Sound and fury signifying something-A A +A
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
TO OBSERVE is to know. Or, to avoid ending up stumped by this old philosophical puzzle: "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
Loud with outrage over ‚Äúa swath of trees‚ÄĚ felled by chainsaw in a heavily forested area in Chanhassen, Minnesota recently, one of the residents nearby wants ‚Äúto know the reason why someone would have done something like that.‚ÄĚ
For his part, the park and recreation director sees the ripple of rage that stirred up the lakeside community, noting how ‚Äúthe neighbors are rightfully upset.‚ÄĚ
Such sense of upright indignation, steered with collective action past the din of helpless distress, may yet move some citizens in Cebu into taking steps that are not only concrete but also transcendent.
Doing so is definitely the only way to go ahead, if not over and above, the joyride of urban developers who often fail to see the proverbial forest (because it‚Äôs almost totally extinct) for the trees (because these are always endangered).
Risky does it. So goes the official reason for cutting at least seven ancient acacias out of the 42 trees deemed worthy to be condemned to proceed with the road-widening project through the cities of Naga and Carcar.
Not only are the trees ‚Äúdecaying and can no longer be saved,‚ÄĚ they are supposedly unsafe for motorists who are better off riding brooms.
Such alternative, come to think of it, may be all it takes to overcome the dire prospect of getting squashed either by the swooning remnant of rotting trees or the breezy braggadocio of public transports out to flout traffic rules. Look and listen, there goes the unstoppable.
Go slow, follow the law. This way, however, seems uphill for the officials of the Naga City and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7. Aside from the uneasy imperatives of observing ecological balance and preserving the trees as natural heritage, they find it ‚Äústeep‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúcostly‚ÄĚ to override the necessity of planting 13,800 seedlings in exchange for the sacrificial trees.
Better to cut corners, if that‚Äôs all it takes to run away with their plan, which may include avoiding some people who want to cut it down.
Up against such recklessness, what can the community do? Going out on a limb need not be a matter of formidable odds or a tall order, as shown by the signatories of an online petition in defense of the endangered trees.
Not to be discounted as well is the wisdom of finding a foothold in a grassroots campaign and toeing the line of non-government organizations out to go the distance for ecological and heritage conservation.
Go check out ‚Äúour city‚Äôs laws along this line, and if there‚Äôs none, nudge ourselves into pushing or lobbying for the enactment of an ordinance protecting certain trees.
It‚Äôs never a call in the wilderness as long as we‚Äôre all in this together--neighbors and other kindred individuals irrepressible with the responsibility of making meaningful noise.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 17, 2013.