The conservation conversation has engaged Cayman this week and the majority are in favor of its passing.
Of 320 total respondents to a poll conducted by the Caymanian Compass online, 208 people selected the option “If we don’t pass it, the local environment will slowly be destroyed.” In addition, 23 people, or 7.2 percent, selected the option “It’s good for business,” for a total of 72.2 percent.
On the other hand, 48 voters, or 15 percent, felt it was bad for business, and 31 other voters, 9.7 percent, voted for “We do not need it.” That equates to 24.7 percent of the participant pie. The remaining participants, 3.1 percent, comprised 10 votes total .
Participants again were moved to comment from various angles. Of the majority who said the local environment was at risk, one person said, “God is not a politician.” Another commenter said it was good for business: “It’s not all about the $$$$$$.”
Others made the point that tourism is one of the pillars of Cayman’s economy.
“Tourists came because of the natural beauty of these islands, the low crime, friendly people,” read one such comment.
“Killing the environment is like shooting yourself in the foot. Down right stupid, if you do not protect the environment which in the end protects our economy.”
The theme was a common one with supporters of the bill.
“The [law] is essential to a long-term and sustainable economy,” said another.
“Both of our anchor industries depend on our environment to thrive. And if we do not at least meet par for environmental legislation, they too, like the environment, will slowly collapse.”
The angle that the law, if passed, would be good for business also drew some analysis from readers of the newspaper.
“Developers want certainty,” mused a respondent.
“Environmentaly friendly projects attract more interest from prospective purchasers; tourists want to see more natural environment; our grandchildren will have a healthy place to live and develop.”
Another commenter offered: “Nothing is more important than conserving the terrestrial and marine treasures on these islands.”
Some people felt that the planned legislation would be bad for business, as one participant explained: “It is not just bad for business, it is bad for balanced growth and development.
“And puts too much power in the hands of people with a very narrow view of how the economy should be grown. Reading the commentaries from these environmental zealots is worrying!
“They say we have had ten years to read the bill – I say who have been doing so; I didn’t remember about it until my well-intended minister at the behest of the DOE et al tried to push this though the back door!”
Another commenter also took a financial angle.
“If the Gov is going to force the hand to pay, it should be willing to dig deep,” they wrote.
Those who selected ‘Other’ also had views to share.
“[It is] needed but [there] must be compensation for private land devalued,” felt one person.
Another respondent called for a “balance to be struck.”
“I haven’t heard about this bill for so long until now,” began the strident commenter.“Then our dear Minsiter [Wayne] Panton gets up and says enough is enough. Sounds more like, ‘I can’t be bothered! It’s good enough! Let’s get this passed.’
“Careful, we are treading on 1)Livelihood of many 2)a fragile environment and 3)a fragile economy. Remember this, the road to hell is paved with good intentions!
“First we do FACTA (Pleasing everybody except the ones who elected you) and now this just thrown on people! We could be opening a can of worms or a Pandora box of hell for Cayman. Not everybody works at a bank, in a law office or owns a lot.”
The poll drew its share of flippancy too, with one contributor deciding to try their hand at some gallows humor.
“This island is going to sink because of global warming anyway, so we might as well abuse it as much as we can until then,” they wrote.
Next week’s question: What do you like most about celebrating Christmas?
Gathering with family.
Giving and receiving presents
Getting time off from work/school
To participate, visit www.cayCompass.com.