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from the publisher

April’s Green issue is never easy to pull together. It makes us bore into the state of our environment, and it isn’t pretty. Christina Baldwin’s essay, “Darkness Before the Dawn: Redefining the Journey through Depression,” prompts us to be optimistic and stay the course. And that is the intent of our Green issue.

It’s hard to imagine meeting anyone more aware and sensitive about the environment—yet peppy as a firecracker in her mission to fix it—as professional race car driver Leilani Münter. A biology graduate who happens to be a gifted NASCAR driver, her tagline is “never underestimate a vegan hippie chick with a race car.” Ironic, you say, to have a hardcore female ecologist on the old-boy petroleum-guzzling NASCAR circuit? Yes, indeed. But Leilani skillfully uses her notoriety to promote a broad range of activist causes from the belly of the beast. Plus, she donates an acre of rainforest after every race as carbon offset, and she won’t accept sponsorship money from any company associated with the petroleum industry, nor any company involved with meat, animal testing, or leather. Her criteria are so strict that she eliminates 95% of potential sponsors. Although she lives in Charlotte, she has family ties to the Bay Area because her brother-in-law is Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead. He’s one of her primary influences in learning to wield one’s platform to effect change.

Another interview in this issue is with Debbie Raphael, SF’s new director of the environment. She’s very passionate, and we can expect results.

Given the importance of the drought, we’re grateful to Gar Smith for his report about all the ways we can save water, while Jeromy Johnson weighs in about using technology safely in light of EMFs. We’re proud of Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee’s essay on prayers to the earth and Kai Siedenburg’s about standing together with nature.

We’re certain you’ll appreciate the pictorial called “Honoring Earth: Wisdom on the Web of Life.” The stunning nature photos are accompanied by quotations from wise ecologists who have encouraged us to take stock of the gifts we’ve been given by nature. Look within and understand the value, but in the meantime, do not squander them for short-term profit. Frankly, I get sad about a world where I can’t share with other species. There is a cynical quotation by Albert Einstein omitted from the pictorial, but it is appropriate when it comes to human insensitivity toward our precious surroundings: “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Let’s pray and work to break this dangerous pattern.

We look forward to seeing you at the various Earth Day events and at the New Living Expo in San Mateo. As ever, please show your appreciation of Common Ground by patronizing our sponsors. That would be fantastic. The May-June issue’s theme will be “Creativity.”

 Go Green,

Rob Sidon, Publisher/Editor in Chief