Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 13th 2017 Contents A20 commentary
guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Venezuelan nationals living in Trinidad take part in a candlelight vigil at Adam Smith Square, Ariapita Avenue, Port-of-Spain, on
Saturday night. PHOTO: KERWIN PIERRE
Climate change is a
clear and present threat
facing all of us today. So
we must ask ourselves
what kind of world we
will leave for our chil-
dren if we do not take de-
cisive actions now.
In order to squarely an-
swer this question, the
global community jointly
formulated an historic
accord, the Paris Agree-
ment, which went into
force in November 2016.
This agreement aims to
strengthen the global response to the threat of cli-
mate change by holding the increase in the global
average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-in-
dustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the tem-
perature increase to 1.5°C.
Following this unprecedented agreement, we now
have to ask ourselves what we can do to enforce the
Island nations are vulnerable to climate change by
nature. Since Caribbean islands' economies heavily
rely on the tourism industry, they are particular-
ly sensitive to global warming and the resulting
sea-level rise. Throughout my travels in the Car-
ibbean, I have noted the grave concern about the
threats caused by climate change such as coastal
erosion caused by sea-level rise, increase in hurri-
cane disasters, worsening drought, outbreaks of sar-
gassum, and the decrease in fish catches in coastal
I visited the Commonwealth of Dominica in Sep-
tember 2015 and witnessed, first-hand, the dev-
astation brought by the torrential rains of Tropical
Storm Erica. I also saw a completely dried-up reser-
voir in Antigua and some sargassum-dotted beaches
in neighbouring countries. Last year, Trinidad expe-
rienced torrential rainfalls resulting in severe land-
slides, and damages to infrastructure and properties.
Japan is a mountainous country made up of nu-
merous islands and therefore shares grave concerns
about climate change with Caribbean nations. It has
also experienced meteorological disasters on many
occasions. To cope with the threats of these disas-
ters, Japan has developed various countermeasures
over the years, including dykes, dams, slope stabi-
lisation, advanced radars, and rainfall-data sharing
systems. We also have advanced technology in the
area of energy efficiency. In fact, Japan's economy is
one of the most energy-efficient in the world, and
we are quite happy to share our expertise and the
lessons we have learned with Caribbean countries.
In order to fulfil our duty as a global citizen, Ja-
pan announced, in 2015, an ambitious initiative,
"Actions for Cool Earth (ACE) 2.0" for supporting
actions in developing countries and the advance-
ment of innovative technologies to address climate
change, such as the development of renewable ener-
gy and improvement in energy efficiency. Under Ace
2.0, Japan will provide 1.3 trillion yen (approximate-
ly US$12 billion) in climate finance to developing
countries in 2020.
Since the historic Japan-Caricom summit meeting
in 2014, Japan has been fulfilling its commitment
to support the sustainable development of Caricom
countries through various projects, including the
donation of disaster prevention equipment, deliv-
ery of emergency supplies to the Commonwealth of
Dominica, and technology transfer relative to cli-
Climate change is a long-term global agenda that
needs the concerted efforts of the entire interna-
tional community. Now is the time for every country
and every individual to be engaged in the enforce-
ment of the Paris Agreement. The costs of inaction
will be too high.
JAPAN TO T&T
BODIES ON GRASS
There is a body lying in the Savan-
nah. It's about 30 metres away, on
the grass under the poui, the ones that
everyone love to photograph. There is a
full moon but it is dark under the tree.
The lower half of the body is covered
with a whitish piece of cloth. The face
is obscured by the shadow of the tree.
A bag is standing to the left of the body.
The body is not moving. What should I
do? I should check and see if the person
is alive. But this is Port-of-Spain in
2017 and it's dangerous.
I swore an oath many years ago. I
hesitate, look around, perhaps there
is someone I can ask to go with me.
There's no one. In fact you know, most
Trinis not coming with me. We cow-
ard, "full of sound and fury. Signifying
. Ah well, I can't run off and
leave the body there. Let another one
die on the grass? In front of a doctor?
So I slip inside the Savannah and start
moving cautiously towards the body.
And as I move forward, the body moves,
the legs come up, the white cloth rises
and then subsides. It's not a body. Not
yet. It's a person.
Thirty minutes later, he, she, is gone.
Good luck to you whoever you are and
wherever you sleep tonight.
Mr Christopher Phillip is not sleep-
ing anywhere. He's in the morgue. Mr
Phillip is the gentleman who died on the
lawn outside the Accident & Emergen-
cy Department of the Port-of-Spain
hospital last week. While details of the
story are, as usual with the press these
days, murky and contradictory, the fact
of the matter is, i) Mr Phillip is dead. ii)
He died less than a day after being seen
twice in Casualty. iii) He died within
spitting distance of Casualty. Keep
those facts in the back of your mind.
Without going into medical details
which are confusing enough (why was
an X-ray taken when his complaint was
that he "was suffering at home because
he had no one to take care of him?"),
there are two things that trouble me.
One is that the gentleman disappeared
twice from Casualty. It also appears
that he is being blamed for that. So an
old, certainly ill (he is dead remember),
probably confused gentleman, is left
alone, somewhere inside Casualty and
twice, is allowed to walk out without
anyone noticing. But, we are assured,
"protocols" were followed. Footie him!
Observe eh? It is very difficult to get
into Casualty. To get information out of
Casualty is impossible as my reception-
ist's experience two weeks ago shows.
But now it seems it is easy to get out of
Casualty. Just get up and stagger out.
We are pompously told by the Minister
of Health that "officials cannot detain
someone and treat them without their
consent." Even if they are dying. Be-
cause, remember, the man is dead, less
than 24 hours after being seen twice at
Maybe he was attacked and mur-
dered on the hospital grounds near the
security booth and just like the way no
one saw him leaving, no one heard him
crying. Or, perhaps he fell and hit his
head, he was ill wasn't he and proba-
bly confused, and alone. Put him in a
wheelchair. Leave him alone. Protocols
observed pardner! We eh do nuttin
wrong. But he dead!
The second thing is the story by the
lady who snapped the picture of him ly-
ing on the grass. She claims she was told
by security that he "could not be taken
back into the hospital unless an ambu-
lance was called"
. Unless he was dead
of course. Imagine the scenario. The
dying man is lying on the lawn some 30
yards from the entrance of Casualty.
The hospital ambulance is parked at the
rear of Casualty about 100 yards away.
So the ambulance would have to leave
the rear entrance of Casualty, come
around the side of Casualty, pick up the
man in front of Casualty and take him
back to the rear of Casualty, to get him
into Casualty. It seems there was no
ambulance available so he was left there
to die. Yet we are told that, after he was
dead, the body was taken back to A&E.
Presumably by ambulance.
If this story is true, were not for the
fact that Mr Phillip is dead, this would
They could find a doctor to check him
to see if he was dead, after he dead but
they could not find one to check him
when he was lying on the cold grass, in
pain? Because early morning grass cold,
you know, it cold! Nobody could have
said, doc, it have an old man collapse
on the grass over there, yuh could take
a look please and see what happening?
Nobody could have said, keep an eye on
that old man, he already get up and walk
A man ups and leave A&E and die on
the lawn just outside A&E and what?
Protocols were observed.
We probably will never know the
truth behind Mr Phillip's death. There
will be those who will not believe the
minister. There will be those who will
not believe the alternative story. The
worst thing is that this will happen
again, and again, and again and again.
Where's the competence? Where's the
required to tackle
DAVID E BRATT, MD
POR MI PATRIA
Links Archive June 12th 2017 June 14th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page