Climate Signs

By Tracey Daway

Mind over matter, widely used and moreover extremely misused and understood. The phrase, simply, means that to change your reality you must first change your way of thinking, your mind. Climate change is as real as the oxygen we breathe, which is also affected by climate change as recent falling levels indicate from ‘www.Oceana.com’. Similarly, but different to Emily Raboteau’s son, at the age of 5 I has a vested interest in the environment, at the time, like her son I did not fully grasp the complexities of climate change but I saw the signs with my little eyes. I have always had a passion for helping people, I am not a superhero, nor a self-made billionaire able to build schools in Africa or any other rich cliché. The only thing between saving the world and destroying it, are humans. Saving the world can be a reality, it is very reachable. Life is unfair, many persons today are born into situations they cannot get away from. To escape the evils of this world, namely climate change, one first needs to understand their situation and how dangerous it can be to sit back and take no action. We may think that abstaining from environmentally harmful practices that we are doing good, but standing on the sidelines in my opinion is just the same as doing bad. We need to take affirmative action, we need to educate the people, change their minds and their perception to show them what is really happening. The people need to see the signs and acknowledge them as well. Climate change needs to be recognized for what it is and make a plan to fight the problem.

“Climate denial kills,” this phrase really hit me, and I hope it reaches more eyes and sparks a chain reaction. What will the world look like for our future generations? Will the air still be breathable? Will there be enough land above water to inhabit? What does the future look like fifty years from now? Do you see the signs?

Will Dominica win this race?

BY: Quisha Pascal

From reading this article, “This Tiny Country Says it can Beat Climate Change” the question that comes to mind, is Dominica going to win this race? A race against time, natural sources, natural disasters, and climate change. Hurricane Maria devastated the beautiful island on the night of September 17th, 2017. From trees to roads, to bridges, to houses were totally destroyed by the raging winds and rains. Almost two years later and we are still suffering. People lost their houses, electricity was lost, and running water was gone. After Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica in September of 2017, Prime Minister Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit, pledged to rebuild the island into the world’s first “fully climate-resilient” nation. Mr. Skerrit said that “We are resilient people”. And that was the mantra for the entire island even to this day almost two years later. But are we really resilient?

Climate change, according to www.science.org.au,  is a change in the pattern of weather, and related changes in oceans, land surfaces and ice sheets, occurring over time scales of decades or longer. Climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system that persists for several decades or longer. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties as stated on en.oxforddictionaries.com.

However, are we rebuilding resiliently? Foreign advisers claim that we are rebuilding homes using the same standards as before the hurricane. The electricity and telecom companies, Domlec and Flow and Digicel respectively say it’s too expensive to shield their entire networks against Category 5 storms. Digicel, which lost 21 of its cell towers in Maria, is building back just the three that handle the most traffic to withstand another Category 5 storm. Bertilia McKenzie, managing director of Domlec, the island’s sole utility, which is owned by the Canadian firm Emera Inc., said the same constraints apply to rebuild the country’s electricity sector. Ideally, she said, the company would put all its wires underground. “You know the cost of that?” McKenzie said. The answer is $1.3 billion—about $17,000 per resident.

With all these stated we can clearly see that Hurricane proofing is very expensive. Maria inflicted $1.3 billion in damage. The resilience plans are sweeping in replacing the buildings and bridges damaged by Maria with hurricane-proof versions, building more and higher seawalls, creating sheltered harbors and higher riverbanks, replacing bananas with hurricane-resistant crops, constructing geothermal power plants, burying electrical wires, and even relocating entire towns. The Government was relocated the village Petite Savanne. With all these resilient plans the question is still asked, Will Dominica win this race? Can we finish this race before the next Hurricane season? Do we have time?

Climate Signs…

By Rennick Stevens

When I was 5 I wanted to be a fireman like my dad. But as I crew older Being a fireman was not so much as an interest for me. Just so, Emily Raboteau’s son moved from one interesting to another. He was once fascinated and loved train, but he entered an American Museum of natural history. Their he love for trains turned to a passion for violent weather. There was a special exhibition called “Nature’s Furry”.

This reading portrayed that we should take more interest in the things happening around us in nature. The author’s son was just a kindergartner, and he took an interest into knowing more about the violent weather. He even cut the line to erupt a virtual volcano at the exhibition. Ever wonder to yourself why these the difference in wind speed between a category 4 and a category 5 hurricane, or why is it that the eye of a storm or tornado is the calmest parts. Perhaps that we should pay more attention to these things. These catastrophic events are real, and are happening more frequently. Take for instance, hurricane Maria a perfect example this scenario.

The environment we live in is for us, the least we can do be considerate. Some of the events that occur are as a result of us human activities. We should be mind of the things that we do directly impact our earth that intern cause these violent weathers to terrorize and destroy our homes, lively-hood and life when they decide to past. We tend to treat things as, “we have time the future is still to come”, but as Martin Luther preached, ” We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now”. There are many studies that have been conducted world wide of the effects of climate change. We may worry about our future generation, but our future is already here.

Climate change is really at work, for all the changes happening to weather patterns, the melting of ice glaciers, increase in heat waves from the sun hitting the earth. Its a wide diverse topic if we are to sit and deal with this issue as it presents it’s self to us. We as digital humanities partners, we are to take an interest and educate our friends, family, co-workers, neighbor. Raise the awareness of Climate change at work. The reading also mentioned that Climate Denial Kills. This can be achieved by doing things such as efforts in reducing or completely getting rid of emission of carbon into the atmosphere, think of the many people who currently being affected by climate change. There are so much more people that will get hurt or be affected by this change. Think water scarcity, think of food shortage, think of of a downhill turn for our future generation.

Think Climate Change….Think Sustainable Development.

“Too Late?”

by Kieron Clunes

It’s around 1:30pm as I wake from my unscheduled Saturday nap. I give of a sigh of uneasiness as I sit up on the edge of my bed, reaching for a towel to lightly dab of the few beads of sweat that have made their selves present during my state of rest. “It’s extremely hot today”, I thought to myself as I stood up to productively claim the rest of my afternoon. The days are in fact hot, and they’re only getting hotter.

According to an ongoing analysis being conducted by professionals at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), since the year 1880 the average global temperature of Earth has rose by roughly 0.8° Celsius or 1.4° Fahrenheit. According to an article written by Emily Raboteau called Climate Signs, the average global temperature is expected to rise by a staggering 4° Celsius by the end of the century. That number however, is only accurate if we continue to release excess amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere that we are currently releasing. If this number does in fact become a reality, we are looking at a drastic increase in the number of heat related deaths worldwide, increased flooding, drought, a lack in food and water security worldwide, a rise in sea level and an increase in hurricane strengths which are known to rise annual mortality rates by the hundreds.

But are we already too late? According to an article written by Chris Mooney, statistics show that the largest glacier in East Antarctica is slowing melting and adding roughly 80 billion tons of mass into our ocean per year.  Does this bring up the argument that the global temperature of earth is already too high to avoid rising sea levels? Our major coastal cities are already suffering from catastrophic flooding in times of natural disasters which is an entire consequence on its own. At this very moment, the only question on my mind is, “is all this reversible or are have we already dug our own graves?”.

At this very moment in human history, it is sad to say that the damage we have done to earth is “abrupt and irreversible”, according to the IPCC. We have long passed the tipping point of carbon dioxide emission and we have now left a permanent mark on planet earth. However, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Our current conditions can grow into much larger problems which can lead to the inevitable extinction of the human race. However, if we someway manage to get every human being on the same page, that is, to get everybody to acknowledge that climate change and global warming is a real thing and that we must act fast to limit the consequences of our actions, we can slow down or even completely shut down the rising temperature of planet earth. Through the communication of this idea through art, social media and government funded campaigns, it is possible to get the mass majority of the population on the initiative to protect earth and mankind.

Will Dominca reach its goal?

By Dinelle Dailey

How will the island of Dominica, led by Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, hold its head high while aiming to become the first climate resilient country in the world, despite ravages of Hurricane Maria of 2017? This question encompasses the general perspective the author tries to bring about in the article, “This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change”. The author not only gives an account of the immediate tragic aftermath of Hurricane Maria but also illustrates an account of life a few months done the line.

Resilience, the keyword which summarizes the idea Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit presented when addressing the nation shortly after the hurricane was the talk of the town and approximately a year and six months later, it still is. Why does resilience summarize the idea brought across and not defines it? Resilience, according to Cambridge dictionary is defined as “the quality of being able to return quickly to a previous good condition after problems”. Does the definition of ‘resilience’ do justice to the Prime Minister’s dream for the island of Dominica? Not at all. Instead he aimed for the island, with half of its buildings destroyed, no electricity, no running water, and little to no forms of communication, to not just recover by building back what was already there, but instead, build back with a difference to make the island a force to be reckoned in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season and climate change. Building back with a difference meant for the structure of building to change, for the materials being used to be upgraded, for the financial system of the country to take a turn into a more prosperous direction, for roofs to be built in such a way that hurricane force winds would struggle to remove one roof instead of succeeding in removing five thousand roofs. With all this being said, the aim was not only to be resilient but also be the first resilient country in the world.

The only problem at that moment, how. How was an island with a population of 75,000 people, an economy based on the exportation of crops and tourism, to be the first climate resilient country of the world? According to the article, help wasn’t too far from reach as many individuals and organizations were intrigued by the level of motivation the islanders had despite being in a position where a resilient country should sound like a ridiculous idea. Bill Clinton, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund just to name a few, were not hesitant to help this island reach to where it aimed to. Little did we know, that a few months down the line, this is exactly what was beginning to happen. Houses began building, some with concrete roofs to replace what was lost and others with safer galvanized roofs as they found the concrete roofs unattractive.

According to the article, the government was trying to help the country be better off, however, does that mean all the people were pleased? Most certainly not. That didn’t stop the Prime Minister and his government from reaching to where they wanted to be.

Resiliency

By Abiyomhi Joseph

All the articles describe and illustrate accurately the effect and damaged caused by Climate Change; the one which I will focus on is one of those which expound on hurricane Maria. This was important as it gave us a present-day example; this hurricane gave us (Dominicans) and the entire world a rude awakening. Maria is a prime example that climate change is real and apparent in every way possible, causing pain and damage in all possible ways.  The emotional damage especially, caused by viewing a site which once comforted you become completely foreign to you. The complete and utter ease in which Maria destroyed, dismantled and broke our country both demographically and geographically must and will for sure have an effect on not only how we react to Climate Change but capture the attention of the superpowers worldwide.

Let us describe “This Tiny Country Says it can Beat Climate Change’ by Christopher Flavelle. As many may ask, is it really possible to become completely climate resilient or is it possible to be climate resilient in an ever changing climate? There are no clear cut answers to these questions but it is factual that as climate is changing we must have a positive effect, we must try our best to adapt and be innovative when it comes to development and growth in every way. As we see in this article Dominica has taken the initiative to become the first climate resilient country, to be the forerunner in an indeed tough but necessary race. As the article states ‘Hurricane Maria turned Dominica into a foreign-funded laboratory for storm proofing an entire nation.’, it is true that Dominica has become a laboratory as a lot of testing of: new materials, housing styles, housing structures among many other building techniques have been introduced to prepare for a changing climate.

To become Climate Resilient!

In addition, we must realize that this is not an easy task to achieve, this surely would not come without the continuous effort and investment of leaders, ‘superpowers’ all over the world. As stated in the article the management of these projects are very strenuous and eventful which create a heavy anchor on an already tough swim up for the government. It may seem that there is little to has been done but it is also true that a lot is to be done. Dominica has seen a tough 2 years after hurricane Maria, though it has been so Dominicans are known for being resilient and as we continue to be it is a lesson to all nations of the world. In adversity we must push despite how hard the fight may be, we MUST win the battle against Climate Change.

Tiny but mighty

By Jerelle O’Brien

Tiny but mighty

‘This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change’

After the passage of Hurricane Maria in Dominica in September 2017, the prime minister pledges to make Dominica the first climate resilient country. In light of this, Dominica became a funded experiment; many people have donated funds in support of and to aid this cause.

In the prime minister’s interview for his plan, he basically explained where his intent was to compromise and how he intended to make the country climate resilient.

What is climate resilience?

Climate  resilience means strengthening the ability of human and non-human systems to withstand and respond to changes in the earth’s climate.

Can this really be achieved in this little island? Even with all the funding and engineering aid….

Considering the fact that with the effects of climate change and the growing threat of natural disasters, how is it possible to rebuild time and time again?

Eventually, people will feel hopelessness.

With the attempt to achieve a climate resilient nation, there should also be the highlights of the effects of climate change and the entire global population should be on board with achieving the sustainable development goals in order to ensure that everywhere can be climate resilient.

By this I mean that, the use of plastics, burning, use of non biodegradable materials should be banned worldwide…

Along with stopping the production.

What’s the use say we are building a resilient nation, yet the world is still crumbling around and what they are doing will continue to affect and have the biggest impact on the little countries who have the smallest contributions but are trying their hardest to beat climate change?

So far, a step in the right direction has been taken as of January 2019, where a ban was passed on the importation of plastics and non biodegradable Styrofoam into the country. In light of this, supermarkets, as well as restaurants have since stopped the use of these as it is in low abundance in the country. Climate change is real, it is relevant and action needs to be taken seriously not only as a country, but as a global collective.  

I believe with the proper planning, funding and support from the people in around the country, this tiny but might country can defeat climate change. The passage of that hurricane did not break so many, and our people can rebuild despite all the odds, by uniting our forces, we can achieve a climate resilient nation.

Dominica Aims To Be The World’s First Climate Resilient Country In The World- A Fantasy or Reality?

Serena Maxwell

In 2017, Hurricane Maria, a powerful category five storm devastated the tiny island of Dominica, leaving the residents in a state of despair. This catastrophic event emphasized a need for a better response to natural disasters with the growing threat posed by climate change.

In response to this disaster, the prime minister proposed the idea of making Dominica the first climate resilient nation in the world. Many have criticized this venture, as they are skeptical about the idea that such a small island could accomplish something such as climate resilience. Dominica faces a number of obstacles in implementing these climate resilience policies. Firstly , the topography of Dominica makes it extremely difficult to develop communities as well as industrial sites. In creating a climate resilient nation the settlement patterns in Dominica would have to examined and altered. Due to the mountainous nature of the island, many of the communities have been established on the coast, making them prone to flooding. In order to become climate resilient communities which are vulnerable, such as Colihaut, would have to be relocated. One of the major issues is that a large portion of land in Dominica is mountainous and thus prone to landslides.

Additionally, becoming climate resilient requires large amounts of funding. The site noted that Dominica suffered $1.3 billion in damages after the hurricane. Dominica has received financial aid from various organizations such as the World Bank, which have expressed their interest in aiding Dominica to become climate resilient. One important area of consideration is in the building codes used in Dominica. Many of the houses in Dominica are not built in accordance with building codes thus making them more susceptible to damage from natural disasters. The article , ‘This Tiny Country Says It Can Beat Climate Change,’ by Christopher Flavelle, it was sited that the building codes in Dominica are in need of a revision. The codes need to be adjusted to deal with the changing climate conditions.
Another important aspect of resilience is the ability to restore utility services. Dominica’s only electricity service provider, DOMLEC, would need to run the electrical wires underground rather than on electricity poles which are easily destroyed during a hurricane. However, the company has said that this venture would cost billions of dollars and is not a plausible project to be taken by the company.

Many individuals have noted the slow progress which had been made in this regard. Can Dominica really be climate resilient with all of the obstacle that it faces? I do not believe that Dominica has the capacity to accomplish this, due to lack of funds as well as topography.

Which Side of Climate Change are You?

By Rhesa Lawrence

Climate change has been a topic which has held various debates; like if it is real or not to what action we should take. Little children are our future, they will be the ones who roam the earth after we are gone. When we abuse the Earth what kind of lives are, we leaving for them? In Environmental Biology we learn about sustainability; which is the ability to leave of our natural resources and still leave for the next generation. Betty’s testimony showed the different stances of climate change. Those that are willing to help, those that are turning a blind eye to the changes, those that are spreading the word about the effects and signs of climate change.

According to Google climate change is defined as’ a change in global or regional climate patterns.’ Today there are many campaigns going around such as one million trees project, go green and reuse reduce and recycle just to name a few. All these efforts do work when persons help out and practice but the rate at which they work and the rate at which people who do not believe in climate change are at the same rate; hence, it feels like their work is in vain.

The big men in the black suits and the little people who are ignorant to the changes; refuse to admit that climate change is real. They turn a blind eye to the changes because if they do, they are afraid of the financial changes it may cause, or how acknowledging these changes may cause to their company. On the other hand, the little people who are ignorant to these changes because they don’t think that these changes can affect them or they way they leave, but they are the ones in the most danger.

Spreading the word about climate change is a lot to take on. Emily and Mikael did a great job of sharing the photos of the signs around five boroughs. The way she explained her emotions, and how each place the signs were installed could be affect by climate change while on this scavenger hunt really had me thinking. If a well-known state like New York could be so badly by climate change how will a small island country like Dominica be affected.

Dominica is a very cultural country, and the biggest question that kept lingering was how to we preserve our heritage and culture with a rapidly changing climate. Severe  hurricanes, shorter rainy seasons and longer dry seasons what plans do we have in place to protect our history and valuable documents for our country? The archive centre is now in the process of digitizing some of the older books which are becoming harder to use due to their condition. This is just one way of  preserving our history. Let me leave this question with you. Observe your environment and your life style and then think how can I in any way possible help to lessen the impact of climate change?  No matter how minute you may thing it is a little push is all it takes to make the wheels turn.

How Resilient Are You?

By Alina Esprit

Almost two years ago, Dominicans witnessed the effects of climate change firsthand. Hurricane Maria left this island nation in complete devastation. Just a few months away from the hurricane’s two year anniversary, how much progress have we actually made? What is being implemented to ensure that this extent of damage doesn’t occur a second time? Have Dominicans healed from this traumatic experience?  

Since the passing of Maria, Dominica has made progress in getting back where we were at before the hurricane. But, have we gotten better? There are a lot of changes to be made before we can consider ourselves a climate resilient nation. This also makes me wonder if we are biting off more than we can chew by trying to pull this off. Dominica has certainly caught the attention of many international donors and continues to receive foreign aid. But, is this enough to cover the total cost of our climate resilient venture?

The more pressing parts of this project, besides funding, are updating and enforcing building codes. About half of the island’s buildings were either severely damaged or destroyed. This is because builders and homeowners often ignore the building codes and resort to cheaper methods and materials. But is a bargain more important than safety? As responsible adults, our top priority should be ensuring the safety of ourselves and our families.

Apart from repairing the damage done to our country, what else have we done? Have we even thought about repairing ourselves after this experience? Too many times in Afro-Caribbean culture, we cover up our emotions by pressing on and keeping ourselves occupied. It’s time we stop placing a bandaid over a bullet wound and learn to face our emotional issues head on. We need to understand that mental trauma is just as important as physical trauma. Climate resilience isn’t only measured by the strength of our buildings but also the strength of our people.