Friday, July 22, 2011

Miscellaneous Island Talk

Well, let's see. I have to admit to have a bit of the blahs thanks to the poopy weather. Pardon my crabby post. Plus, Michael was in his first car accident on the island yesterday. Head on with a co-worker, no less. The good news is that the speeds were relatively low, both drivers had on seat belts, and the cars took the brunt of the damage. Both guys are sporting bruised knees from hitting their steering wheels (maybe car makers should pad those). More accidents are waiting to happen as no one is cutting back the ever-encroaching foliage overtaking the peninsula roads. It's a jungle out there!

We are now up to 2-3 electrical power outages per week. Apparently raising the rates and fuel charges hasn't helped to improve quality of service. Never an explanation either. When is that geothermal power in Nevis coming online?

I also get cranky when I read that St. Kitts is still standing by Japan's stance on whaling. Apparently St Kitts officials, as well as those from 19 other countries, walked out of a meeting at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in order to block plans to approve a sanctuary that would protect whales in South America. Because, the meeting failed to reach the required number for a quorum, voting was delayed until the 2012 meeting, which is exactly what the pro-whaling countries wanted.

This wasn't even about the legality of whaling overall. All that was being proposed, by Brazil and Argentina, was that a sanctuary for whales be created in the South Atlantic. It would incorporate important breeding grounds and migratory routes for whale species in the southern hemisphere. There are currently two such whale havens, one in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica and the other in the Indian Ocean. Even though St. Kitts doesn't really have any plans to whale hunt itself, do you know why we don't have a lot of whales to hunt anyway? Because Americans came over here and killed most of them in the 1800s. We've left it open than anyone else can come and do the same once they've over"fish"ed their own waters. St. Kitts, stop being a pawn for once. If we get more whales in the area, then we can start whale watching tours, and make money ourselves. We won't need the bribes of others to sustain us.

Japan has been buying votes of small, desperate countries for years, offering all kinds of goodies (like our fishery) in return for a yes vote - or a walkout. Maybe we need someone who wants us to vote against Japan for some issue in the UN to offer us more money. Take Taiwan vs. China. For years, Taiwan has spent lots and lots of money building stadiums and bridges and assisting in education, infrastructure, and agriculture projects throughout the Caribbean. St. Kitts has certainly benefited in huge ways from Taiwan's generosity for almost 30 years and still does. In return, all the countries that benefited from this good will, simply vote against China where Taiwan is concerned. China cried foul until they realized that all they had to do was offer more $ to get votes swung their way. Dominica made the switch. So did St. Lucia although they switched back again after taking money from China for 10 years. These loans/donations and subsequent votes are serious business. Taiwan gets very crabby when countries turn on them. Grenada appreciated Taiwan's "assistance" for years, only to have China eventually win them over. Taiwan is now suing Grenada.

So I guess St. Kitts will have to tread lightly if it wants to switch its allegiance(s), but I'm still hoping they do so when it comes to Japan so we can save the whales. I'm not naive (although do still retain a bit of idealism). No country that is listed as #2 in debt will turn down money for something as simple as a vote against a fish. Well, not until someone makes them a better offer, at least. Maybe I should start taking contributions.