From the Publishers

New Times ahead

by Chris Klein

ecember will mark the start of our fourth year of publication. Each month, more than 41,000 copies of the Earth Times are picked up. Assuming that the bulk of these are not being used to wrap fish or line bird cages, this means that about 85,000 of you are reading this issue.

This community acceptance is gratifying to all of us here at SDET. In what we have been told is a society of non-readers, your willingness to take time our of your busy days to read our paper is a gift: to us and to the future we're trying to create. We don't run fluff pieces or horoscopes and, so far, we've resisted the urge to put out a "swimsuit" edition. Hopefully, our articles get you to think ­ and act.

Perceptive regular readers may have noticed that we've changed the tag line on our cover from "Monthly reader of the environment" to "Reader of life and the environment." We think this change reflects our interest in, and concern for, our quality of life, in the broadest terms. In our global society, what environmental issues don't affect our quality of life, and vice versa? The environment, as an concept, shows up for us personally as quality of life issues. During the coming year, this subtle shift will show up as we expand in several new directions.

First, we intend to survey a number of what are generally called "alternative health" practices. I admit to being a sceptic by nature, and I have what I call an internal "nonsense meter." At one of the scale would be practices like acupuncture, yoga and chiropractic ­ no nonsense, real value, worth covering. At the other would be things like "pyramid power" ­ total nonsense, you won't see them here. But what about herbology or aromatherapy or the like? I don't know, but I plan to find out. When we find something interesting, we'll let you know.

One important topic we cover regularly is agriculture; in particular, organic agriculture. The way crops are grown has a huge impact on our health and the environment. You probably don't think of yourself as doing "agriculture," but I bet you probably do some "gardening." We'll be featuring more articles on what you can do at home, in your own yard, your personal environment.

A third new direction is our venture in a new media: radio. Carolyn Chase and Robert Nanninga are taking to the airwaves every Wednesday with a call-in talk radio format; see the article below. Listen in and call in with your questions and comments.

Alas, not all changes can be celebrated. Last month, Kim Levy, our outstanding salesperson and "family" member, moved to Seattle with her finacée. However, she has offered to continue authoring the Environmental Muddle eco-puzzles for us; they will be back next month. She is greatly missed, and we'll just have to muddle along without her.

You love Bob in print, now hear him on the radio!

Get Down to Earth with Earth Talk Radio

The show that dares to ask Who Cares?

arth Talk is a new weekly talk radio show about the quality of life in the San Diego region. Carolyn Chase, editor of the San Diego Earth Times and Robert Nanninga, author of the controversial column "Observations from the Edge," are stirring up the airwaves with Earth Talk on AM1000 KCEO on Wednesdays from 7-8 PM.

Each weekly show will feature segments on "EarthTech" - discussing emerging solutions to environmental problems; "The DIRT" - the real story behind the scenes on why problems are not being solved or why it costs a fortune; and "The PLAY" - what individuals can do.

EarthTalk will be the show that dares to ask, Who Cares? For long-time local activist Chase, this question is both sincere and sarcastic. "I know that the people of San Diego County care deeply about their quality of life and the environment needed to sustain it," she says. "Just about everybody cares about clean water, clean air, open spaces and quality of life, but it's hard to translate that caring into effective action.

"Were going to talk about those who do and those who don't and give people a chance to figure out what's going on. We're going to feature green products, technologies and businesses to help people do the right thing."

"And we're going to expose the bad guys, too" adds Robert.

So please tune in ­ and call in with your questions and opinions.