A message to graduates from Woody Allen that was published in the New York Times back in 1979 stated,
“More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroad. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
I however, strongly believe in being optimistic and that we can create our own path. A path that leads to an enduring place for humankind within the natural systems that sustain us.
This unfortunately won’t be possible until we understand that the rest of the living world matters. Then and only then armed with that knowledge, can we then actually do what it takes to halt our destructive ways, and going forward, treat nature with the proper respect.
What does it take for a planet to be habitable? Researchers have identified three necessary requirements for a planet to sustain life: an ocean and dry land, moderately high levels of carbon dioxide, and long-term climate stability.
Scientists know little about what early Earth was like nearly 4 billion years ago, but they agree that it was a harsh environment different from that of today.
Radiometric Dating Methods
With the use of radiometric dating methods, knowledge of the various rocks found around the world has become more precise.
You may be asking yourself what is radiometric dating as I did?
Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that direct methods of dating fossils first became available in the late 1940’s. These methods used naturally occurring isotopes of certain elements found in rocks or fossils to determine their ages and is still used today.
This process is also called absolute dating. Cool!
Scientist have widely accepted radiometric dating as a reliable way to determine the exact ages of rock strata.
The oldest rocks on Earth that have been dated (using isotopes with half-life’s much longer than carbon) include rocks from South Africa, southwestern Greenland, and Minnesota, which are approximately 3.9 billion years old.
Rocks brought back to Earth from the moon have been dated from 3.3 to 4.6 billion years old. These pieces of evidence have led researchers to suggest that the Earth and the moon might have been formed from the same processes at the same time. How intriguing!
The notion of “ownership” whether land, air, or sea, has become quite popular and in some legal cases very necessary. It seems a very human thing to do, to own and defend territory and property. In many articles and books that I have read, even women were considered property back in the day.
Oh really! Let me not even get into that!
The Queen is also very involved in the environment. The Queen Elizabeth II National Trust was formed in 1977, and by 2006 more than 2,300 landowners had registered covenants to protect their land. These sites, covering more than 76,000 hectares, may be bush, wetlands, historic sites or special landscapes.
God bless her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors. Please help us to bear true allegiance to her and her family according to law.https://teneishajohnsondream.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/the-queens-birthday-in-the-cayman-islands/
The Cayman Islands National Trust
The Cayman Islands National Trust is also about protecting the future of the Island’s heritage.
According to the National Trust Law established in 1987, it states, “our purpose is to preserve natural environments and places of historical significance for present and future generations of the Cayman Islands.”
The National Trust protects 9 nature reserves spanning over 3,300 acres of dry forest and mangrove wetlands. The trust owns 12 historic sites from the 1700’s through to the modern era.
There are numerous outreach activities, educational programs and events coordinated by the Trust staff.
For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.ky
The Cayman Islands has once again made a deliberate decision to stay under the U.K.’s wing. There has been so much debate regarding Cayman’s Independence and British Crown Dependencies that I had to find out more.
Guess what I found out? British Crown Dependencies, like Jersey and the Isle of Man, can have separate laws as they are not controlled by the British Government but they are the property of the crown. However, British Overseas Territories (BOT) are under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom but are not a part of it, but they must follow British Laws.
The United Kingdom’s Overseas Territories are spread across the world and span a diverse range of cultures and environments. From the smallest, the tiny island of Pitcairn in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to the bustling richness of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.
The Overseas Territories have separate constitutions with elected governments who are responsible for the day to day administration. They also have a Governor, appointed by HM The Queen whose responsibilities include external affairs, security, defence and air safety.
Recently, we welcomed our new Governor Mr. Martyn Roper to the Cayman Islands. Mr. Martyn Keith Roper OBE was born 8 June 1965 and is a British diplomat and has been the Governor of the Cayman Islands since October 2018.
Mr. Roper was the Ambassador to Algeria from 2010 to 2014. He was also appointed OBE in 2013 “for services to UK interests in Algeria, particularly the UK response to the Amenas hostage crisis.”
Earth Day 2019
The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce
While we may have created this belief that the world “belongs” to us, I think it’s important to note that there is no other species above mankind and that we should have a sense of awareness of the consequences of our actions and note that it could work against our ultimate survival. We need to care not only about the present, but also future generations, and even the fate of other forms of life.
The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce will once again carry out its annual Earth Day clean up.
I personally have participated in this event for several years as seen below:
I was also inspired by a quote from Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians. He said,
“For humans to cause species to become extinct and to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation, for humans to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests, or destroying its wetlands, for humans to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air and its life with poisonous substances, these are sins.”
The Ultimate Garbage Disposal
According to The National Geographic book called The World is Blue, how our Fates and the Oceans are One, the term above isn’t quite adequate to describe the dimensions of the great mass of human-made debris found in the ocean.
Of course, people have been throwing things into the ocean-and in heaps and piles on the land too-for as long as there have been people. But now there is approximately seven billion of us generating the kinds of things that do not easily melt into the landscape or seascape.
The most abundant, troublesome, persistent and deadly debris is composed of plastic. The term “plastics” may be defined as the wide range of synthetic polymeric materials that are characterized by their deformability and can therefore be molded into a variety of three-dimensional shapes, including a variety of common materials such as polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, nylon, and polycarbonate.
Overtime plastics have quietly creeped into every facet of human society, seducing us with their multiplicity of uses, their durability, transmutability (Awesome word! It basically means if something is transmuted into a different form, it is changed into that form).
It’s interesting to note, and I also agree that all of human civilization got along perfectly well without plastics for as long as there have been people-up until the past few decades.
However, whether we possess plastic or not is not the problem. The problem is the magnitude of synthetic materials that are used briefly, then thrown away for eternity, thereby permanently changing the nature of the world.
Aiming for Zero Waste
According to Ian D Williams and Tony Curran, Waste Management Research Group, School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton, zero waste is a whole system approach that aims to eliminate rather than ‘manage’ waste.
As well as encouraging waste diversion from landfill and incineration, it is a guiding design philosophy for eliminating waste at source and at all points down the supply chain. It shifts from the current one-way linear resource use and disposal culture to a ‘closed-loop’ circular system modelled on Nature’s successful strategies
The zero-waste approach envisions all industrial inputs being used in final products or converted into value-added inputs for other industries or processes. In this way, industries will be reorganized into clusters such that each industry’s wastes/by-products are fully matched with the input requirements of another industry, and the integrated whole produces no waste.
From an environmental perspective, the elimination of waste represents the ultimate solution to pollution problems that threaten ecosystems at global, national and local levels. In addition, full use of raw materials, accompanied by a shift towards renewable sources, means that utilization of the Earth’s resources can be brought back to sustainable levels.
For business, zero waste can mean greater competitiveness and represents a continuation of its inevitable drive towards efficiency. First came productivity of labor and capital, and now comes the productivity of raw materials – producing more from less. Zero waste in industrial networks can therefore be understood as a new standard for efficiency and integration.
For more information visit: www.waste-management-world.com
The Good Samaritan Food Bank
With approximately seven billion people to feed on a planet that stubbornly remains the same size, we seriously need to avoid waste. And that’s what we have decided to tackle right here in the Cayman Islands.
The Good Samaritan Food Bank is the first organization in the Cayman Islands to mitigate island-wide hunger, malnutrition and poverty by providing access to good, healthy food through gathering and distributing food donations to non-profit organizations and various food counters serving the critical needs of the community.
The Food Bank was founded by two local businessmen: Woody Foster and Reginald “Choppy” Delapenha, along with the priceless but humble consultative support of experienced food bank operator, Rev. Charles Boucher.
WOODY FOSTER – Board of Directors
Woody Foster was reared with a good sense and value for food and community, which can be attributed to him seeing his father and uncle’s hard work and dedication to the local grocery industry and community from an early age. Woody later joined them in the family grocery business where he worked diligently in every aspect of the business.
Woody is passionate about his community and developing a systematic approach utilizing the grocery industry to alleviate hunger in both the near and long- terms and looks forward to an active role in the success of Cayman’s first Food Bank.
REGINALD “CHOPPY” DELAPENHA – Board of Directors
Reginald “Choppy” Delapenha is a high energy, fiscally conscious, goal-driven local businessman and philanthropist who approaches opportunities to serve his local businesses and his community alike; passionately – with an intrinsic flair for innovation, creative problem-solving, sustainable development objectives, and measured risk-taking to drive success.
Reginald radiates a sincere passion for delivering value and benefits to his clients, customers, and most of all – his community. He welcomes the opportunity to launch the Cayman Food Bank to further enhance his local community.
REV. CHARLES BOUCHER – Board of Directors
Rev. Charles Boucher and his wife Manon Papillon have dedicated their lives to helping others. In 1984 Rev. Boucher started his first church and has since served in integral roles within church communities throughout Quebec and Montreal, Canada – and most recently here in Grand Cayman – where he co-pastors at the First Assembly of God.
Rev. Boucher has successfully started or played a paramount role in several accomplished organizations to help those in need including two drug rehabilitative centers and three Food Banks – one of which his wife Manon served as founding member – The Action Nouvelle Vie, also known as the largest food bank on the south shore of Montreal, serving more than 3,000 people weekly and bi-weekly. Manon was also an active member of the Canadian Food Bank Association. Rev. Boucher will provide invaluable consultative support as an experienced Food Bank operator and looks forward to the start-up of Grand Cayman’s first Food Bank.
MARIE EDEN – Board of Directors
Marie Eden studied Human & Social Services earning a Bachelor of Science degree and has paralegal certification. Marie serves on the board of directors of one the Island’s busiest food pantries. With over 20 years of experience with programs which assist persons in the community she has experienced first-hand the increasing number of families in need.
Marie looks forward to being part of the first central food bank in the Cayman Islands which will not only have the capability of alleviating food waste, but also of monitoring the distribution of food to effectively benefit those persons most in need.
PHILLIP HYRE – Food Bank Operations Manager
Colonel Phillip Hyre is a former Police Officer and previous Commander of the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps. He has served as one of the founding members as President of the Water for Life Now Ministry, a non-profit organization that caters to the needs of homeless men and women in the United States of America. In 2016 he was the recipient of the prestigious Extraordinary People Awards, Philanthropist of the year. He has a master’s degree in youth management and development through City and Guilds Institute of London and is presently pursuing a Doctoral degree from Centre for Theological Leadership Training, Cayman Islands.
Phillip is married to Cecilia Stewart- Hyre and is presently the English Pastor of the Ambassador of God Church, Cayman Islands. He is delighted to serve as the Manager of the Cayman Food Bank and looks forward to partnering with the people of the Cayman Islands to ensure the continued success of this great and much needed organization.
So please visit www.caymanfoodbank.com to learn how you or your company can make a difference today!
Speaking of Good Samaritan, the Good Samaritan is one of the most famous parables told by Jesus. It is recounted in the Gospel of Luke and defines a standard of love toward which Jesus wished his followers to aspire.
A lawyer asked Jesus how to be saved. Jesus asked in reply, “What is written in the Torah?” The lawyer recounted the Torah sayings of “Love God” and “Love thy neighbor.”
In the parable, Jesus told of a traveler who is attacked, robbed, and left on the side of a road. A priest passes by, but he avoids the man due to his disheveled appearance. Next, a Levite, a member of another revered sect, passes and ignores the stricken man as well.
Finally; a Samaritan passed along the way. Samaritans were an ostracized and hated ethnicity at the time. According to the story, the Samaritan is the only one who decides to help by clothing, sheltering, and feeding the victim.
This is an excellent example of how Jesus often shocked his audience to get his point across. The celebration of a Samaritan would have caused astonishment at the time, But I believe this only emphasizes the importance of aiding people in need and the closeness of all humankind.
Good Samaritan Laws
I was also pleased to learn that there are also Good Samaritan Laws which exist in many countries today.
Good Samaritan laws generally provide basic legal protection for those who assist a person who is injured or in danger. In essence, these laws protect the “Good Samaritan” from liability if unintended consequences result from their assistance.