Editorial for March 3: Please, wait for the facts

When it comes to the environmental impacts of development, everyone seems to have an opinion.  The problem is, few of the opinions are based on knowledge.

Take the cruise berthing facility. Opponents have said, among other things, that it will destroy all the reefs around George Town and cause beach erosion along Seven Mile Beach. While they will often quote others who share their views, there is no published science to back the claims.

Opponents say the East End Seaport will be an environmental disaster that could lead to the island being split in half, to the death of plant life in the Botanic Park, to the tainting of an important freshwater lens and loss of the best agricultural land on the Island.  They offer only talk as proof.

Now we’re hearing that a deep water channel in the North Sound will cause the stingrays to leave, the death of marine life and the inundation of Cayman during a hurricane.  A 42-year-old study by a student is cited as proof of at least some of these claims, but other than that, it is just speculation.

No one should argue that the North Sound, Seven Mile Beach and the East End water lens are all very important to the Cayman Islands. No one will should argue that there will likely be environmental impacts of some sort from undertaking major developments. But no one should assume they know the extent of those impacts without a proper, scientific study being done first.  Then, any potential negative impacts can be weighed against the potential benefits in making an informed decision whether to go forward.

People who simply say Cayman doesn’t need development need to come up with some news ideas about how this country can return to economic success.  The old formula, the one used for so long before the economic crisis, will not suffice going forward; those days are gone, never to return.  Cayman is going to have to accept change, one way or the other. If it chooses to try to regain the standard of living to which its people have become accustomed, then more development is undoubtedly required. People should get the facts first before dismissing outright every development proposal that comes along.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed. As you say, no one should assume they know the extent of those impacts without a proper, scientific study being done first.

    Equally, the Premier should inform himself of the real economic and environmental consequences of his proposals before committing the government to a contract with overseas investors.

    He appears determined however to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the dredging of a north sound channel without first assessing what the consequences might be.

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  2. What a well put article. I completely agree with everything here as well as the comments about how the premier should move forward. I for one do not believe for a minute the he will be allowed to do thing that will potentially destroy this beutiful Island. No matter how many MOUs or Contracts are signed. They would still have to prove its actual success as well as prove that it would not damage paradise before it actually happens. At this point I just think that these are all just ideas and only some if any have a chance of actually happening. I think hes considering everything but knows he still has to prove that is worth it and will damage the environmnet before it can actually happen.

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  3. That would be Ideal, but unfortuntely it seems that any type of development will have some negative affect on the environment. Every since humans have walks the earth, thier growth meant another species displacement..

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