Saturday, August 21, 2010

When I see a tree being cut!

When I see a tree being cut, I go ballistic. As an environmental journo I KNOW that by doing that we are inexorably killing ourselves. In our ignorance we only see the tree as a block to the city's so called 'development'. Boader roads, cut the tree, Namma Metro, cut the trees, turn a bungalow into flats, cut the trees, electric lines being 'disturbed' by the branches, hack the tree branches off, dig for cables, dig for drains. Its a never ending scenario where we are sounding our own death knells.

In a recent Climate Change meeting of the UNFCCC in Bonn, an organization called the Global Canopy Programme (GCP) from the UK explained that “ old trees go beyond carbon sequestration and storage, and act as giant utilities providing vital ecosystems services to the city. They generate rainfall, buffer the climate, maintain biodiversity and also stabilize the soil. Although we all benefit from these services, nobody pays for them, they are for free. Therefore keeping them safe, keeps us safe.”

There is no policy in place which promises that these trees will be replaced.It is upto us, let us plant a tree on our pavements, two or four if you have the space, and nuture them like children till they reach maturity. We need to help ourselves or soon not only will pollution levels spiral out of control, those of us with lung ailments are sure to get worse and the old and infirm will succumb to the dust and dirt.

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