Sunday, May 29, 2011


Quote I saw this morning that I found kind of bizarre:
"Estoy más preocupado de los chilenos, porque las personas merecen más protección que los árboles. Nos preocupa mucho la protección del medio ambiente, pero nos preocupa mucho más la salud y la calidad de vida de los chilenos"
--Sebastian Piñera, President of Chile

This roughly translates to, "I am concerned about the Chileans, because people deserve more protection than trees. We worry a lot about the environment, but we worry more about health and quality of life for the Chileans."

This is in reference to the HidroAysen project, which would build a large hydro electric plant in Patagonia, in an area previously untouched by people, and require transmission lines be built for hundreds of miles through native forest to reach Santiago. It has been the subject of many protests around Chile and even throughout the world recently because a) it endangers areas considered pristine and would cause a lot of environmental havoc (in a nutshell) and b) it's to provide energy for a smoggy, overpopulated city over a thousand miles away.

Look, I am not going to get all crazy about this because there are zillions of blog posts about the Aysen project and why or why not it should be done, but how stupid is this quote? Does Piñera really think that people worry about trees just for the sake of trees? How can you disconnect that from the health and quality of life of the people?