By anguillian November 20, 2017 09:24 Updated




Boat builder and historian, Mr. David Carty, speaking on his passionate subject, climate change, told a gathering in Anguilla that “this phenomenon is going to make us think differently.”
He was at the time delivering the 35th Anniversary Social Security Week Lecture – in the courtyard of the Social Security Complex – entitled “Change the Thinking”, on Thursday evening, November 9. His lecture, the second in several years, followed introductory remarks by Director of Social Security, Timothy Hodge, and Public Relations and Marketing Officer, Rosanna Browne.
“Thinking differently is going to be a process. It isn’t going to be easy, but we have to begin,” Mr. Carty stressed, as he made various scientific references to climate change with a set of illustrations in his address. Among the effects of climate change, he mentioned such matters as a warming in atmospheric temperature, drought, devastating forest and wild fires, rising sea levels in various parts of the world, greenhouse gases, fossil fuel emissions and land use changes and practices, among others.
He noted that Anguilla suffered its worst drought in 2015 since 1938. “The reason it didn’t impact us as much as it could, was partly because we built cisterns – the biggest advantage we have in this fight in climate change. God bless the cistern,” he said. “Reverse osmosis is a brand new technology… If it were not for reverse osmosis and electricity we would have been in deep, deep trouble in 2015.
Carty went on: “To give you an exact historical reference to that, in 1848 the British Government wanted to transport all of our forebears to Guyana precisely because of drought. Anguilla could not hold strain with the drought that was devastating it, and had devastated it time and time again. In 1848 and 1890 people were crawling into the bushes to eat gooseberries. That was the kind of situation we had to survive in during the 1900 century primarily because of drought. The problem with drought is not just its effect on Anguilla, but the problem is when it begins to affect the breadbaskets of the world and the primary grain producers…sending up the price of floor and bread in a world that has become so inter-dependent.”

Mr. Carty showed an image of Hurricane Irma as it approached Anguilla and other islands on September 6, 2017. He said he was of the view that “a category 5 hurricane was a meteorological freak and yet, in two weeks, three of them had buzzed around us and one wiped us out.” He pointed out, however, that climate change was not responsible for hurricanes, but a rapid rise in convection between the sea and the atmosphere.

He also spoke about sea level rise and pointed to the erosion of a number of beach areas including Shoal Bay East in Anguilla (the former site of Gwen’s Barbecue Grill) as well as coral bleaching at Seal Island Reef in Anguillian waters, for example. He was not certain whether this was caused by sea level rise or currents but, either way, “it was as a result of a slight heating of the atmosphere that is triggering some natural phenomenon that is different.”

Carty went on: “One of the most iconic spots of our tourism industry is Little Bay. I don’t know what the charter boats would do without Little Bay. All of us, who know Little Bay, when we were teenagers, know that it had two beaches…There was a nice beach to the south and a little one to the north. They are not there anymore. The reason for that is that Little Bay, unlike the more dynamic beaches like Shoal Bay, Sandy Ground, Meads Bay, Maundays Bay and the others, cannot move. It’s hemmed in by the cliff, Jackass Hole out to Flat Caps, and another cliff, so the currents cannot do anything at Little Bay but [still] Little Bay is beginning to disappear.

He also spoke about the danger of fossil fuels. He regretted that the United States’ leadership, in particular, had pulled out of the Paris Accord relating to climate change. He thought it was a blow to the whole planet that the strongest nation on earth had taken such an official position.

Speaking locally, he said: “I think one of the wonderful things about Anguilla – and I will come to that – is that we learn quickly. The bad thing about a hurricane, unlike a drought, is that a drought creeps up on you, and the thing that gets me about climate change is that it is insidious. You don’t know it is happening. It is almost like an evil.”

Mr. Carty expressed the fear that in future years, as a result in sea level rise, there will be serious erosion in Anguilla. He predicted: “You will start a boat race at Sandy Ground on August Monday from Haskins’ warehouse; Maundays Bay is no more; the Cove is no more; Meads Bay is no more; Island Harbour is irrevocably altered – and God knows what kind of heat you might have in The Valley Bottom. I am not saying this to frighten you but, unfortunately, this issue is not a cool issue. It is a real issue and we have to deal with it particularly because…the insidiousness of climate change is not going to affect those of us who are over 55 and 60. We are not going to feel the blows – although we were saying that before Irma. Now we are feeling the blows. The thing about climate change is that you cannot see it, but you feel the heat.”

In wrapping up, Mr. Carty said: “What climate change is forcing us to do is to rethink our paradigms of development. We cannot go into that tonight. That is a long issue – and it is one that I would like to deal with in a more serious way at another time. But I am convinced that climate change has now become an integral part of the developmental process – how we discuss what we should do for Anguilla, with our donor agencies, our investors, and certainly with ourselves.”

By anguillian November 20, 2017 09:24 Updated
  • GeorgeCarlinonglobalwarming

    To give you an exact historical reference to that, in 1848 the British Government wanted to transport all of our forebears to Guyana precisely because of drought. Anguilla could not hold strain with the drought that was devastating it, and had devastated it time and time again.

    I agree. Lets get rid of cars and trucks and buses and implement bicycle riding only, we’ll be fitter and healthier for it. This will save of health care expenses and only put a few out of work (Drs/nurses, ancillary staff, ambulance drivers etc). We could use donkey carts for haulage from the ports! Lets all get rid of livestock as they pass too much methane gas, and that contributes to climate change via increasing the carbon output. Lets all be vegetarians… we should leave the eating of fish out as well as the reefs are dying and the stock levels are decreasing, exponentially(maybe when the stocks replenish we could eat a few, now and again) . Solar panels on every building! Get rid of Anglec asap…. lets dig bigger and deeper cisterns (we can’t lose doing that). Get rid of those evil ferries and lets swim to and from St. Maarten!… or use oars and or sails to power boats for passengers. and lets build away from the coastline.
    Good. That’s it. We’ll be fine now!
    George Carlin On Global Warming


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