Saturday, August 16, 2008

Poverty, climate change and wasted water in Barbados

The Barbados Advocate (Barbados): …What are the factors causing this looming level of poverty? One factor is the environment. Industrial nations care little about the environmental damage they are causing by their indiscriminate pollution of the ozone layer. Global warming is a reality, but few of the macro states are willing to pay attention to the fact that if there is a three centigrade temperature rise in the near future, the impact on small islands like ours in the Caribbean will be disastrous. What must be considered is that the islands will not just disappear, but the social consequences will destroy the exaggerated standard of living that we enjoy.

It will not happen overnight, but the gradual warming, the more present possibility of erratic weather patterns, periods of drought, will wreck our tourism industry. Our changing climate patterns are causing severe threats to Africa and South America and one can already feel and see the real picture when one looks at the warming polar regions.

…Our major challenge of the future will be a diminishing water supply. Barbadians are some of, if not the most, unsystematic users of water in the world. We approach our water resources with a haphazard approach that is frightening and the average Barbadian pays absolutely no attention to the warnings that our water supply is dwindling.

We have no rivers and being surrounded by the sea offers no comfort. A parched Barbados will increase poverty to almost impossible levels, supplying our food needs will not be achieved by 4H ventures – noble as they may be – if we have no sustainable water sources to irrigate our fields and hills beyond recall. Our dependence on imported basics will create economic havoc on our borderline poor designated middle-class…..

Herman Moll: The Island of Barbadoes. Divided into its Parishes ..., 1736, Wikimedia Commons

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