Environment

Jamaica’s energy policy: Obstruction or boost to wind and solar?

David Cooke

The greatest advocate for low-cost solar and wind energy ought to be Government. Government could lead the transformation by example, mandating that all government-owned and -operated buildings, as well as the two international airports be powered by renewables. This, in addition to other measures a ... Read More

Members of the St Jago Cathedral Prep team perform a dub poem entitled Stop Pollution.Photo: Michael Gordon Maryland wins!
Eight prep and primary schools from across the island were last Thursday awarded for campus-based en ... Read More

The Negril Chamber of Commerce We’re not giving up Negril Chamber says of breakwater issue
The Negril Chamber of Commerce signalled yesterday that its opposition to the building of a breakwat ... Read More


15-year window to benefit from low solar costs
At the start of this series, a month ago, you learned about the powerful and predictive tools used i ... Read More

Caribbean now home to two shark sanctuaries

Friday, June 17, 2016    

In this August 3, 2012 file photo, tourists walk along the shore of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman Island. The Caribbean boasts two new shark sanctuaries as the Cayman Islands and St Maarten on Wednesday declared their territorial waters covering some 49,190 square miles (119,631 square kilometres) closed to all commercial shark fishing. Photo: AP

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The Caribbean boasts two new shark sanctuaries as the Cayman Islands and St Maarten on Wednesday declared their territorial waters covering some 49,190 square miles (119,631 square kilometres) closed to all commercial shark fishing. During a three-day shark conservation meeting in the Dutch Caribbean country of St Maarten, the popular diving destinations announced protected areas for the endangered marine predators along with officials from Pew Charitable Trus ... Read More

The comeback of electric cars

David Cooke | Wednesday, June 15, 2016    

In a Jamaica Observer article of April 2014, I made you aware that despite its use for electricity generation, oil is essentially a transportation fuel accounting for some 80 per cent of all oil sales worldwide. You can read that first article at: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Going-solar-can-reverse-the-dollar-slide_18720899 Fossil fuels became the world’s transport fuel for one main reason — energy storage in a mobile form. You burn the fossils as you drive, thereby relea ... Read More

Miami-Dade puts partial ban on Styrofoam

Wednesday, June 15, 2016    

Florida’s Miami-Dade county voted last week to ban all Styrofoam coolers, cups, plates and take out containers from all public parks — including marinas, beaches, trails and playing fields — effective July 1, 2017. Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, a petroleum-based plastic that is not biodegradable, thought to be carcinogenic, and poses health risks to human and marine life. According to a story published in the Miami Herald, the ban prohibits park users, including vendor ... Read More

Noranda takes Henry on greenhouse tour

Friday, June 10, 2016    

Mining Minister Mike Henry (right) listens intently to Noranda General Manager Antoine Liddell (left) as they tour the Watt Town greenhouse cluster on June 2. Also photographed are (from left) parliamentarian Xavier Mayne (partly hidden), Vincent Thompson of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney also from JSIF; Parris Lyew-Ayee, executive director of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute; and Kent Skyers of Noranda.

Transport and Mining Minister Mike Henry made his first visit to a mining entity since assuming office when he toured a section of the bauxite industry greenhouse farms being developed on Noranda Bauxite’s mining lands in St Ann on June 2. The minister was accompanied by executive director of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) Parris Lyew-Ayee and managing director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) Omar Sweeney. He was welcomed to Noranda by General Manger Antoine Liddell and ... Read More

Disaster warning

Friday, June 10, 2016    

Motorists use a roadway that was reduced to single lane by a landslide during last month’s flooding in St Thomas. The United Nations special representative for disaster risk reduction says there needs to be a change in the mindset of people in the region from reacting to disasters to one of prevention. Photo: Karl McLarty

ASUNCION, Paraguay (CMC) — The first meeting of ministers and high-level authorities on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) happened here over Wednesday and yesterday with a strong warning that disaster reduction is everyone’s business. United Nations Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser, told the two-day meeting that it was important for the region to develop a new mindset towards disaster risk reduction. The ... Read More

Furore in Montserrat over removal of sea sand

Friday, June 10, 2016    

A view of Foxes Bay in Montserrat.

BRADES, Montserrat (CMC) — Former premier Reuben T Meade has criticised a decision by the government to allow the removal of sand from Foxes Bay beach at a time when turtles are nesting in the area. “Turtle nesting season started June 1. This is a major nesting area for turtles. How can we as politicians rape our environment to satisfy our political financiers? How did cabinet select that miner and which transparent process was used?” Meade said. He said his information is th ... Read More

The trouble with Styrofoam

Wednesday, June 08, 2016    

Styrofoam, a non-biodegradable material, is used to make food containers like this lunch box. Photo: Joseph Wellington

Styrofoam, with a capital ‘S’, is a trademarked brand of polystyrene products used primarily for insulation and craft applications. With a common ‘s’, the word is used generically to refer to disposable coffee cups, lunch boxes and padding for packaging. They are produced via different chemical processes, with Styrofoam coming from extruded polystyrene, and styrofoam coming from expanded polystyrene. The Styrofoam brand can be identified by its roughness and the fact tha ... Read More

Can wind and solar make us rich?

David Cooke | Wednesday, June 08, 2016    

Having now understood that cheap storage is the only thing holding us back from using 100 per cent of renewable power sources, you may glean all that it means for “energising” Jamaica both electrically and wealth-wise. The single result of ensuring that there is enough storage causes the duality of cheap electricity — household prices likely under US$0.20 cents per kWh or some 60 per cent lower than our previous fossil-fuelled electrical highs; while we retain over US$100 milli ... Read More

Raw sewage could hurt reef project, say fishermen

Tuesday, June 07, 2016    

The Portland coast is to benefit from a US$350,000 reef-building project being financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.Photo: Gorgette Beckford

Fishing interests in Port Antonio are concerned that the reef restoration project now being piloted in that end of the island could be threatened by what they say are high levels of untreated sewage seeping into the sea from soak away pits. The reef project, being financed over two years by the Inter-American Bank to the tune of US$350,000, aims to replace the coral stock that has been destroyed over several years by hurricanes, high nutrient levels, overfishing, and a plethora of other ills, a ... Read More

What’s ‘crocing’?

Tuesday, June 07, 2016    

National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) mascot Busta the Croc greets a Jamaica Observer vendor at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads in St Andrew last Thursday. (Photo: NEPA)

NEPA staffers pounded the pavement at the intersection of Waterloo and Hope roads in St Andrew on Thursday, to educate the public on the importance of crocodile conservation and to promote its upcoming My Croc Adventure and Friends Conservation and Enviro Fair, to take place at Hope Zoo early next month. The event, which is being staged for the second time, is the brainchild of the Jamaica Crocodile Working Group, which has representation from government agencies, non-governmental organisation ... Read More



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