. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission
[caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's
-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?"
with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet
editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book
on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun
-- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
Cross another item off of President Bush's to-do list
before he leaves the White House: hobbling the Endangered Species Act
and allowing federal agencies to gauge the environmental impact of their projects for themselves. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said
the changes were needed to ensure that the ESA would not be used as a "back door"
to regulate greenhouse gases.