Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A call to arms on World Environment Day

Another World Environment Day has come and it feels as if Trinidad and
Tobago is no closer to coming to terms with the many challenges of
moving forward economically in ways that are sustainable and
non-threatening to human life.
It's not just a fight for the environmentalists. The energy experts,
the economists, the local contractors, all need to take interest in
the quest for sustainable forms of development.
At this moment in world history, Trinidad and Tobago continues to
exclude itself from the growing global conversation on climate change
and what we can be doing as a nation to mitigate its effects on
ourselves and generations to come.
We are already reaping the harvest of our carelessness, one wonders
how much hotter it needs to get before the EMA, the government and the
Opposition begin to get serious about how Trinidad and Tobago plans to
come to terms with global warming and the reality of climate change.
Whether on the issue of smelting or waste water or food security or
the land sinking into the sea in Cedros, Trinidad and Tobago's
environment is in a state of crisis.
The Rights Action Group urges those in positions of power to begin to
take decisive action and stop protecting the interests of that small
group of profit makers.
RAG urges all concerned citizens,environmentalists, social activists,
farmers and community organisations to not give up hope. We also pay
respect to all the communities and individuals across Trinidad and
Tobago who have been doing their part to raise consciousness in our
communities and in our board rooms. All those who have been struggling
against immense odds to bring attention to the problems in their
communities, to increase their access to information, to demand
answers from their leaders and to insist that communities are actively
involved in the consultation process.
We look forward to more participation and more commitment to a nation
that is moving forward into a clean, sustainable and more equitably
In solidarity,

Monday, June 04, 2007

Earth Always - initiative from Trinidad

Consciousness Raising is a feminist group on the University of the West Indies Campus. The group is made up of individuals diverse in age, marital status, occupation, education, physical ability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, class and political views. However, we are united in our concern for issues affecting not only each other but our country and the global community.

One of these issues is Global Warming.

It’s no secret that our climate is changing. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 1990; in fact 2005 was the hottest year since record keeping began. Greenhouse gas pollution is the primary cause of global warming and much of the emissions come from energy production. In our government’s effort to achieve their 2020 vision are they sacrificing our country’s environment? Is the importance of “Investing in sound infrastructure” and “Enabling competitive business” worth the price of our fragile ecosystem?

24/7 Earth Always is Consciousness Raising’s suggestion to stop the degradation of our country’s natural environment and to build a future in which we can all live in harmony with nature.

24/7 Earth Always is about consciousness-raising, about capturing YOUR imagination and empowering YOU to make a difference. We aim to show that together, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!

Trinidad and Tobago has signed and agreed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where countries commit “to reducing their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.” We are asking that citizens of our country unite and remind our government of the promises made regarding our environment. The more people get on board and support the campaign, the more it will have a significant effect on what our government is going to do about the issue.

Therefore, we are inviting companies, government departments, schools, communities, individuals and families of Trinidad and Tobago to conserve energy for 24 hours on June 5, which is World Environment Day, to show that it is possible to take action on global warming and that we care about our planet.

How do you go about doing this?

Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs
Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and reduce emissions. Lighting accounts for around 5% of household greenhouse gas emissions, and compact fluros use 75% less energy than an equivalent incandescent bulb. Although the bulbs cost more up-front, you will actually save money through the energy saved and extended life of the bulb.

Turn appliances off standby
Unplug any appliances - mobile phone charger, TV, microwave, MP3 player - which are not being used and are on standby. Appliances on standby consume up to 10% of your electricity bill. Turn off anything that does not need to be on. A good rule is to turn off anything not being used. When you leave a room or leave the house, turn off your lights or appliances like the TV or computer.

N.B. A more detailed list of what can be done room by room is attached.


Get off standby
Speak to your office manager about turning off any equipment at work that is not being used, including computer screens, photocopiers and printers.

Before you leave the office
When you leave work each day, remember to turn off any lights in your workspace and your computer. Remember to unplug your mobile phone or laptop charger when it is not in use.

Find out what's happening in your workplace?
Your organisation may already be doing a lot to reduce their emissions. Ask about your environmental policy and find out what is already happening. Look for ways to reduce energy use in your workplace and encourage improvements.


Lights & Computers
Turn-off lights and fans when no one is in the classroom, especially at recess and lunchtime. Turn-off computers & monitors when they are not in use.
Air Conditioning
Keep the doors & windows closed in your classroom when the air conditioning is running. Ensure there is nothing blocking air conditioning vents in your classroom. Make sure the thermostat settings are not set too high or too low.

Turn off the taps when you are finished. Tell a teacher if there is a leaking tap in the toilets, classroom or playground.

When you get home after your day at work or school, do not stop the energy conserving there - Get together with friends and family for a BBQ. Sit outside and look at the stars. Go for a stroll if you have a park nearby. Have a picnic or candlelight dinner. Talk with your family and friends about the state of our planet and the need to make a change to keep the place we live the way we need it to be.

Do something non-electric – but most importantly enjoy!