Letters & Opinion

Between Climate Change and Changing Climates

Image of Earl Bousquet
Chronicles Of A Chronic Caribbean Chronicler By Earl Bousquet

I remember the days when Climate Change was just a concept we talked about, without being able to actually show any of the changes we referred to like Doomsday just waiting to come.

But not anymore… Today we can see and feel the changes, from the rising tides to the increasingly fiercer hurricanes and the many other examples readily available online and on-the-ground…

But still, never mind the abundance of crystal-clear evidence of Climate Change being real and how it affects us, it’s still something largely regarded as a concept that applies more to elsewhere than here.

Take the current COP-26 Global Climate Change Summit being attended by Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre and over 100 other leaders from across and around the world.

They were asked to show their faces instead of attending by Zoom and over 120 showed-up, from the just around 200 nations of the world with membership at the United Nations.

I was asked by one lettered friend, ‘Why does the PM say the Treasury is empty and yet he’d spend all that money to go to Glasgow for two weeks?’

I said he had to go lest Saint Lucia be regarded as not being interested, but she’d have none of it.

She replied, ‘We have a COVID problem here and instead of staying here to see about it, the PM ups and goes to Scotland, when even China and Russia’s leaders both stayed away because of COVID at home…

‘All that money for two weeks and to only speak for three minutes?’

I tried to explain that the leaders of USA, China and Russia also had three minutes each, but she went off on another different tangent.

Hear her: ‘It’s like (Tourism Minister Ernest) Hilaire telling Bay Gardens Hotel it makes no sense spending $1.6 million for 500 visitors to come here for cricket, but he spends more than that to go to Dubai with a big delegation and returned with nothing to show but smiles…’

I tried to bring us back to Glasgow and COP-26, but she’d not let me, taking another completely different track than I was on…

Hear her again: ‘It’s the same with fighting COVID… Y’all opened-up the airport for your people to go to Miami for Carnival and they came back with COVID, but y’all keeping that quiet…

‘The Tourism Minister and the Health Minister expanded the protocols to lock-up Saint Lucian people, even local dogs and cats on Sundays, but they allowing tourists freedom to do in our own country what we cannot do…

‘And look at the amount of Jounen Kweyol parties there were up north last Saturday night…

‘And before October was over, the Health Minister was on TV advertising that before November is over vaccinated people will be able to have parties for Christmas and New Year’s…

‘So, we had a Fourth COVID Wave for election and now y’all can’t even handle Delta, but y’all want to bring y’all own Fifth Wave before Christmas…

‘Y’all serious? In three months y’all have done everything wrong… Now, Pip gone to Glasgow — as if we can influence the way the world’s climate is changing…

‘I can’t wait for the next elections…’

All that because I tried to explain why it was important for Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister to be counted among the leaders of the world prepared to Save the Planet for future generations.

If my friend had ears, I would have told her this is the same Prime Minister who established the Ministry of the Youth Economy to encourage tomorrow’s people today to turn their hobbies into paycheques; or that he’s so far delivered more than three election promises in the three House sittings held since the government took office soon after the July 26th General Elections.

If only she would listen, I would have encouraged her to ‘Stop, drink some water and think again…’ and invited her to ‘Let’s start again, from the beginning…’

But my friend is not the type who’ll give way when she’s on the attack…

From my many similar earlier exchanges with her on the COVID issue, I do know that she is a strident ‘anti-vaxer’ who doesn’t really believe there’s a Microsoft microchip in every vaccine, but feels certain that “in 20 or 40 years’ time, you will all regret having taken that vaccine…”

The last time we argued (that loudly) over COVID-19 in 2020, she walked-out of her own office…

This time around, I told her I supported ex-PM Allen Chastanet’s proposal to divide Saint Lucia into ‘758’ and ‘759’, to protect the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.

Her response: ‘I heard what he said…He never said why he wanted to revisit 758 and 759, so don’t put words in his mouth…’

As you will have realized by now, I actually enjoy teasing, pricking and prickling friends ‘on the other side’ who still value our friendship enough to entertain me without realizing that’s what they’re actually doing – and that I’m enjoying it…

Oh yes, this is the New Normal, when what used to be is no more, but not enough (of us) have realized how times have changed just as fast, in that short space of time.

Yes, we’re not only facing Climate Change but also the absence of change in the local political climate.

Yes, some things never change!

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