Profit over planet?

| 03/01/2018 | 95 Comments

Cayman News ServiceTheresa Green writes: The issue of climate change and how it impacts life across the world is likely to be one of the biggest issues in 2018 and Cayman will be facing its own challenges regarding the environment in the year ahead as the current Government of National Unity takes aim at the National Conservation Law. The premier, the environment minister and the majority of MLAs on both sides of the Legislative Assembly have made it clear that, like many politicians the world over, they support profit over planet.

This means that Cayman’s natural resources are under serious threat at a time when scientists are warning that their previous estimations about the timelines and impact climate change will have on the Earth have been too conservative.

The extreme weather events over recent years are just an early taste of what is to come all over the world. Cayman has its own unique challenges to face, not least the threat of rising sea levels, at a time when politicians want to reduce the power of the conservation law to allow for more development.

With the premier referring to the law throughout this year as “ridiculous”, his new environment minister appearing to have little knowledge or understanding about environmental issues, a councillor determined to prevent the much-needed expansion of the marine parks, and an opposition apparently cheering on government’s planned attack on the conservation law, the island faces some very real challenges to the environment over the next 12 months.

The attack on the NCL by government probably has its roots in the George Town cruise port project because of the potential massive destruction to the marine environment it presents and the need to eliminate the legal barriers the law poses to it. It is also fuelled, no doubt, by the special interest of developers, more of whom appear to have the ear of the political leaders following the partnership of the PPM and UDP that led to the current coalition government.

While these political leaders appear to have no love for conservation, the broader public seems to understand that profit before planet is not likely to be in their best interests and there is an incredible amount of quiet and determined support for the National Conservation Law in Cayman.

Many Caymanians still recognise that the natural beauty of these islands remains a valuable resource that belongs to everyone and are uneasy that it is at constant risk and under threat from a limited number of developers who profit from development, with little trickle-down benefit, regardless of the constant misleading claims from our politicians.

The short-term profits that investors and developers make, the limited number of jobs created and the marginal economic boost that reaches only a handful of local businesses must be weighed against the long-term and significant natural losses that have a much wider negative impact.

The cost of numerous natural global disasters this year, fuelled in their intensity, if not directly caused, by climate change are estimated to be over $306 billion, according to insurance experts — far higher than the annual average of the past decade. Scientists have been sounding the alarm about climate change for years and the things they began predicting decades ago are now happening around us.

From more intense damaging hurricanes to massive flooding, these events are partly caused by man’s influence on the planet, including pollution and over development, and it will be up to mankind to mitigate the situation before it is too late — and watering down rather than improving conservation legislation is not the way to go about it.

Speaking about the 2017 disasters with the US media recently, Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said that scientists have been giving warnings that are not being heeded. He said the choices facing us are to mitigate by slowing or preferably stopping climate change through mitigation, adapting the way we build or suffering the consequences.

“In Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and Santa Rosa, it is clear that the people have chosen the last option,” he said.

The majority of people in Cayman do not want to face the last of those choices, even if their politicians do and 2018 will be the year that the public must stand up for the environment protect the legislation and demand that developers and the government conserve and protect what remains of our natural resources. 

Democracy is not just about election day and Cayman can ill afford to wait for the emergence of a green political movement. It will be down to the people to make it clear to their representatives that preserving the profit of a few should not undermine the efforts of conservation for the many.

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Category: Science & Nature, Viewpoint, Weather

Comments (95)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Trumpists, when you do take a break from your fake news sites and Fox News, look at the temperature on Venus and why it is hotter than Mercury.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Are you serious? This is either a good example of sarcasm or a good example of being completely misinformed or misled. Either way, lol…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Dude, just yesterday a supposed dormant volcano erupted to life taking the “experts” by complete surprise..yet here you are talking about the temperature on Venus.

      Scientific idiots roam this earth. Smh.

      CNS: Idiots do roam this earth but they’re not scientists, and a half truth is as good as a lie. Here’s what was reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (you can read the whole report here, and there’s a link to explain about volcanoes):

      Steve Saunders, a Principal Geophysics Surveyor and Acting Director at the Rabaul Volcano Observatory, said the volcano was considered “potentially active” before last week’s events.

      “[Kadovar Island] is very remote and the logistics of actually physically getting there, or installing equipment, is very difficult.”

      Mr Saunders said because of the lack of equipment, it was hard to predict what would happen next.




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      • Anonymous says:

        @ CNS: What is the temperature of the planet Venus?

        They haven’t even gotten Earth figured out in this respect yet we are trust the reports re an entirely different planet?

        Smh, it must be bliss to be so trusting in “science”.

        CNS: Scientists know lots of stuff and are constantly learning more. That’s what they do. If they knew everything then there would be no more need of scientists. The fact that they know roughly what the temperature is on Venus is utterly amazing. Will scientists in the future revise this figure? Possibly. It doesn’t make it less amazing. Here: How Hot is Venus?




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        • GKI says:

          @CNS, I hope you know that within due time, the masses will realize that the fear-mongering “Scientists” have been feeding them garbage for decades.

          Examples:

          Climate change
          Overpopulation
          Hole in ozone layer
          Heliocentric model
          “Space”
          much, much more.

          This is not a war on science, this is a war for TRUE science.

          A storm is coming. Sabali.

          Care to state why this is such a touchy subject for you?

          CNS: It’s a little weird that you think this is a touchy subject for me. It really isn’t. I just feel duty bound to counter extremes of ignorance. This is not a war on science. It’s lots of really clever people and many years of scientific study on one side versus a meaningless word salad on the other. “Space” is garbage?




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  2. Anonymous says:

    I have a wonderful idea. Everyone sell your cars and big houses and smart phones. Let’s all take a giant stepback. Let’s save the plant. Sell your all your things that contributes to climate change. First you and then I will follow. Let’s all walk to work together. Let’s all take a sail boat to Miami or England…No more airplanes. No more pollution!!! Kill all the old people for taking up space and women should stop getting pregant. Stop cutting down trees that can provide shelter.

    Any takers?????




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    • Anonymous says:

      How about we start by taking sensible steps to reduce carbon emissions and follow international agreements, rather than trying to be smart and positing extremist positions in an attempt to sit back and do nothing? Your attempt at wit proved you are witless.




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      • Anonymous says:

        If not for what you would probably consider extreme push back, we would likely be seeing extreme and draconian policies put in place that would obliterate jobs and economies.
        Instead we see measured action that falls far short of what anthropogenic climate zealots would prefer to see.




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        • Anonymous says:

          See the post below at 5:13. You have swallowed a lot of the kool-aid there.




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          • Anonymous says:

            Corporations rarely pay for cost increases, they simply pass the cost on to consumers. Wise up, your purple mustache is showing.




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            • Anonymous says:

              But by targeting cost burdens to carbon consuming activities cost increases affect consumer behaviour either by reducing consumption or getting consumers to shift away to less carbon consuming options. This opens markets for more environmentally acceptable options and encourage environment facing R&D. So, my dear, you are the one with purple stained teeth with your superficiality.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Dear climate-denying hicks, 99% of you are the manipulated puppets of large corporations and capital owners. Addressing environmental issues costs profits in the short term, so you are being played by clear techniques sponsored by these people to reject what is clearly true so that they can keep making money.




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    • Anonymous says:

      well said…they are blind to the fact that they are swallowing oil-industry fake news hook, line and sinker….




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    • Anonymous says:

      you will also find that these folks believe in conspiracy nonsense like fake moon landings…. or 9/11 conspiracies….




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    • Anonymous says:

      Shouln’t you be yelling at the sky protesting Trump?




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    • Anonymous says:

      What a convincing argument. What is it about this cult that is so appealing to you and your ilk?




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      • Anonymous says:

        We can read and understand evidence?




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        • Anonymous says:

          Considering climate scientists take into account climate dating back millions of years and rely nearly 100% on “proxy evidence” in lieu of instrument based evidence as the basis for their theories, it comes as no surprise that many people are dubious.




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          • Anonymous says:

            But the evidence trends to one direction. Bit like evolution. And there are nutters who deny that too. Proxy evidence is just a corporate PR term for evidence in an attempt to raise doubt with those that do not understand scientific method. Pretty much all our understanding of modern physics has come from “proxy” evidence or one sort or another.




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            • Anonymous says:

              Almost everything you said is a pretty good example of why there is such a high level of skepticism. You’ve got it wrong. The term proxy evidence comes directly from the research. Tree rings vs a thermometer for instance. Were talking in many cases about fractions of a degree. See the difference? Physics on the other hand is based on scientific provable law for the most part. The **law** of gravity would be a good example.
              There was a “pause” in warming in the past couple of decades, so what did the scientists do, they went back in to the records obtained from arctic ice breakers and decided that the data to support the prior warming trends wasn’t good enough and changed the data. There’s almost no transparency on what method was used or why they did this. At it’s base level, relying on these sort of data points initially or even after they inconveniently disagree with the theory lends plenty of room for inaccuracy.
              Then you have the often repeated 97% scientific consensus. This also appears to be a highly disingenuous figure. You should take some time to explore exactly how that number was arrived at.




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              • Anonymous says:

                I know what “proxy evidence” is. It is evidence. Since we can determine temperature, moisture levels, CO2 levels, O2 levels etc by biological and geological markers their use is perfectly acceptable.

                When a doctor diagnosis a virus from a test, he or she finds the antibodies not the virus. In that sense it is proxy evidence. Do you ignore your doctor.




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                • Anonymous says:

                  So you would then agree that “proxy evidence” is not some invention of corporations.

                  Using proxy evidence the same scientists have also found that the atmosphere contained co2 levels that are as much as 800 times greater than they are presently during a cooler period.

                  Wouldn’t you prefer that climatologists look to falsify their theories rather than continually frame their analysis to reach a predetermined outcome. You know, the scientific method approach.




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              • Anonymous says:

                I’m going with 30 Nobel prizewinners over your alt-right bias.

                http://responsiblescientists.org/




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                • Anonymous says:

                  Obama was awarded the nobel peace prize during his his first year as president.
                  Yasser Arafat won it as well.
                  Nobel prizes are rather cheap these days.




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              • GKI says:

                There is no “law of gravity”. There is a Theory Of Relativity and there is a reason why it is called a “theory”.

                CNS: Just making sure you understand what the word “theory” means in this context. See here for simple explanation.

                The way that scientists use the word ‘theory’ is a little different than how it is commonly used in the lay public,” said Jaime Tanner, a professor of biology at Marlboro College. “Most people use the word ‘theory’ to mean an idea or hunch that someone has, but in science the word ‘theory’ refers to the way that we interpret facts.”




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          • Anonymous says:

            Diagnosing that someone has a virus involves he use of “proxy evidence”. Do you ignore what doctors say too?




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            • Anonymous says:

              If a doctor tells you to drink some medicine that has never been tested nor proven to work, do you gleefully drink it, or do you look for alternatives?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Scientists claim that human CO2 emissions are contributing in a meaningful way to climate change.
    Some facts to think about.
    The atmosphere is comprised of:
    78% Nitrogen
    21% oxygen
    1.96% other gases
    .0391% carbon dioxide (the culprit) or 1/25th of 1%.
    Humans are responsible for 3% of 1/25th of 1% of the atmosphere.
    In short, human co2 emissions are no more than a slight trace in our atmosphere.

    Climate science relies heavily on ignoring natural solar ray cycles.

    Using scientific data (accepted by global warming scientists) it is also known that the earth co2 levels have been far higher during colder periods. This is explained away by scientists using the solar ray cycle which is conveniently ignored as needed and when needed for current trends.
    It’s interesting that none of the theories on man made global warming are falsifiable.

    Nevermind the massive amount money on the line to tow the global warming line.

    And you wonder why there are skeptics.




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    • Anonymous says:

      i trust science and scientists…thanks for your input.




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      • GKI says:

        That means that you are a person of faith, science being your religion and the scientists being your priests.

        Think for yourself.

        CNS: Nonsense like that is not the result of thinking for yourself, it’s just ignorance. Science is based on evidence, faith by definition is something you believe without any evidence.




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        • Anonymous says:

          Considering most people on this forum are simply parroting bumper sticker slogans “I believe in scientists” and never even look at or read the so called evidence, the posters comment is valid.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    There is exactly zero that any of you can do about the climate.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Throughout historic records, there are no regions on earth that experienced absolutely “normal” and predictable seasonal weather.
    There have always been extreme winters and extreme summers – as well as uncharacteristically mild – for thousands of years.

    However, today the minute we see the slightest variance in a weather pattern or seasonal “norm” it is “evidence of climate change”.

    Please cut the crap.

    Planet Earth is no punk and the greatest misstep in this AGW outrage is mankind regarding himself as somewhat significant in the grand scheme of things.
    Every week we are “discovering” yet another millions-year old ocean species that has floated and washed up from the deepest unexplored depths of the water – but “climate scientists” will have us believe they have it all figured.

    Human society has a lot more issues to fix (within) where the energy and resources being expended to curbing “climate change” (more taxes, of course) would be better utilised.

    Meanwhile, I do support the embrace of renewable energy, particularly solar power in the Cayman Islands, however not for the commonly forwarded reasons and definitely not by way of AGW scare-mongering.




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    • Anonymous says:

      yawn….. you are a product of the fake news era…please stop swallowing everything you read on the internet.




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      • Anonymous says:

        I could turn around and say the exact same thing about you.
        It baffles me why you believe your reply is worthwhile or valid.




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        • Anonymous says:

          except i have 99% of scientists on my side…..




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          • Anonymous says:

            You actually don’t.

            What you really have on your side is 99% of a group of scientists who previously belong to an orchestrated sub-group of scientists.

            Seeing that after all this time you are still ignorant, be it wilfully or innocently, to this fact, you are not worthy of anyone’s time or attention.

            Nevertheless, you will carry on with your spiel so – have it son.

            Meanwhile, I’m off to go snorkel over the local coral – you know, the very same that were 10 years ago the leading example of “destroyed marine life by bleaching via climate-change” – which mysteriously and “inexplicably” bloomed back with a boom quite recently.

            MILLIONS were spent and countless research hours were invested in our local waters alone to “get to the bottom of the climatic and scientific reasons why this bleaching was taking place and blah, blah, blah” – but in the end, what happened?

            The coral returned like a thief in the night, in full bloom, the local eco system is still flourishing – in fact, the only species left dumbfounded were the dumbass humans who decided they knew all and were hell-bent on “fixing” the (non-existent) problem.

            So … wish me happy bubbles, won’t ya??




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          • Anonymous says:

            No, you don’t have 99% of scientists on your side. Another misleading stat brought to your the the cult of climate change.




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          • Anonymous says:

            You are definitely in agreement with groups such as the Sierra Club. A pretty good example of the use of the much touted scientific consensus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl9-tY1oZNw




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      • Anonymous says:

        Yawn,. get off the internet, you’ve already wasted all of your fair share of carbon today with your bumper sticker scribblings.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Sea levels are up 8″ from late 1800’s, rising 0.13 inches a year and the pace is expected to accelerate beyond 2050. It may not sound like much, but at some point between 2050 and 2100, our current airport lifelines at GCM and CYB will come under threat. To remain in contact with the world, we will need to raise the entire airport facilities, including the runway and taxi areas. It’s not going to be cheap. CIG should start budgeting for that now and develop an action plan. Let’s not wait 30-50 years to start taking prudent action when we know this bill is coming.

    https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html




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    • Anonymous says:

      well said…miami is aware of the issue…when was the last time you ever hear a caymanian talk about this issue?




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  8. nickcayman says:

    Investing in Citizen Science Can Improve Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection

    SUMMARY

    citizen science has made substantive contributions to science for hundreds of years. More recently, it has contributed to many articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has influenced natural resource management and environmental protection decisions and policies across the nation. Over the last 10 years, citizen science—participation by the public in a scientific project—has seen explosive growth in the United States and many other countries, particularly in ecology, the environmental sciences, and related fields of inquiry.

    The goal of this report is to help government agencies and other organizations involved in natural resource management, environmental protection, and policymaking related to both to make informed decisions about investing in citizen science. In this report, we explore the current use of citizen science in natural resource and environmental science and decisionmaking in the United States and describe the investments organizations might make to benefit from citizen science. We find that:

    • Many people are interested in participating in citizen science.

    • Citizen science already contributes to natural resource and environmental science, natural resource management, and environmental protection and policymaking.

    • Citizen science is a rigorous process of scientific discovery, indistinguishable from conventional science apart from the participation of volunteers, and should be treated as such in its design, implementation, and evaluation. When properly designed and used, citizen science can help an organization meet its needs for sound science.

    • Citizen science can contribute to natural resource and environmental organizations’ goals for public input and engagement.

    • Many types of projects can benefit from citizen science. When planning to utilize citizen science, organizations need to match their needs and goals for science and public input and engagement to the strengths of particular citizen science projects and the ways in which the public can participate. Depending on the organization’s needs and goals, citizen science can efficiently generate high-quality data or help solve problems while fostering public input and engagement.

    • Organizational leadership is needed to provide realistic expectations for citizen science, including its limitations as well as its benefits. Leadership is also sometimes needed to lessen administrative hurdles and to create a safe space for learning from project inefficiencies and failures.

    Citizen science requires strategic investments. Beyond project-specific investments, organizations should consider developing or modifying policies and technologies designed to facilitate the field of citizen science as a whole.
    https://goo.gl/7Cb2ep




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  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m loving this Florida snow.
    Global warming (ahem, “climate change”), indeed.




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  10. GKI says:

    Overpopulation and global warming are myths. Oh, and Earth is a plane, not a planet.




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    • Anonymous says:

      climate change…..
      thanks for your help.




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    • Anonymous says:

      poor you dont even realise you are providing evidence for what global warming theory say is going to happen. the bitter cold outbreaks are the extreme events associated with global warming.




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      • Anonymous says:

        In other words, whether it’s hot or cold or windy or calm or wet or dry you can blame it on climate change. Fun.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Weather extremes are consistent with the prevalent climate change theories. You may have failed to spot that some parts of the USA are having record breaking high temperatures this week and that the average global temperature is above recent averages for this time of year.




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  11. Knot S Smart says:

    Quick Folks! Pull out your thick blankets. Its going to snow tonight in Florida…




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    • Anonymous says:

      Lets see you laugh when the water is lapping at your door. Large parts of the US East Coast and already suffering from rising sea levels, its there in photos and black and white, all you need, and you seem to think we are immune? Why, because we are Caymankind? Or Caymanstupid?




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Climate change is a scam. They keep saying we will be underwater years ago and guess what? We are still here. God is in control of every thing. We are on his watch. Those scientist keep chaning their dates.

    Climate changes everyday.It rains, it snows, it gets hot. There is fire season, hurricane season and winter.

    If climate change is a threat. Everyone should sell there cars and take public buses and iphones and Samsungs and have no a/c in their homes. Sell your private jets and fly commerical.

    Do as I say and not do as I do.




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    • Anonymous says:

      yep…and smoking is good for your lungs too….zzzzzzz.




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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a global tax defraudment scheme. We are already paying billions into it, soon to be trillions. over 400Billions spent since 2012 on “climate change research” alone. Of course there’s cause for alarm…




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    • Anonymous says:

      I hear turning the gas on for a while, then sticking your head into a gas oven and igniting a lighter might not burn you after all. It was all a scam. Why don’t you try it and see?




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    • Charles Darwin says:

      Denies factual evidence of climate change, discredits science, thinks a magical ghost is in control of our destruction/pollution of nature, thinks there is a “fire season” and spells “their” and “there”.

      Your idiocy checks out.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Climate has been changing since it was born.




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  14. Paul Harper says:

    Truer words were never written. Thank you, Ms. Green. The despicable way our leaders are leading us down the road to disaster is beyond belief. The sadness of the situation is that very few Caymanians are aware that the deterioration of life is continuing unabated. Does anyone care? Apparently not!




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    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is there is little to no education on these matters from school up, and the politrixians just make it worse abusing the law to fulfill their own extremely ambitious and costly agendas.




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  15. West bay Premier says:

    You must have went to the Al Gore university of global warming. Remember how he became a multimillionaire overnight.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Did you by chance attend the McKeeva Bush school of literacy?




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      • West bay Premier says:

        @ 12:02pm , NO I never had Bush to teach or tell me anything in my life because I am too smart to listen to people like you and him .




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  16. Anonymous says:

    if you want to know what caymanians think about the environment…just look to mount trashmore.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Over-population is the biggest threat & driver of causes that have resulted in global warming since the first industrial era, as evidenced by CO-2 level rise since- this is a fact. Until developing countries can get control of population increases , there wont be much of a chance to manage conservation for the future .Meanwhile , people just keep breeding. Environmental experts as recently as 2012 called for the worlds maximum manageable population at 1 billion people , as the most the environment could support. But that was surpassed long ago.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it’s not overpopulation, but the unsustainable society that has been created that we currently live in. To facilitate growth we need be less wasteful and live better with the environment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The entire worlds population can fit in the City of Los Angeles. Yeah over population.




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