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Commentary: Climate change: The present and future prospects in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Published on September 11, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By D. Markie Spring

Climate change has over time posed many challenges, especially to economic development!

More so, the enormity of global warming is often a daunting and dispiriting phenomenon and requires a number of changes to slow and reverse climate change!

The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada
The idea of carrying out integrated assessment of climate change has become increasingly popular in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), but pondering is all to it! Meanwhile, soaring daily temperatures destroy fruits and foods at the premature stages. Hurricanes, heavy irregular rainfalls, strong atypical winds and other prodigies of nature continue to threaten our environment.

In addition to this, global sea level change airs another threat. During the last century scientists have measured and monitored this rise, determined by satellite orbits, tide gauges, the altimeter, coastal marine sediments, the ages of coral reefs near the surface of the ocean, near shore archaeological remains, marine terraces and ooids in limestone. This rise in sea level is also evident along coastal areas in SVG.

Similarly, uncontrolled human activities has played an devastating role in the depletion of the ecological community – malpractices of chemicals usage, which affects soil types and organisms, coral reefs and marine lives, and the burning of trees and bushes for agriculture and residents; thereby releasing an astronomical volume of carbon into the atmosphere.

Furthermore, there has been a scarcity of water during droughts and the fact remains that SVG is leaning away from conventional use of fossil fuel to generate power to cleaner energy sources, especially hydro. In so doing, a huge volume of water is required to facilitate hydroelectricity. Moreover, an abundance of water is needed to sustain plant growth and even more human development and survival, which includes rearing of animals.

Meanwhile, plate tectonics pose a huge threat to our environment; a scientific theory that depicts the large-scale motion of the Earth’s lithosphere. Earth’s lithosphere has a higher strengths and lower density than underlying atmosphere; hence, its movement, driven by a combination of motion of the seafloor remotely situated from the spreading ridge. This phenomenon, however, is caused by the variations in topography and density of the crust, resulting in differences in gravitational forces, drag and downward suction at the subduction zones. However, these tectonic movements cause seismic activities; hence, earthquakes and even volcanic eruptions, which produce higher global temperatures.

So far, we have been pondering climate change and global warming with no actions!

Therefore, it is recommended that the government enacts laws and regulations, implement programs and initiatives and mobilizes organizations and groups, and individuals to aid in this process.

First, citizens must be educated about the downsides of burning fossil fuel and improperly disposing of waste, along with knowledge concerning the use of chemicals and the danger it presents to marine lives and animals.

Similarly, the government must pursue renewable energy sources in an effort, over time, to eliminate or reduce the use of conventional fossil fuel required to generate energy. Coupled with this, reservoirs and a rainwater harvesting system must be developed and implemented to aid in the irrigation process during droughts.

Additionally, infrastructure upgrade is vital! Buildings worldwide are contributing approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, considering that investing in thicker insulation and other cost-effective, temperature-regulating initiatives can save money in the long run. While power demands continue to rise electric grids are at capacity. Although some vehicles are fuel efficient, bad roads can reduce the fuel economy. Henceforth, investing in new infrastructure, or radically improving existing roads, could help in the reduction of greenhouse gas emission and prompt economic growth.

Afforestation and reforestation must be a part of the strategy. In this capacity, some focus is needed in the La Soufriere Mountain to establish a forest and in some event the re-establishment of the forest cover. Proper forest management is required to prevent the depletion of the forests in that area, especially by marijuana farmers. Practicing afforestation and reforestation in this location especially, can derive many benefits: to increase carbon capture and sequestration, help to anthropogenically improve biodiversity, create forests and maintain heavier constant flow of the Rabacca Dry River through regular precipitation.

The Rabacca Dry River has enormous economic and environmental benefits to SVG – one that needs some attentions and feasibility studies.

Interestingly, some of these processes were recommended by ecologist Stephen Pacala and physicist Robert Socolow at Princeton University, who introduced the 15 ‘wedges’ for nations to achieve this goal. Each of these strategies, they stressed, are challenging but feasible and, in some combination, capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to safer levels. There are also personal lifestyle changes that individuals can make that can reduce the carbon impact. However, all of these factors are not conducive to everyone, but a few implementations can make a difference.

Climate change is one of the most significant long-term threats to global development – not excepting SVG. This changing phenomenon creates choices and investment undertaken in climate change mitigation and adaption dynamic guarantee sustainability and inclusive growth.

Act now and reduce the carbon footprint today!
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