Pushing the envelope
A FRIEND and I who happen to have a passion for both the environment in general and trees in particular, try to plant as many trees as we can on a personal basis. A pet peeve is the generally lackadaisical attitude of most Filipinos toward trees and the environment. One would think that with the threat of global warming becoming more of a reality with each passing day, more Filipinos would tend toward the planting rather than the cutting down of trees. I was not prepared to comment on the problem of the Hanjin condo project in Subic, since I had little or no idea of where exactly the "offending" project was and whether it was actually in a built-up area or within the forest preserve. That is, until the Inquirer published a Google Earth picture of the project. It looked like it had been carved out right inside a very green area. The picture did not give any perspective, so one could not discern if the green areas were merely shrubbery or composed of primary and secondary forest growth. Whatever! The picture, as the saying goes, speaks a thousand words. Besides, can anyone just arbitrarily declare a diminution in the forest preserve by shrinking it from 10,000 to 8,000 hectares? That is a loss of 2,000 hectares, or 20 percent. Pretty soon, some other bright guy will come along in the future and seek to shrink the forest cover further by, say, another 30%. Of course, it goes without saying that some SOB will get very rich cutting and selling all that precious hardwood. When it comes to the environment, we really tend to push the envelope… towards the negative. If we fry or suffer from horrendous weather in the next 10 years we know whom to blame, among others.
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