Daily Archives: August 13, 2006

Barbados Forging Ahead With Ethanol Plans Without Environmental Studies

Decision To Produce Ethanol Already Made

The powers that be have announced that Barbados “is forging ahead with its plans to restructure the sugar industry with emphasis on the use of ethanol for fuel” without completing even a basic study as to how this will impact our country’s environment, economy and social structures.

In other words – the decision to proceed has already been made, and we will now cobble together those studies, consultants, committees and industry partners that will solidly support the government’s decision.

And just who is going to make those decisions that will impact the entire country?

Only Those Who Stand To Profit Will Make Ethanol Decisions For The Country

“…According to Chief Agricultural Officer, Barton Clarke, an Implementation Committee comprising industry stakeholders is expected to sit down over the next two weeks to draft a plan of action for the industry.”

I see. Representatives of the sugar, oil and distilling industries will be making all the plans for Barbados. Oh sure, perhaps government civil servants will be there for the process – but will parliament have to vote on this implementation, where the factory will be built or what technologies will be used? Not to our knowledge.

So the “stakeholders” invited to the table do not include the people of Barbados. It sounds to me like very powerful entities have just been given a free hand to do as they wish. It is an old game… “Those who write the study, win.”

“We then have to identify the site where the new factory is going to go; we have to do the environmental impact assessments; go through the development process which includes Town and Country Planning; continue the research on fuel cane and we have to continue to engage the farmers in discussions about our developments,” he further explained.

Ethanol Production And Toxic Liquid Waste: Tons Per Day

Tons and tons and tons – tens of thousands of gallons – of liquid toxic waste will be produced daily should the ethanol factory go ahead. If the factory is located inland, how will this be transported to the coast? Trucks? Pipeline?

How Many Tanker Loads Of Toxic Waste On Our Roads Per Day?

And once the tanker-truck-loads of liquid toxic waste arrive at the coast, now what? Pipe it out to sea? How far? Who builds and maintains the pipe? What about coral reef damage? Fish? Water quality for swimming?

Ethanol Production A Zero Sum Energy Game

Several studies that we have seen indicate that the production and implementation of ethanol is a zero sum energy game. In other words, it takes so much electricity, water, fuel and such to produce ethanol that there is little energy gained from the process. The primary benefits of ethanol appear to be an ability to reduce reliance upon foreign oil, and less air pollution from ethanol-fueled vehicles.

Cost to the end-user (hey.. that’s you!) whether out of pocket or through tax subsidy, is higher than gasoline.

Large countries like Brazil and the United States can enjoy economies of scale not only in the production of sugars and in fuel distribution and usage – but they can also locate the factories and resulting pollution away from population centres.

So Where Shall We Build The Ethanol Factory? 

No question at all as to where the ethanol factory should be built. Only one place on the island would be suitable – the field right across the street from the office of Environment Minister Liz Thompson…

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Source for this article: Caribbean PressReleases.com – Barbados Ethanol Plan Picking Up Pace – Barbados Government Information Service

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Barbados Cricket World Cup – Jamaica Gleaner Makes A Good Point

“…Although the people may not turn up in the numbers that are being talked about, although they have never turned up in such numbers at any World Cup, the fact is that no World Cup has ever been held in a location like the Caribbean, and that the region, including Jamaica, stands to earn millions of US dollars during the tournament…”

Tony Becca, Contributing Editor at Jamaica Gleaner has written an excellent piece “World Cup – One Hand Should Wash The Other”, that almost had me ready to reconsider my lack of enthusiasm for spending public funds on CWC.

Article Lauds Prime Minister Arthur’s Actions

Tony also urges the Jamaican PM to follow the actions of Owen Arthur in ensuring that island cricket ends up with long term benefits after the crowds have gone home.

Read Jamaica Gleaner “World Cup – One Hand Should Wash The Other”

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Island Life, Politics & Corruption