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Editorial: When It Comes To Climate Change, We Really Have To Try

JUST 11 days ago we asked here how serious the government was when Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said nations needed to intensify their response to the threats from global warming.

A noble call much championed by his predecessor Perry Christie but in real terms we have seen little evidence of anything really changing here in one of the countries most threatened by rising sea levels and new super-hurricanes.

Today’s paper carries an article by Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. Like many articles before, it delivers a chilling message.

Despite all the conferences, scientific reports, government agreements it seems our promises to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have pretty much come to nought.

With the exception of one country – the United Kingdom – NO ONE has achieved a reduction in emissions of more than two percent a year.

Just achieving the agreements the world’s nations have already signed up to won’t prevent the earth’s temperature rising by 3.2 degrees centigrade.

That temperature rise unquestionably will mean stronger winds, longer droughts, coral wiped out, more ice melt, coastal areas flooded.

To achieve the targets demanded we now have to increase our reductions by 7.6 percent every year for the next ten years.

Let’s be honest - that’s not going to happen.

Inger Andersen though says we have to try. We have no other choice.

Readers will recall some weeks ago we published a report of how the Bahamian coastline will look over the coming years if climate change carries on unstopped. Tens of thousands of people logged on to our website to see whether their islands would survive, how much of their Bahamas would be lost.

The size of this online audience shows the public cares, that they are interested and, we suspect, ready to do their bit to try and help.

In January the Bahamas’ ban on single-use plastics comes in so it will be fascinating to see how this small step in the war to save the planet is greeted. We hope with open arms.

If it is, we would look to Dr Minnis and his cabinet to quickly look at what other quick fixes which have worked around the world we can adopt to increase our part in the emissions reduction battle.

It would be shameful if we were to do nothing.

Imagine, in ten years time – it really is that close – some of our citizens are standing in their washed out homes and asking – what could we have done?

Doing nothing isn’t an option. As Inger Andersen begs for all our sakes – we have to try.

Shelters may shut but we still worry about the future

Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell yesterday outlined the government’s ambition to have Dorian evacuation centres cleared by the end of the year.

Unquestionably the hundreds of government staff and volunteers deserve our thanks for the incredible efforts they have made in recent months to provide as much care and comfort as possible for those whose lives were turned upside down.

As Mr Campbell pointed out, these workers have families themselves who in the months since the hurricane hit have seen their loved ones working flat out, week after week. That takes a toll on anyone, so we wish these incredible people well as they return to their normal lives.

We hope some sort of normalcy also awaits those who Mr Campbell and his colleagues feel are coming to the end of their stay.

We do have slight misgivings that all may not be as simple as Mr Campbell suggests will happen.

How many of those still in shelters will end up back in Abaco or Grand Bahama picking up where they left off? The places they worked are mostly gone, their homes a pile of rubble, schools where their children went to learn and play left devastated.

Not many, we suspect, will find a place in “Dome Village”. Very few will find work. None - if the government’s determination bears fruit - will find their way back to The Mudd or Pigeon Peas.

So while the shelters here may shut we worry what the future holds for these unfortunate people.

We won’t be surprised to see more in court on immigration charges, a press release from the Immigration Department celebrating its success in sending back another planeload to Haiti.

Yes, we may get a gymnasium back in time for the New Year but let’s make sure when the bells chime at midnight on December 31 we can raise a toast to a job well done for all the right, humanitarian reasons.

Comments

Porcupine 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Editor, Trying is not the same as doing. We live in a country built on excuses. We have excuses for being late, constantly. We have excuses for not following the law. Many laws. We have excuses for underachievement in academics, in parental responsibility. We have excuses for lack of accountability. We have excuses for lapses of honesty. We have excuses for theft. We have excuses for everything. Everything. There is not one metric, or honest observation, which does not support these statements. No Editor, you missed this message; THE MESSAGE. The message is this. We do not need slow incremental change. We need a radical change. A revolution. Call it what you like. Can you honestly not see this and use these words? Radical and revolution should have some meaning to those who use words to make their living, Mr. or Mrs. Editor. We live in a country where the biggest challenge of all time is upon us. We must speak the truth. No, we are not used to this here, by any measure. Until we face these truths, your editorial words are merely words; words without meaning. We must abandon most of what we grew up believing. Can you understand the message being given? Given by those who study this issue. By mother earth herself. We must give up our idea that war is an acceptable way for humans to solve their differences. And, speak up about it. We must give up believing that the way we measure our economies is just. And, speak up on this issue. All of us must consume much, much less. We must realize that the luxury lifestyles which we seemingly champion must go. We can no longer celebrate the private jets, helicopters, yachts. Do you get this? We must no longer champion a failed economic system that relies on perpetual growth, that pits us against each other like dogs, that allows for one individual to control more of the earth's resources than millions of people. We must change the way we look at the world. For those of us over the age of 20, this will be most difficult, nearly impossible. Yet, this is our mandate. Or, we must step aside. Editors are expected to have a good grasp of the language. This editorial shows clearly that your ability to comprehend the implications of this existential crisis, that is now front and center is either woefully insufficient, or that your ability to use the proper words to convey this call for urgent action has left you. "Trying" is the very last word that should come to mind when conveying this message. Or, you have failed to comprehend what the experts are saying. Now means now. It doesn't mean try. The proper use of language remains important. Your editorial here has failed your readership in truthfulness. Either that, or you truly do not believe what the experts are saying. Which is it?

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ColumbusPillow 2 weeks ago

For the sake of the mental health of our children, please stop this hysteria! An overwhelming number of qualified geoscientists state that there is NO CLIMATE EMERGENCY. There is no evidence from tidal gauges for any significant change in sea level. The +3.2C change in global warming has been shown to be the result of very bad computer modelling. There is actually a lot of evidence that we are at the beginning of another ice age.Remember 20X more people die in cold weather than in warm. 300,000 families in Germany who cannot afford to pay their electricity bills will be at serious risk this winter..

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Porcupine 2 weeks ago

Columbo, I have to remember that you are not stupid or misinformed. You are simply paid to spout this nonsense. It is a fact that the fossil fuel industry pays people to print such foolishness. Who do you work for? Because there is no way an intelligent person believes, let alone actually says, the crap you throw at us.

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