BVI News

COMMENTARY: Severe hurricanes, flooding will become annual

By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

Anyone who understates the climate change threat is living in ‘wonderland’. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the September 2017 floods brought the climate change reality to the British Virgin Islands, in a very ‘rude awakening’.

This writer firmly believes that climate change brought on the September 2017 natural disasters that wrought havoc on the territory.

However, the aftermath of disaster saw prolonged suffering as a result of a total lack of preparation, and a culture that reacts to change, but that does not engineer change.

Human beings are driving these disasters with a careless and irresponsible planetary interface: a disregard for how their material existence and excessive consumer culture damages the only environment people possess: earth, the human habitat.

The culture of the Virgin Islands and most of the Caribbean is reactive and not proactive. As much as experts preach about the impact of consumerism on the environment, most residents could care less about the environment as they dance to the music of the material culture.

But, in today’s world of climate change, nimbleness, innovation, sustainable living, proactive cultures, and good and effective governance alone, will prevail against the natural catastrophes that are predicted to become regular, even annual, events.

UN report

Now, an October 2018 report from the United Nations undergirded by the world’s most prominent scientists stated that the world had less than a decade to implement policy that will stop a dramatic and irreversible deterioration in the earth’s environment.

Global warming, caused by pollution and gasses getting trapped in the atmosphere, and the depletion of the ozone layer, as human beings increasingly burn fossil fuel energy, is causing sea levels to rise dramatically worldwide.

Rains and hurricanes are getting more intense. The polar regions’ ice caps and glaciers are melting, dumping hundreds of billions of gallons of water into the world’s oceans and seas, causing rising sea levels.

Coastal flooding and storm surge is going to get worse as each hurricane season gets increasingly intense.

In the USA, 40 percent of coastal citizens are already threatened by rising seas. Low-lying island chains such as the Maldives and the

The Bahamas are under severe threat, sinking, as sea levels rise.

Overheating and sun exposure is going to lead to millions of heat-related deaths worldwide.

Annual disasters

Severe hurricanes and coastal flooding are set to become annual events. The world’s cities and towns by the coastline will have to build sea walls, canals, dams, and various types of flooding prevention infrastructure, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, over the coming years, or these societies will simply cease to exist.

Potable water supply will become a challenge, especially in low lying regions as reservoirs, water plants, and desalination facilities, become damaged by flooding and hurricanes.

Seawater flooding is already threatening the water infrastructure in Miami, Florida. In the British Virgin Islands, the September 2017 disasters impacted water infrastructure. It set back water distribution and supply.

Weather-related insurance is set to skyrocket in natural disaster-prone regions. This has implications. The cost of living for example in the British Virgin Islands, already high, will become higher still with climate change.

In the British Virgin Islands post-Irma, insurance premiums are on the rise steeply. In some instances, premiums will double. This may cause people to forego home insurance which could cost them dearly down the road.

Populations in affected regions such as these Virgin Islands – which is on ground zero of climate change – will have to adapt, becoming much more ecologically aware, adopting sustainable lifestyles, and minimal carbon footprints.

Not becoming environmentally savvy means suffering climate change misery in financial, physical, and human terms, both now, and in the immediate future.

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  1. Peaches says:

    Mr. Igwe, this all points to the coming of the Lord. There is no other reason. We are living in the last days of earth’s history.

    Governments will become so burdened by the constant disasters that they would not have the funds to rebuild and help its citizens. Insurance companies will declare bankruptcy because they would not be able to pay out all the monstrous claims.

    We are living in the last days. Let each and every one turn to Jesus, look only to Him, not to man.

    May God help us all!

    Like 6
    Dislike 5
  2. . says:

    The flooding was August 2017 not September

  3. janice says:

    Are you on the George Soros payroll? Are you God? The UN has been found lying on many issues. Climate change,weather is one of them. Check out the Washington Post article from 1922. The same rhetoric can be found in that article.

    Like 1
    Dislike 8
  4. EU citizen says:

    Stop burning trash in Cox Heath and Pockwood Pond, and everywhere else.
    That burning is affecting people badly right now, and can easily be stopped. Much easier than the climate change.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  5. E.Leonard says:

    Despite the vociferous hue and cry of climate change deniers, global warming is real and the VI and other small island nations can dismiss it to their demise. Small island nations in the Caribbean, Pacific…….etc are in the forefront of the effects of climate change. What are the noticeable changes attributed to climate change/global warming, viz, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, increasing and more intense major hurricanes, intense storm surges and flooding…..etc.

    As an example, Kiribati (formerly Gilbert Islands, a British territory that gained independence in 1979), an island nation in the Pacific, is already starting to feel the effects of rising sea levels, i.e., coastal erosion…..etc. It is already planning for the adverse impact of global warming by developing migration and evacuation plans.

    Similarly, the BVI too must be looking at the impact of global warming. Specifically, Anegada, the second largest island in the VI and a flat, low lying, 15 square mile coral atoll that lies a few feet above sea level, is at risk; highest point in Anegada is approx 30’ above sea level. As such, the BVI must proactively plan now for the impending risk for Anegada and its residents, along with the rest of the VI. Further, Road Town, the capital city, is vulnerable to storm surges and flooding from more intense hurricanes.Consequently, the VI may need to look at constructing a seawall around Road Town. Yes, it will be expensive but it offers protection to the City and protect lives and property. Moreover, the VI needs a holistic climate change plan for the whole BVI.

    Moreover, the BVI needs to invest to close the physical infrastructure gap to grow and sustain economic growth and development. And it also needs to take action(s) to protect that infrastructure.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      You don’t know the percentage of CO2 in the atmospher, yet you pontificate second hand carp like you have a clue.

      It’s a religion. And like all religions it is for the very dumb.

      A sea wall.? Stop drinking the cool aid you pompous buffoon.

  6. Miserable says:

    @Rubber duck, you seem to have a miserable life and trying to immerse everyone else in your misery. You got your spoon in every one else’s pot.You always look for the glass half empty and never sees the good in anything. If hou are such a “wisbang” demonstrate it went some sensible comments and stay out of people’s pepper pot. Put down the IPad, laptop, smart phone or what ever and get a life. Get a cat, dog or a mannequin to keep your company. You seem to get your r…s off with controversy so yhis is not an invitation to engage in a conversation. Strong dose of iggy. ???????????? out.

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