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Showing posts from May, 2017

Sun energy in Tobago, part 2

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“The only true and sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.”
― Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics

Climate change is real. The challenge for all the nations of the world is to keep the rise in average global temperatures under 2 degrees Celsius (1.5 degrees is the acceptable limit). The means by which we achieve the global target includes a menu of strategies and measures, including reduction in plastic waste and its removal from the oceans, reducing and removing atmospheric carbon, limiting fossil fuel use and finding sustainable renewable sources of energy. Scientists acknowledge that no one measure is going to be the magic solution to the warming world. We must all do what we can, and do it urgently.  This week, Ruben Smith of SM Solar, continues his discussion about how the villages of tiny Tobago could set solar power in motion, by asserting their characteristic solidarity and co-operative approaches. This is the second part of the feature, first published on M…

The sun is always on: climate change brings opportunity

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CLIMATE CHANGE CAN BRING CHANGES FOR THE BETTER
Climate change seems too big a problem for “me one” to take on. Isn’t this something the government is supposed to deal with? Something that the big countries like China and India must tackle? Ruben Smith says that climate change is all of the above. But he argues that small communities must be alert to the opportunities. He is hoping that the newly appointed members of the Tobago House of Assembly will meet the challenges for that island. This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday on May 18, 2017

What does climate change mean? In very simple terms, global warming results from the release of greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide and monoxide, sulphur oxides, and other gases – creates a greenhouse effect, trapping heat in the atmosphere. At the same time, the growing population of the earth, our demand for energy and exploitation of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas); our demand for food which has depleted the ocean’s larger …

The Buccoo Reef Crisis: Facts and Fiction

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Is Buccoo Reef "predominantly dead" as some say?  Marine scientist Jahson Alemu presents the case to support an ecosystem that endures in spite of everything that's dumped in it. Resilient and renewable, this is the Buccoo Reef he describes. Alemu strongly advocates ecosystem-based management in order to maintain the legacy of the Buccoo Reef Marine Park. This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday on May 11. 2017.


*Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) one of the pioneers of wildlife conservation in the USA, described "system" health before the word "ecosystem" was coined, but his definition and wisdom still apply: "Health refers to the capacity for self-renewal" and "conservation is the effort to understand and promote the capacity for self-renewal." As scientists, it is our role to understand the conditions necessary for self-renewal; and the role of managers/ stewards is to use science to create conditions that promote self-renew…

Advocate for an Underwater Education

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Alvin “Dougie” Douglas was born and lived in Tobago all his life. Curiosity about the creatures in the ocean led to his passion and career as master diver and a leader of Tobago underwater expeditions. He is an advocate for our ocean home, and continues to work to inspire more Tobagonian children to explore their marine heritage. In this feature published in Tobago Newsday on May 4, 2017, Alvin Douglas talks about his life and love for the waters around Tobago.

When I was about 14, at Signal Hill, my biology teacher brought a fisherman to tell us about sharks. He said that in order to stay alive, sharks had to swim continuously, something about their gill slits. This idea of constant motion intrigued me. In those days, the early 80s, there was one (scuba) dive shop, a club really, on the road to Pigeon Point. Dive Tobago was run by Jimmy Young. I started hanging around there after school. After almost a year of sweeping the shop, cleaning the boat, scraping the hull, generally doing w…