Today’s Editorial for June 11: Thinking globally, acting locally

We
have learned there is no threat of oil from the Gulf of Mexico leak washing
ashore in the Cayman Islands.

However,
this does not mean there is no threat at all to Cayman; scientists believe the
Caribbean marine ecosystem could indeed be affected by the Gulf oil spill.

It
is known, for instance, that one of the turtles that lays its eggs on Cayman’s
beaches has migrated to an area in the Gulf. More significantly, it is thought
that ocean-dwelling fish are part of a marine ecosystem interlinked with the
Gulf. How that could affect Cayman is anyone’s guess, but the point is that the
world’s environment crosses man-made borders of countries. Everything is
ultimately linked.

The
phrase ‘think globally, act locally’ has been used to encourage worldwide
activism on a number of fronts, including the environment. The idea is that
environmental issues are everyone’s problem, so everyone should do their part.
It has been argued that Cayman is so small, anything it does to address things
like its carbon footprint are negligible on a global scale. But just like one
vote doesn’t usually win an election anywhere, politicians are ultimately
elected by individual voters nonetheless. Every little bit does help, or hurt,
depending on the action.

Wednesday
marked a landmark day for the Cayman Islands when it comes to having individuals
act in protecting the local environment. Making people pay for plastic bags at
the grocery store might seem like an insignificant action, and possibly even a
nuisance, but the move helps support the notion that measures must be taken to
protect and preserve our local environment. Judging by the large number of
people who went to the grocery store with their own bags Wednesday, Cayman
residents are more than willing to do their part.

There
are many other things we can do to address the local and global environmental
issue. We can only hope that the Cayman BECOME campaign leads to other positive
steps we can all take to think globally and act locally.

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