Tag Archives: Barbados Environment

Future Centre Trust – Green Noise forum about solid waste management

Barbados Future Centre Trust

Future Centre Trust

Green Noise (A public forum which will inform our advocacy on solid waste management)

When: Wednesday June 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Where: Guardian General Insurance Recreational Room

Facilitated by Kammie Holder, FCT Board member and the FCT team.

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/291541624316003/

Our focus:

If “green” is the new buzzword…what does that really mean in Barbados?

Littering….air,water, soil quality….What do we in Barbados see as the most pressing environmental and therefore economical problems?

What “green” solutions do we need to focus on in Barbados?

Should we be “mekkin noise” individually about an issue rather than collectively voicing, documenting AND acting towards solutions?

Really though…we are asking YOU!

The Future Centre Trust wants to hear from you about how we should move forward as an organization as we ALL “Step Towards a Greener Barbados”.

This listening session will inform our advocacy for the pending Solid Waste Management Act.

We look forward to hearing from you! If you can’t make it, please be sure to email us your comments beforehand.

Kind Regards,

Future Centre Trust

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Barbadians should shake and fold!

The popular adoption of small ideas can lead to big changes. Here’s one from the TED Talks.

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Travel + Leisure Magazine does undeserved hack job on Barbados

Travel Leisure Magazine

by Happy Visitor

You have to wonder about the reasoning behind the Travel + Leisure magazine article about the 2013 World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index.

The WEF rated Barbados at a very respectable 27 out of 140 countries rated and near the very top in a number of categories: Sanitary (1), Hospital beds per population (12), Regulatory framework (13), Prioritization of Travel & Tourism (8), Ground transport infrastructure (9), Affinity for Travel & Tourism (2), Education quality (7) and so on.

But what does Travel + Leisure magazine focus upon? We did poorly for Natural Resources (133). That’s no surprise given our population density, lack of natural resources, water shortage and frankly, successive governments and a population that don’t seem bothered by trash or paving over natural habitats. Yes, we could use some big improvements in that sector, but with all we have to offer and how well we did overall, it is unfair for the magazine to mention one of our few faults without commenting on our overall standing or successes featured in the WEF’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index.

Further Reading

2013 World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (PDF 6mb)

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Future Centre Trust looking for help with booth at UWI’s ‘Going Green Day’

Barbados Future Centre Trust

The Future Centre Trust has been invited to participate in the Going Green Expo being organised by the Science and Technology Student Committee of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, on Monday March 4, 2013.

“The Going Green Day is one of the events organised by the Student Committee during the Faculty’s Week of Activities under the theme “Science and Technology – Endless Possibilities” which run from 3rd – 9th March 2013. The main objective of the Going Green day is to heighten awareness on campus of Energy Efficiency.”

The expo runs from 11:30 til 3:00 pm and the Future Centre Trust needs help setting up and running their booth.

How about it, folks? Come and give FCT a hand and you’ll have a chance to meet BFP’s co-editor, Cliverton – who will be hanging about the campus as usual.

So give the Future Centre Trust a call and a few hours help…

T: +1 246 625 2020  |  C: +1 246 836 6188  |  F: +1 246 620 2021
E: volunteer@futurecentretrust.org | info@futurecentretrust.org
http://www.futurecentretrust.org

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First year of mandatory National Youth Service should consist of nothing but garbage clean-up.

Mandatory National Youth Service: A good idea that could save our young people from themselves

by Arthur M.

The Barbados government’s plan to institute a mandatory ‘draft’ of young people between the ages of 15 and 29 for two years of community service is an excellent idea that should be implemented right away. The critics of the plan are welcome to voice their objections in a free society and although I share some of their concerns about ‘enforcement’ of the service, I vote yes. We must do it.

The need is too great and the benefits to the youths and the country are too precious to waste any time. Do it now!

Mandatory service in the National Youth Service serves many good purposes that have nothing to do with the promoted financial benefits. Joint mandatory service makes our youths work with each other for the common good. This will teach young people how much Bajans can accomplish if we work together.

Hopefully the lessons learned will continue after the two years service is completed and many will discover how fulfilling it is to become active in community service.

Serving your country will be taken to a whole new level for thousands of local youth.

Under a new National Youth Service, to be implemented by Government as part of the island’s new National Youth Policy, all Barbadians between the ages of 15 and 29 will be mandated to give hundreds of hours of civic national service spread over two years.

Government is hoping to gain “considerable” financial savings by deploying these youth “to youth development programmes such as the Holiday Camps, youth and community groups and sports clubs”.

… from Barbados Today All Must Serve

I suggest that for the first year of their participation in the programme, all young people do nothing else except clean up garbage around the island. During the second half of their service they can move into other specialized service areas but everybody should have to start by doing the first half of their service picking up garbage in organised work crews.

The mandatory nature of this ‘low’ physical labour no matter how wealthy or educated the family or individual will teach mutual respect throughout our society. Think of two Bajans meeting 20 years from now, one a bank manager and one a road worker: both will have served as youths doing physical labour picking up garbage, working with others both rich and poor.

Then there is the practical aspect of the first year garbage work: this country is awash in garbage to the point where it is impacting our ability to proudly host tourists. Tourism is our #1 economic foundation. Without it we would be finished. Look around Barbados right from the City to the roads and gullies: garbage and more garbage, so much garbage that our reputation is being attacked and any thinking person would have to agree that the place is looking badly.

Have you been along the ‘new’ boardwalk lately? Have you walked down some of the paths and gullies that used to be so beautiful? A piece of rubbish there and an old shoe there and a wrapper and soon anyplace becomes a rogue tipping site. The National Youth Service could keep these places clean and foster an increased awareness in the population.

If you have to clean it up you probably won’t contribute to the mess.

It is too bad that this good idea of mandatory service for our young people was so long in coming.

B’town garbage photo courtesy of stolen from The Bajan Reporter

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Environment Minister says your flooding not his problem

What exactly has Minister Denis Lowe accomplished during his term?

Five years ago we heard the current Minister of the Environment and his fellow DLP candidates explain that the then BLP government had been negligent about flooding and the environment in general.

During the 2007 election campaign, Dr. Denis Lowe and other DLP candidates said that the Owen Arthur BLP government:

  • failed to pass an Environmental Protection Act.
  • didn’t care about valuable wetlands and natural flood buffers.
  • failed to establish standards and laws for drainage to guide developers and builders.
  • failed to take effective action to ensure that property owners kept their lands debushed and free of stagnant water that breeds mosquitoes.

That was five years ago, so let’s listen to what Dr. Lowe is saying these days… Continue reading

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Managing natural resources: Haiti vs Dominican Republic

Sometimes you stumble onto a photograph that says more than a thousand words. This is one of those images.

Haiti is on the left and the Dominican Republic is on the right. We can debate the reasons for this contrast (and the reasons for the contrast are important), but there is no debating the difference itself.

We have so much to be grateful for here in Barbados – but when talking about the environment are we more on the path to the right side of the photo, or the left? Which path are we choosing for our grandchildren?

Photograph by James Blair courtesy of The Guardian.

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“So long for now” to Nicole Garofano… and thanks!

“We have 166sq miles to make this country home, to feed ourselves, to dispose of our waste, to provide jobs, to welcome the 1.1 million visitors per year, to make a sustainable use of the resources we are blessed with and to enhance our general well being. Land use policies must be fervently considered to ensure a sustainable future for all those living now, and those to come, if Barbados is to continue to prosper in a holistic manner. What we do to our lands, we do to ourselves.”

… Future Centre Trust

After 8 years of hard work at The Future Centre Trust, practical environmentalist supreme Nicole Garofano headed home to her native Australia.

When she first arrived in Bim back in 2004, Nicole thought she would visit Barbados for three months. Fortunately for us she stuck around and devoted almost a decade to making our home cleaner and better in so many ways. In her last few years her voice became louder cautioning about our loss of agricultural lands and the dangers of giving up on producing as much of our own food as we can.

Shawn Cumberbatch’s article in Barbados Today gives a good overview of the legacy Nicole Garofano leaves for Barbados. There’s lots more to be done, but Nicole added well to the foundation laid by Doctor Colin Hudson and others.

Thanks, Nicole!

Barbados Today: Dream fulfilled

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Our disappearing agricultural lands – Public meeting Sunday

“We have 166sq miles to make this country home, to feed ourselves, to dispose of our waste, to provide jobs, to welcome the 1.1 million visitors per year, to make a sustainable use of the resources we are blessed with and to enhance our general well being. Land use policies must be fervently considered to ensure a sustainable future for all those living now, and those to come, if Barbados is to continue to prosper in a holistic manner. What we do to our lands, we do to ourselves.”

by the Future Centre Trust – courtesy of Kammie Holder

All are welcome to the public meeting to be held on recently transferred agricultural land in Lower Greys Tenantry, St George at 4pm on Sunday June 24.

Agriculture has come under the spotlight in recent weeks with the Minister of Agriculture himself standing up for his portfolio threatening resignation if Agriculture was not taken more seriously. With a greater dependence on internationally sourced food supplies, the country is putting itself at threat. “Pricing, supply, freshness of supply and access are all outside our control when imported food is on the shopping list!” says Nicole Garofano, Administrative Director of the Future Centre Trust. “Like a dependence on imported oil for the supply of the country’s electricity, dependence on external food crops simply because we are not recognising the value of our lands and improving those lands to feed ourselves, is detrimental to development in the long term,” she added.

During World War II, the late Sir John Saint spearheaded a national initiative which ensured that the agricultural lands of the time were able to supply food to the population. The region’s supplies were under threat with U boat activity across the Atlantic. Sir John recognised the threat and implemented this national initiative which enabled the people of Barbados to sustain themselves during that time. A brave move for the time, but it worked. Can Barbados learn from such innovative plans of old and work towards attaining some measure of food sustainability again? Continue reading

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Celebrate World Environment Day by asking: Where is the promised Environmental Protection Act?

Why worry about chemical spills when you have champagne and pate?

Dear Current and Past Environment Ministers: Why didn’t you pass an Environmental Protection Act in the last 20 years?

After four and a half years of Democratic Labour Party government, Barbados still lacks an Environmental Protection Act. Of course the DLP has a ways to go to equal the record of Owen Arthur and the Barbados Labour Party – who couldn’t pass an Environmental Protection Act in 14 years in power.

Our Environment Ministers are pretty good at champagne and pate parties, but not so good at passing and enforcing laws that would regulate the use and disposal of toxic chemicals. Heck, Liz Thompson took the champagne and pate thing all the way to a position with the United Nations – and she never passed an Environmental Protection Act either.

Why not take advantage of the invitation from the Bellairs Research Institute and the Government to Celebrate World Environment Day with some of the very politicians who couldn’t pass Environmental Protection Legislation in a combined 20 years of DLP and BLP governments? You can ask Dr. Lowe and other government people when they will be bringing in the promised legislation.

So-Called “Clean-Up” By Shell Oil In Barbados. We have no Environmental Protection Act so why should Shell care?

Perhaps some SOL or Shell representatives will be there too and you can ask them when Bajans can expect to stop pulling up buckets of jet fuel from water wells on the southern coast.

Here’s your invitation to the party, ‘refreshments’ (YES!) and a movie!

You are Invited to Celebrate World Environment Day!

Join us Tuesday, 5th June 2012
at Bellairs Research Institute, Folkestone, St. James
5:00 – 7:00pm

World Environment Day – 2012  is being hosted by Bellairs Research Institute and the Ministry of Environment and Drainage, Government of Barbados.  We have scheduled some intriguing and entertaining activities for the evening – as well as some refreshments for your delight.

You are invited to:

“Paint Your Pledge, Plant Your Pledge or Purchase Your Pledge”.

Afterwards the Future Centre Trust will be screening a free film at Bellairs called, “One Day on Earth”.  You can find-out more about this interesting film by checking http://www.onedayonearth.org on the internet.

As a celebrant of World Environment Day, you affirm your commitment to the community and our planet. For further details please contact Kashia Whitehead, Coordinator, at enquiries@bellairs-mcgill.org or telephone 422-2087.

We look forward to seeing you!
Sincerely,

Jill Parlee
&
Susan Mahon
Academic and Managing Director
Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University

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Lani Edghill reports on the 6th Caribbean Environmental Forum

Report on the 6th Caribbean Environmental Forum St Kitts and Nevis

May 21 – 25, 2012

by Ms. Lani Edghill
Programme Coordinator
Green Business Barbados
An initiative of The Future Centre Trust

May 22, 2012

The working days of the Caribbean Environment Forum (CEF) started off with a bang at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and the Royal Beach Casino. The focus of the Forum was The Green Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in Managing Health, Water, Waste, Land, Energy, Climate Change and our Natural Resources. Key note addresses were delivered by a number of Government Ministers including those from St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and St. Lucia. Minister of Public Works, Housing, Energy and Utilities, for St Kitts and Nevis, Dr. The Honourable Earl Asim Martin, blazed the trail by highlighting their existing geothermal plant in Nevis and future plans for Geothermal plants of 10 megawatts each for St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition to this renewable energy source, a wind farm exists on Nevis producing 6 megawatts with a similar one on St. Kitts in the process of being built which will produce 5.2 megawatts of power. These plants will assist in moving St. Kitts and Nevis closer to their goal of producing 60% renewable energy for the country by 2015. This process was heavily informed by the public through public consultation and town hall meetings.

The Minister of Environment and Drainage for Barbados, Dr The Honourable Denis Lowe, featured the country’s Green Economy Scoping Study and made reference to the planned ‘Green Energy Complex’ for Barbados. Minister of Agriculture for Guyana, Dr. The Honourable Leslie Ramsammy, discussed the need to implement sustainable agriculture practices including integrated pest management (IPM) and stressed the need for a regional sound GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) framework for CARICOM. Dr. Didacus Jules, Registrar for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), provided the educational perspective explaining how the CXC is working toward integrating green skills into the Caribbean curriculum.

Day Two of the forum also saw the exhibition in full force, with resources and information available on waste water treatment, water harvesting systems, data on marine litter, etc. Embracing the Green Revolution is POUI (Protecting Our Universal Investment), a company based in Trinidad and Tobago, who provides clothing options made from recycled PET bottles, pens, stickers, reusable bags and other sustainable products and services. Continue reading

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Midway Atoll reminds me of a beach walk anywhere in the Caribbean

UPDATED: February 15, 2013    

We covered the film Midway Atoll last year but we’re bringing it back in the middle of the election – because as we walk our beaches we see the same dangerous plastic junk.

One would think that when tourism forms the majority of our economic base that the successive BLP and DLP Ministers of the Environment would have brought in an extensive daily clean-up programme for our beaches… but none of them did. We had a hell of a cricket party though with over a hundred million dollars thrown down the toilet to stage the world-class embarrassment that was Cricket World Cup. We did however improve our long term visitor stats by about 44 people – thanks to Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch. See Rewarding the failures of former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch

We have a right to be here, just as much as any animal does.

But no other animal does as much as we do to abuse our home…

Website: Midway Attol, The Film

Our thanks to an old friend for suggesting we remember the plastic trash that is threatening Barbados and the rest of the world.

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One video Elizabeth Thompson won’t be showing at the Earth Summit in Brazil

Browne’s Beach: effluent meets the water as it has for a decade and more…

As we’ve said in the past, Liz Thompson did little except talk when she was Environment Minister. Her environmental legacy includes not bothering to introduce an Environmental Protection Act, letting corporate polluters like Shell Oil run wild in Barbados, building a garbage dump on shifting soil in a National Park, killing the last mangrove forest and telling environmental activists to shut up if you are white.

The video above is courtesy of Barbados Today, and shows beautiful Browne’s Beach where the effluent from five canals (and all those suck wells along the canals – that’s ‘septic tanks’ to outsiders) joins together and flows onto the beautiful tourist beach and into the sea.

How about a sea bath at Browne’s Beach? Anyone?

Further Reading

Elizabeth Thompson a big shot at upcoming Rio Environmental Conference.

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Can anyone name three Barbados environmental laws?

Dear Barbados Free Press

I am 9 years old and working on a project on the environment for school.  Could you please tell me 3 environmental laws we have in Barbados please?  I know there is the Coastal Conservation Act but can you tell me two more?

Thanks,

“Thomas”  (Real name & email withheld by Barbados Free Press)

BFP Answers…

Hello Thomas,

That’s wonderful that you are working on an environmental project for school. We hope you keep it up because Barbados needs young people (and old people!) who realise that there is a direct connection between the health of our environment, the health of our economy and our personal health, happiness and quality of life.

Unfortunately, every DLP and BLP government for the last 46 years has promised to implement an Environmental Protection Act, but they have never done so. That is true for our current Prime Minister Stuart, and it was true for our past Prime Ministers Thompson and Arthur.

We think the reason for this lack of environmental laws is that large corporations give ‘political donations’ of money to the DLP and BLP to assist with their election campaigns, but in return the politicians unofficially promise the companies that they will not make any environmental laws that would harm the business interests of their political donors.

As a result, the corporations are pretty well free to do whatever they want in Barbados with no government environmental oversight or rules. Don’t forget, it costs money to be clean and to properly dispose of chemicals. The corporations don’t want to do things properly if they can get away with cheap solutions.

This has harmed Barbados and our environment in the long run and is threatening to wreck our tourism industry.

Thomas, we hope that you will continue to research and learn about the environment in Barbados, and that when you are confident in your position, you will start to challenge the politicians about their poor record when it comes to protecting the environment.

Good luck!

Marcus, Cliverton, Robert, Nevermind Kurt, Auntie Moses, George and Shona. We are BFP!

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Green space preservation: Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy says one thing, does the opposite

"Protected" area in red now approved for development by friends of Government, thanks to Richard Sealy and his DLP government

There is an old joke that goes like this: “How do you know if a politician is lying? Simple… watch their lips. If their lips move, they are lying!”

And so it was with Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy yesterday when he attended the opening of a small park in Hothersal Crescent.

Sealy had the nerve to say…

“It also behoves us that as we continue to grapple with the desire for increased housing, the increased pressure on our land resource to have commercial establishments, that we pause and remember that we need to have these open green spaces as well.

“This is very much in keeping with that overall understanding and our philosophy and it is something that we need to see replicated across Barbados,”

What deceit. What pandering lies by Richard Sealy.

The preservation of green spaces and recreational areas is so far removed from the actions and philosophy of Sealy’s DLP government that his statement becomes an absurdity. Why didn’t the regular news media come back with a few questions about the DLP’s ongoing neglect of the environment and the government’s sad record when it comes to destroying green space?

Nevermind the ‘real’ news media who sold their souls for government advertising revenues – we’ll mention a a few things here so Bajans can be reminded what an environmental disaster the DLP has been…

1/ Changing designated green space to commercial building zones

One of the first acts of the DLP upon forming a government in 2008 was to change the law to all commercial development of the designated greenspace on the Graeme Hall watershed.

That’s right folks – Richard Sealy voted to kill the National Park at Graeme Hall wetlands and to allow CLICO to build on what had been set aside for public green space!

How does that sound for a commitment to public green space?

2/ For 17 years the Barbados Government has refused to repair the sluice gate at the Graeme Hall wetlands. You see, friends of government want to develop the last remaining greenspace between the airport and the city and the best way to make that happen is to kill the last remaining mangrove swamp on the island. As a direct result of the government’s actions…

- The last mangrove forest on the island is dying, perhaps irreversibly on its way out.

- A premier tourist attraction, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, closed with the loss of a hundred jobs.

- An international complaint was lodged against Barbados by nature sanctuary owner Peter Allard.

- International investors and philanthropists look upon Barbados with suspicion after Allard shut down his sanctuary and gave his millions elsewhere. Many observers believe that what happened to the Canadian philanthropist Peter Allard (and some other foreign investors) could happen to anyone. We’re not so sure they are wrong.

3/ Barbados doesn’t have an Environmental Protection Act.

Yup. You read that correctly folks. As the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association asked the BLP & DLP “Where is the Environmental Act you’ve both been promising for 20 years?

4/ The Barbados Government continues blocking off the coast by approving new developments. In some places we have a solid wall of condos and no coastal access for citizens. Sure there’s a footpath every 2 miles and a place to park your car three miles away. Why would those troublemaking Bajans want access to the coast anyway?

5/ Policy for an ongoing Environmental Disaster: More Cars and More Roads

Barbados has an effective public transportation policy of more cars on more roads and there’s always lots of money for new highways, but none for mass transit. That’s not environmentally sound, but it is profitable for the companies that fund the two big political parties.

We could go on and on but the above is an illustration of the disconnect between Richard Sealy’s public speeches and his government’s actual policies and results.

Here is the newspaper article that reported Richard Sealy’s lies, ah, statements. Please read it at the Barbados Advocate here,  but you know we had to print the whole article because the Advocate has a record for destroying its own archives and stories when the truth interferes with political agendas…

Green spaces must be preserved

4/22/2012

ACTING Prime Minister Richard Sealy is of the view that efforts must be made to preserve areas in Barbados that will enhance the quality of life for those who make use of their facilities. His comments came during the official opening of a recreational park in Hothersal Crescent yesterday evening. Continue reading

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A good time to be had by all… Future Centre Trust needs your help on Saturday!

Watch the video and see what a little bit of courage and innovation can do in the desert. Barbados is not the desert… what could the same agricultural courage and innovation do in Barbados?

As the video proclaims… “You can fix all the world’s problems in a garden. You can solve them all.”

I believe that statement is true…

Permaculture: Sustainable development and sustainable human habitat

Hello to all Friends of the Future Centre Trust,

The FCT’s Little Edgehill site, is about to receive a garden transformation and we need your volunteer help.

Recently, the FCT, has had the pleasure of working with Ms. Lorraine Ciarallo of Canada. Lorraine, is a Permaculture Designer, Consultant & Educator and obtained her Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) in 2009 and in December 2011, completed the Permaculture Internship Program at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

This intensive program followed Bill Mollison’s “Permaculture A Designers’ Manual” which covered Concept Themes in Design, Trees and Their Energy Transactions, Water, Soils, The Humid Tropics and has trained Lorraine, to build garden design systems that are fool proof.

Lorraine will be volunteering her time at the Hudson Permaculture Garden for the next month and sharing permaculture knowledge with us. We begin on Saturday, April 7th and we hope, you will join us for an inspiring morning. Lorraine, will improve the garden design, provide productive tips on how to improve the ecological soil biology in a garden, and will explain how to grow highly dense nutritious food for you and your family.

Permaculture, was founded by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the early 1970’s. Geoff Lawton, Lorraine’s teacher, is the founder and managing director of PRI Australia and a direct student of Mr. Mollison. In the video above, Geoff, demonstrates his teaching expertise by implementing the use of permaculture ethics and principals on the most arid land of Jordan. “Greening The Desert” Parts 1 and 2 can be viewed here http://permaculture.org.au/2007/03/01/greening-the-desert-now-on-youtube/

The Research Institute has thousands of qualified members http://www.globalpermaculture.org and they are encouraged to venture out globally and set up PRI demonstration sites so that people of all nations have an example of how to design for success no matter the land size and no matter the climatic condition. Permaculture ethics and principals provide a means and an opportunity to learn about simple and proven techniques that rejuvenate the land. Yes, it’s about growing nutritious food, but it’s also, about growing soil too! Once a system is put into place, little input is required, yet maximum output is provided.

Join us on Saturday the 7th of April in the Little Edgehill garden from 7:30 am to 11:00 am. We need your help to get the FCT garden back up and running and your help to create a demonstration site for local Barbadians to experience and learn from.

Following 11:00 am, we will have a permaculture presentation. Please bring cutlass (if you have one), water, snack, hat, sunblock and friends to share the work load.

For more information please contact Lani at 836-6189.

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Should you turn off the lights for Earth Hour? An environmentalist talks about his doubts.

Well-intentioned people produced some of history’s worst environmental disasters

by Nevermind Kurt

Hundreds of millions of people around the world will be switching off the lights at 8:30pm tonight (March 31st) and we will too. It’s time again for ‘Earth Hour’ – the largest environmental event in history. Last year over 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries participated, and that included a home near Grape Hall, Barbados where yours truly and a few friends sat outside in the dark and sipped cold Banks beer from the electrically-powered refrigerator still humming away in the house.

Luckily the petroleum-based paraffin wax candle burning on the kitchen table didn’t set fire to anything. To be truthful, we never thought about how the smoke from the candle impacted the ozone layer. We saw the candle as a symbol that we were doing our bit for the world.

We felt good about our little Earth Hour party. We were doing something important to help the environment. It was good for the environment, wasn’t it? It did help forward the environmental movement around the globe… didn’t it?

This year though we’re going to do something a little different: we’re going to talk about whether Earth Hour does any harm to the environment or to the environmental movement, and if so, what lessons can be learned and what should be done about it.

I can already hear the angry shouts from fellow environmentalists “How could Earth Hour possibly harm the environment? How could it harm the environmental movement?”

Calm down, friends. Unless you’ve thought about my questions before, why do you think you immediately know the answers? Why do you react so defensively when someone dares to deconstruct what you believe or asks you to verify that which you hold as environmental truth?

When science and common sense yield to shouted dogma

Shouldn’t we constantly question ourselves, our peers and the environmental elites and leadership? Why the defensive, dare I say almost religious indignation when someone dares to question the environmental dogma of the day? Where does this precious environmental dogma originate… from the environmental gods and saints? Is it therefore never to be challenged?

The environmental experts, gods and saints haven’t done so well lately. They have been wrong on more than a few occasions. Like all human beings they are sometimes wrong as individuals and not infrequently they act like a herd of lemmings headed for the proverbial cliff. Continue reading

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The ‘before’ photo: Cave Bay, Merricks, Barbados

Taken in October, 2008. Enjoy the photo folks, because it’s all changed and we can’t say for the better.

Give thanks to an old friend.

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