Throughout my first three blog posts, I have gotten to learn a lot about the country of Jamaica. In my fourth installment, I will discuss environmental issues that are affecting the country.
To start off, scientists have stated that our planet is in trouble because of Climate Change, a scientific-based theory that us humans are causing the planet to heat the atmosphere. According to NASA’s website (http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-k4.html), Climate Change is described as changes in usual weather patterns such as temperature and/or rain. It is caused by many different factors. Such factors include distance from sun, volcano eruptions, or exhaust from cars and factories.
With this in mind, a general question can be asked. Should we take action to stop Climate Change? Frankly, I don’t think any action will be good enough to stop it. Slow it down, possibly. I personally believe that the human effect on the climate isn’t as big of a role in Climate Change as some scientists claim. My grandparents have told me stories about how the air back when he was my age wasn’t nearly as clean as it was now. Also, my history teacher in my sophomore year of high school told me in the early 1900’s that people always wore hats because there was a lot of ash that came from exhaust in the sky from plant towers. Essentially throughout time, the air quality has gotten better. Looking at blue sky is easier now then what it was 100+ years ago.
Not only personal accounts can help prove my point, I can say that scientists can skew statistics to make it line up with your agenda. When a scientist says that the average temperature in a year is increasing, you might ask how did he acquire the data to make such a statement? I feel that a lot of people say that “scientists” say that Climate Change is real and people believe them. For example, in this speech below, President Obama says the Climate Change is real, yet he doesn’t state any facts with their sources to prove his logic. In a way, he used generic terms that I wasn’t convinced enough to believe that Climate Change is a problem. To be fair, it was probably scripted for its comedic value.
As far as major environmental issues that affect Jamaica, they are facing mainly erosion of the land, deforestation, pollution of the water and damage to the coral reef. According to Nations Encyclopedia (http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Jamaica-ENVIRONMENT.html), Jamaica’s water from the Caribbean Sea is polluted by industrial waste, oil, bauxite (red waste in the form of mud), and sewage. In other words, the country created about 300,000 tons of waste. In a five-year period of time in the early to mid 1990’s, the forested part has decease about seven percent a year.
In order to help educate the public on some of these issues, Jamaica has created the Jamaica Clearing-House Mechanism (http://jamaicachm.org.jm/ioj_wp/). Under the Tools & Services tab, they have a directory of organizations that are working in the country. They have government organizations, non-government organizations, private sector organizations, regional organizations and international organizations. Government organizations that focus on environmental issues are the Environmental Management Division and Fisheries Division. Other notable organizations that are working with Jamaica are the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based from Denmark) and the Island Resources Foundation (based from the United States).
Jamaica is acknowledging that they have environmental problems from sea to land. They are trying to make a difference in the environment around them. They can’t tackle it on their own so they have gone out and enlisted help from other nations to improve and save their island.