Saving our environment is much more than carbon emissions and global warming. That is part of it. But environment is foremost about the quality of our lives. Developed nations convene global summits to discuss acceptable levels of carbon emissions and then promptly ignore any recommendations. Similarly, they either ignore even UN sponsored conferences on racism or attend and then walk out i. The result is the same because the attitude is the same. The attitude is the same because the subject matter is related and born of the same history. The quality of our lives gives way to profit. The result is a continuing attack on our environment. Environmental degradation and oppression is immediate family.
The level of particulates in the atmosphere matters little to the average citizen. For the majority of the world, environment is about the bars on our windows and alarms on our homes. Its about failing schools and healthcare. It's about expanding prisons. Its about water, Its about food and fuel. It's jobs. It's about police brutality. It's about violence in general, domestic, sexual, racial and ethnic. It is suicide. It's about plastic in our drains and now our veins. It's about animals and plants. It's about immigration and deportation. It's about us, humanity. It's about the whole thing and not just global warming.
I deliberately left a few topics like crime, poverty, and health care out of this essay. This is intended as the first in a series of essays to introduce what is missing from the conferences and debates. People are missing as well as the day to day struggle of real families to survive and to connect and see the relationship of that struggle with environmental chauvinism.
It is foolish to reduce and isolate all that is wrong with our environment to increased levels of carbon emissions. It is much more complex because people are more complex. The basic science on climate change is that increased levels of carbon emissions trap heat against the entire planet. That heat is referred to as global warming and result in climate changes that include the extremes of weather and climate. Just as it is foolish to reduce environment to climate change, its is foolish to solve global warming by addressing it in one part of the world.
Nevertheless, here, I offer a few notes towards our need to develop policy in the Caribbean that would address the regional environment in a holistic way. I use Caribbean examples because I know it best and we cannot wait on developed nations. It does not preclude others from adopting similar applications. Climate change is happening everywhere.
|USS Constitution,commissioned 1797, powered by renewable wind|
energy similar to ships involved in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and
later protected the institution of slavery.(c)rootsandculture