Climate change policy gets nod from LA

| 03/02/2020 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service
Photo courtesy of Protect Our Future

(CNS): The Legislative Assembly voted for a private member’s motion calling on government to adopt a climate change policy, after whipping through the debate Friday evening, as the latest brief meeting drew to a close. MLA Alva Suckoo (NEW) brought the motion asking government to address climate change, given that the existing policy document has been gathering dust in the ministry for almost a decade. But the move offered nothing in the way of immediate action.

Suckoo’s motion set out a comprehensive approach to developing a new policy and called for a commission to oversee its development and implementation, a public awareness campaign and to add climate change to the school curriculum. However, young people in Cayman have already demonstrated they are way ahead of politicians when it comes to understanding the impending climate crisis and what needs to be done.

Suckoo, who recognises the rising public concern about this issue, told his colleagues that Cayman, like other small island nations, may not be a major contributor to global warming but will be on the front line of its negative impacts.

He raised the question of food security as well as issues that affect our economy, such as the impact on tourism and our beaches. Suckoo called for mitigation measures and sustainable plans for how these islands will cope with the inevitable impacts coming our way over the coming decades.

Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour, who has so far proved to be an ineffectual minister in that area, said that government would accept the motion.

He said that a lot of work would be needed to update the existing policy because so much time had passed since it was drawn up and nothing had happened about it. The modelling in the document will also need to be redone to take into account the acceleration of climate change, as documented by the scientific community, since that policy was finished in 2011.

But the minister had very little to offer in the way of immediate concrete action and instead spoke about the aims and ambitions of the current government. He pointed to the energy policy, which calls for a cut in emissions in line with the Paris agreement and cutting Cayman’s dependence on fossil fuel generated power by 70% over the next seven years, a target that many local experts believe is impossible given that no legislation has been passed to force the issue.

Seymour also spoke about a policy being formatted to deal with food security, as he accepted the Cayman Islands’ significant vulnerability. Climate change is already fuelling food production problems around the world, as it becomes increasingly difficult for farmers to produce food with increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, from drought to floods.

The minister said discussions about climate change were taking place within the government, as well as with the governor because the UK recognised this as a major issue. He said the topic would be on the agenda at the Joint Ministerial Council this year, which takes place in London in March. He said that it was a matter on the agenda of the National Security Policy, as a paper had been submitted for discussion.

He asked people to recognise the work already being done by government on what he said was a serious subject, given the vulnerability of Cayman.

MLA Kenneth Bryan (GTC), who supported Suckoo’s motion, said it was a topic of great importance. He laid on the House table for other members a parliamentarian’s “tool kit”, which emerged from a recent Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in Africa to help members understand the efforts being done elsewhere.

Suckoo said the motion was not a political matter but he and other members were really concerned about a genuine threat to all of us and said they needed to give Cayman the best opportunity possible to sustain the future.

See Alva Suckoo’s private member’s motion in the CNS Library

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Category: Climate Change, Policy, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is powerless to fight climate change in any significant way. While tilting at this windmill, please try not to make it any more expensive to be here.

    • Anonymous says:

      2 Simple significant ways:

      1. Ban on cruise ships, and
      2. Emissions testing as part of vehicle inspections, particularly have and marl trucks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Disagree. There are a multitude of little things everyone might do to reduce, reuse, and recycle – even avoiding consumption of certain things, in a small way, somewhat acquits those individuals from willfully blind culpability. It’s also okay to feel slightly better that you’re helping rather than hindering, while acting in the areas of personal influence that can be controlled. If enough people were to take stock and do the same, it becomes measurable change.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “…a target that many local experts believe is impossible given that no legislation has been passed to force the issue.”

    And what if it was? Just like a slew of other laws they will fail to enforce it. Makes no difference in reality.

    • M says:

      Laws in force not even allowing us the option to break them are what we can start with.

      And just as we’ve so easily adapted to dumping our garbage on a mound, we can adapt to sorting our refuse, learning to compost at home or in a community/district compost facility with dedicated persons to assist citizens where needed, we can use our large swathes of fertile land to grow the majority of our own food, we can implement laws whereby single use plastics and Styrofoam products are not even allowed to be imported, government and employers can offer incentives to people who use public transportation or carpool or work remotely, the list goes on.

      Economic prosperity and development do not have to equal the destruction of our environment, whether that be now (clearing land, etc.) or in the future (long-term climate change effects, such as those from sea-level rise).

      A pessimistic attitude is certainly something none of us needs, as this issue will affect us ALL – local or expatriate, rich or poor. We are all humans living on one Earth and we need to collaborate and band together to ensure it is taken care of so we can be taken care of in turn.

      • Anonymous says:

        Precisely where are our large swathes of fertile land?

        • Anonymous says:

          We have more than enough land in East End and Bodden Town to grow food for every person in this country to eat a bountiful plant-based diet.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sorry but no.

          • Anonymous says:

            Really. Without good greenhouses sorry, not having it. I live and grow out here and it’s not easy.

            • Anonymous says:

              Hi – young Caymanian farmer and greenhouse owner here: “wide-scale” agriculture in this island is not an issue. No it’s not going to be easy, half the problem here lies in trying to find the easy route for everything. Look at common sense over convenience. It wasn’t beneath our ancestors to grow their own food in their small yards to feed their children and neighbors, relying on perhaps a bag of flour or sugar or some milk every few months, raising chickens for meat and eggs, and relying on the sea and the local butcher to provide fresh seafood and meats.

              By relying solely on convenience and the cheapest cost, take into account someone and something has to pay a greater price for you to have that item for that price and ease. The planet is paying the price for us to live our cushy modern lives. Sacrifices must be made as part of the bigger picture, and the outcome (long-term survival) is worth it. We enjoyed it while it lasted but we have not enjoyed it sustainably. We are a highly intelligent species and we can continue to find ways for us to live the lifestyles we’ve grown accustomed to, in an environmentally sustainable way that is second-nature to us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Global Warming.

    Rebranded and re-marketed as “climate change” back in 1990’s. Since the global warming wasn’t as easy of a sell as imagined because the globe stopped “warming” in the mid 1990’s (called the “big pause”) and panic wasn’t as easily peddled on the world wide stage (as such more difficult to defraud the public out of tax revenues), then this can of FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) was subsequently rebranded as “Climate Change”.

    This is is very convenient for the prophet’s of doom to sell their religion, because no matter what the climate does, whether it cools, whether it gets warmer or even if global temperature stays the same. It’s still _climate change_ according to the climate cults. Also notice that children, politicians, bureaucrats, magazines and celebrities are leading this cult. No real scientists anywhere in sight. (in fact it is quite the opposite, there are MANY REAL scientists debunking this fraud

    They will tell you that you have no ability to measure this fate for yourself, furthermore, skepticism will not be tolerated and you must therefore adhere to the god of the 97%. Basically, think not for yourselves, and above all, do NOT QUESTION THE GOD OF THE 97%

    For those of you that have lived and thought the decades have observed no absolutely difference in the climate, sea levels nor seen ANY of the predicted natural disasters by the prophet’s of doom (Al Gore et al), you will be told this does not matter by those indoctrinated into the cult. Trying to have a mere discussion on the subject of climate change with a climate cultist, is like trying to convince a member of Heaven’s Gate not to drink the Kool-Aid.

    And these people claim to be “scientific”. Climate Change does not follow the Scientific Method. This is an indisputable fact. They will claim there isn’t enough evidence to follow the scientific method. Which is absolute horseshit. The truth is, the Scientific Method will not arrive to the indisputable consensus or “opinion” of the very well tax payer funded climate change research groups, which ultimately wants and push for a mandatory global carbon tax worth trillions in revenue, which globalists will then determine how to redistribute. They are already building FUNDS out of this sham people!

    Look at these people:

    Looks a lot like:

    THE END GOAL – WHAT GLOBAL WARMING IS ALL ABOUT – They are already building FUNDS out of this sham people!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I sincerely hope this is a troll, but in the case that it is not:

      The scientific method is based on repeating experiments trying to disprove a hypothesis, and then other professionals in the same field judge this research meticulously to also disprove a hypothesis. This is called peer reviewing. Please see some very good peer reviewed articles below:

      Parmesan, C., Yohe, G. A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature 421, 37–42 (2003).

      Atmospheric carbon dioxide variations at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii
      Charles D. Keeling Robert B. Bacastow Arnold E. Bainbridge
      December 1976

      And the The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is also a fun read.

      I’d like to point out that YouTube and Wikipedia are not valid sources of scientific consensus.

      For a more personal anecdote, I grew up on seven mile beach in Tamarind Bay. I remember playing on the beach there every day. Now when I walk down SMB I sometimes can’t even get passed the Marriot. And the absolute gall to claim that the effects of climate change cannot be seen after witnessing some of the worst Hurricanes in history from an island that is 3 feet above sea level.

      And finally, what on earth is wrong with spending some money to preserve our beautiful island. Even if it’s all a sham and the planet isn’t cooking itself, is there really that much wrong with making it a bit cleaner here?

      For the people in the back: science confirms man-made climate change a thousand times over, Cayman is ALREADY seeing the effects of this, and YouTube/Wikipedia are not valid scientific sources, nor are speculative news articles.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh boy, really? Why? Shouldn’t you be somewhere watching Fox News or praying for Rush Limbaugh’s speedy recovery? People like you are so mysterious. What goes on in your mind that you would side with oil companies, Trump, Fox News, and some know-nothing TV weather man over an overwhelming majority of global climate scientists?

      When you’re alone and no one is watching, just pause for a moment and think independently. Ask yourself if maybe you’ve been hoodwinked by greedy/stupid people with an agenda. Ask why you think it makes sense to get your climate science knowledge from people who are not climate scientists.

      It’s never too late to open your eyes.


      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed, this person would have come up with the same comments around smoking and the link to cancer….

        • Anonymous says:

          I have no proof that all the stupid persons on here live on the Islands called the Cayman Islands but I sincerely hope not. Obviously they have never read anything worthwhile and facts based on climate change. They have this Fox News mentality and refuses to accept that there might just be some truth to it. They are probably the same ones who throw their empty food containers out of their car windows, throw their empty household containers out in the backyard etc. etc. thankfully we also have intelligent well versed individuals on the subject. I realise that no single person can do very much but collectively we can make a real difference to benefit our homeland.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If only us caymanians were as quick to protest for actual change as we are when it has to do with gay people, we may actually seem some change. We need regulatory organizations to keep gas prices and real estate prices in check, but hey let me just sip from my $6 gallon of milk and stay in my corner. Maybe if the climate was gay we would actually be doing something about it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    The key word here is ‘adopt’. There’s no commitment to implementing it and as we all know by now that’s because nobody in the LA can see a percentage in it for themselves. At best it’s a token gesture.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Once again, we’d like to invite the transportation Minister Hew to formally commit to implementing the NRA’s 2015 budgeted plan for marked and delineated bike lanes on all major thoroughfares. If not all roads, at least the north-south corridors in the hotel-tourism zone where cyclists already exist, and perhaps an east-west corridor along existing thoroughfares and shoulder areas. No paving required. There are many cycling associations that would be more than happy to affix lines and maintain approved colour marking stencils to these areas, demonstrating their intended purpose, and re-training lazy corner-cutting drivers. Please help us to make Cayman a safe place for cyclists of all ages. No more lives need to be lost. Cayman should be made safe enough that elementary kids can ride their bikes to school without fear of death.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that what those are? I thought they were lanes for motorcyclists to skip traffic on. Silly me.

  7. Anonymous says:

    more waffle from do-nothing ppm

  8. Anonymous says:

    What about a mandatory recycling policy?

    • Anonymous says:

      As a recycling household, I’d like to see public stats and a supervision mechanism on the volumes that get sent onshore for processing, where it goes and how it’s handled once there? Junk hasn’t posted a full container in months and knowing the honesty dossier of the lead proprietor, it breeds skepticism.

  9. Anonymous says:

    …”the minister had very little to offer in the way of immediate concrete action”

    Right on boys!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Are dump fires part of the policy?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thanks MLA Suckoo. Not to be out done the Mknister and Austin tried to also roll out their plans which no one has heard about in the past years!! I guess that lot will wrap it up and put it away for another 10 years.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Kids, if you want something done don’t ask these guys to do it. CIG is where things like this go to die.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Alva! Im sure there will be those who try to detract from your messge and accomplishment but there are those of us who belive you do indeed have our best interests at heart and that you are in touch with issues that will impact everyone of us now and in the future. Keep pushing we believe in you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes we do!,

    • Anonymous says:

      Um, whose best interests? Great pay packet, plenty perks for doing very little real work. Wise up and stay woke. It’s just that time of year. All the same cronies are following the same old routine of making empty promises and jumping on hot topics to drum up support ahead of the next elections. After that, as usual, a big sinkhole will open up in the sand where they will all firmly implant their heads, and nothing good will ever happen until the people bring about change and accountability. Unlike you, many are waking up and smelling the coffee. Time for change Cayman. Time for change. We’re already seeing that our youths will be holding us accountable if we just continue to accept the status quo and do nothing.

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