Trees of Hope -- Dec. 19, 2004

A weekly feature on This Week.


Wangari Maathai of Kenya is saving Africa's trees and one of her rewards is the Nobel peace prize.

Wangari Maathai: "The Nobel Prize gives me an opportunity to discuss these issues that I have been working on for 30 years. I have been talking until I am hoarse. It has also given me the opportunity to speak to a large audience of people. This I find very very wonderful. Kenyans were really happy, from the president to the people in the villages. Everyone was really, really happy. I found it very difficult to deal with those emotions, so I hurried to get a tree, dug a hole, and planted it. I think it is important for us not to equate the tree as a tree to peace. What I would like people to understand [is] the tree is a symbol. A lot of wars that we are fighting on the planet today have to do with these national resources. The campaign tries to empower the grass roots, women, then every person in the community to do something about their environment. The tree for me is hope, it is the future. When I look at the tree I see promise. It starts from a seed. Eventually it becomes a huge tree. It becomes an ecosystem in itself. It is a home for other species. It is a symbol of many things. A tree is everything to me."


The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:

Leno: "The doctor told President Bush his health was 'a-OK.' … Bush told him flat out, 'Don't give me all the medical jargon. Give it to me in terms I can understand.' "

Late Show with David Letterman:

Letterman: "Do you remember Chemical Ali? He is up for a trial and it doesn't look good. … He doesn't have a very good alibi. He says he was out fishing with Scott Peterson."

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Stewart: "[Former Homeland Security Secretary nominee Bernard] Kerik talked to reporters at his home, guarded by his giant nutcracker security force."

Kerik [on tape]: "Last night, with deep regret, I requested that the president withdraw my nomination as the secretary of Homeland Security."

Impersonated soldier 2: "Kerik added, 'How ya doin? Fahgettaboutit. How ya doin?' "