C'est la vie? Unforeseeable earthquakes strike the small, impoverished nation, robbing millions of people of any hope of livelihood. While nations and organizations around the world are providing relief to this much needed cause, many are starting to wonder: what happened?
First Hurricane Katrina, the Sichuan Earthquake, Taiwan Typhoon ... and now trouble in Haiti. Unprecedented natural disasters seem to be a popular trend lately. Some call it global warming, others spontaneity. But either way, Haiti is the target of 2010 while its nearby neighbor the Dominican Republic sits in relative peace. After all, they share the same island and similar social conditions.
But there's actually a stark contrast between the two nations as shown in the photo taken by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center's Scientific Visualization Studio. One is covered in relatively healthy vegetation while the other is covered by the Earth's raw flesh. Perhaps this dearth of Mother Nature contributes to Haiti's poverty and current crisis. Deforestation has plagued the nation for decades since charcoal and wood are Haiti's main source of energy. Peasants vie for trees to cut and sell to continue Haiti's dependence on charcoal for agriculture and its economy.
This intentional exploitation of nature may seem like a sin in a more resourceful country's eyes. And who can blame them? In that kind of economic and social environment I can almost see own my mother laboriously cutting trees with no shoes on her feet so there would be food on the table. She just wants a better life for me, as all mothers want for their kids. Many Haitians see the long term detriments deforestation will cause for their nation. But they have neither the luxury nor resources to escape their terrible fate of poverty and destitution. How will they plant trees that require time, money and commitment? Survival is the name of the game and the Haitians have a long way to go.
There appears to be a lesson here. We must care for and nurture our planet just as it has provided a comfortable abode for us for millenia. Why don't affluent countries that have the economical means to maintain a healthier environment take the time to do so? Of course, our priority now should be to help the plight of the Haitians. Nature has won this battle. But they need our help to fight back. Please support Haiti relief efforts and organizations such as the Haiti Relief Fund
, Clinton Foundation, Global Giving
and countless others.
First help the people. Then the Earth.