Sep 06, 2008 News Comments Off on No more lip service on climate change
– PPP General Secretary
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Donald Ramotar on Wednesday last extended his party’s solidarity with the people of the Cuba, Cayman Islands, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, the US and India, who have suffered greatly in natural disasters that recently occurred in those countries.
“These, we believe, are the consequences of global warming.”
According to Ramotar, the PPP believes that the international community must take decisive action in the fight against global warming and each country must take the necessary measures to cut its emission of greenhouse gases and do more to protect the natural environment.
He noted that scientists have “been warning about this for sometime, and a lot of lip service, from many quarters, has been paid to this issue. However, little concrete steps are being taken while people, mainly the poor and powerless, have had to endure great hardships and death.”
Ramotar was adamant that steps be taken now to halt the deterioration and to eventually reverse the trends.
UNDER THREAT REGIONALLY
Locally, as the early effects of climate change become more evident, scientists within the region have recommended that countries in the Caribbean take on key adaptation strategies to respond to inevitable changes in weather patterns as sea and air temperatures continue to rise due to excessive greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Climate change is expected to affect crop yield and planting cycles, the types of vegetation that will grow in the region, changes in location of certain flora and fauna and marine life population, as well as the health and wellbeing of Caribbean peoples.
Despite global environmental treaties, such as the Kyoto Protocol, which many developed countries have signed, promising to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions, most of those countries have continued to emit the harmful gases unchecked.
At present, some of the physical effects of climate change that Guyana is experiencing are increased temperature, intense rainfall, extended periods of rainfall and a rise in sea levels.
These effects, have been affecting every aspect of Guyana’s economy in one way or the other.
Guyana’s first severe adverse effect was felt in the form of a flood in 2005. The flooding started along the coastal areas on January 15, of that year.
The worst hit areas were the East Coast of Demerara in Region Four and several communities in Region Three.
Over 1/3 of Guyana’s population was affected by the floods with 22 lives claimed as a result of leptospirosis. Residents lost personal belongings, livestock, and crops.
One year later, the flood waters returned, and this time residents in the Mahaica/Abary in Region 4 were under water as well as residents in the Pomeroon, Region 2.
Sea levels over the past 50 years have risen about 1.8 feet, but according to the Infinity Property and Causality Corporation (IPCC) by the end of the 21st century sea levels will increase between 11 to 17 inches globally.
The IPCC is also predicting that by the end of the century, temperatures will rise somewhere been one and four degrees.
This, according to the IPCC, will occur if the trend of greenhouse gas emission continues and no affirmative action is taken on global climate change.
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