Monthly Archives: March 2012

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


Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

Barbados Free Press blog down on Friday night

Hi Folks,

The reports of BFP’s death are greatly exaggerated. Our host WordPress took the blog down and put up a notice that we were in violation of the Terms of Service.

It was a computer glitch…

Hi Marcus,

Your site was flagged by our automated anti-spam controls. I have reviewed your site and have removed the suspension notice.

We are very sorry for that happening and the inconvenience it caused you.



Filed under Barbados

Was I dreaming last night when I heard Mark Cummins of Town and Country Planning?

Was I dreaming last night?

I swear I heard on the CBC TV8 news that Mark Cummins, the head of Town and Country Planning  had been quoted to the fact that NO planning application had been made for either Skeete’s Bay or Foul Bay.

Yet Pure Beach Resort is being widespreadly advertised including with renown estate agent, Sotheby’s in the UK and locally.

I also recall a Minister of Government turning a sod recently.

With the Harlequin Properties potential for destination reputation disaster pending, are we (Barbados) getting a name for for shady projects?

Further enlightenment…

YouTube: Groundbreaking ceremony

YouTube: Pure Beach Resort, Barbados

November 3, 2011: How can Town and Country Planning approve Pure Beach Resort and Spa without due diligence?

October 27, 2011: Pure Beach Resort pledges $1 million to Queen Elizabeth Hospital – refuses to say when the money will arrive!

October 25, 2011: Source: Barbados Foul Bay developer Ecoterra International Corporation failed to file financials for last three years

October 23, 2011:  Another half-billion dollar Barbados resort announced with standard fanfare, concept paintings etc.


Filed under Barbados, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Barbados Prime Minister admits Immigration detainee Raul Garcia is being punished

Prime Minister Stuart: BIG LIAR

Raul Garcia illegally held in ‘punitive facility’ Dodds Prison

43 days ago, Raul Garcia discontinued his ‘fast unto death’ on the word of Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart that he would be moved from his illegal imprisonment at H.M. Dodds Prison to a non-punitive facility. Garcia, naive fool that he is, took the bait and remains at Dodds… having lost his credibility and media interest. Worldwide interest in his case went to zero overnight. Only little old BFP keeps Mr. Garcia close to our hearts.

Mr. Garcia believed PM Stuart because he did not know that Bajan politicians equate words with action. “I have said it, therefore it will happen sometime, so the subject is no longer newsworthy” is the standard reaction by Bajan politicians when asked a hot question by the island media. This is the standard means of defusing any hot topic in Barbados. Poor Mr. Garcia didn’t realize that and so he was suckered by Stuart’s words and visit to his hole of a jail cell. Garcia didn’t realize that Stuart was lying to him.

Now PM Stuart is saying the government will “look at” creating a non-punitive holding facility for immigration detainees. Fine words from Stuart. FFFFFFFF…fine words.

Illustration of Prime Minister Stuart's promise to Raul Garcia

A new immigration holding facility, Mr. Prime Minister? Really? With what money?

And what does that new fantasy facility have to do with your promise to Mr. Garcia?

What bullshit. Anybody on this island with half a brain knows that the last priority of the the government will be to build a new immigration holding facility. When are we talking here, Mr. Stuart? 2025? 2030? What total bullshit! We can’t even fix or replace a few diesel bus engines for lack of funds. Some government employees are six weeks behind in their paycheques and at least one road construction contractor has been told to STFU (keep quiet) about the government being 17 months behind on invoice payments. Where is this ‘Immigration detention facility’ money going to come from and when? What bullshit!

Garcia’s lawyer David Commisong is silent. I guess the media moment passed when Garcia stopped his fast. It’s been 42 days since PM Stuart said Garcia would be moved. HELLO? COMMISONG? YOU STILL ALIVE?

Listen folks: Raul Garcia has been held illegally according to Barbados’ own laws for over two years.

Is there not a shred of decency, of justice, left in our justice system, in our Parliament?

Apparently not.

Yesterday Prime Minister Freundel Stuart acknowledged that there was no non-punitive facility to accommodate people such as Garcia who is being kept in prison even though he has completed a 15-year drug trafficking sentence. He remains in a maximum security cell at HMP Dodds in St Philip.

“The way he’s being held forces Barbados to look at creating some kind of facility other than what we currently have at the Grantley Adams International Airport for people in that position,” the Prime Minister said.

… from The Nation excuse for reporting titled Cell Plan


Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Human Rights

REDjet collapses due to government hostility, airfare prices soar: Tourism Minister Sealy’s tears

Ever see the movie “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” ?

There is a scene at the funeral of one of the murdered mobsters where the camera focuses on a huge flower arrangement that says “From Al”… as in Al Capone – the guy who arranged the murders.


REDjet down, fares up

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

Airline prices have “gone right back up in the air” with the grounding of REDjet, says Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.

And he has warned that the true potential of regional tourism, especially the event-based niche, will only be realised through viable travel options for those in the Caribbean.

He stressed that facilitating intra-regional travel was imperative for the industry… (snip)

… Directly addressing REDjet airline’s suspension of flights since March 17, the minister said “… the cost of travel in this region is simply prohibitive. I am told that there are some discussions on with respect to other players and we may be able to get some specials around the Reggae Festival. Certainly the resources of the Barbados Tourism Authority will be working feverishly behind that effort.

“Obviously, with the demise of REDjet, and the way the fares have gone right back up in the air, it is a big problem. I sincerely hope that once and for all we can come up with a meaningful, long-term resolution for that situation… I sincerely hope that something can be done to get REDjet back up in the air; and if in the unfortunate case REDjet flies no more, I would sincerely hope that another venture along those lines can come into reality very soon so that the consumers of Barbados, and the rest of the Caribbean can benefit,” Sealy stressed.

Read the entire verbal diarrhea from Minister Sealy at Barbados Today: REDjet down, fares up


Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Government should share tourism research… whatever there is of it.

by Adrian Loveridge - small hotel owner

I frequently wonder exactly how scientific and thorough the research on which ‘we’ base decisions, before going on to spend ten of millions of marketing dollars annually.

For instance what proportion of our long stay visitors are directly generated by travel agents and of that figure how many purchase tour operator holiday packages? After establishing those statistics, do we analyze what percentage in monetary terms does this contribute to our overall tourism earnings?

How many visitors book through their flights through a consolidator or use accumulated frequent flyer miles to reach us? What percentage stay in registered hotels, villas, condominiums and other types of licensed accommodation and do we know how long the current average stay is?

Perhaps all these figures already exist, but in my 24 years here in Barbados involved in tourism, I have never seen them. It seems that this could be one of the most critical functions of the Barbados Statistical Service, who already have an attractive website, but sadly does not appear to be updated on a regular basis.

Without this vital information, it is difficult to understand exactly how intelligent and cost-effective strategies could be formulated by the planners and policymakers. If I am wrong, and this information is already in the public domain, then please share it with us, in a format that is easily accessible.

Many businesses, I would guess are presently attempting to evaluate the economics of the rapidly approaching end of the 2011/2012 winter season. Trying to ascertain, what if anything, we can afford to spend this summer to assist in maintaining occupancy and viability, while at the same time trying to retain as many staff as possible.

Few could not have noticed the full page ‘ads’ appearing in the local press bearing the headline ‘Tourism, who cares?’

As I include myself in that category, I proffered my comments on the same day as the first ‘ad’ was carried. Due to technical glitches we were told in subsequent ‘ads’, early contributors were invited to resubmit their comments, which I did twice, but still did not receive an email confirming receipt. There was already a very short response window, just 12 days, even if everything had been functioning properly.

While I fully endorse the objectives behind the concept, I believe it was a huge mistake not to involve our visitors at this stage. The ‘ad’ could so easily have been replicated in a smaller version and given to accommodation providers for placement in every room.

Our visitors already have a very limited opportunity to make their views known to our tourism policymakers, and this could have provided such an invaluable feedback.

Any guests that may have stumbled across the ‘ad’, just might have drawn the conclusion that their opinions are not valued. And if the recent pronouncement ‘that Barbados as a brand is not meeting all the expectations of its customers’ by the BTA Chairman is correct, then surely its even more important to listen very carefully to the areas where we are not performing to the standards anticipated.

Adrian Loveridge

Editor’s note: BFP ran a spelling checker on this article and consolidated a few short paragraphs. BFP created the title “Government should share tourism research… whatever there is of it.” Other than spelling, format and the title, we didn’t change a word.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Brian Andre Kirton explains what happened to Barbados

“COMPLACENCY: A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.”

We’ve been enjoying a new blog lately. Brian Andre Kirton is a young man from Kingsland Terrace, Christ Church who has a wise old man’s head. Yesterday I had another read of his post ‘Never Enough‘ and it got me thinking. Kirton’s words about success and drive and how people and businesses can lose what they have achieved struck me as being a precise explanation for what happened to Barbados and our tourism industry.

Have a read of Never Enough and you’ll see what I’m talking about. If Barbados is the product, we are definitely on the decline side of Kirton’s chart. Admitting that might be the first step to a needed rebirth and rejuvenation of our country.

Thank you, Mr. Kirton!


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism