Today’s Editorial for June 4: Turning green

Tomorrow
is World Environment Day, an event that is supposed to stimulate awareness of
the environment in a way that stirs political attention and public action.
Heaven knows we need both things here. 

Because
of our lack of foresight, we have a toxic landfill that continues to grow in
George Town within a mile or two of thousands of homes, hotel rooms, businesses
and even a school.  

We
have the North Sound, one of our most prized natural resources, being polluted
by leachate at from the dump, improper sewerage systems and overuse by
commercial boats.

We
have depleted mangroves, a vital protection from storms; we have dwindling
supplies of conch, lobster, grouper and other traditional staples of the Caymanian
diet. Because the sea is getting warmer, we have dead or dying coral and a
greater hurricane threat than we used to.

Yes,
there should be a day that makes us think not only about the world environment,
but the local environment as well.

However,
there are some encouraging things happening here. We have green hotels now; the
new government office building is being built to environmentally friendly standards;
more homes being built or converted to use alternative energy; and starting
next week, grocery store customers will have to start paying for plastic bags
if they need one.

These
are all good beginnings, but they are really just beginnings. The Cayman
Islands has a long way to go if it is going to be considered an environmentally-friendly
country.

Because
of our small size, it should be easier for us to do than larger countries.
However, becoming a ‘green’ country won’t happen to the level it needs to if
the government doesn’t take the lead; some people just won’t change unless
they’re made to. 

The
ironic thing is that if the government acted, instead of worrying about public
opinion, it will probably find it has more support in environmental-protection
efforts than it thought.

It’s
time for the government to stop putting environmental issues on the
back-burner, and bring them to the forefront of attention – where they belong.

1 COMMENT

  1. Yes – and the government could use the green strategy to raise money – where’s the businesses to recycle paper and glass and plastic and aluminium cans on island? Why not double the road tax for SUVs and other gas guzzlers and encourage the purchase of smaller vehicles and car pools? Who is selling rain barrells so people can water their gardens and wash their pets and cars with rain water? Where are the composters for sale to reduce the amount of rubbish that gets sent to Mount Trashmore? Come on readers add to this list!