shielarcastillo


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Got green books? Donate!

Almost twenty years ago, I bought part of my friend and Kumpare Jerry Gracio’s library. 175 books sold for a song to a friend who he thought would take care of the books and keep them forever. Jerry is now an award-winning writer/poet and currently Commissioner at the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and I don’t have a single book from that collection anymore. I was proud of that collection and allowed everyone who wanted to borrow the books to get them, trusting they would be returned. None did.

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When the shortest distance is not a straight line

Archimedes, that super cool slasher Greek mathematician (slash physicist slash inventor slash astronomer slash etc.) said ages ago that ‘the shortest distance between two points is a straight line’.  I love this quote. Although it was said in the context of mathematical sciences, it in fact gave me countless reassurances when life became complicated or when I’m overwhelmed by my own overthinking. It has helped me overcome a lot of concerns by simplifying things and solving problems one simple step at a time.

But recently I’ve been mulling about so many things happening in the world, complex eco-geo-political issues that demand more creative and non-linear solutions. I hope to write about more of my thoughts here in succeeding blog posts, but now I’d like to share about one word that comes to mind, leapfrog. I came across the word years ago in one of my social science classes at the Philippine Normal University, but the first known use of leapfrog was in 1872, or 1599, if Merriam-Webster could make up its mind.

Let me share with you three examples.

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The Truth about Tampakan

The truth is, mining is an important industry. But the problem is, this is not the only truth that matters. I have pasted here word for word, an excerpt of a letter sent to one of the country’s (and world’s!) foremost environmental lawyers by a group of friends who grew up in Koronadal City, only 35 kilometers from Xtrata’sTampakan Mining Project. They were appealing for help to keep SMI and Xtrata from implementingthe project. Here is the excerpt:

“The Tampakan Project operated by Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), is one of the most dangerous mining projects in the world, according to Clive Montgomery Wicks, conservation and development consultant specializing in the impact of extractive industries. Continue reading