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Opinion: I write for the trees



PHUKET: Construction is underway for the much anticipated and loathed underpass at the Bang Khu intersection with cranes in full swing and excavators making their rounds on what little patches of green are still left.

While sitting at the red light recently, I was daydreaming of the beautiful new home that all the little shrubs, flowers and bushes would be sent to.

No sooner had my thoughts fully formed than an excavator drove over a very large, healthy shrub and started digging up a patch of smaller shrubs.

I hadn’t been that bewildered or caught off guard since the day I found out that my parents’ names were not actually ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’.

Although I hail from Vermont, I am no ‘tree hugger.’ I drink my fair share of things from plastic bottles, constantly forget to bring my own bag to the grocery store, and most recently killed my beloved patio plant because it got too much rain, but I did find it surprisingly offensive when I saw perfectly healthy plants that could be transplanted elsewhere being dug up without any regard to the purpose and beauty that they could serve someone somewhere else.

On one hand, beach chairs and buildings are being torn down and taken away to preserve Phuket’s natural beauty while on the other hand, natural beauty is being ripped up and put into a dump truck to support Phuket’s ever-worsening traffic, an equally unattractive deterrent for tourists and residents alike.

There are constant PR campaigns, with abundant numbers of press photos of people planting mangrove trees in honor of a person or a special day. Why can we not transplant what we already have for the fact that it is honoring the environment, Phuket and the plants themselves?

I fear that no good will come from taking away all the lovely greenery in the middle of the island so that more people can go see the natural beauty of the beaches on the outskirts.

It is like ordering an amazing looking cheeseburger only to find that it is actually made of souse meat.

I am not an expert on this subject by any means, so I will leave you with the words of the good doctor: ‘No more trees. No more Thneeds. No more work to be done.’ – Dr Suess.

— Katie P Arnold


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