"Joe" Caasi, Philippine community activist, cooperative organizer and bamboo enthusiast; writes from Central Luzon about the huge, devastated mountainous region which forms a critical watershed for Manila and the huge Laguna de Bay lake:
"No more forest is to be found. . . . What remains [are] few coconut trees and dying citrus trees. . . highly degraded, denuded and emaciated." He sent pictures which confirm and enlarge his words. "The Kalikasaw (Mother Nature) is no more."
Professor Edmund Bordeaux Szekeley lectured at Leatherhead, Surrey, England during the summer of 1937. A self-described "incorrigible optimist," professor noted:
"There is one serious matter which deserves attention. All the people with higher ideals, working for humanity in the faith that this great catastrophe [WWII was to begin with the invasion of Poland two years later] can be avoided, live in cities and it is the cities which will be the first to be destroyed in the coming world war. This is a great danger. . . .
"There is a further reason why we are against life in big cities. Cities not only destroy health and individual freedom, but they destroy themselves. . . . If by the destruction of our great capitals all the constructive and superior individuals are destroyed, then who will be left to create the new world? We must lead mankind back from the great towns to the country, just as the peoples of the Bible were led out of Egypt. Disease and destruction are close at hand and the new society can only be constructed if the fundamental equilibrium of human society is reestablished and 75% of people return to the fundamental occupations of a simple, natural life, to a natural agriculture, to freedom and to harmony with the natural laws and natural forces. . . . If this new society is based on natural laws and forces and works in harmony with them, then will come a new age for humanity."
But, professor, by 1996 forces of even greater destructiveness than war, per se, have devastated the countryside, driven people to cities and abandoned both land and peoples to a fate ever more evident.
Alone, Joe Caasi, once again takes himself to a devastated countryside to try.
Heather Franks from St. Lambert, Quebec, Canada sends a small calligraphy:
"Grant me patience Lord, but hurry."