Tree murder? Ah well, ERA. Never mind. Thanks for trying, I guess

The Skinny | No 89 – Massacre for Modernity

What are we skinning? Infrastructure Malta’s sociopathic propensity towards tree-murder.

Why are we skinning it? Because it’s becoming something of a national emergency that will be stopped by nothing short of an equally national-in-scope intervention.

What triggered it this time? The apparently essential uprooting of 70-year-old ficus trees at Triq in-Nutar Zarb, Attard.

Why was that essential? Because IM deemed the trees to be potentially dangerous to the future motorists making use of the brand-spanking new wing of the Central Link Project.

But surely the Environmental Resources Authority serves as a bulwark here? You’d think so. And for a second there - a cruel, cruel moment of hope - it seems as though ERA were prepared to actually fulfill their remit in a way that does justice to the greater good.

Then what happened? Apparently experts appointed by IM found that no alternative routes could be proposed, and the trees had to go.

And this was good enough for ERA. Yep.

So we have a new road with zero shade in a country that’s pelted down by aggressive sunshine for most of the year? Yep.

I wonder who would deem that to be a good thing. Well, people who live in their cars for 70% of the time, presumably.

And the rest of us? I don’t know, maybe you should ask the alarmingly large number of people who comment ‘prosit ministru’ on any social media post advertising such initiatives

I think I’ll do that. Cheers, let me know what you discover.

I’m done. And? How did they respond to your questions?

Essentially a variation of ‘prosit ministru’, with a few casual insults thrown in. Figures.

But where do we go from here? I honestly don’t know. Any attempts to mount a conscientious, environmentally-focused response to such initiatives falls on deaf ears. Worse still, objectors are now branded as living-in-the-clouds utopians who cannot stomach the reality of Malta entering the ‘modern era’.

Doesn’t the ‘modern era’ start with the Renaissance onwards? Yes, technically. But I don’t expect the semi-literate occupants of high positions at the Planning Authority and Infrastructure Malta to know that

The barbarians truly are at the gate. Yes, and they’ve chopped down all the trees in their wake.

Do say: “While road extension works may offer some short-term benefits to motorists and residents, the fact that nothing is being done to mitigate Malta’s aggressive car-centric culture only ensures that such environmentally destructive initiatives will have to be perpetuated until there is barely any remaining land left on the island.”

Don’t say: “Ah well, ERA. Never mind. Thanks for trying, I guess.”