Nature as sacrificial lambs?
A news story from a national daily caught my eye – it says, ‘a group of researchers were trying to find the most “pollution-resistant” trees that could be planted along the highly polluted avenues in the country’s major metropolis.’
My initial reaction was that of excitement. I’m thrilled that finally, some people are thinking and are trying to find other means of confronting the country’s environment problems. I am elated that at last, people are attempting to think-out-of-the box.
However, the elation was short-lived. The jubilation was transitory because I realized that despite its being a good idea, it was actually another proof of how God’s other creations have to “pay homage” to man’s caprices, imprudent decisions, destructive impulses, and man’s greed. In short, the world’s creations will again “absorb” the adverse results of man’s self-indulgence and be “punished” because of man’s irresponsible actions.
What do I mean by this? Let’s face it, we now have air and water pollution because of our indiscriminate throwing of garbage, our unregulated industries, our insatiable love for fast-food and its byproducts. We now have pollution because we cut our trees and never replace them, we favor high-rise buildings than preserve whatever little natural habitats we have left.
But because the magnitude of our pollution problems have soared and have the potential to become unmanageable, we are trying to rescue ourselves by “asking the help” of the trees, just like what the researchers in the news story are planning to do. We now want them to “breathe in” our wastes so that we may live decently and comfortably.
Isn’t that a shame? Nagpalaban ta sa mga butang nga dapat kita ang mag-amuma ug mag-matngon? These creations of God were created to be under our care and definitely not to serve our whimsical desires. In Genesis 1:26, it says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” In this verse, God gave mankind power over the earth but not to misuse it at any cost for any reason. Regrettably, we have devastated countless areas of the planet to suit our own needs and Earth has to growl and whimper under the weight of the ravaging and pillaging of the planet. Then again, in Genesis 2:15, we are commanded to take care of God’s creations. In short, we are supposed to be the stewards, but right now, it would appear that the trees, and not US, will become the stewards of this planet’s avaricious human occupants.
I pity the trees that will be chosen to get planted along EDSA or Roxas Blvd or perhaps Perdices Street. They will be the sacrificial lambs of our excesses, the convenient stooge of our overindulgence and decadent lifestyle. In that note, I am reminded of that soft-spoken carpenter who got nailed on the cross, because of the millions who repeatedly, licentiously, deliberately, and sometimes, without remorse, committed transgressions all throughout their lives.