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

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 full story.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Island–wide clean up under way

By Brent Fuller,
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 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 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.” 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 ( 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 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) full story.

Top Fuel-Efficient Cars for 2010

Lyndsie Bourgon

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 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 full story.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Crash Course on Copenhagen

Meribeth Deen,
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 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 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.' 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.