Editorial for 13 June: Polluting the Golden Goose?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is
going to get better, it’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

The fictional, furry orange creature who spoke those famous
lines in the Seuss book The Lorax was actually talking about saving trees, but
the same idea might apply to one of the world’s most beautiful natural
creations – the body of water in our backyard known as the North Sound.

Minutes from an April meeting of the Water Authority-Cayman
board indicated that Caribbean Utilities Company, the sole electricity provider
for Grand Cayman, is putting petroleum hydrocarbons into the sound. Water
Authority-Cayman, as well as the Department of Environment, was rightly
concerned about the effects this could have on the sound, a clear blue body of
water, protected by a barrier reef and the most popular boating destination on
the Island.

Since the release of those minutes, CUC has volunteered
other information that indicated the problem might not be as bad as first
reported.

Whatever the truth of the matter, it is true to say that
local folks haven’t been given many options with regard to alternative energy.
Solar panels for housing are extremely expensive, generally between US$14,000
and US$20,000 to outfit a single house and that doesn’t account for maintenance
and repair.

Long-held proposals for competitive energy providers,
including those using alternative energy sources, have been interminably
delayed.

A long-awaited National Conservation Bill has yet to see the
light of day before the Legislative Assembly.

We have so many plans to try and protect the natural
environment here, but those plans typically result in paper reports being
printed and sitting on a shelf somewhere; a result The Lorax certainly would
not have been proud of.

The territory has to do better. All the goals and purposes
of having CUC, continuing with property development and business growth, will
be for naught if we’ve destroyed our own home in the process.

 

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Just to compound the problem the World Health Organisation (WHO) has now conceded (a move long overdue in my opinion) that diesel fumes are carcinogenic, causing lung cancer and other tumours.

    So the fumes that pour out of the generators on Sparky Drive are not, as has been claimed in the past, harmless. As I have pointed out before several of those generators can be run on alternative fuels so there is no excuse for this.

    Come on CUC it is time to move into the 21st century. Stop dragging your collective heels and start cleaning up your act.

    And just to correct the comment made above – solar power shouldn’t cost that kind of money. Right now in the UK there are suppliers putting 2Kw solar installations on houses for roughly half the figures quoted in your editorial. Some are even working on cost recovery basis using a share of the income from the surplus energy being resold into the grid to reduce the price even further. The reference to maintenance and repair costs is also misleading because once installed the panels should need little or no attention for their whole working lives.

    What really holds back viable solar power in the Cayman Islands is CUC’s refusal to participate in net metering, which allows householders to sell back surplus power from the panels.

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