Monday, January 16, 2012

In the name of Progress

Progress the idea that the world can become increasingly better in terms of science, technology, modernization, liberty, democracy, quality of life, etc., We can also use the term improvement as a synonym, but does every improvement a good thing for mankind?.

Tall towering buildings, Parks with PVC slides, synthetic umbrellas, concrete cartoon characters in every corner, artificial falls, air conditioned malls with expensive jewelries and fancy clothes, moving steel stairs, elevators, concrete swimming pools, cars parking in the concrete pavement, Science parks to give way for Manufacturing companies, Airports, Casinos, Subdivisions with row houses, hectares of themed parks with artificial river and so on in the name of progress. People are amaze with the idea of improvements and changes without mostly thinking the side effects or impacts in the environment and a long- term impact in the society.

Conversion of land from Agricultural to Commercial needs cutting of trees, excavation of soil for foundation or might be to increase the value of the land, but on the other side, it could mean also, shortage of food supply, pollution, damage to habitat, soil erosion, extinction or climate change.

When we heard about the story of what will happen to almost 180 trees in one place in the Philippines, which is popular for its Pine trees and cold weather, most environmentalist disagreed and rallied. The move of this Retail store giant to remove the trees or transfer the three from its original location is to give way for the multi stories car park for its customers. For the name of progress, are we going to exchange those 180 trees for a parking slot? Trees are hard to grow and from the internet, “Trees are an important component of the natural landscape because of their prevention of erosion and the provision of a weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. They also play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as moderating ground temperatures.”

It’s year 2012 and we deal “Climate Change” now as a serious environmental problem. With so many calamities which I am calling “Human induced” calamities, the government is asking for the Filipino people to do our part to combat this problem like removal of plastics, waste segragation, solid waste management, implemented laws like clean water act or simply by planting trees.

The proposed “transfer “ of 182 trees made the social media roar with anger and almost 2000 residents from Bagiuo signed a petition to stop the said SM project which has a go signal from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. A signed approval for the project was signed last October 27, 2011.
If in the name of progress and if the project is approved by the agency that swore to protect the environment, who are we to argue? In the name of progress, trees might be extinct in the future, might be in a museum and for our grandchildren to see and feel with a fee.

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