Students lead conservation demands

| 27/05/2019 | 45 Comments
Cayman News Service

Students protest for conservation on 24 May

(CNS): Dozens of students from several schools across the Cayman Islands joined with other young people around the world Friday in another global demonstration about the environment, urging their politicians to take action on green issues and protect their futures. Organised in conjunction with Plastic Free Cayman, the demonstration also drew attention to other urgent issues impacting the local environment, such as concerns over the cruise berthing project and saving Barkers, and the students left no doubt that they expect more from local politicians.

With the political will to address these issues here in the Cayman Islands woefully inadequate, the students say they are not prepared to accept the status quo and believe the government is not doing anywhere near enough to protect their future.

While Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour did address the students about the government’s plans for recycling plastic, he ignored the many other concerns the young people have, including damage to the reefs from the cruise project, over-development, the threat to Barkers and the failure to address the dump.

As the younger generation leads the charge on climate change, Richard Weber, a student from Cayman International School who is now 18 years old and a newly registered voter, said his generation is deeply concerned about the utter failure of the current generation of politicians to get to grips with the climate crisis.

Inspired by the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in the UK and the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg (16), who started the school strikes to draw attention to the failure of governments around the world to curb damaging human activity, Weber said Cayman needs its own new green deal.

Thunberg inspired the ‘Protect our Future’ demonstrations that have become a global phenomenon, with millions of young people walking out of school on Fridays to protest the lack of action by those in power.

“The government is simply not thinking big or bold enough,” Weber said, noting that all the

Students protest around the Cayman Islands

minister could offer was the roll-out of district recycling skips. “Recycling is not the end-all solution to the problems in the Cayman Islands.”

He said that Cayman was in an economic position to think much bigger about addressing the climate crisis at the local level. “But government isn’t thinking about a bold, big, broad future (on green issues) but instead looking at piecemeal options.”

Talking about the Green New Deal being discussed in the US and the idea of completely greening the local economy, Weber said Cayman was wealthy enough and had the resources to take drastic and bold action, because if it did not his generation would be the ones regretting it later.

Weber also warned Premier Alden McLaughlin, who did not face the young students on the steps of the government building, the environment minister and the other members of the panel established to review the National Conservation Law that if they watered down the legislation, removing existing protections, then they would have to face the voters.

Weber was one of several young Caymanians who spoke to the press after the demonstation who are not willing to sit down and be quiet when it comes to green issues. They all said the fight to protect their future and the local environment would continue as there were many issues that have to be addressed and government has to listen.

The young people are also using social media and have created a local Protect our Future Facebook Page to help raise the alarm as well as awareness. Throughout last week students climbed to the top of the dump, snorkelled in the George Town harbour, scrambled in the mangroves and staked out remote beach areas and Barkers, to take pictures with banners promoting important messages about the environment.

The key message the young people want government to hear is that Cayman’s mangroves, seagrass and marine environment in particular need more protection, with prohibitions on coastal development dredging and any reef destruction, as well as a complete ban on importing single-use plastics and the introduction of a sustainable economy.

Visit the Facebook page to see more photos of the young people’s protest

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Category: environmental health, Health, Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (45)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “and a little child shall lead them”

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am amazed and literally ashamed as a Caymanian to see how many negative and derogatory statements are directed at our youth.

    For years, I have always believed that politicians and their cronies were suppressing and dumbing down, particularly “education wise” our children, in order to keep them uneducated and unemployed. When that failed, they found jobs for them, picking up trash once or twice a year which was enough to get votes at the next election. When that wasn’t enough, the politicians touted that Cayman is at near zero unemployment. That may seem good on the surface but most Caymanians are no longer the middle class but forced to accept menial jobs in order to put food on their tables. What has now backfired on them is that young people are seeing through these shenanigans and what has happened with their parents and want changes. Lack of education and knowledge can no longer be used to ensure votes.

    You don’t have to support everything they want or protest for but at the very least we should give them the credit that most of us older Caymanians don’t have the guts or ambition to do and that is to stand up to the government and to do that in person and publicly.

    Kudos to everyone of these kids! Do not make all of these negative people and comments deter you. Your future holds in the balance and in a few years from now you will be able to do what is right for the people of these my beloved Cayman Islands.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes Kudos, why bother learning how to _actually_ achieve anything, when they can be taught to just hold up a sign and automatically become morally superior and automatically have the authority to DEMAND OTHERS to address your every complaint?

      Yes Kudo’s and GREAT ACHIEVEMENT

      • Anonymous says:

        I seriously doubt that any of this kids were forced to do anything. I think that is what you want yourself to believe to support your agenda..I listened to them talk on TV and they appeared quite intelligent and able to speak for themselves..

        As I said, the “dumbing down” of kids and later on young adults through a piss poor education system to keep them uneducated so that you can throw them a bone every 3 years in order to get a vote is now coming to an end.. It appears that some of these very kids are tired of seeing Cayman in this mess. The internet and social media has opened their eyes and they can see the small mindedness of the greedy power hungry politicians and they are no longer putting up with it.

        I say leave these kids alone and let them speak up! Us grown ass Caymanians can’t stand up and be counted but we can come on here and belittle them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    More Brain Washing! Liberal idealizing bullshit! We are all going to die>>>>>>AHHHHHHHH! I want food for my family and shelter from storms and narcos not some spoon feed idealistic crap. Send your children to save reefs with $150.00 fins & masks and sheets scribbled with ‘wtf”??????? And the rest, we will do what humans have been doing all along…..surviving off the planet and evolving through the changes eating meat. A kids future is not their parents past.

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    • Cheese Face says:

      Religion is brainwashing, science? not so much.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s not denigrate this any further..next we will talking crap about same sex marriage or any of the other hot topics that have nothing to do with the topic at hand..

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  4. Anonymous says:

    But trespassing is okay?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The younger generation will save our planet and island because they are educated and not motivated by greed and afflicted with religious outdated nonsense, free to think on their own with altruistic agendas. Most of them would run circles intellectually around the likes of Dwayne and Arden.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Good showing by the kids. I hope they also made a stop by the Dart Group. They are surely in the big league of overdevelopment, threat to barkers the most gaudy looking tunnel along seven mile and other spots on the island.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Most like your optimism but the reality is that you have been handicapped by your culture so step carefully because it is easier to simply support a cause, but it is much harder to supply solutions and have the patience to deal with technical details that are not fun, are not always rewarding, and that will stress some to give up early.

      I will put a 99% confidence in an engineer that is supplying solutions….

      but not much for protesters that are just punching out slogans and padding their resumes or enlarging their social circles for vanity.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If you’re not too busy denigrating children for having opinions and the courage to protest (does that make you feel big?) perhaps you could cast your mind back to 2005-2009 when Arden was minister in charge of the dump AND DID NOTHING!!! What solutions does he have now? NONE. “Action Man”. Don’t make me laugh.

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        • Anonymous says:

          8:54 am are you responding to 8:32 as a friend ( imaginary friend perhaps) in an unfriendly argument or wa. What does Arden McLeans history as a Minister have to do with your well apparent friends comments.

          Eat your Wheaton’s sweetie😉

        • Anonymous says:

          You keeping the kids expectations unreal is why I have to unravel my kids from your “everybody gets a gold medal” mentality or they will end up a fruitcake who will believe just protesting is good enough to pat yourself on the back.

          You have a job to sustain our failing education system.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Their was a sham perpetuated here. Gave my child permission to go on a green demo, and looking on FB and media see where even cruise objectors had signs. That is not honest any way you cut it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Indoctrination from young so that your beliefs and opinions aren’t genuinely yours is simply the Caymanian way, haven’t you realized?

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    • Anonymous says:

      What did you think a ‘green demonstration’ would cover?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed – I signed a permission slip for “plastic free peaceful protest” and it wasn’t the case. Also, the Compass has children featured in the photos for their article without permission from the parents.

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  7. Ron Ebanks says:

    I believe from reading this article that all of these politicians needs to removed from Office as soon as possible . When they refuse to face the children and address the issues the Environment are faced with today . People remember this .

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey kid, want to get out of class for a few hours?
    Sure!
    Here’s a sign, don’t worry about what it says, just hold it.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    YESSSS!!!!! I’m so proud of them! Can’t wait to get all of these youngsters registered to VOTE!!! We going get rid of them old farts who are complacently selling away our entire island and anything else they can think of.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed! None of these young voters have any affiliation or similar interests to these old fossilized politicians. It will finally be a new wave of new thinking politicians based on intelligence and not vote buying through washing machines.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne Seymour is a waste of space…he is the most useless MLA ever.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Here a few words these virtuous protest class students can learn from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUU4cSSAZw8

    They certainly are not getting it from their liberal indoctrinators/teachers

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    • Anonymous says:

      apparently you want them to get information from some wierdo on youtube instead. A far more trustworthy source

      you are too funny mate

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      • Anonymous says:

        This weirdo is a doctor psychology Dr. Jordan Peterson, invited to give lectures worldwide and often the on major media outlets.

        Obviously being informed isn’t your strong suite mate, but unsurprising from a leftist

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, you’re right! Protests never change anything, well, except for maybe that civil rights movement thing. And women’s equality and the right to vote. Child labor laws. Apartheid in South Africa. Independence for India. I could go on but I’m sure you’d rather listen to Jordan Peterson‘s eloquent dribble instead. Sigh. For your own sake, please pull your head out of your conservative rear and think for yourself.

  12. Anonymous says:

    As predicted, the infectious disease of liberalism indoctrination is now affecting our students in schools in full force, just like the USA.

    What’s next, Antifa?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I love that because you disagree with it you call it a disease. Get used to it, the world will recover from the damage the right has caused and people like you will be left all alone and sad, just like those who believed in slavery. Evolve your mind or continue to be disappointed.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because Cayman Minister Association isn’t an indoctrination station for more conservative lobbyists, right?

      I’m 99.85% sure you’d vote for trump

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      • Anonymous says:

        You are very narrow minded..Grouping and generalising people is wrong. One can be Conservative or Liberal and still have the same thinking on say something like the port. Stop trying to make this something it is not..

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m a conservative and I support the environment and the environmental movement. Please broaden and refine your political perspective.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Curious. If you are a conservative who is concerned about the environment, then who do you vote for? In Cayman and elsewhere, virtually every conservative politician does not only neglect serious environmental issues but also vigorously opposes any progress toward solving obvious problems. Conservative politicians are the greatest hindrance to environmental progress and protection. So, then, who do you vote for as an environmentally concerned conservative?

        #cognitivedissonance. #lol

    • Anonymous says:

      I will never understand why all these conservative nut bags can’t understand that they need the natural world, too. They eat, breathe air, drink water just like all the thinking people do. How can they be so deluded as to believe that nature is some sort of common commodity to be used up and thrown away? Oh, wait, I know. Silly religions and greed-based political parties tell them so.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Children ARE our future. So proud of these kids. They are not yet financially motivated nor feel as politically ‘threatened’ as us older folk which makes them the most honest generation with nothing but good intentions!

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  14. Cheese Face says:

    I see Hurley’s claims to be free of single use plastic bags. Not what I’m seeing in the produce aisle? Get with the program, paper bags please.

    Personally I don’t even bother for fruits and veg, but it’s kinda tricky for the kids chocolate raisins!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Compostable food containers are the best. “at an industrial composting facility”. Of which we have how many in Cayman? Some people will believe any old marketing campaign.

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    • Johnny Be Good says:

      Sounds like a NutBar is your kinda thing, after all you are what you eat.

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