Could the Earth be suffering from COPD? It would not surprise me since so many of us humans are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, why not the earth, too?
There is another high-rise building going up in the vicinity of Sabana Park on Rohmoser Boulevard close to the new national stadium. Riding by it the other day, the car I was in filled with the dust rising from the construction work.
I recalled (as I was coughing), a dream I had many years ago when I was still at the International House in San Jose, California. In the dream I was in my car just entering the freeway when I heard a great gasping sound. It sounded like a death rattle. I stopped the car and got out. I realized the sound was coming from under the concrete of the freeway. There was one small crack. I began yelling, “The earth can’t breathe! The Earth can’t breathe!” Suddenly there appeared a half dozen people armed with pick axes, and we began to crack away at the cement. After a bit I heard a great inhalation and then what seemed a sigh of relief. After some high fives, the other people disappeared, and I woke up.
Some years ago the people in government here decided they were going to turn Sabana Park into a Central Park South, a little cousin to New York City’s Central Park.
As a result, this lovely bit of green space and trees began being surrounded by high-rise condominiums on three sides. This latest building is right across the street from the relatively new big McDonald’s, kitty corner from the also relatively new national stadium. I hear it is going to be a hotel with a shopping mall on the ground floor. That will complement the strip mall on the ground floor of the 12-floor condominium building just three blocks to the east, also on the north side and the other strip mall a few steps west of McDonald’s, across the street from this new high rise. Just two blocks north of my puny five-story apartment building, there is another new high rise of condos waiting for occupants — for a few months now.
The earth’s breathing space has been shrinking around the park, so much so I am wondering if what is left of the park is enough green space and trees to do the job of getting oxygen to the earth. This is just in my little part of the city. I can’t imagine what it is like in cities in other more developed countries.
Costa Rica, right now, is a cozy, but safe and relatively sanguine spot in this world.
To the south, in Chile and Panamá, there are temblors and earthquakes. I just learned from Ana, my half-day empleada that the difference between a terremoto and a temblor is similar to an earthquake and tremor. The one on Wednesday off the coast of Panamá was a sideways temblor by the time it reached the Central Valley. It lasted over 20 seconds and made me a little seasick but nothing fell or broke.
Far to the north are terrible storms of rain and snow, or else droughts. To the east of us the sands of the Sahara Desert are being coughed up and seem to be looking for a better place to be and some have already reached England causing more lung and breathing problems on its journey. It is getting more and more difficult to predict the weather. In some places the world has a fever, in others it is sneezing and freezing.
I wonder how much longer we who live in Costa Rica can call it a paradise when we think in terms of weather and climate. From what I hear, the land on the Pacific Coast (part of the ring of fire) is being covered with gorgeous luxurious large hotels with pools and walkways or surrounded by more condos. I dare not ask about where they will get their water or how they will manage their waste.
I no longer see many backpackers downtown. Everything is going upscale. I wonder how long it will be before we have to get out our pick axes.