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#496838 - 10/16/14 10:14 AM Climate Change And Its Effects On Tourism
Marty Offline

As we told you last night, The Belmopan based Caribbean Community Climate Change Center took center stage in Bridgetown Barbados on Monday night – when it led the presentation of the fifth intergovernmental panel in climate change. The report looks primarily at what are called small island developing states – and how rising sea levels and changes in rainfall patterns will affect them. Barbados was a fitting location because, at only a few hundred square feet, it is one of those small island states – one that depends heavily on its gorgeous beaches for foreign exchange earnings through tourism. How can climate change affect them? We asked their minister of Environment and drainage:..

In Barbados, the fiery cirrus streaks of dawn can be a horseman. Tourists gather every morning to see this daily spectacle on Browne’s Beach. Nothing to it really, but in just a snapshot it shows how easily intertwined daily life and tourism are on this island where overnight tourist arrivals in 2013 outnumbered Belize by a rate of more than two to one, 508,000 to 223,000. And just as easily as (most of) these horses have learnt to take to the azure waters, that’s how easily tourism comes for Barbados. But now climate change is putting all of it as risk – rising sea levels threaten this beach, one of the most celebrated in the world:

Hon. Denis S. Lowe, M.P. - B’dos Minister of Environment & Drainage.

"With the prospect of sea level rise, it means that we have to put systems in place that will allow us to not just adapt. In some cases mitigate against the impact against climate change."

And adaptive behavior – not the kind these wave running sandpipers practice is what the IPCC report is about. But there are many barriers to adaptation – not least of all is the native instinct to stay with what has always worked – which the experts say won’t work this time:

Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director – CCCCC Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre

"Climate change will know no boundaries. Poor and developing countries, particularly the LDC (less developed countries) and SIDS (small island developing states), will be among those most advisedly affected and least able to cope.”

And Barbados has a level of social order that makes credible his statement. It was a rich colony, the Caribbean jewel in the crown of the British Empire – its Parliament building, imperious and resplendent is 150 years old – was built to house one of the oldest parliamentary systems in the world. But all that vaunted sense of order which gives rise to lowest murder rate in the Caribbean – and one of the lowest in the America’s - could all be put at risk if climate change threatens dislocation:

Hon. Denis S. Lowe

"I don't think it is very difficult as some may think, to really reorder people's behaviour and the expectations. I think people's behaviour and behavioural change is link to people's notion of survival. If we help people to understand the context of their survival, chances are you will happen to adjust the suit of survival."

And those habitats will have to be on dry, high ground – hard to find on an island which is 1/50th the size of Belize, because unlike the Sandpiper islanders can’t spend their lives running from waves.

Hon. Denis S. Lowe

"If we do not manage our strategy to combat climate change, it will have an impact on our social stability because they will be a lot of social dislocation. Not only in terms of employment but in terms of habit.”

Barbados has a population of three hundred thousand citizens. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the science behind climate change and the driving force behind it, greenhouse gas emissions.

Channel 7

#496908 - 10/17/14 10:57 AM Re: Climate Change And Its Effects On Tourism [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Greenhouse Gases Pose Biggest threat For Climate Change

Tonight we continue our look at Monday's launch of the climate change report in Bridgetown, Barbados. We've told you about the major threats posed to the region by climate change, but mostly, we've stayed away from the heavy stuff, the science.

And that's really the basis of the report: that "the scientists consulted have 95% certainty that human activity, by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century."

And as the speakers discussed at the launching of the report, the real challenge to combatting climate change is reducing those greenhouse gas emissions which come from large countries like the USA, China and India:..

Leon Charles, Climate Change Professional - Grenada
"We have a problem with greenhouse gas emissions, an urgent problem that needs to be address. The rate of increase gas emissions is at its highest in history."

Nigel Romano. Acting Vice-President (Operations), Caribbean Development Bank
"And the rate of climate change and it's a tendon cost are expected to accelerate if the concentration of greenhouse gasses continues to increase."

Priyadarshni Rai - Disaster Management Officer
"If on the other hand emissions continue at present rate, will be reaching the limits of adaptation of more and more places and the humanitarian consequences will be dire."

Nigel Romano
"Therefore the question is not if we will take action, but how."

Leon Charles
"We need very ambitious actions on reducing greenhouse gases."

John Agard, Professor of Tropical Island Ecology
"If you take measures you can reduce the vulnerability and the longer you take before you take action, the cost increases."

Selwin Hart Director, UN Climate Change Support Team
"7 Caribbean countries are among the 10 countries which suffered the highest average highest economic losses from climate related disasters."

And even if greenhouse gas emissions are scaled back dramatically, the report concludes rather dismally, "Whether global society continues to emit greenhouse gases at today's rate, or cuts greenhouse gas emissions sharply now, does not make a big difference in terms of climate impacts in the next few decades."

Channel 7


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