Image via staugustine
So often when it comes to reporting on the environment, it’s a heavy message of grey gloom and impending doom. But today we get to celebrate Earth Day 2013 and celebrate the billion acts of green and beyond that millions of people worldwide are taking action to protect and preserve our planet. This year, on the 43rd anniversary, we view
Image via tafter.it
Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change
“Climate change has many faces.
A man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, a farmer in Kansas struggling to make ends meet as prolonged drought ravages the crops, a fisherman on the Niger River whose nets often come up empty, a child in New Jersey who lost her home to a super-storm, a woman in Bangladesh who can’t get fresh water due to more frequent flooding and cyclones…
And they’re not only human faces.
They’re the polar bear in the melting arctic, the tiger in India’s threatened mangrove forests, the right whale in plankton-poor parts of the warming North Atlantic, the orangutan in Indonesian forests segmented by more frequent bushfires and droughts…
These faces of climate change are multiplying every day.
For many, climate change can often seem remote and hazy – a vague and complex problem far off in the distance that our grandchildren may have to solve. But that’s only because they’re still fortunate enough to be insulated from its mounting consequences. Climate change has very real effects on people, animals, and the ecosystems and natural resources on which we all depend. Left unchecked, they’ll spread like wildfire.
Luckily, other faces of climate change are also multiplying every day.
Every person who does his or her part to fix the problem is also a Face of Climate Change: the entrepreneurs who see opportunity in creating the new green economy, the activists who organize community action and awareness campaigns, the engineers who design the clean technology of the future, the public servants who fight for climate change laws and for mitigation efforts, the ordinary people who commit to living sustainably…
On April 22, 2013, more than one billion people around the world will take part in the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. From Beijing to Cairo, Melbourne to London, Rio to Johannesburg, New Delhi to New York, communities everywhere will voice their concerns for the planet, and take action to protect it. We’ll harness that power to show the world The Face of Climate Change. And we’ll call on our leaders to act boldly together, as we have, in this pivotal year.
Between now and Earth Day, we’ll collect and display images of people, animals, and places directly affected or threatened by climate change – as well as images of people stepping up to do something about it. We’ll tell the world their stories. But we need your help. We need you to be climate reporters. So, send us your pictures and stories that show The Face of Climate Change.
On and around Earth Day, an interactive digital display of all the images will be shown at thousands of events around the world, including next to federal government buildings in countries that produce the most carbon pollution. The display will also be made available online to anyone who wants to view or show it.
Together, we’ll highlight the solutions and showcase the collective power of individuals taking action across the world. In doing so, we hope to inspire our leaders to act and inspire ourselves to redouble our efforts in the fight against climate change.”
(text from earthday.org)
I do hate to be the bearer of bad news. Last July I stumbled on loads of bleach bottles washed up on Longbay Beach. I took a month long inventory which tallied over 50 bottles of bleach and notified the DECR of the findings, concerned that they were evidence of illegal lobster catching. Now, nearly a year later, the same trend has emerged. After the windy and unusual weather of last week, the beach has accumulated a great deal of seaweed and amongst it, litter. LOTS of litter. Scattered within all the garbage (mainly plastic), have been these dreaded white squeeze bottles. In two days of rubbish runs I have collected just shy of 50 bottles. However, for one of the first times in the 8 years I have been cleaning up the coastline, I was not alone one morning with my big bag o’ trash! There in front of me was not one person, but two, with a giant trash bag between them, collecting garbage on their morning walk. I almost cried I was so ecstatic! This nice couple who were staying at Villa Esencia and I had a chat and they too had been picking up many of these bottles and guessed that they had seen around 15 in addition to mine. Sincerest gratitude to this couple who spent their very valuable vacation time making the Turks and Caicos a cleaner, greener place. I have just spoken to a conservation officer at the DECR and hope that our marine police can determine the origin of these bottles and hopefully prosecute the criminals if indeed they are being used for foul purpose.
Image via lacds.org
Big thanks to the TCHTA for organizing another great TCI Shines on Saturday morning to celebrate Earth Day 2012! Great job to all the participating businesses and volunteers.
All images by Eric F. Salamanca
The TCI Environmental Club and TCI Rubbish Runners joined forces with the Enid Capron School and the Gansevoort to tackle the litter in Five Cays.
Lead by example like these young people pictured above; please make earth day everyday, get the green-week list of ideas on ways which you can make a difference right now!
In mid January I welcomed my father to Turks and Caicos for his first post retirement extended winter holiday. With an unprecedented six weeks to spend we managed to see most of Providenciales, and several highlights of North Caicos and Middle Caicos as well. During the majority of our excursions, we accomplished a great deal of Rubbish Running, like the below pictured afternoon spent at South Bluff.
I actually had to retire my year and a half old trusty, dusty Rubbish Runners bag due to a broken handle from all of our combined garbage collection from beaches and roads, bushes and back alleys. I estimate that bag carried an average of 5-10 pounds of trash per day, five to six days a week, for approximately 18 months. What a bag right!? Must have been very strong to carry everything from heavy metals and glass bottles, to aluminum and steel cans, to sand covered Styrofoam, shoes, and food packaging. In actuality that plastic bag was designed for a one time, SINGLE use. If you live on island, you most likely have one of these plastic bags in your possession and are familiar with the blue and yellow KISCHO logo. Please put these bags to good use! Don’t throw them away, as you have just read these bags have a lot of life to give, far more endurance than some of the “environmentally friendly” options being sold at the local grocery stores. These bags make excellent reusable shopping bags. Here is my brand new bag with it’s inaugural Rubbish Run load.
On my father’s last day, outfitted with large bags to collect trash, we traveled to Northwest Point meaning to snorkel but the large swell dictated we go elsewhere. On our way to Coral Gardens we stopped by the Lower Bight Childrens Park and Botanical Garden. I had last visited the garden at the invasive-species-workshop nearly a year ago and was heavily disappointed to see the a further deterioration versus improvement, as we discussed was needed at that point in time. Invasives like cow bush and causarina were sprinkled in every direction and thick coats of love vine blanketed the majority of the grounds. Signage indicated to species long dead or in some cases different species that had taken over. This park is one of the only only free, open to the public, environmental educational resources we have in the Turks and Caicos. It is extremely important that it is maintained properly for it sends the very valuable message to locals and visitors alike; to discover, appreciate, and protect our rare eco-system.
While perusing the grounds the park warden came over explained that the garden had been cut off from water through financial burden and apologized for its condition stating that next year it would be better. I tried explaining that these species are indigenous and should be well adapted to surviving only off the water that Mother Nature gives, no irrigation system needed. The problem is that the little nourishment they are receiving is being robbed by the species that should not be here. One thing I learned from the wondrous-west-indian-wetlands-workshop, it is far better to show then to tell!
Last Saturday, February 25th, the TCI Environmental Club along with volunteers from the Gansevoort and the DECR participated in a clean-up of the Lower Bight Park and Botanical Garden. In this way we were able to discuss and demonstrate simultaneously.
Love vine before (above) and the heaping piles of it during removal (below).
A before image (above) of the Prickly Pear cactus being strangled by love vine, which eventually kills the host species over time, and an after image below..
It is truly amazing what a small team of dedicated individuals can accomplish in five hours. The botanical garden is now freed from thousands of feet of love vine, at least fifty cow bush and more than a dozen causarinas. Dead species have been cleared away, leaving resources for fresh new species to grow. In total a dozen volunteers were able to clear this huge pile pictured behind us, a job very well done. This success would not have been possible without the involvement of the Gansevoort; special thanks to Trem Quinlan and Rob Ayer who not only fully supported the idea, but physically showed up and volunteered their efforts. Also large thanks to Eric Salamanca from the DECR for his labor, dedication, and new adoption of the park and garden! I look forward to seeing it blossom and thrive under he and his wardens care.