By JUNE S. BLANCO
SUSTAINABILITY swayed the balance in Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado’s choice of energy source for Bohol’s 2nd district.
After juxtaposing the effects of development on the environment, and the effects of the environment to development, the solon opted for the latter.
Aumentado expressed apprehension that if forests and agricultural areas are sacrificed to give way to development, nature is bound to suffer and pollution will set in. But it would not hurt if a country pushes for the preservation and conservation of the environment and steer controlled development along this path.
He cited Costa Rica that was lucky enough to realize the degradation of the environment, particularly its forest cover, in the name of development. Vast tracts of forests and agricultural lands saw oblivion just so development can come in.
But that country’s leader saw the dangerous path it had been treading on. He observed that, to reverse the same, Costa Rica soon replanted its denuded lands. It also started to wean itself from total dependency on fossil fuels – harnessing solar and geothermal sources instead.
Taking Costa Rica’s lead, Aumentado, who chairs the House Committee on Science and Technology, now pushes for the tapping of more geothermal and hydroelectric power sources, even as he intends to harvest wind energy. After all, both hydroelectric, geothermal, as well as wind energy sources come in free of charge.
The solon said controlled development is like Bohol pushing the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier as top tourist draws, not to mention the Danao Adventure Park. Development is designed to enhance but harmonize the infrastructure with nature,
This will practically eliminate the razing of the forests to give way to buildings. This also ensures that farmers still have land to till, to provide food for the table, he added.
He will also push for exploring the tapping of the tide for still another energy source. This and the other three are all renewable – and green, that is, emitting lesser pollutants – compared to coal. Continued coal mining and fossil fuel use will only deplete resources and destroy the environment, he concluded.