Undeniable! At this point, the idea of climate change should be undeniable. The conversation should no longer be one of if’s. the effects of climate change and the conditions that it presents are alarming and is in dire need of our attention. Living on an island of 133 square miles and a population of a little over 100 000 people, here we have a colloquial saying ‘who feels it, knows it’, and as it relates to climate change it is evident that this saying is true.
Take a journey around my island Grenada, the hands of climate change are all too real its touch has manipulated the shores of our world famous white sandy beaches in the south to our historical Leaper’s Hill to the north. The disappearing of our coastline due to rising sea levels is the silent natural disaster that daily eats away at Grenada’s silhouette. Businesses in the North, the roadways in the West, and our many beaches. Nowhere is safe!.
Given the opportunity, I can speak about the effects of climate change on my island for more than this article can bear, unpredictable weather patterns, long dry seasons, the overactive hurricane season, the smoldering heat of the sun just to mention a few. Every islander can testify to these and many other phenomena. As in other underdeveloped countries like Grenada, there are, sprinkled around the island projects backed by world organizations accompanied with local initiatives by Government, busy at work. Drastic measures are being implemented, ad campaigns on Radio and TV, community art projects, constant seminars all geared towards enlightening and educating the public, but is it too late?
Despite these robust actions, we still see severe polluting of our country, persons knowing the importance of composting, recycling, and lessening our carbon footprint, choosing not to, due to its “inconvenience”.
Let’s take a close look at the village of Chambord in St. Patricks. A farming community, that due to its location leaned heavily on the seasonal rains to provided them with fertile farming conditions. In recent years as the dark blanket of climate change cover our region that window of seasonal rains has shrunk. What was once a dependable 6-month rainy season is now a situation of hoping and praying, driving many farmers to the brink of ruin. Measures of rainwater harvesting and other techniques like smart water usage and climate-smart farming have been shared with the remaining functioning farmers, however, the cost that is associated with implementing these measures deter and many find themselves returning to their old practices out of sheer convenience.
The subject of climate change, which was once a distance thought in the minds of most Grenadines, is now the hot button issue. Still, to some persons and even countries like the United States, the cost of saving our planet surpasses the benefits. As we get closer to the 2020 deadline, of the Paris Climate change agreement. One hopes that we maintain our pledge of lowering emissions and meet the target of keeping of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius.
It is true that the longest journey starts with a single step. So regardless of the cost, our dedication to the climate change initiatives can no longer be one of convenience.