EDITORIAL: Time to get loud over climate change

CLIMATE change is a threat to our nation’s existence.

That’s not just our opinion. That’s how Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis described it just last week, when he called it “the greatest existential threat that The Bahamas has ever faced.”

It’s how former Prime Minister Perry Christie described it when Mr Davis was his deputy in 2015, when he spoke at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Paris, when he warned of an “existential threat to the survival of a number of small island developing states.”

It’s how former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis described it when he asked world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 to treat climate change as the greatest challenge facing humanity, asking: “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?”

Even back in 2009, then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham warned the UN Convention on Climate Change that climate change “is a serious threat to our economic viability, our social development and our territorial integrity.”

When was the last time four Prime Ministers of this country agreed on anything, let alone on something so substantial for our future?

Today, the latest UN Climate Conference – known as COP26 – begins in Glasgow. Mr Davis will be among leaders from around the world in attendance.

In 2019, The Tribune published maps showing the projected effect of climate change and rising seas – with most of Grand Bahama, Abaco and Spanish Wells to be under flood levels by 2050.

Much of Crooked Island, Acklins, Andros and Cat Island will also be under flood levels, as well as eastern and southern parts of New Providence.

When we say existential threat, that’s what we really mean. The land will be gone. The places we live will be under water.

Where will the people living in those places go? Where will they run to?

Some nations look at the threat of increased migration as a problem they will have to deal with – for us, some of those migrants will be Bahamians, leaving behind flooded homes in search of somewhere safe to live.

So what’s going to be different with this conference? Mr Davis will go along, give a speech, just like his predecessors have at various international venues. And then what?

We know the problem. There is widespread acknowledgement of the scale of the challenge that faces us – just a lack of determination to rise to that task.

So Mr Davis shouldn’t just say his bit and move along. Nor should the leaders of the other nations at risk from rising sea levels.

It’s long past time for business as usual. It’s time to get loud. Mr Davis has an important chance to make allies at this conference to speak with one voice. To make such a noise that it can’t be ignored.

Mr Christie has indicated a willingness to help Mr Davis, while Mr Ingraham feels his voice was not wanted under the previous FNM administration – so how about recruiting them both to lead the charge on climate action? Add Dr Minnis too if he’s willing.

And more than that, acknowledge that words are one thing, but actions are more. What will we do here at home to show that we are doing more than just mouthing platitudes? What action will we take, small as our nation is, to show the way for others?

If we truly are facing an existential threat, and that is what has been said by administration after administration now, then it’s time to fight for our nation’s future.

The time for starting that fight is long past, but it can be left no longer.

The world needs a voice to lead the way. It’s time to rise to the challenge.


ColumbusPillow 1 year, 4 months ago

Pylease stop this hysteria, our children are being driven to mental disorder.


lunalula 1 year, 4 months ago

If the powers that be were really concerned about climate change, there wouldn't be so much development at sea level, would there? Because it would all be underwater in a few short years, wouldn't it? It's all part of their plan to tighten control on the sheeple. I agree we are destroying our planet, but the fight is against the powers that be who refuse to stop drilling for fossil fuel, raping our oceans, and destroying natural habitats for profit.


ColumbusPillow 1 year, 4 months ago

There are over 5 billion people who do not agree with you.


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