A mall developer in the Philippines may as well have “paved paradise to put up a parking lot” as it cut down trees to build an eco-friendly wing (sic). This was done even as Pope Francis proclaimed en route to this country, ahead of an unusually timed typhoon, that man has “slapped nature in the face”.
As millions in this mostly Roman Catholic country eagerly awaited the visit of the Successor of St. Peter, SM Baguio decided to send 60 trees to the pearly gates to meet their Maker. Residents of the city of Baguio woke up over the weekend to find an unobstructed view of the mall, amid several dozen tree stumps.
Baguio’s denizens have long fought to save the trees. They filed environmental complaints and a contempt charge against the mall developer back in 2012. Unfortunately, all the petitions have been dismissed by the courts last month.
Since there were no more legal impediments, the mall developer decided to push through with their “environmental project”. In a statement released to the media, the developer said that the new wing, dubbed Sky Park, would feature “green walls consisting of live plants that will help improve air quality, making the mall both relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Pontiff met with the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall. The storm, that claimed around thousands of lives in the Philippines back in 2013, was said to be brought about by extreme weather caused by global warming. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists and experts, examined all available scientific evidence and concluded that human activity has caused climate change. Aboard the papal plane, Pope Francis said “I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face.”
It is unlikely that Nature will turn the other cheek. Hopefully, climate change deniers and world leaders will humbly accept this and take action now. If we wait until the climate change talks in Paris, France later this year, it may be too late.