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Pm Tells Un General Assembly: Bahamas Under Threat From Climate Change

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said during the United Nations General Assembly meeting that the beauty and existence of the Bahamas is under grave threat from climate change, adding that considerably more than 56 people have died in the country because of Hurricane Dorian.

“It is a threat which we did not cause,” he said. “It is a threat which we cannot survive on our own. While many countries have coastal cities or zones, the entire Bahamas is a coastal zone of many cays and islands in an extensive archipelago. Over the last three decades hurricanes have grown increasingly lethal throughout our region. In the words of the Secretary-General, they have become ‘turbo-charged.’ The Bahamas experienced major hurricanes in 2015, 2016 and 2018. But on the first of this month September, we experienced something way beyond anything we have seen before.”

Dr Minnis said the country’s naturally warm waters have been made warmer by carbon dioxide emissions and were mobilized into instruments of death and destruction.

Although the official death count is 56, Dr Minnis said “we know that there are considerably more lives lost because there are still 600 missing because the rising then receding water swept away young and old with their homes.”

“The picturesque and industrial principal town of Marsh Harbour on Abaco has disappeared,” he said. “There is nothing left of it but heaps of rubble. East End, Grand Bahama, is in ruins. The hurricane was a physical apocalypse for some communities.”

Dr Minnis asked world leaders to treat climate change as the greatest challenge facing humanity.

“When one storm can obliterate an island-state or a number of states in one hurricane season: how will we survive, how can we develop, how will we continue to exist?” he asked. He called for the expansion of the UN Development Programme to include the Bahamas. The programme works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through sustainable development and currently works with three Caribbean countries: St Lucia, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.

"For many years," Dr Minnis said, "the Bahamas and countries with similar characteristics have urged an alternative to per capita Gross National Income as the sole indicator of a country's level of development and eligibility for concessionary financing. When we call for consideration of a country's unique local circumstances when determining financial worthiness, this is also a condition and requirement for our resilience."

The prime minister made a plea for people to visit the country.

"Amidst the decimation and devastation, there is a symbol of hope and resilience at Abaco from which we may draw inspiration and renewed energy and hope," he said. "The red and white striped iconic lighthouse at Hope Town on Elbow Cay, Abaco, which is featured on the back of the Bahamas $10 bill, survived Hurricane Dorian. The 89-foot lighthouse was built in 1863, helping to warn mariners of dangerous reefs. The lighthouse is a symbol of pride for Abaconians and Bahamians. Soon after Hurricane Dorian, some of the residents of Hope Town placed within the lighthouse a temporary light that shone in the darkness, with few other sources of light on the horizon. The Bahamas will restore the Hope Town Lighthouse as a symbol of resilience, as a source of unity and as a beacon of hope."

Comments

Topdude 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Please tell clearly and carefully Mr. Prime Minister. Your receipt of a Nobel Prize is guaranteed.

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K4C 2 months, 2 weeks ago

well lets see where to start, your country just experienced a devastating hurricane and you end up in NYC tell those elites at the UN the Bahamas is under grave threat from climate change, well here is something shocking, the UN is an elite debating society, they will study make field trips and years will pass with endless meeting and debates want proof, look south to Haiti, how can you justify this trip, my Bahama land is doomed, mother earth is 4.543 billion years a blip in time, who knows what lays ahead, but remember humans have no control over mother nature

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concerned799 2 months, 2 weeks ago

If the urgency is so grave then I presume the government will cancel LNG plants, permits for new oil refineries and commit the Bahamas to 100% renewable power by 2030? (all things within the Bahamas power to do)

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Porcupine 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Exactly. And, scientists have been warning us for decades now that these effects from climate change will be increasing. This may be a test case for the UN. Maybe they'll tell us that it is cheaper and makes more sense just to migrate to higher ground instead of rebuilding. Remember now, there are hundreds of millions of people who will have to move in the coming years due to rising sea levels alone. Why would they spend big money trying to keep a couple of hundred thousand people in a low lying island state.

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concerned799 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The silence on LNG and getting more power from renewable energy and getting tourism off of fossil fuels is deafening since Dorian. Cruise ships are horrid for climate change, moving ships around burning huge amounts of Bunker fuel!

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

too late. and disingenuous at best. From the man who single handedly engineered the Oban deal.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The prime minister made a plea for people to visit the country. "Amidst the decimation and devastation,......," he said.

The buffoonery of Triple D (Duckin' n' Dodgin' Doc) knows no bounds!

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ted4bz 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It’s to bad whoever thinks this man or his kind cares about anything or even coming close to just a fraction of the truth. We have come from the days of the caves and those caves are once again in sight. Solution, Along with all atomic weapons destroy all HAARP, greenhouse gas emissions generating machines and materials and as fast as that, And watch the climate return to its natural state, yes, as fast as that! But, they won’t do any of it. After all the US removed itself from this treaty, they are largely apart of this problem, no ones questioning that. Look, climate change is all being engineered by man, it’s nothing natural. No one can disprove that.

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ted4bz 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It’s to bad whoever thinks this man or his kind cares about anything or even coming close to just a fraction of the truth. We have come from the days of the caves and those caves are once again in sight. Solution, Along with all atomic weapons destroy all HAARP, greenhouse gas emissions generating machines and materials and as fast as that, And watch the climate return to its natural state, yes, as fast as that! But, they won’t do any of it. After all the US removed itself from this treaty, they are largely apart of this problem, no ones questioning that. Look, a large and sudden part of this climate change is being engineered by man, it’s nothing natural. No one can disprove that.

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bahamianson 2 months, 2 weeks ago

As we put down our computers, cell phones, cut off the air conditioner in our cars and houses, remove the 6 faucet showers, throw away our computer watches and other high tech gadgets, and stop buying our designer clothes, shoes, and jewelery. Hogwash at best! Let's stop playing games unless we are ready to go back to 1960

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concerned799 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Lets also stop playing games that the Bahamas is a viable functioning state in a world that does not control climate change, ditto for the planet. I can live without air conditioning, can you live without a planet?

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Bonefishpete 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Well there's always Cat Island.

Cat Island is in the central Bahamas, and is one of its districts. Cat Island also has the nation's highest point, Mount Alvernia (also known as Como Hill). It rises to 206 feet (63 m) and is topped by a monastery called The Hermitage.

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

highest point is "somewhat" irrelevant. Dominica's highest point is 1447m and it was completely deciminated mainly by wind. nature has a penchant for one upmanship.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The facts:

1) Red China is by far and away the world's largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions from fuel/coal combustion/burning, plastics waste, marine debris, etc., etc.

2) Red China produces more pollution each year than the next 20 largest pollution producing nations combined.

3) By just about any measure of pollution produced each year, the U.S. produces less than half of the pollution produced by Red China.

The vast majority of scientists who have devoted their careers to studying the impact of pollution on global climate patterns. especially global warming, agree that Red China alone poses the greatest existential threat to nations like the Bahamas that have the greatest vulnerability to cataclysmic monster hurricanes and rising sea levels.

Notwithstanding these undisputed facts, our corrupt, feckless and incompetent politicians put on a most unbecoming two-faced spectacle before the United Nations General Assemby for all to see. On the one hand they cry out about the vulnerability of our small nation of flat islands to the impacts of pollution caused monster hurricanes and rising sea levels, and on the other hand they continue to cozy up to the Xi-led communist regime that is well known for 'buying off' corrupt politicians to grow Red China's corrupt sphere of influence around the world.

The Duckin' & Dodgin' Doc and his Haitian loving side-kick Darren Henfield know no shame and only succeeded in proving to the UN General Assembly and the rest of the world that our Minnis-led FNM government is cloaked in much deceitfulness and corruption.

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concerned799 2 months, 2 weeks ago

China has the most people. Why wouldn't it be the biggest emitter? Everyone needs to do their part in cutting emissions, or else why would anyone try if the objective was not doing to be sought by all?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Without Red China expeditiously going 'green', it simply doesn't matter whether or not all other nations go green. And Red China's inability (reluctance) to go green anytime soon is the one major impediment to persuading many other nations to go 'green' as quickly as they possibly can. Minnis knows this but nevertheless, even in the aftermath of the great devastation caused by Dorian, he refused to name and shame Red China in his speech before the UN General Assembly. Ask yourself: Why? I can assure you he did not fail to do so out of any sense of courtesy or politeness. Think coziness and big money!

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Chucky 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Well if China pollutes at more than double the rate of USA , that sounds kinda modest, given they have almost 5 times the population.

Noteworthy it’s not their consumption that creates the vast emissions, It their production of goods for the world. And that production of goods in China; well USA is largely responsible for the “production in that location. As it was free trade, as driven by the pursuit of corporate profits that allowed the firing of USA factory workers, and the offshoring of jobs. China was just the “flavour of the day” and best positioned to exploit.

Let’s not loose sight that we’re all a part of this “easy life”. The more resources we have, the more we consume.

I’ve yet to see people en mass shun suvs, yachts, air travel, or any of the other many luxuries driving the “production” that is fueled by carbon based fuels.

Truth is, no government anywhere is trying to do anything meaningful about it. Ie have you heard of any bans on gas guzzling cars, boats, yachts, private jets, etc etc etc.

Begs the question, do the governments really believe this is a problem?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

For decades now US corporations have been invited (allowed) to exploit Red Chinese workers (including children) as slave labour by the inhumanely brutal communist regime that has ruled Red China since 1949. And yes, as a result both middle and upper-middle class factory workers in the US and lower class Red Chinese factory workers got royally screwed. And yes again, the ruling wealthy 0.1% in the US and in Red China only care about their ever growing profits and wealth which they know would take an enormous hit if consumers in the US and manufacturers in Red China were allowed to become too 'green' conscious. And of course we all know governments are either beholden to or too intertwined with the ruling wealthy so, no, nothing will change. This means our grandchildren will likely be herded on to high ground while gasping for clean oxygenated air and thirsting for non-toxic water. Not a pretty picture!

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ThisIsOurs 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Dr Minnis' enlightened stance on the need to protect the environment is ...well...

Going to wait to see how many fossil fuel proposals he rejects/approves and what laws he enacts to demand the cruise industry stops their illegal dumping in addition to enactment of meaningful penalties for future evidence of waste dumping in our clean waters.

So far he's 0 for 3. Not one word has been said on how Carnival will be made to pay for dumping waste in our waters, instead they had a big ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new port and heralded waste dumping carnival as our saviour. BPC announced their plans to start drilling for oil in the ocean bed! Equinor has been given carte Blanche to assess the damage THEY believe their oil spill caused. one goat and 3 birds they say.

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