mile wide swath of destruction from New York to San Francisco.
Evidence suggests Bush cares nothing for our environment; for our children (witness his veto of SCHIP); our cities (New Orleans); our economy (billions poured into the black hole that is Iraq, but funds cut from education and health programs eliminated.) Instead, this administration's primary preoccupation appears to be lining the pockets of their already-wealthy cronies, whether for security and rebuilding contracts in Iraq or strip-mining our natural resources, then protecting the culprits from prosecution.
What's happening in West Virginia is a national tragedy and a disgrace to the ideals on which our country was founded. Shame on this administration for their key role in destroying mountaintops, an important legacy in our country. And pity the poor residents of Appalachia, whose lives have been turned upside down by these unconscionable acts.
And yes, I meant "spilling crimson" as a metaphor for innocents' blood spilled in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the purple mountains bleeding into what's left of the soil in Appalachia.
P.S. Have a cookie - have two or three! I was so upset by this story, I baked sugar drop cookies - a recipe from Better Homes & Garden's Junior Cookbook that I first made at age nine.
Of course comfort cookies won't help the situation one iota, but they'll make us feel better for a moment or two. I'll send most of these cookies to my husband's office - otherwise, I might eat half of them, in my state of anxiety!