Friday, April 29, 2005

And then he sold the rights

to the logging industry:

Bush Marks Arbor Day by Planting Tree

WASHINGTON - The young American chestnut was already sitting in its hole in the ground and a fresh pile of dirt was waiting nearby when the president — wearing a business suit — strode out to throw on three shovelfuls and pronounce his Arbor Day commemoration complete.

"We don't want to get carried away," laughed President Bush.

Despite the brevity of what the White House called a "ceremonial planting" on Friday, the presidential event was aimed at aiding a long effort to bring back the American chestnut. Once a dominant presence in the eastern United States, the graceful trees were virtually wiped out by blight starting at the turn of the 20th century. Now, after years of breeding, cloning and crossbreeding with other species, the Agriculture Department is ready to reintroduce disease-resistant chestnuts to eastern forests next year.

So the White House picked an American chestnut for Bush to plant on the mansion's grounds to mark National Arbor Day.

"This is our little part to help it come back," Bush told reporters. "Our message is to our fellow citizens: plant trees — it's good for the economy and it's good for the environment."

(snip)

Trees aren't as good for the economy as, say, asbestos reform.