Monday, July 23, 2007

i'm not much of a hippie

while there is a tendency to think that the "environment" is a matter of concern for the hippies and that "going green" is a new trend for yuppies who need an activist cause to attach themselves to, i made the decision to go into PC's agriculture sector primarily because i truly see it as a viable and sustainable means to assisting the world's poor in making a change for themselves

trees are magical
not only in the sense of an earthy crunchy appreciation for nature but also in an economical sense

for example, in new york city alone:
"Factoring in the costs associated with planting and upkeep,
New York City's street trees provide an annual benefit of about
$122 million, according to the Parks Department. The study
concludes that New York receives $5.60 in benefits for every
dollar spent on trees."
(from the nytimes' "maybe only god can make a tree..." 18 april 2007)

in senegal, (from what i understand) the country faces severe deforestation and subsequently, looms under the threat of desertification
with the climate's short rainy season and a rapidly increasing population, the loss of trees in senegal will have devastating, long-term effects: soil erosion, susceptibility to drought and famine, and the loss of the multitudes of forest products

lester r. brown, an agricultural economist, writes that "restoring the earth will require expenditures of $93 billion per year" which is a frighteningly high number, but in this excerpt from his book, brown explains (quite convincingly) why this investment must be made

my mother asked me not to be too bookish and nerdy in my writings, but i wanted to at least provide some kind of rational backing to my decision in joining an agriculture extension effort
perhaps the best way to put it is that i have studied the term "sustainable development" for a long time but never got the chance to try it out myself

while there is a certain level of romance involved in running off to another country to plant trees and "save the world", i did not make this decision on an idealistic whim
but with a certain intention to attempting social change in what i think to be one of the best methods of sustainable development

it's time to find out!

(so much for making this fun & not nerdy...)

1 comment:

Irene said...

no worries... u can't change who you really are! with your description of magical trees, there's no doubt ur not just nerdy but a wizard!! =P

and i'm so encouraged by your decision to live it out at senegal!!