‘What good is money if you’re dead?’

By Alex P. Vidal

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”— George Bernard Shaw

EGAY and Falcon went on a murderous binge these past days, killing scores of sea travelers and waylaid by floods, destroying millions of crops and properties, and isolating many people from their usual activities and habits.

Many destructions had the telltale of nature’s breathtaking wrath and man’s cruelty to nature, as always feared, “came back” to haunt him.

When we abuse nature, nature will strike back and it’s always a question of when.

What comes up must come come down. The law of karma states every action, positive or negative will have an equal reaction on our own self. Now, all our forward-looking actions are recorded as merits and the ones with negative intent are recorded as sins in our karma record book.

The Mind Fool tells us that in the language of Karma, every positive deed is merit and every negative deed is a sin. In our earthly birth, ou are constantly settling scores and simultaneously creating new ones that are settled in subsequent lives. This loop of Karma is referred to as the Karmic Cycle.


To harmonize the environment and economy and create a win-win solution, we must do the following:

— Review all environment laws and policies; as well as all laws pertaining to economy. Come up with laws that balance human needs and nature;

— Environment-friendly governance is necessary; hence, education must be the priority. All schools must prioritize the study of nature and moral values;

— An energy transition is necessary. Harness and store the world’s vast supplies of wind, biomass and other forms of solar energy which are more abundant than oil. Solar cells, wind turbines and fuel cells can power factories, homes, automobiles and aircraft. Clean energy now;

— A shift to organic farming; a shift away from excessive consumption of chemical products; and application of the precautionary principle to the chemical industry;

— Stabilize population by improving the economic and social status of women; design cities in ways that reduce distances traveled between home and work, shopping and school; and in urban transit systems, shift emphasis from cars to public transportation, bicycling and walking;

— Stop the rush to use genetically-modified organisms in agriculture;

— Reduce the use of pesticides because public health is non-negotiable;

— Reduce the use of harmful chemicals in the production process. For example, glucose is better than benzene; paper can be bleached without use of chlorine or chlorine-based compounds;

— Blend ecology and economy and make the universal law of: if you love nature, nature will love back work;

— Revamp the educational system from grade one to college. Make more values the main priority and love for nature will follow. Moral decay leads to nowhere;

— Excessive logging, mining and fishing are an assault on the soul of the environment;

—Save water and energy. Since oil is not a forever thing, come up with other sources of energy, like the sun, water, wind, etc.

— Reduce air, water and land pollution. Enforce the solid waste management law. Garbage in open dumpsites  emit methane gas; pollute the water and land. Recycling and reuse of materials preserve natural resources;

— Protect the forest-dwelling and indigenous people. They are the caretakers of our forests and part of nature; whether you believe it or not;

— Protect the forest by providing livelihood for kaingeros who make a living of cutting trees;

— Bamboo is the savior of our environment. The national and local government should cultivate bamboo. It is a substitute for timber and mild steel. It grows anywhere and fast. It provides food and shelter;

— On a personal note, buy only what you need. Over consumption weighs on natural resources;

— Slow down on building shopping malls. Besides increasing air pollution and consumption of energy, they displace small retailers and entrepreneurs and cause poverty (besides pollution). We already have an over-abundance of shopping malls;

— Slow down on building of golf courses. They consume gallons of water daily and pollute the land with chemical fertilizers; and

— Destruction of corals which they use for markers.

Give nature a breather. Live a healthy, happy life by just harmonizing the environment with economy. Money is necessary. But what good is money if you are dead? That’s what Mahatma Gandhi said.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)