It never rains, it pours

March 26, 2016

times of malta

Saturday, 26th March 2016

It never rains, it pours
Alfred E. Baldacchino

The lack of rain this winter has become a great concern for many social leaders. Parched valleys, dried cisterns, empty wells, wilted vegetation, worried farmers, are just a harbinger of things to come during the coming hottest months of the year. This acute drought is making some leaders, whether political or religious, feel a little bit wet under the collar.

Seemingly as a last resort, I would say more for convenience sake to appease their faithful, these social leaders are either reverting to PR exercises instead of working on the long overdue water management plans, or praying the Creator, asking Him for His intervention to send us some of the much needed rain. What an embarrassment!

TOM photo

Efforts were made to catch every drop and save it as a priceless resource without the help of any financial institution. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier – Times of Malta.

The Lord has always given us rain water for free during the years. He has also given us intelligence. One can see the results of such intelligence in past engineering works with regards to water harvesting. One can find and see the professional management of such a rare natural resource dating back to the times before Christ. Efforts were made to catch every drop and save it as a priceless resource without the help of any financial institution. In fact the

bell shaped water cistern in Valletta photo Keith Buhagiar

bell shaped water cistern in Valletta. photo Keith Buhagiar

Maltese islands are dotted with historical professional engineering projects with the sole aim that not a drop of water is wasted. This has seen the population of these islands go through two world wars without having any problems with water, which the Lord sends us for free.

But in the last 50 years, when we took over the management of our Country, we became affluent, like affluent rats, and we boast about it. This has led us to put a price to everything, and discard natural resources which are given to us for free. We are convinced that we have complete control over the ecosystem. Free assets, such as water, are regarded as having no commercial, economic, social or environmental value, and these can be exploited whenever and however we want to.

Today we live for the day, and exploit everything that we lay our eyes and hands on. Mainly, with endemic political intelligence, we ruined, and are still in the process of doing, whole historical engineering networks which contribute to the storing of such a rare natural resource.

LN-376-of-2012

How the professional management of water was adulterated for political reasons

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Professional legislation with regards to the management and conservation of water was adulterated, to accommodate speculators, with an eye on votes. We lost sight of this natural resource to the extent that official entities, like MEPA, that notorious environmental watchdog, prefers planning to store cars instead of planning to catch and store every drop of the rare resource of free rain water.

In our desperate greed, we contributed to the flooding of inhabited areas where the relatively poor reside, besides neglecting the water table with regards to its replenishment, its conservation, its abuse, and the enforcement of legal protection.

But the endemic political acumen, came out with a solution. This led to the asking for help from the new milking cow. Approximately €57 million were used to dig an underground tunnel so that all the free rain water which we are gifted with, could be swept to the sea. Such a scenario emerged from the uncontrolled development and lack of planning as a result of which water could not seep into the aquifer. A pain in the neck when rain water floods our street because of such mismanagement.

If we made use of the intelligence the Almighty gave us, as our ancestors did, we would have restored all the historic cisterns and wells, build new ones to capture and collect all the water, and not ask school children to catch a drop, and throw millions of gallons out to sea. Imagine if the historic professional water management systems were appreciated, cared for, renovated and kept in a good shape. There would not be any reason to pray for rain. Imagine if large cisterns were built in all the school yards, of which there are so many.

Wouldn’t the €57 million have been well spent and such harvested natural resource be so beneficial in this time of drought? But such common sense was not so common with the planning authority, or else these were regarded as whitebait not palatable and attractive enough to the sharks!

2012.10.00 - works in progress while the appeal keeps being postponed

The cemetery built in Nadur Gozo, disrupted and ruined the natural hydrological system and the professional engineering built by the Knights of Malta.

The religious authorities did not bat an eyelid for such waste of resources either. Not only so, but some had also a finger in the pie in the mismanagement of such a natural scarce resource. With MEPA’s blessing, they chose the largest water catchment area in Gozo where to build a cemetery. Yes, a cemetery consisting of 600 graves for the dead at the expense of the living. An appropriate adequate grave for present day intelligence.

In the process, a historical engineering system, which was used to catch free rain water and harvest it in various cisterns, was ruined. This system used to ensure enough adequate water for agricultural needs of the farmers along Wied il-Qasab during the long hot summer months. But because of such mismanagement and lack of professional planning, today when it rains, not only is the water not collected for agricultural use, it now floods the fields further down the valley. The result of the approved plans, by you know who, which interfered with the flow of water through the geological strata. And the cemetery was blessed too!

eco-1This is why I feel embarrassed to pray for rain. I am surprised at the audacity some have, especially those who believe that they are closer to the Lord than any other. Why should the Lord listen to us when a great percentage of such free rain water would be swept to the sea as unwanted, undesired and useless water. And it also floods agricultural land because of land mismanagement and land abuse. What an embarrassment to man’s intelligence. How shameful!

And in the meantime, despite such a drought, large expanses of turf are still being sprinkled (during the darkness of night) with the Minister for Landscaping’s blessings.

If I had to pen a tentative reply to such prayers, I would say: “Be blessed, go and repent.” And remember that “Water is the driving force of all nature” (Leonardo da Vinci).

aebaldacchino@gmail.com

Additional reading:

https://alfredbaldacchino.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/dezert-niexef-nixfa-ta-ideat/

https://alfredbaldacchino.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/l-immaniggar-tal-ilma-fmalta/

https://alfredbaldacchino.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/in-nixfa-tax-xitwa-u-s-sigra-tal-lewz/

 https://alfredbaldacchino.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/the-nadur-cemetery-%e2%80%93-where-the-dead-will-haunt-and-curse-the-living/

https://alfredbaldacchino.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/an-official-water-policy/

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The biblical apple tree

April 4, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The biblical apple tree – Alfred E. Baldacchino

The first time man met his Creator it did not take him long to upset the applecart through his lust and greed for power. When man later met the Son of his Creator, he crucified Him, ironically in God’s name.
History books recount how crusades and holy wars were waged to wipe out the infidel. Countries were looted, civilisations raped and that which did not have any economic value burned, all in God’s name.
In the meantime, leaders consolidated their power through such atrocities executed in God’s name. These leaders, whether political or religious, swore that their power was given to them by God. They acted in God’s name and, as such, they could do no wrong.
As man became more conscious of the intelligence with which he was endowed by his Creator, his relationship with God became something of a myth, to the extent that he found it more convenient to create his own god, a gold-god, nicknamed dollars, euros, pound, yen or what have you.
Man adores his newly made gold god. He does everything for it and is ready to die for it even by gnawing at the very root his own existence. So reminiscent of another biblical passage when Moses went on the mountain to receive the Tablets and his absence his followers made and adored a golden effigy.
This phenomenon can also be seen in our country. An illegal development was issued with a permit on the pretext that the
Mother of God appeared on site!
Holy Mass is celebrated on a monthly basis, with political shrewdness lacking any spirituality – making mockery of the very concept of God – on the development site of a cemetery that has been issued with a stop notice for irregular works.
I recall another biblical passage when the Son of God cleared the temple because the house of His father was being turned into a den of thieves. Commercial activity then was the selling of doves and pigeons, not land or graves!

“The biblical apple tree has been stripped of all its apples” 

The limited resources of our planet are being exploited as if man is living just for the day. The biblical apple tree has been stripped of all its apples, denuded of its leaves, uprooted, chopped into pieces and what was not of economic value thrown on man’s intelligent-dump heap.

Ecosystems, such as rainforests, oceans, fresh water, air, climate, land and the fauna and flora they embrace are being exploited beyond the limit. Man feels he is no longer answerable or dependant on any superior being but only to his man-made god. This god never chides him but urges him on in his lust for power, without any need of ethics or of any spiritual guilt feelings.

Man wants to play god. He decides on what and who ought to continue to live on this planet. He changes ecosystems that took billion of years to evolve but which are not good enough for his own ends. He genetically modifies organisms to make them more perfect, on the pretext of feeding the hungry, the very same people whose countries he raped and looted in bygone times. It’s a convenient excuse to adore and honour his gold god, now his servant.

Barely a century ago, the world fought a regime that wanted to have a perfect race and butchered anyone who was not fit to form part of it or who stood in the way of achieving such aim. Millions died to oppose this bizarre idea. Yet, today, even in some of the very same countries that fought such a weird concept there are ideas that unfortunate and disabled people are a burden to society because they are exerting pressure on the gold god and not contributing anything to it.

The terminally ill and the old have been facilitated with legal euthanasia. Those who do not contribute to the gold god because of unnatural conditions are not worth their place on this planet. This man-made gold god has led some to prefer to have a plush palace from where to dictate and decide the people’s fate rather than to offer last comforts to those who have humbly lived a decent life working and, possibly, contributing to elect their leaders. But in gold god’s name such leaders turn against the very same people when they dare ask questions or show their dissent.

The planet is inundated with atrocities committed in the name of this god. A similar scenario can also be witnessed closer to home, albeit still more subtle.

My God is a totally different God. He forgives, loves, cares, helps and aids all life on this planet. He is not in need of any material paraphernalia and detests wars, killings, butchering, stealing and injustices. I won’t be surprised if some might laugh me off saying that I still believe in granny’s tales or in fiction. Admittedly, there is no more spirituality in man’s life today, no respect, no ethics, no compassion but just greed and lust for materialism and power achieved in gold’s name.

One can easily see the biblical camel cantering through a needle’s eye while man is suffocating in insatiable mouthfuls of biblical apples.

Well, whatever, whichever, wherever, however and whoever your god is, may your god be with you when you reach the end of your lease on this planet and depart to meet your Creator, whether you believe in Him or not. With your god by your side, you may say: Quis ut Deus?