Climate policy gathers eight years of dust

| 30/09/2019 | 77 Comments
Cayman News Service
Flooding at the Port Authority

(CNS): Cayman is not doing anywhere near enough to prepare for the onslaught of climate change, despite being a low lying small island country on the front line of sea level rise, experts have said. A climate change policy formulated in 2011 has been gathering dust in the Ministry of Environment because no minister has ever taken it to Cabinet for consideration. Meanwhile, government policy in general is not taking into account the dramatic impact climate change is going to have on the country.

Speaking at an event hosted by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands on Thursday evening about climate change and how it will impact the Cayman Islands, Wendy Williams, who runs the Department of Environment (DoE) Environmental Management Unit, said that “climate change should be a high priority” for the country. “But it’s not.”

One of three speakers during the event, Williams said the policy was now very outdated and really needed to be reviewed, given the importance of the changing climate and how it will affect society way beyond conservation considerations.

But she noted that Cayman was already more than eight years behind on working out how it would mitigate and adapt to the myriad problems that will be caused by climate change, from flooding to the destruction of coral. She also raised concerns about the lack of data available that would detail how rising temperatures and sea levels are going to impact these islands.

As members of the public expressed their concerns that no environment minister has ever taken up the policy, DoE director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said that her department had tried to push the policy forward but, given that they are still fighting to persuade people not to cut down mangroves, trying to get a climate policy on the agenda that requires fundamental changes to our way of life would be “a big leap”.

But the country should not be making any decisions without considering how climate change will impact things in the future, she added.

The policy was pulled together while Mark Scotland was environment minister, and although his successor, Wayne Panton, had been keen to present the policy to his Cabinet colleagues, he had prioritised the National Conservation Law and the marine parks enhancement, both of which turned out to be a mammoth battle. He told CNS that if he had been returned to office and continued as environment minister, it would have been taken to Cabinet during this administration.

“It has to be a priority now to address climate change and consider the impacts for all policy decisions,” he stated. But he also noted the challenges he had regarding the conservation law and the marine park expansion.

“While Cabinet has now agreed those proposals in principle and even though they have been amended, it still hasn’t been implemented,” Panton added, as he echoed the director’s position that getting climate change onto the wider political agenda will not be easy.

Everyone at the event agreed that, as a community, the public is not talking about climate change anywhere near enough and as a result government is simply not factoring its impacts into future policies.

Lisa Hurlston-McKenzie, a member of the National Conservation Council who was also a speaker at the event, warned that Cayman may soon see the end of insurance cover on properties here because of our vulnerability as a low lying nation. But she also spoke about the opportunities presented by greening the economy.

She raised particular concerns about the planning consultation. She said that the proposals put forward for public review regarding the new national development plan were woefully inadequate when it came to the issue of climate change. However, she added a note of optimism when she said that the community needs to embrace the issue and pressure government.

Hurlston-McKenzie pointed to the growing activism emerging in the community and said that the success of the campaign to push for a referendum on the cruise port project, a massive environmental issue, was a lesson in how the people can force change.

Cathy Childs from the National Trust introduced the event and outlined the science of climate change. She spoke about how climate was impacting the frequency, intensity, movement and track of storms in our region. She also noted the concerns that most climate scientists have about the feedback loops of melting ice sheets and permafrost and other problems, including the likely failure of the world to meet the Paris emission reduction targets.

Childs ended the evening with an inspiration video narrated by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and writer George Monbiot about the critically important but simple solution to climate change that everyone can get involved with.

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Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature

Comments (77)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Toxic dump dust. What is the Representative for George Town North doing about it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    40” of snow fell in Montana USA on Sunday.
    Sounds like Global Warming to me. LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you the same imbecile (12:13 pm) who confuses mass extinction with planet Earth existence?

      • Anonymous says:

        Only a blistering ignorant cretin, would believe human are/have been facing _mass extinction_ due to the current earth climatic and/or and upcoming climate within the next century. You’re a hysterical imbecile incapable of comprehending data for yourself and must be indoctrinated for you to have any opinion whatsoever.

        Let’s revisit in 15 years when the earth and it’s climate are perfectly fine, as it is today, despite the plethora of failed doomsday predictions by your cultist leaders such as Al Gore et al.

    • Anonymous says:

      First you need to understand the difference between weather and climate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trump always dismisses climate change when it’s cold.
      Just like him you confuse the difference between climate and weather (weather happens in a given place and time; climate is the average of weather over time).
      Extreme cold spells don’t disprove global warming. No single weather episode can either prove or disprove global climate change. Climate change causes crazy winters.
      When the polar vortex splits and travels southward, warm air simultaneously invades the Arctic — so while some regions experience unusual cold, others get unusual warmth. That’s different from the uniform cooling of the sort that might truly challenge the idea of climate change.

      Alaska just had the hottest summer EVER. That’s a red flag for the planet.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wish I had your patience

      • Anonymous says:

        Now there is science for you….: “Alaska just had the hottest summer EVER. That’s a red flag for the planet.”

        Can define “Ever” please?

        • Anonymous says:

          Turkey 3:13, If one looks at temperature data for Alaska and the Canadian Arctic for the past 15 years one can see a steady upturn in temperatures, and now in huge areas the Arctic tundra is melting rapidly, resulting in thousands of indigenous people having to move.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ever means the highest temperatures in Alaska since records have been kept there. The temperatures were completely off the scale and millions of salmon died in the ocean due to the warm ocean.

          • SSM345 says:

            It was also the first time in our recorded history that the sea ice melted completely in Alaska. Check out what happened in Greenland this year too…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey! Shouldn’t you be fabricating lies to avoid impeachment? I don’t think you realize how much trouble you and your boyfriends are in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gonna lock you up Donald. Lock you up.

    • Anon says:

      5.58am It should have fallen on your head.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman islands government does not have the skill, experience or the determination to do anything about the climate at this time. Maybe in the far future.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree but what do you suggest they do anyway? Dump aside there aren’t many easy answers. Solar and EV’s are one but out of reach financially for most.

  4. Anonymous says:

    These people have gone totally insane. There isn’t a shred of coherence or rationality on this subject anymore. Pure emotions and theatrics.


    Interestingly enough, the Obama’s bought a piece of ocean front property on Martha’s vineyard so they are obviously not overly worries about the whole Climate Armageddon.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get your head out of the sand 12:18. You are the irrational one. Just look at the friggin data, Just look at the American and Canadian data. I dare you.

      By the way, Obama bought on one of the highest points on Martha’s. Martha’s is not like Grand Cayman in that it has a number of high elevation points.

      • Rick says:

        You state the so-called data. I dare you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Giraffes made it to the list of endangered animals today. There is some evidence out of the plenty going around.

        • Anonymous says:

          Get off your ass and do some Googling. Start with aaverage temperatures for Alaska the past 20 years. Of course, one has to be intelligent enough to interpret temperature data. The “brilliant genius” in DC dies not have that capability.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, so the Obama’s bought ocean-front property which was surveyed to NOT be under threat from the rising seas. Because there is a matrix somewhere that show exactly where the rising seas will rise to, and the Obama’s made every precaution by buying ocean front property that is rising-seas proof

        hahahahaha… you leftists are clowns.

    • Anonymous says:

      You will learn one day!!

      We will all pay the price of the government sanctioned destruction of our Islands to satisfy the greed of a MLAs and MEGARICH.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Go lecture China, India, Indonesia, etc. The western world is actually not the problem.

  6. Anonymous says:

    mount thrashmore tells you everything you need to know about cayman’s attitude to the environment.

    • Anon says:

      10.50am You should be aware of the Government’s top secret global warming contingency plan. They are building a back up Govt Admin Building atop Mt Trashmore with an extra efficient filtration system in the air conditioning.

  7. Born Caymanian/ says:

    “Lisa Hurlston-McKenzie, a member of the National Conservation Council who was also a speaker at the event, warned that Cayman may soon see the end of insurance cover on properties here because of our vulnerability as a low lying nation.”

    YES! YES! YES!

    Let’s get rid of the greedy Insurance companies. Not a cent they will give you when disaster comes. Big fraudsters that takes everybody money. Them and the banks!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a moron. Everyone needs to insure their property.

      Unless you’re just playing for laughs. But I think you genuinely mean what you posted!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Climate change should not be used nefariously to create herd control laws, especially when the perpetrators of mass pollution are big businesses who lobby governments.
    For governments that have authorized these big industrial entities to operate and then turn around to pass draconian laws on the general populace is bloody disingenous and pretty damned wicked.
    So if politicians and big government want to lead the way, they can stop approving and producing polluting technologies, live in smaller houses, stop gallivanting around the world on CO2 belching methods of transportation and bloody-well lead from the front.

    If this Climate Change is not handled rightly, we will find ourselves back in Nazi Germany under the hands of an authoritarian, fascist police state. “Your papers, please!”

    Climate Change should be remediated according to proven laws of science and mathematics.
    Every pollutant has a known chemical formula and composition. It is known how they are created and who creates them. I can assure you, it is not the man in the street.
    Some pollutants manifest as microwave radiation that we seem to bathe ourselves in with a psychotic desire to be permanently connected to the internet.
    Microwave radiation is downright dangerous and is already scientifically proven to affect soft tissue, especially in children. So what’s the solution? 5G. More even higher-powered radiation with no definitive testing.

    I don’t know of many acquaintances who have plastic extruders in their houses, neither do I know of any one who has a CO2 belching, 15MW diesel generator in their back yard. I don’t really know anyone personally who orders fluoride and dumps it in the water supply for our “benefit”.
    Come to think of it, I don’t know any folk who seem to think that it is ok to maintain a festering garbage dump 80 or so feet high as a testimony to their waste management “skills”.
    I don’t know of any individuals that operate cell towers pumping out thousands of watts of microwave radiation over the people and wondering why species are dying.

    I do know of governments who operate with total disregard for the environment by sanctioning these polluting companies and if they really cared for the people they claim to serve, it would be obvious with the laws they pass.

    As I see it right now, big government and big business are the problem, NOT the solution.
    What I would say to Ms. Thunberg is to use your energy surgically, expose the big corporations and the corrupt governments that support them and you will have the support of the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      So you know that all and still hiding behind your screen giving Ms.Thunberg advise what to do so she will have support of the world? How pathetic and backwards, don’t you think? She isn’t afraid to expose herself to all kind of harms from very same powerful people who destroyed the environment. What you are doing to stop the madness? Killing the messenger never worked.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nothing we can do unless you want to go tell 6 billion people in the developing world they can’t have our quality of life/energy use/consumpsion. Good luck. How many coal power stations are under construction in China right now, 300? Best get cracking.

        • Anonymous says:

          1:58, You do not know what you are talking about. Since 2012 China has reduced coal use from 68% of its power production to 58% in 2018 while solar power production has gone up 5 times in the past 3 years. The Chinese now puts more money into solar power investment than does the U.S. The Chinese get it. Why don’t we?

      • Anonymous says:

        Can you read? Try again. Your short answer displays zero understanding of the pounts made. I am saying that Ms. Thunberg can be a voice for positive change if she targets the main offenders.
        If you disagree, then I won’t press you. Go your own way. It is your right.

        • Anonymous says:

          She is a child and she makes huge difference the way she can. Expecting from her to target main offenders while you are hiding with your tail between your legs? Why don’t you do that. You got it all right, even understand 5 G and EMF pollution. What is the problem than?
          She is a messenger and young generations listen to her, while dinosaurs are giving her advices.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sick adults like you disrespect children.

            The REVOLUTION cannot come too soon.

          • Anonymous says:

            Once again, you are missing the point and once again, I am asking you if you actually read what you are commenting on.
            Nobody has disrespected Ms. Thunberg, quite the opposite, yet you seem determined to pick a fight.
            Just go away. No fight here.

        • Anonymous says:

          2;12, You have not been paying attention to Greta. Clearly she is targeting the main offenders. Listen more closely to her message.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have to kill the messenger. ALWAYS. It’s the Donald Trump way.

    • seeuanon! says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman does not fluoridate their potable water.

      Radio waves used in cellphones are not ionizing like gamma radiation and therefore do no more harm than heating your skin by 0.001 degrees.

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know that Cayman does not fluoridate the city water? Facts only please.
        If you think 5G is harmless, then you are a fool.

  9. Those in power don't care says:

    Just look at the state of the Cayman Islands dump and the leakage flowing into the north sound. Now look at how long our government elected have neglected this environmental crisis.
    Now what makes anyone here think the present government has the capability or the concern to do anything about our climate change problems?

    I’ll see myself out.

  10. Cayman-Atlantis says:

    If you want to see a report on the effects of rising sea levels on the Cayman Islands, you only have to delve into the CNS library – the report was written 10 years ago; but because there is no money in it for them, government will ignore it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great video. Thank you CNS. Greta is a beautiful girl. Joan of Arc of 21st century.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Right-wing media unhinged attacks on Greta Thunberg are despicable.
    Any adult mocking her behind her back is a coward and miserable human being. Any adult giving his “expertise” on her state of mind is a delusional being. Every adult born before 1990 is responsible for destruction of planer Earth.

    I stand by every Greta’s word, which are true:
    “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words . . . We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is the money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

    • But remember to pray! says:

      We are in the beginning of a mass extinction.

      People don’t realise how true and scary this is. More aninals go extinct every year with an average of about 10 a year. 99% of all mammals that have existed have gone extinct and now we’re seeing the same trend with insects.

      I won’t sugar coat this.. the earth is becoming uninhabitable and if the trend continues(which it will) we will end up just another baron planet in solar system.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our greedy corrupt Caymanian adults should be shamed of themselves how they attack our schoolchildren fighting for their future.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This must be a joke.
    And you must know this Greta kid and her parents are Antifa

    • Anonymous says:

      An·ti·fa- a political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology.

      So what is your point? Enlighten us please.

      • Anonymous says:

        They rely on violence and intimidation. What’s yours?

        • Al Catraz says:

          The last time fascists took power in Europe, it required a tremendous amount of violence and intimidation to put them back down. Violence and intimidation is what fascism warrants.

          • Anonymous says:

            There’s a massive difference between these whack jobs and the allies in ww2! This lot thinks everyone who isn’t a socialist like them is a fascist.

            • Anonymous says:

              3:31, I am not a socialist but the 16 year old girl is bang on. At what point do we start getting angry? I am friggin angry that absolutely nothing is being done about Mount Trashmore. I am also not a fascist. Just a very pissed off citizen living on Grand Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        Because they label everyone who doesn’t agree with them extreme right wing?

      • Anonymous says:

        Bless. If you live in a tax haven you’ll be first up against the wall if Antifa ever got their way you tax avoiding fascists! Lol.

    • Anonymous says:

      7:50 What is a joke? The video? The girl? The movement to save planet Earth for those who are being born today? Are you against “Preserve! Restore! Fund!”???
      If so, state your arguments.

    • Typical. Yawn. says:

      Typical Trumper/Brexiteer spin on everything; let’s not address the real problem, let’s attack those that enlightened us to the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      found the wannabe american.

      Stop watching fox news and get your head out of the sand.

      • Anonymous says:

        Accept Socialism and give up your monies then Climate will change?
        Sorry, does not make sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Generalization is dangerous. Your conclusion about Greta and Antifa is true and valid AS FAR AS YOU KNOW. Try deductive reasoning, because it is stronger than inductive.

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