Tree Doctor

The Industrial Revolution heralded the beginning of a new age in the history of humankind. It promised the advancement of science, technology, production and the various industries of the time. It was a pivotal era for humanity. However, it wasn’t just the turning point of progress, it, too, was the springboard of destruction. While the world’s consumption of coal, oil and fuel dramatically increased, the carpets of nature, from the polar ice caps to the Amazon jungle, severely suffered the consequences.
Dr. Isidro D. Esteban talked with passion while he explained the dilemma of our world, trapped between the blessing of scientific progress and the worsening environmental condition. “People like me”, he says, “We work like doctors. We cure sick trees, teach people how to trim their crowns properly, educate students about the plight of forests and the environment. It’s not easy especially with the meager budget the government provides. But I know, dedication can augment the lack of financial support.” He showed us pictures to prove the world’s indifference. Most of them weren’t new to me because they could be accessed easily through books and the internet—sick trees, denuded mountains, smog, oil spills, melting ice caps. In fact, we didn’t need those pictures to refresh us of the situation. The situation was already etched permanently in our minds.
The lecture, though focused primarily on trees, was a wake up call for all of us. We might have not experienced the worst yet, but inevitably, it would come. We might still consider the technological advancements more relevant than environmental protection, but a century or so from now, the balance might make a different turn. We would not know the value of something unless we lose it. I fear that we were living out this statement through the years, for our apathy was so evident in the way we viewed nature’s degradation. Experience, perhaps, would be our teacher once more.
Dr. Esteban shared a Chinese saying to us which went, ”If you want to become famous, do three things. Sire a son; write a book; plant a tree.” More and more we could feel the pressure from our planet. It was sooner than we thought but nature couldn’t postpone her groaning. For our share? It’s too early to have a son, too difficult to write a book, perhaps, we can all plant a tree.
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