What are you doing to stop climate change?
Scientists are sounding an alarm bell about fissures and cracks in Thwaites Glacier about the equivalent size of Britain and one of the largest ice sheets in the world situated in Antarctica. There is worry that large parts of it will fracture and collapse, causing a sudden rise in sea levels.
Did you know that with a two-metre rise in sea levels our airport runway would be underwater? That would put us in a complete crisis and the costs to mitigate this would be prohibitive.
It is not a matter of, is this going to happen, but more when is this going to happen. We have already experienced King’s Square in St George’s underwater.
Also, it is estimated that a two-metre rise would flood 14 per cent of the island, including Mill Creek, St John’s Road, Fairylands, Serpentine Road and many areas around Hamilton. Even with a one-metre rise in sea levels, we would lose almost 2,000 buildings — not to mention when hurricanes hit at a high tide during full moon. The new power plant at Belco is ten feet above the sea, but the transmission plant is completely vulnerable in a high-moisture category 4 or category 5 hurricane.
As we read daily of the Russian atrocities in the war in Ukraine, we are reminded of the benefit of achieving energy independence. Most Western countries are trying to pivot from purchasing oil and gas from Russia, the earnings of which support Vladimir Putin’s outrageous war.
So my question to you is: what are you doing to lower your carbon footprint? We must all do what we can for future generations. After all, we have benefited from lifestyles that caused the problem in the first place. Bermuda’s carbon footprint is high per capita, so what can we do?
One big thing you can do is reduce your electric consumption by installing LED lights, putting timers on electric heaters and turning things off when not using them.
The other thing you can do is install solar. After all, we live in one of the sunniest places in the world and an investment in solar is mostly risk-free. Immediately, you can lower your carbon footprint and continue to do so for 25 years, which is the life span of solar panels.
On top of that, Belco purchases all the extra power you create and this electricity feeds your neighbourhood. It just feels good.
The other important thing is that solar is a good investment giving you a 12 per cent to 20 per cent return on your money.
Hey now, this is also making economic sense. If you have any money in the bank at all, invest in renewable energy and do the right thing for the planet, your children and grandchildren.
• Claire Smith is the managing director of Sunny Side Solar