Climate scientists impressed with local engagement

| 31/05/2022 | 35 Comments
Protest against the cruise port in December 2019

(CNS): The scientists visiting from the UK to help the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency with a climate risk assessment for the Cayman Islands said they were really impressed with the local engagement on climate change issues. The ministry is hoping to maintain that engagement since public consultation is a critical part of the development of a policy to protect these islands from the impending adverse effects of climate change.

As part of the risk assessment process, a survey has been launched to gain more insight into public knowledge, attitudes and practices related to climate change. The short, anonymous survey takes around ten minutes to complete and includes five sections: demographic information, general climate change knowledge, personal beliefs and practices, media use and climate action.

Following a two-day workshop and a public meeting last week, Principal Scientist and Lead Advisor on climate change at the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Dr John Pinnegar, who was leading the delegation, said that the concerns people have in Cayman about climate change line up with the research that they have done. But he said the visit had given the team “a much richer picture” about what is happening and that they can see people “really care about it”.

Despite the growing public concerns in the Cayman Islands that not nearly enough is being done to address the massive challenges presented by climate change and biodiversity loss, the research team found that the Cayman Islands has done much more than many other jurisdictions to preserve the marine environment and mangroves.

Pinnegar also said the construction standards here offer better protection than in many places across the region from the more intense storms and other weather events expected in the coming years. The team has nevertheless identified a number of issues that the country must confront, including the formation of a new climate policy, using the work done in 2012 on the draft policy document that was never implemented as well as this new climate risk assessment.

The threats identified by the climate assessment include drought and the heat risks that come with it such as brush fires; more coral bleaching and the loss of protection from reefs and mangroves as storms intensify; the loss of key habitat for local species and an increase in invasive species; the contamination of our groundwater from storm surge and sewage; more flooding; beach erosion and the destruction of beachfront homes and waterfront infrastructure.

Officials have made it clear that there will be more opportunities for people to engage in the process of shaping the climate policy, expected by the end of this year.

Take the Cayman Islands Climate Change Questionnaire: Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices Survey


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Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Scary! At 300 feet deep off the wall!! There is a notch in the wall from waves just like what you see in the Brac at Sea Level! Now!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let each individual worry about themselves. True believers will get rid of their cars, insulate the heck out of their homes and rarely if ever use A/C due to electricity. They can then lead the way by biking the work, taking public transit and living minimalist lifestyles.

  3. Anonymous says:

    PACT waiving Wildlife Interactive Zone permit fee for 2022, in a come one, come all approach to that strained local attraction.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Another 500 cars on this island gonba be gridlock in my books…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Locals are engaged but CIG is out of their depth, clueless and only pay lip service, taking every opportunity to pat themselves on and have their photos taken for DOING absolutely nothing. Time for accountability. Climate change litigation is real and hopefully coming for our politicians too.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Governments aren’t going to suggest anything unpopular. The UN’s IPCC have already provided decades of detailed mitigation road maps translated into every known language, that they continue to pretend doesn’t yet exist. PACT is no different, and had the option to read 2014’s AR5 and 2022’s AR6 and adopt those mitigation measures as policy. But instead we get this theatre of public opinion surveys to instruct their policy.

      It’s going to be up to each of us alive to make informed personal choices on faulty traditional conditioned habits, based on the science and deadlines, and steer their policy. Reading IPCC AR6 should be part of everyone reading and reference list. We have a personal responsibility to future selves and descendants. Read the executive summary at least – we don’t have recreational time to pretend these consensus reports haven’t already been written and published.

      https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/

  6. Anonymous says:

    “really impressed” huh?

    Ah well, no man is a prophet in his own country.

  7. Orrie Merren says:

    I just filled out the Cayman Islands Climate Change Questionnaire: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Survey.

    I encourage others to do so too. If, at the very least, Government is seeking input from the general public, then we should give it to them.

    If nothing else, despite past failures, it is worth participating to provide them with requested information, so that they can attempt to act in the best interest of the Cayman Islands and, most importantly, the Caymanian people and all residents.

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    • Thomas says:

      You’re funny, Orrie. Of course the government wants people to think they want the same as them, but that’s just smoke. It’s always been that way. Haven’t you seen that they try to hide anything that might make them look bad? They don’t act in the best interest of the people of the Cayman Islands. Has the Cayman leadership always been that way? I ve only been here about thirty years…….Could this time be different? I doubt it.
      P.S. I would not like to leave the Cayman Islands………. but we may not have a choice.

      • Orrie Merren says:

        Okay, Thomas. Do what to have to do. I will still be here 30 years from now and beyond. Later.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Where’sthe facepalm emoji?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Q. When will the NRA fully account for, install, and mark the missing designated bike lanes and coherent traffic circle transitions that were budgeted and paid for since their plan was published in 2015? Time to put some paint brushes and rollers in the hands of NiCE and Tourism stipend recipients. This is not just a Tourism value-add, but a quality of life upgrade for all residents and stakeholders which aligns with sustainability, health and welfare targets. Kids should have safe corridors to ride their bikes to and from school without parents worrying about other road users. Where are DART’s finished bike paths since signing deals in 2016? PACT needs to demonstrate it’s fully reconciling the account deliverables from previous regimes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed – would be great if we even had expanded dedicated walk/run/bike paths (similar to one at CIS along bypass).. I don’t mind running on the road but it’s not the safest of ventures currently

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      • Anonymous says:

        Correct. I have almost been hit by speeding vehicles on early morning runs (between 5:00 am to 6:30 am).

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wouldn’t it be nice if Dart completed something like those pathways. Softball sized rocks that end in thorny overgrown bushes doesn’t meet the standard for biking or running anywhere.

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    • Mumbichi says:

      Exactly right. At this point on the Sister Islands, it is still possible to put in bike/walking lanes. It is almost too late for Cayman Brac; “too late” being defined by myself as ‘too much money required to affect a reasonable change’.

      Dart has properties on the Sister Islands. If I had billions, I would leap at the chance to spend mere millions to benefit my fellow citizens, particularly if I had greatly benefitted by their allowing me to come here and grow and profit. It will take that kind of largess to have bike paths. I think that would go a long way toward local acceptance of Mr. Dart and his works, not that he is particularly concerned with our judgement.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Acceptance?! He has been here 30+ years & is Caymanian. He does not need to buy favour any more!! I think all we got was the Dart parks…

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        • Anonymous says:

          That’s very shortsighted way of looking at the world. If Dart continues to reject their corporate social responsibilities in Cayman, not only will they continue to struggle to retain employees, secure permits and contracts, but the public can appeal to Cabinet to apply new regulations and ESG best practice to bring them to heel, or send them packing. The later would probably be the best case scenario for all stakeholders, given their track record of contempt.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Keep in mind that Dart is now a billionaire. What you and the Cayman government think doesn’t amount to squat.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dart doesn’t respect or care about anyone but #1, and even then has made some majestic self-inflicted judgment errors. We need to uncouple our wagon from that organization. They should not be a qualified bidder on anything. As a partner that hasn’t honored their end of past deals, they should be further penalized and required to post a performance bond on every new application they submit.

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      • just me. says:

        If you were Dart instead of Mumbichi? Too funny! How about if you were Bush? What would you do with his/your wealth and power? Would you spend it on others or do what Bush does?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I find it amazing how the politicians of the Cayman Islands hide political actions they don’t want the voters to act on or know about.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It was disappointing to encounter so many of the chimp monkey questions which posed uncorrelated questions with nothing to do with understanding of environmental data and contemporaneous GHG mitigation knowledge, and everything to do with personal identifiers and qualifiers of who the survey was polling. This introduces enormous bias to the credibility of the survey. Why should climate change sentiment weigh on age, household income, industry of occupation, education, migration status, or if respondent has home or business insurance?!?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Essentially if you’re dumb, and dead to the world, stuck on chasing the dollar just to pay your swindling home insurer then everything will be A OK. Insurance will pay for whatever happens, at least that’s what you’re duped into believing. CIG won’t have to move a muscle. If this is their first engagement with Cayman, I can’t wait to hear the marriage proposal🤣

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    • Mumbichi says:

      I hear you. The questions inferred that a person either had complete acceptance of the IPCC view on Climate Change, or a person is a stooge. Of late, we’ve shifted the definition of climate change to include waste mitigation, conservation and other ideals which we should be doing.

      I don’t want CIG to waste a single pence on studies that address our place in Climate Change Mitigation. If we want to study how to stop erosion, that’s fine. We already know that setbacks from the sea is vital to prevent sand loss. We already know that to destroy great tracts of mangrove is a killer to our local ecology. We already know that overfishing and overharvesting of our resources will leave us, eventually, with little or no resources. We already know that people can benefit with personal alternative energies. We already know that there are not yet viable alternatives to our horrific use of diesel generators for production of power, but we collectively hope that further development will produce a truly viable alternative.

      I think it is a waste of time and money for CIG to try and contribute to the global Climate Change cabal.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Any good survey asks demographic information. It allows correlations, e.g., 80% over 60 is very keen that generational knowledge be acknowledged, 80% under 21 are keen that plastic waste gets dealt with ASAP.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Demographics yes, but salary info no.

      • Anonymous says:

        With the level of identifiable detail they request, some of us might as well have logged in with our voter IDs. It’s designed to allow the CIG to put a value on who thinks what, and calculate who their preferred audience is with their resulting policy (which, like G7 countries, could be lip service), rather than de-biasing and shaping policy according to need. That introduces risk that not everyone’s input will be valued the same, or necessarily relate to proportionate urgency, just “what will play best” with voter base. Unfortunately, climate change is not a popularity contest, and that’s why governments are not going to solve it.

    • Anonymous says:

      When surveys ask questions regarding age, income, etc., data can be drawn on which demographics think what. It adds values to the overall picture.

      • Anonymous says:

        Source of opinion instructs political palatability, but does not gauge the existential reality of climate change. UN’s World Meteorological Organization warns the Earth will exceed 1.5’C “Tipping Point” some time between now and 2024 (2 years), not 2100 (on course for +3-5’C). In the face of that data (not opinion), G7 are accelerating and redoubling production capacity of GHGs with a half-life measured in tens of thousands of years. It’s clear that no serious government is willing to suggest unpopular personal changes that are critical by 2030 (IPCC AR6 do-or-die consensus deadline). Mindset change and personal accountability is up to each of us, and voters will need to steer governments, not the other way around. Unfortunately, that’s the real 100 year survival challenge for a humanity that is already lethargic, apathetic, contaminated with conflicting misinformation, and alternate suggested opinion. Consequently, >75% of population 16-25 feel deep ecological anxiety every day. In Portugal it’s 81%, and Philippines 92%. Over half of those surveyed in those countries feel “sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty”. There are simple and effective mitigations each of us can undertake, starting at our next meal, or errand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chimps are apes, not monkeys

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