Sunday, December 27, 2009

Global Youth Panel connects kids on climate


By: Basia Pioro basia@cfp.ky
The Observer on Sunday

St Ignatius Year 13 student Madalena Alves and year 12 student Kelly Su, both studying for A-levels, are getting an unusual chance to connect with students around the world interested in the Copenhagen climate summit.

They have been participating in an international online forum called the Global Youth Panel after learning about it from their Geography teacher.

But as only two students on an island of many hundreds who could have taken part, they feel pretty lonely.

The girls are concerned that kids in Cayman aren’t learning enough about climate change or environmental topics in general...read full story.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Floating Bar for Stingray City

By Joe Shooman
Caymanian Compass
joe@cfp.ky

A long–rumoured floating bar that will service swim–up customers at Stingray City has been given the green light.

T
he Liquor Licensing Board of Grand Cayman met 10 December and granted a retail liquor license and music and dancing license to Bernie Bush for the new operation. Mr. Bush explained that the idea had been well–received by the tourism industry in general.

“In talking to the tourism department and various members within the tourism establishment, a lot of people felt that this would be a product that would enhance Stingray City operations.”

Read the whole story here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Limited Agreement is Reached as Copenhagen Summit Comes to an End


e360 Digest
Yale Environment 360

In a last-minute flurry of diplomatic activity, U.S. President Obama managed to piece together a limited agreement on climate change that falls short of even the modest expectations for the 12-day summit meeting in the Danish capital. Rather than emerging with a legally binding treaty to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions — the original goal of the conference — the deal brokered by Obama stipulates that countries should list their greenhouse gas reduction targets, that negotiators establish a fund to help poor nations deal with global warming, and that the world community aim to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial levels...read full story.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Students in Grand Cayman Participate in the Global Youth Panel

We're pleased to report that six high school students in Grand Cayman, two from St. Ignatius Catholic School and four from Cayman International School, signed up to participate on the Global Youth Panel organized by Debatewise for the Copenhagen Climate Conference that began this week.

Despite technical difficulties, three of our panelists have managed to access Google Wave, the new technology being used for these debates, and they have been able to vote on a range of issues relevant to the conference. We hope to have the remaining three panelists online this weekend so that their voices can also be heard. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on the conference.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Officials meet to discuss climate change strategies

Cayman Net News

Premier the Hon McKeeva Bush, the Minister of Environment the Hon Mark Scotland and members from the Enhancing Capacity for Adaptation to Climate Change (ECACC) project for the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories are meeting at the Marriott Beach Resort to discuss issues surrounding climate change.

The meeting will seek to define a national climate change adaptation strategy and action plan for the Cayman Islands.

According to Director of Environment Gina Ebanks-Petrie in an earlier report, her department, the National Climate Change Adaptation Working Group partner agencies and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre are working to devise a strategy that will reduce the vulnerability of these islands to environmental impact...read full story.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cayman Eco Logo

Many thanks to Jeremy Olynik of the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DoE) for providing the new satellite image of Grand Cayman for the Cayman Eco logo. Jeremy patiently tweaked the color of the offshore waters to give our logo a sharper, more professional look.

The DoE works to facilitate responsible management and sustainable use of the natural environment and resources of the Cayman Islands through various environmental protection and conservation programmes and strategies. The DoE works closely with the Department of Environmental Health which is responsible for solid waste management, monitoring of air quality, water quality from a human health perspective, occupational safety, food safety etc. and with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands whose mission is to preserve natural environments and places of historic significance for present and future generations.

The Carbon Bathtub


Posted by Kelly
350.org

I'm always excited to find new analogies that help explain climate change to more people - we all learn differently and with the complexity of a problem like global warming, it's helpful to have a few ways to explain what's happening with our atmosphere. Here's a great visual representation of the bathtub metaphor from National Geographic: "It’s simple, really: As long as we pour CO² into the atmosphere faster than nature drains it out, the planet warms. And that extra carbon takes a long time to drain out of the tub." In this metaphor, 350ppm is where the water level ought to be - a delicate balance between what we are putting into the atmosphere, and what the Earth can absorb each year. Right now, the tap is open way too far...read full story.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Island–wide clean up under way


By Brent Fuller, brent@cfp.ky
Caymanian Compass
Sunday 22nd November, 2009

Hundreds of workers have been hired as part of a four–week government programme to clean up overgrown bush, trash and other oddments along major public roadways, according to representatives of the United Democratic Party government.

The clean–up effort is an attempt to get Grand Cayman looking its best ahead of the Christmas holidays, traditionally the start of the Cayman Islands’ busy tourism season...read full story.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Letter: A few comments on Mount Trashmore


by Joe Falcone
Published on Friday, November 20, 2009
Cayman Net News

As an outsider with an objective view, I would like to make a few comments on the islands “Mount Trashmore”.

I woke this morning at Treasure Island and was rudely reminded that the “pile” seems to be getting a bit more pungent. I worked in Cayman last year and the smell and fumes seem to be getting worse and worse as time goes on.

I would propose that this mess should become top priority for all of Cayman because of the health risks associated with the toxicity of the landfill. I would be willing to introduce a team of environmental experts and engineers to Cayman to finally tackle the problem.

There are a number of technologies that exist that could help grind down and reduce the size of the heap by as much as 80 percent. Wells could be drilled and methane can be extracted to burn for electrical generation, thus reducing Cayman’s dependency on polluting fossil fuels...read full story.

dms cleans up Scholar's Park


Published on Friday, November 20, 2009
Cayman Net News

Continuing to demonstrate corporate responsibility, dms Organization Ltd.’s (dms) Go Green committee recently organised a park clean-up project at Scholar’s Park in West Bay. On Friday, November 13th, 15 of dms’ employees, from affiliate and subsidiary companies alike, volunteered to level sand and clean up the park, assisting in efforts to restore the park to its original splendor which endured significant damage during Hurricane Ivan.

dms Go Green Committee Chair Tara Tvedt-Pearson noted, “It has always been integral to dms’ culture to take responsibility for the community in which we work and do business, and it was absolutely our pleasure to do our part. The damage was inflicted so long ago – we recognise this project to be so worthwhile; it’s important that we have recreation areas across Cayman for families to enjoy and organise community activities.”...read full story.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Call to Action: Participate in Global Youth Panel

Kate Lanham
Cayman Eco

Cayman Eco is acting as country coordinator for the Cayman Islands on behalf of Debatewise for their Global Youth Panel. Debatewise is forming a panel of 1,000 young people from more than 100 different countries to debate the issues and decisions from the Copenhagen Climate Conference which runs December 7-18, 2009.

If you care about the environment, you should be thinking about what you can do to make your voice heard. I'm looking for proactive and passionaste young people to join this panel and have their say on what happens in Copenhagen. High school students in the Cayman Islands who want to be involved with a unique, pivotal and very important event are encouraged to contact Kate Lanham (klanham@caymaneco.org) as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Urban Forests Key to International Climate Responses


Posted by
WorldChanging Team

by Alex Aylett

A study released recently [press release] by Georgia Tech planning Professor Brian Stone recommends planting millions of trees to create extensive new urban forests as a key part of international climate response plans. That's one conclusion of his look at the climatic impacts of deforestation and urbanization.

Stone's key finding is that:

Across the U.S. as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases.

That offers a strong argument for recognizing how key land use is to responding to climate change. It's also a call to recognize the importance of local governments...read full story.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) Newsletter Available Online

Issue 6 of the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) Newsletter published by the Cayman Islands Department of Environment is now available online. All issues can be downloaded from the Sustainable Development Unit website.

This issue looks at environmental management and its contribution to sustainable development with a focus on what's happening at the DOE. Also included is a feature on what Cayman Islands Youth think about sustainability and how Alphasoft are doing their bit for the environment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Retreating Antarctic Ice Has Created New Carbon Sink, Study Says


Posted by Yale Environment 360

The melting of Antarctic ice has allowed large blooms of tiny marine phytoplankton to flourish, creating a significant new biological sink for carbon, according to a new study by the British Antarctic Survey. Over the last five decades, retreating glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula have opened about 24,000 square kilometers of open water that has been colonized by the carbon-absorbing phytoplankton, according to the study being published in the journal Global Change Biology. After the phytoplankton dies, it eventually sinks to the ocean floor where it can store carbon for thousands or millions of years. The researchers estimate this new carbon sink will absorb about 3.5 million tons of carbon from the ocean and atmosphere annually. “Although this is a small amount of carbon compared to global emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is nevertheless an important discovery,” said the study's lead author, Lloyd Peck. The authors called the new bloom the second largest factor acting against climate change so far discovered on Earth (the largest being new forest growth in the Arctic)...read full story.

Top Fuel-Efficient Cars for 2010

Lyndsie Bourgon
Greenlivingonline.com

If we can’t totally give up our cars, there are still choices we can make to lessen the impact our transportation has on the environment. Auto companies are making big strides in expanding the hybrid market and creating fuel-efficient vehicles that additionally help combat climate change by lowering carbon emissions. This year’s top fuel-efficient cars have been announced (full report here), so read on to learn about the automakers taking environmental responsibility seriously...read full story.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Four Degrees Warmer: An Interactive Map

by Alex Aylett
Posted by the WorldChanging Team

Unless we act now, our children will live in a significantly warmer world. To get an idea of what the cost of inaction means for future generations, the climate research team at the United Kingdom's Met Office Hadley Centre released an impressive interactive map of what a warmer world will look like. The dollar-store summary is that a world at +4°C/7°F isn't pretty.

Recently, the map was the centerpiece of U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband's press conference to call attention to the pressing need for us to get something significant out of the Copenhagen negotiations...read full story.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Crash Course on Copenhagen

Meribeth Deen, greenlivingonline.com
Nov 6 2009

The Head of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, says we have seven years to stabilize the world’s climate. If global temperatures rise more than 2.5 degrees Celsius, climate scientists say the Earth’s climate equilibrium will fall irreversibly out of balance. In other words, after that point, there will be a cascading effect where more greenhouse gases will be released by the soil and seas—and there will be nothing that human beings will be able to do to stop the process. This December, delegates from 192 countries, consisting of environmentalists, scientists, big business, politicians and the public are participating in the next round of international climate change talks known as COP-15, to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, to save the planet while its still possible to do so...read full story.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Are you an Ecoholic?


Interviewed by Lindsay Borthwick
Green Living Online

Adria Vasil’s mother raised her to believe that you can change the world just by changing your little corner. It seems that this celebrated Canadian eco heroine can’t stop the domino effect she started with the Ecoholic revolution happening in Canada and beyond. Her new book Ecoholic Home is already influencing readers with informed, affordable and practical advice on how to green your home on any budget, going on to test the brands making the big green claims to help you make the right choice...read full story.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When Green Isn't Green Enough: UC Observer Interviews Alex on the State of the Movement


WorldChanging Team

In their most recent issue, The UC Observer put Lisa Van de Ven's article exploring the state of the environmental movement on the cover. Her piece When Green Isn't Green Enough poses this question to readers: 'Think you’re doing your bit for the environment? Here’s the deal: you’re just getting started.'...read the full story.

On Our Radar...


By R.M. Schneiderman
Green Inc.; The New York Times

1.) Al Gore’s climate choice.

2.) Why choose a geothermal heating system?

3.) Is Virginia’s race a referendum on energy?

4.) Fanciful gardens in Baghdad.

5.) Buffett bets big on coal.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Copenhagen climate summit is crucial


By David Suzuki with Faisal Moola
David Suzuki Foundation

The buzz around the December UN climate summit in Copenhagen is increasing. Some of you may be wondering what it’s all about. Why is this one meeting so important? And does it really matter if it succeeds or fails?

The answer is that it matters a lot, especially if we want to tackle global warming rather than just talking and arguing about it.

Global warming is a global problem requiring global solutions. The atmosphere doesn't stay within federal or provincial boundaries. It is a global commons. Greenhouse gases emitted in Canadian provinces mix with those from every other part of the world and affect everyone. A molecule of carbon is a molecule of carbon. It has the same impact on the environment whether it came from a smokestack in Toronto or a taxi’s tailpipe in Kuala Lumpur.
Every nation must do its part. And each country needs reassurance that others are also acting. We need a global agreement that is legally binding with rules clearly outlined....read full story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More 350.org photos from Grand Cayman


Sophie Halford from the Cayman Islands Department of Environment posted these and several other photos on 350.org's photostream, as part of the International Day of Climate Action on October 24th. Taken at Mixing Bowl, North Wall, in Little Cayman the photos show examples of the coral bleaching (the white patches) that have recently occurred around the Cayman Islands. As Sophie points out, this could happen more and more frequently if global temperatures continue to rise, which would be very bad news for the reef communities and the dive tourism industry of
the Cayman Islands.



A photo by Darren Bowyer on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman shows the 350 message at a sea swim of over 150 participants.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Barkers’ Beach trash mars tourist experience

By Cliodhna Doherty, cliodhna@cfp.ky
Caymanian Compass


A West Bay tourism business operator is calling for a regular debris management programme to be enforced at Barkers Beach.

“I have to constantly explain to tourists why they see so much trash on the beach and that it’s because the current brings it on and it gets washed up,” explained owner of Spirit of the West horseback riding business Paul Rivers. “They always ask ‘Isn’t anyone going to clean it up?’ and, honestly, there are some clean–ups but they are not on a regular basis.”

Mr. Rivers brought up the issue at a recent tourism related meeting in West Bay during which he asked Acting Director of Tourism Shomari Scott to sanction a programme to beautify and manage Barkers Beach in West Bay...read full story.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cayman Eco & Friends Participate in 350.org's International Day of Climate Action

Thanks to everyone who got up at the crack of dawn this gorgeous morning to show their concern about climate change. We had a great turn-out despite the very short notice. And a special thank you to Hew's Janitorial who composed the entire "0" in this shot!

350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand.



The Science of 350

Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. Learn more about 350 – what it means, where it came from, and how to get there. Read More »

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The World’s First Energy Positive Office Building


by Ariel Schwartz, 10/07/09
Inhabit

For most sustainability-minded architects, a net zero energy building is the holy grail. But Elithis Tower, located in Dijon, France, has surpassed the net zero energy ideal to become the first energy positive office building, meaning it creates more power than it uses. The building, which was designed by Arte Charpentier Architects, also produces six times fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional office structures...read full story.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Trash Week: October 4 - 10


Celebrate No Trash Week by not making any! Get some friends together, advertise to your email address book, announce it on your blog, post flyers (previously used paper, of course) at your work and school! Tell everyone it's happening, then participate!

How do you participate? Strive to make no trash for an entire week. Try your best, but don't worry too much about getting a perfect score, especially if this is your first attempt to go garbage-free...read full story.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cayman Eco Team Participates in International Coast Cleanup

As part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup on September 19th, Cayman Eco organized several teams in kayaks, courtesy of Tom at Cayman Kayaks, to clean up the Hyatt Canal.

The Ocean Conservancy's global initiative engages people to remove trash and debris from the world's beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris, and change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place. Last year, nearly 400,000 volunteers collected more than 6.8 million pounds of trash in 100 countries and 42 US states during the 2008 International Coastal Cleanup — the world's largest volunteer effort of its kind.

In addition to cleaning up the Hyatt Canal, data cards were filled out to identify the nature of trash collected. This information will be forward to the Cayman Islands Department of Environment who is compiling the data for submission to the Ocean Conservancy's global database.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Green Living Magazine Online

The Fall 2009 edition of Green Living Magazine is available online. The issue includes articles and features designed, according to Editor Lindsay Borthwick, to move the dialogue from "It's easy being green" to "I've done the easy stuff. What more can I do?"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beer bottle countertops: Latest trends in 'Green' home decor


Published on Friday, September 11, 2009
Cayman Net News

Every year concerns for the future of the planet grow greater and more consumers are seeking eco-friendly alternatives to reduce their carbon footprints. One trend that is leaving a “green” mark in homes is the choice of recycled material countertops over more conventional surfaces.

Green countertops are recycled or renewable surfaces that minimise impact on the environment during their production. They are comprised of different combinations of natural and man-made materials and often include some form of recycled glass. Many are attractive and viable alternatives to conventional countertop materials.

The latest entry into this category, Elements by Durcon, is creating quite a buzz as it’s a “green” countertop surface that also offers unmatched durability, cleanliness and aesthetic qualities...read full story.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"No Impact Man" opens in theatres today

Opening in theatres today, "No Impact Man" documents one family's attempt to live a no-impact lifestyle in New York City:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In Bookstores: Down to the Wire

David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College. His new book, Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse, is an eloquent assessment of climate destabilization and an urgent call to action.

Read more about it.

10 More Infographic Reasons Why You Should Go Green

Posted by Nathan / Sep 8, 2009 to Visualization
Flowing Data: Strength in Numbers

In this day and age, we should all be thinking about how we can better conserve the environment, because if we don't, well you know, the planet will die. In a follow-up to my previous eco-friendly list, here are 10 more infographics and visualizations on going green...read full story.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Any old metal .... recycle it!


By: Basia Pioro McGuire basia@cfp.ky
The Observer

In a small place like Cayman it can often seem obvious what needs to be done when faced with certain situations.

Take disposing of scrap metal for example. Since the George Town dump, affectionately known as Mt. Trashmore, takes in waste metal, it’s the first place you might think to take your demolition waste, an old water heater or broken down stove.

But not all of the Island’s scrap is headed to the dump. National Recycling, a local business with East End roots has an alternative, and it seems to be working. Since the February, the company has succeeded in sending four containers full of steel, copper, brass and aluminium off Island to Miami.

It’s definitely a case of thinking locally, and acting globally...read full story.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Currently on Our Radar …


Here's another roundup of energy and environment stories posted by R.M. Schneiderman at Green Inc:


1.) Japan promises to curb emissions - if India and China do, too.

2.) A surprising source of indoor air pollution.

3.) A brouhaha over Obama’s green jobs guru.

4.) Did global warming forestall the next Ice Age?

5.) Capturing carbon with coconuts.

Reconnecting with Nature


by Richard Conniff
3 Sept 2009
Yale Environment 360

Stephen R. Kellert, a social ecologist, has spent much of his career thinking and writing about biophilia, the innate human affinity for nature. His most recent book (with co-editors Judith H. Heerwagen and Martin L. Mador) is Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life. It’s an exploration of how we cut ourselves off from nature in the way we design the buildings and neighborhoods where we live and work. And it’s an argument for re-connecting these spaces to the natural world, with plenty of windows, daylight, fresh air, plants and green spaces, natural materials, and decorative motifs from the natural world.
Read whole story here.

"Age of Stupid" Upcoming Premiere

What might happen if humanity doesn't act now to stop climate chaos? Find out when "Age of Stupid" opens in theatres on September 21st. To view the trailer, go to 350.org.

The Science of 350

Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. Learn more about 350 – what it means, where it came from, and how to get there.

No Impact Man Hits the Bookstores


Colin Beavan's new book "No Impact Man" hit the bookstores on September 1st. For more details and daily postings on the No Impact Project, see Colin's blog.

Caribbean countries at risk from rising seas


By Sherrt Vanwey, sherry@cfp.ky
Thursday 3rd September 2009
Caymanian Compass

New reports predicting a 3 to 4 feet increase in the global mean sea level by the end of the century is causing increasing concern in the Caribbean.

For countries like the Cayman Islands that already face flooding in some areas during heavy rainfall, Nick Robson, founder of the Cayman Institute, an independent think tank addressing climate change, said rising sea levels coupled with more intense hurricanes, and increased wave action equals disaster...read full story.

Monday, August 31, 2009

German Scientists Call for 'World Climate Bank'











Spiegel Online International
Posted 31 August 2009

German climatologists are pushing for the creation of a "world climate bank" which would allow industrialized countries to purchase emission rights from less-developed nations. The revenues would enable poor countries to finance environmentally friendly economic development.

A new study by advisers to the German government has revealed that industrialized nations must radically reduce their CO2 emissions if they want to reach the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. The climatologists are proposing setting up a "world climate bank" to allow countries to trade emission rights.

According to the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), Germany would have to halve its CO2 output compared to current levels by 2020 and cut emissions to zero by 2030 if it wants to remain on track. "These findings are as surprising as they are shocking," WBGU executive Hans Joachim Schellnhuber said about the report, prepared ahead of December's international climate summit in Copenhagen. The German government has up until now been planning much less ambitious cuts...read full story.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ice Sculptures Mark 100 Days Until Copenhagen Climate Summit

by Olivia Chen
Inhabit
Posted August 29, 2009

100 child-sized ice sculptures sit in Beijing’s Temple of Earth to represent the 1 billion lives that will be lost in Asia due to water shortages caused by climate change. The art installation marks the launch of the TckTckTck Campaign, a campaign that works to raise awareness of the importance of a fair and ambitious agreement at the upcoming United Nations Copenhagen Climate Summit, taking place from December 7 to 18, 2009, where world leaders will gather to establish a plan to protect the world’s population from climate change...read full story.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Great Pacific Garbage Patch is Worse Than We Thought

by Ariel Schwartz
Inhabit

It’s a rumor that we hoped would never be confirmed: at least 1,700 miles of plastic trash is floating in what is commonly known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Up until this point, scientists only had a vague idea of the scope of the trash they would find in the North Pacific Gyre, a vortex where four ocean currents meet. Isolated patches have been reported by sailors and fishermen, but now researchers, sailors, journalists, and government officials on a nearly four-week journey through the gyre say that plastic shards and netting abound in a space bigger than the state of Texas...read full story.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pret-a-Rouler? Paris to Launch Electric-Vehicle Sharing Program


By Kirstin Butler
WorldChanging Team
27 Aug 09

From two-wheel ride to four-wheel drive, the French capitol wants to add a new low-emissions option to the urban transportation mix. In addition to its already successful bike-sharing plan, the Parisian government recently announced that it plans to implement a program for residents to share electric cars. If successful, the citywide proposal will put 4,000 new battery-powered cars on the streets by late 2010, which its supporters say could reduce annual carbon emissions by 22,000 tons...read full story.

Back to School Product Spotlight

Green Irene features new products on its website that keep waste to a minimum including waste-free lunch kits and reusable sandwich wraps and snack pouches. These containers are stainless steel or non-leaching plastic, eliminating exposure to potentially harmful BPA and phthalates found in many plastic bags and bottles...read full story.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First solar–powered car sold in Cayman

By Norma Connolly, norma@cfp.ky
Monday 24th August, 2009
Caymanian Compass

A Cayman car dealership has sold the islands’ first solar–powered car.

Androgroup’s Alan Roffey bought the vehicle, a Zenn (Zero Emission, No Noise) car, from Cayman Automotive on Thursday, but cannot drive it on public roads until a new Traffic Law is enacted.

John Felder, president and CEO of Cayman Automotive, said he believed the sale makes Androgroup the first company in the Caribbean to own an electric car powered by a solar–energy charger...read full story.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gastro-Vision: Aesthetics of Urban Farming, Part I

Herbert Bayer, “Grow It Yourself: Plant a Farm Garden Now,” ca. 1941-43, New York NY. Silkscreen on board, WPA War Services. Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, WPA Poster Collection.


Nicole Caruth's August 21st posting on the Art21 blog features some great snippets on urban farming, a response to public demand for locally grown food. These ideas could be easily transferred to island economies where the high cost of importing fresh produce is carried by the consumer. She highlights three new visual and edible projects—Truck Farm, Welcomed Guests, and Window Farms—which reflect this trend, "presenting resourceful methods for growing your own food in the metropolis and, what’s more, sharing it with others."

Read the full story here.

World Water Week Ends

Sarah Kuck, 21 Aug 09
World Changing

More than a thousand people met in Stockholm this week to discuss the planet's most urgent water issues at the annual World Water Week conference. Near the end of the event, hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute, the participants issued the following unanimous statement: water must be included in the COP-15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December.

“Water is a fundamental element in economies, communities, and public health," said Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute. "We know that it is the medium through which climate change manifests its most serious effects. To be effective, climate negotiations must factor in the impact and importance of water for the world and, indeed, human well-being.”

For full text of The Stockholm Statement click here. (pdf)

Lumenhaus - Virginia Tech’s Smart Solar House

by Bridgette Meinhold
Posted August 21st, 2009
Inhabit

We’re getting excited about this year’s Solar Decathlon and love Virginia Tech’s zero-energy, smart house. Lumenhaus — which is a combination of Lumen, meaning power of light, and Haus, which is a reference to the Bauhaus architectural movement — is a high-tech home that will be sure to garner a lot of attention at the upcoming competition. In fact it’s only one of two US teams to be accepted into the Solar Decathlon Europe, where it will compete against teams from around the world...read full story.

In Case You Missed It…

R.M. Schneiderman has compiled a list of energy and environment stories from around the Web, published on August 21st in The New York Times Green Inc. website. Here are some of the headlines:

THE NEW YORK TIMES
A New Test for Business and Biofuel
A wealthy American Indian community has invested in a start-up that is trying to make fuel from algae.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Solar Metering Stirs Debate
What happens when a house is generating more electricity than it needs – and sending it back out onto the grid?

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Green Lawn Care’s Pivotal Moment
A new type of sustainable herbicide will soon reach America’s grass.

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
A Drought for Bottled Water
In troubled times thrifty consumers have rediscovered the tap.

Read more...

Editorial: Protecting the environment to stabilise our future

Published on Friday, August 21, 2009
Cayman Net News

Generally speaking, over the years, politicians in the Cayman Islands have paid scant regard to and have not put sufficient emphasis on preserving either our national heritage or environment.

Indeed, it was only through the individual efforts of this publisher that the little that remains of historic Fort George in George Town was saved from the bulldozers back in the early 1970s.

And one only has to look at the eyesore that is the ‘Mount Trashmore’ garbage dump for proof that successive governments really haven’t cared about the environment or our quality of life in general.

The latest irresponsible pronouncement in such matters comes in the shape of last week’s statement by the Leader of Government Business, Hon McKeeva Bush, that there will be no environmental impact assessment (EIA) undertaken in respect of the proposed cruise ship berths at the George Town port....read full story.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And Now, the Impact of No Impact


Published: August 19, 2009
The New York Times

In November of 2006, Colin Beavan, a writer of historical nonfiction, embarked on a yearlong “lifestyle experiment” in which he vowed to reduce his planetary impact by producing (nearly) no trash, using (hardly) any carbon fuel and buying almost nothing new except food, and only that grown within a 250-mile radius of his home in New York City (which he said is the farthest distance farmers at the Union Square Greenmarket travel to sell their produce). Mr. Beavan’s wife, Michelle Conlin, a reporter at Business Week, and their daughter, Isabella, who was then 2, were by necessity embroiled in this stunt, which was further complicated by their address, an apartment on the ninth floor of a prewar coop on Lower Fifth Avenue...read full story.

Ranking Universities by ‘Greenness’

By Kate Galbraith
The New York Times, Green Inc.

Universities these days are scrambling to burnish their sustainability credentials, with efforts that include wind power, organic food and competitions to save energy.

They are also adding courses related to sustainability and energy — including, as I report today, in the field of continuing education.

But which university is the greenest?

Several ranking systems have emerged to offer their take. The Princeton Review, best known as a test-preparation firm, recently came out with its second annual green ratings. Fifteen colleges earned the highest possible score — including Harvard, Yale and the University of California, Berkeley...read full story.