Tag Archives: Climate Change

‘You Will Soon Feel the Same Heat We Feel Every Day.’ Read This Powerful Speech From a Young Ugandan Climate Activist — TIME

Young people have been taking action on climate change around the world (including right here in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Caribbean). Here’s a story out of Africa.

 

After world leaders left September’s U.N. General Assembly with few commitments on fighting climate change, youth activists descended on the C40 Mayors summit in Copenhagen to demand action from the leaders of the world’s largest cities. Many young people in Europe were inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who in 2018 began striking from school…

via ‘You Will Soon Feel the Same Heat We Feel Every Day.’ Read This Powerful Speech From a Young Ugandan Climate Activist — TIME

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October 12, 2019 · 6:15 am

Carib Plus Lit News (Late September 2019)

The Caribbean Writer has announced its Volume 32 prize winnersTCW-Cover-VOL-32-2

Prizes include The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize of $400 for best short fiction; The Daily News Prize of $500 to a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands; The Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize of $500 to a new or emerging writer; The Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize of $500 to a Caribbean author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean; The Vincent Cooper Literary Prize of $300 to a Caribbean author for exemplary writing in Caribbean Nation Language; and The Boyce Literary Prize of $500 to a Caribbean author for a work that best expresses the changing social dynamics of regional life. Not listed is the David Hough Literary Prize which is awarded this year for the final time. See who won. Congrats to the various winners.

Bahamas Post-Dorian; Let’s Talk Climate Change

The Bahamas still needs our help. As we know, it took a pounding from hurricane Dorian

The concern for us in the Caribbean is more than the immediate storms and the aftermath – devastating as that all is – but the ever-rising climate change impacts. Climate change is real – we who feel it know it – and the time for denial is over. Hurricanes have always been with us so believe us when we say (from 2017 on when Irma and Maria laid waste to the region including our own Barbuda) this is different – the frequency, the ferocity, the relentlessness, the heat, the storms, this isn’t normal – or if we don’t act, this will be our new normal and we won’t all survive it.

“We Bahamians listen to climate deniers in rich countries who are oblivious or indifferent to those who bear the weight for their wonderful lives. Meanwhile, the water rises from the ground in our yards because the water table is so high during high tide, and plants we once depended upon no longer grow. We experience too much rain or too little rain, and fresh water supplies are increasingly contaminated by rising sea levels.” Read more of  Hurricane Dorian Makes Bahamians the Latest Climate-Crisis Victims 

The article might make you cry as it gives you a visceral sense of the experience of those trapped on islands besieged by Dorian (another name retired from future Caribbean baby registries), but it also prescribes action and that’s what I wanted to share:

“So we mobilize. We call on the United States to pass the Green New Deal. We donate to groups like Head Knowles*. We consider how to gather volunteers and Bahamian mental health workers to deploy in the coming days. But we need everyone’s help and kindness. We need tarps, tents, sleeping bags, batteries, flashlights, heavy equipment, generators, chain saws, electrical workers and people capable of rebuilding communication towers and homes. We need nonperishable food, wipes, adult and children’s diapers, bug spray.

We need lots of things, but please — no tossed paper towels. This is not funny. Though gracious, Bahamians may toss them back to you.”

Through the Caribbean writers network, I have been informed that the Head Knowles Foundation is a women’s run community organization with hundreds on the ground and a track record – the message provided information on their South Florida drop-off point for those in the area:

Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport:
Headknowles Foundation c/o
Tropix Express
5610 NW 12th Avenue
Suite 203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
info@tropixshipping.com

The Foundation also has a Go Fund Me for money to assist with the relocation of people who have lost their homes, rescue planes, boats, and cars, and for teams who need to go back and forth from Abaco/Grand Bahama to Nassau to safety. The foundation can supply information about their 501c status etc. if you are a “big donor”.

Caribbean Books Online

Anansesem, the online Caribbean children’s lit magazine, has revamped its online bookstore. It is organized by country (here’s Antigua and Barbuda) Founder Summer Edward wrote on The Brown Bookshelf about the process.

“The most distinctive thing, however, about the new Anansesem Online Bookstore is that it carries only ‘own voices’ books. You may be unfamiliar with the term ‘own voices.’ Coined by Dutch YA author Corinne Duyvis in 2015, it’s a term that’s now widely used in the publishing world to refer to books for which the protagonist and the author share a historically marginalized racial or cultural identity. The need for the term ‘own voices’ as a distinguishing marker arose due to the long history, in traditional publishing, of majority-group authors being given free rein to write books depicting minority group characters, and the equally long history of minority-group writers not being given the same kind of access to tell their own stories…Indeed, there are drawbacks to searching/shopping for Caribbean children’s and YA books directly on websites like Amazon.com. Amazon.com doesn’t tell you which Caribbean CYA books displayed on its search results pages are own voices books. Also, Amazon’s search engine isn’t optimized for finding CYA books from specific Caribbean countries; for example, if you search for ‘Jamaican children’s books’ on Amazon.com, you’ll get a lot of irrelevant results including (for some reason) textbooks (lots of them) and cookbooks. Likewise, if you search for ‘Caribbean children’s books’ directly on Amazon’s website, their search results will show you a lot of CYA books from South and Central America, which while wonderful to know about, aren’t Caribbean books, and thus aren’t what you’re looking for.”

I’ve added the bookstore to the Caribbean Literary Resources page here on the blog. Thanks to Summer for this Wadadli Pen shout out in her article: “Anansesem contributor Joanne C. Hillhouse’s comprehensive blog, Wadadli Pen, was an extremely helpful resource for confirming the nationalities of authors of CYA books related to Antigua and Barbuda.”

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, its Spanish language edition Perdida! , and Oh Gad! ). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Celebrating Innovation: Team Project Jaguar Triumphs at DadliHack 2019

Let me make sure I have this right because it’s not my usual forte though it caught my interest because it was about motivating young people to innovate solutions to climate change – what I hear is encouraging young people to create. Right?

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That’s Team Project Jaguar of Antigua and Barbuda, the youngest team in the contest, collecting their $5000 prize at DadliHack 2019 for a “Data analysis system that logs data from events like Sargassum seaweed occurrences and meteorological data (sea surface temperature, tides, winds)…then applie(s) it to statistical algorithms to analyze patterns, trends and make predictions. Chemical sensors will be placed on relevant shorelines to detect and log the presence of Sargassum. The insight will be sold to hotels, restaurants and other stakeholders in the tourism industry so that they can prepare and tackle the problem before it even hits our shores. It’s all about being proactive rather than reactive to the effects of climate change on islands.” (Source: oceangeneration.org)

This innovation – an online platform called NADIS – was adjudged winner alongside reportedly fierce competition from across the region (who did their three-minute pitches via skype), “based on criteria including speed of build and delivery of the solution, who and how many people they would be helping, and the self-resilience of the solution.” (Source: oceangeneration.org)

Ocean Generation, according to their website, worked along with local company ACT, which supplied the high speed internet connection that allowed the hackathon teams to explore and develop their ideas; and the goal was to build climate change awareness among young people. “Ocean Generation held a tech training course for children ages 12-16 to develop their interests and inform them of the potential perils of climate change. The focus was on the urgency for an elevated infrastructure, and the required refurbished resilience as they pave the road ahead.” (Source: oceangeneration.org)

Pitched ideas “ranged from community application to connect skilled laborers to find employment after natural disasters, to … a post-disaster drone system to identify crisis areas… (to) an idea to assist commercial and residential properties with energy efficient technology which can improve the energy management of small island developing states.” The panel of judges included Donna Levin (MIT business professor), Dr Martin Edlund CEO of Minesto, Jonas Michanek SONY/IDEON executive, alongside local Antiguan representatives.

Going forward a hub will be set up in Antigua and Barbuda to support not only the winners and to incubate their idea, but a variety of ideas from the DadliHack with the goal of activating and possibly testing winning climate change responses as soon as 2019.

Kudos.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (founder and coordinator of Wadadli Pen, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. 

There’s still time to vote in the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda Readers Choice Book of the Year initiative.

 

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Pause for a Cause – Climate Change

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‘Journal fragments in a time of hazard’

–/–/2015
It’s weird, this climate change phenomenon. Creepy. Like rumours of an army that has encircled your town but you don’t actually see any soldiers. And then, a sniper’s shot. Someone at the window of her home falls. Then quiet again. Days later, a bomb falls a few streets away … you hear that a house caught fire. You wonder when the war will reach your house.

I’m remembering when I was a child, probably twelve, and it began to seep into my imagination that nuclear annihilation was an actual possibility. It really could happen that at the command of a powerful leader, a button could be pressed and Armageddon would begin. In weeks, if not days, the planet could become a ruin of ash and wisps of smoke, suspended in dark space.

Perhaps a child’s imagination is what we need now. This … is annihilation – just creeping. Mostly. For now.

–/–/2015
In a way, the deepest horror of this is how surreptitious its horrors are. Subtle disappearances. You’re talking to a literature class and you happen to mention miwiz. Puzzled looks. From everyone. You describe this fruit, its look, its taste, as best you can. Not one student in a class of more than thirty has ever seen a miwiz. Then it strikes you: When last have you seen one?

Incremental shifts. How many years have so many people in the Caribbean been saying:
“Phew! Woy! To me, October didn’t used to be so hot!”?
No, it didn’t … Or April … Or July … Or …

At first only old persons said this sort of thing. Now, young fellers on the block on a sweltering evening, teenage girls trying on outfits before each other for a party – they say it without irony: “When I was younger …”

–/–/2015
So what do I say to my son, who turned nineteen two weeks ago? My granddaughter, who’ll be ten just three months from now? What do I say? “Yes, we knew but –”

What possible valid statement can follow that ‘but’? Really. What can matter more than giving children and grandchildren the possibility of a future with the normal good things of life in it and the possibility of them giving that to their children and grandchildren?

Thinking of the reasons why our ordinary everyday actions are taking place in a kind of poisonous psycho-miasma of our very being (the external miasma of greenhouse gas emissions is its exact counter-part) I am stunned, again, at how completely heartless this system is. Thinking of how much time, human effort, how much of the earth’s materials go
into making millions of boxes of corn flakes a day, how many tons of tree-pulp transformed into cardboard, how much synthetic dye to make the boxes colourful, how many millions of genetically modified seeds engineered with the prime consideration of rapid growth, how many billions of barrels of oil to fuel the harvesters and haulage trucks and huge ships loaded with containers to bring these boxes to supermarket shelves and then to tables and then into bodies – and how little real nutrition there is in all of this. Thinking of how much cynicism it takes to keep this going. And I am stunned, yet again, at how completely heartless this system is. I shouldn’t be. I come from the Caribbean, where that heartlessness was systemically structured into the slave plantation.

–/–/2015
‘Global warming’. It’s a carefully scientific term, trying to avoid the knee-jerk judgemental morality that can be so limiting to science. That’s understandable, can’t quarrel with that. But ‘global warming’ for me is a dishonouring, a violation, of The Mother. And to honour The Mother now, in this time, another way of living is needed. Another economic system, first of all. Whatever it’s called is, if not irrelevant, at best distracting. The point is it must honour The Mother. Everything flows from that.

–/–/2015
Out walking earlier today and the last couple days and seeing the familiar scenes and realising I really need to look at them again, closely. I really need to wonder. I need the child’s imagination again. Look at the vendor’s arcade at the harbour’s edge. Look at the GFL Charles airport, its main gate a sauntering one-minute walk from Vigie Beach. Look at the cemetery on that beach – my father is buried there. Can it really happen that with a one meter rise in sea level, all this could …?

–/–/2015
CONJUGATIONS – 5: THALASSA
i look            out where the sea, not far now, sips the shoreline in
you like        the still, stark beauty of this widening desolation
it lakes          the empty roadways, buildings, dissolving the idea of progress
we lack          all hope now. You tell us: This cannot be contained;
you lock        your dams, dykes, doors in vain; the waters rise;
they lick       unhurriedly at the diminishing world which they will swallow.

–/–/2015
I wrote the poem a couple years ago. But only one part of me believes it. This situation now calls everything into question. Every morning it stares me down, makes me ask: Okay, so what do I do? What do we do?

Now everything is in hazard. The weight of that phrase is sinking into me as I write it, in a way I never felt before. ‘In hazard’. The negative charge of the word is obvious. But I’m also sensing the subtle tremor of another current. Hazard is risk, yes. But risk is chance. And chance is possibility.

Perhaps it’s because I’m involved in a climate justice campaign: 1.5 To Stay Alive. Perhaps it’s also to do with being from the Caribbean, which I’ve always seen as a zone – inner and outer – of possibilities that defy normal expectations. Perhaps it’s because I’m a father and grandfather, so I refuse to not hope, knowing that hope is a channel for a higher energy of
being and acting. Whatever the reasons, this time of hazard is a time of possibility.

The possibility? That in the necessary snarl and snap of heated discussion as our negotiators fight for us and our future in Paris in December and in the people-clamour outside and all over cyber-space calling for climate justice, the voice of The Mother will be heard.

Stories of Climate Change is a new blog series where writers from across the world touch on climate change. Look out for a new blog each Wednesday during November and December 2015. This blog post falls under Coming of Age.
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Kendel Hippolyte is a poet, playwright and director and sporadic researcher into areas of Saint Lucian and Caribbean arts and culture. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies regionally and internationally. He has taught poetry workshops in various countries and performed at literary events within the Caribbean and beyond. His plays
have been performed locally and regionally and three of his plays have been published in drama anthologies. His latest book, Fault Lines, won the Bocas Poetry Prize in 2013. He is an original member of the CXC Theatre Arts syllabus panel and is an external examiner. Retired from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, where he taught Literature and Theatre, his present focus is to use his skills as a writer and dramatist to raise public awareness and contribute to active solutions of critical social issues. Kendel is an advocate of Panos Caribbean. Panos Caribbean’s mission is to amplify the voices of the poor and the marginalized through the media and ensure their inclusion in public and policy debate, in
order to enable Caribbean people to communicate their own development agendas. Kendel is also a supporter of 1.5°C to stay alive, a project that demands climate justice for the Caribbean.

Reprinted courtesy of the Free Word Centre series, Living Dangerously: Stories of Climate Change
Image courtesy of Royan Descartes, Richard Ambrose

 

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