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Why wait TCI? let’s lead the way on Green energy

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#TurksandCaicos, June 22, 2022 – It may seem far fetched for a small developing nation like TCI, but I’m optimistic we could lead the way by becoming an all green country.   As a small island nation, we should be taking advantage of the proven cutting edge technology that’s out there, such as wind power, or solar energy which are alternatives to burning fossil fuels.

Our country is in a good position to become Trail Blazers in this arena and not just followers of the free world.  For this dream to become a reality and take shape, every developer would have to contribute a small percentage of their profits into a green energy fund.

With TCI  being blessed with sunshine practically 365 days out of the year, and strong eastwardly winds particularly on the island of Grand Turk, we are in a position to generate either solar or wind power.  With the ongoing war in Ukraine, we have seen the geopolitical landscape of global energy production changing very rapidly. It’s a perfect storm to push for green energy especially in Caribbean countries.  With that being said, a sizable investment in this area will be well worth it in the long run.

Let’s use Uruguay as an example, a relatively small country in South America. In 2020, over 40% of their electricity capacity and generation derived from solar and wind power. So what can we learn from them?

I strongly believe small countries like TCI with relatively low level of energy consumption can also champion such initiative.

Big energy companies like Fortis Inc. with approximately $58 billion in total assets, should be in a position to step up to the plate and provide a broader market of solar driven power in TCI.  It’s doable because for many years, Fortis TCI have had the monopoly and made a fortune on the backs of our people.

A starting point should be with slowly eliminating those existing diesel generators, ramping up the project with burying power lines and taking on a stronger roll in supporting more homes on the “UORE” program etc.

For readers who aren’t familiar with the “UORE” program, these are customers who have been outfitted with solar panels to power their homes. These customers are also eligible to receive a monthly fixed credit from Fortis TCI, for rooftop space and an annual variable incentive based on system production.

It should be noted, Fortis TCI, is playing a much more active role within our communities with respect to the recent launch of a scholarship apprenticeship program which is commendable.  I still believe more can be done, such as Fortistci working in tandem with the government and other NGOs to provide solar training classes at the local community colleges, opening more investment opportunities, etc.

Government should also push big co-operations like Carnival and Beaches resort to make a greater effort to reduce their carbon footprint.  Instead of just touting our reliance on more brick and mortar investments, our government should embrace a wider vision and lead the way on this initiative to help improve our basic infrastructure.

TCI can become the envy of the Caribbean by starting with investing in solar powered vehicles, solar lights, green building materials, acquiring green buses to support public transportation etc.   By investing in green busses, the health and safety of our citizens would also be at a lesser risk from harmful emissions.

Furthermore, not only will it be a cost savings to consumers, but the spin-off will result in more job creation.

We must act now! if not, in the near future, we could be faced with potentially devastating consequences like, changes in the rainy seasons, longer droughts and  increasing intensity of hurricanes as we have seen over the past 10 or so years.   It’s time to get out of our comfort zone and diversify our energy portfolio.

Let’s not continue to put all of our eggs in one basket like we do with our tourism sector.   Let’s not wait to be broadsided again like we were with the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted our way of life and significantly impacted our fragile tourism economy.  Let’s challenge our politicians who will dare to muster up the courage to put this front and center on their agenda.

Big oil companies continues to reap the profits while energy consumption around the world soar and the power cost adjustment in TCI keeps getting higher.

With that being said, there has never been a more crucial time for our country to explore green energy on a larger scale.  We must get serious about clean energy and chart a path toward a fossil-free future. The aim and objective should be to strengthen our country economically and the resolve of our people.  This is also a great way to draw down carbon emissions, while supporting the global initiatives to combat climate changes, giving everyone access to clean energy.

 

Ed Forbes 
Concerned citizen of Grand Turk

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News

Dog Tales to rescue 500 dogs from the Turks and Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Stray dogs in the Turks and Caicos will be getting a new lease on life in the coming months as Dog Tales Rescue will be coming to the islands. Up to 500 stray Dogs will be recovered from Grand Turk and flown to Canada in a bid to control the dog population and give the existing strays better lives. The visit has been approved by the Turks and Caicos Islands government who revealed the project in a cabinet meeting on May 31st.

Dog Tales rescue is a Canadian-based rescue mostly focusing on dogs, cats, and horses. The sanctuary is massive, sitting on over 50 acres of land. It was started in 2014 by husband and wife duo Rob and Danielle Eden-Scheinberg.  The animals at Dog Tales Rescue get the 5-star treatment (as they should!) while they wait to be adopted into their forever homes.  The rescue provides a space for neglected and abused dogs to heal with resources including kilometers of walking trails, therapy pools, a grooming spa, and medical care if needed.  Dog Tales does not put dogs down, those who are not adopted immediately remain with the sanctuary permanently.  Since 2014 more than 2000 dogs have passed through the sanctuary.

Rather than kennels the dogs at Dog Tale have rooms that they share or occupy alone and the sanctuary really jazzes up the spaces making them as luxurious as possible.  The volunteers at the sanctuary also actively use social media to campaign for potential adoptees by doing photoshoots to entice families to take the chance to adopt animals. Soon strays from the Turks and Caicos will be in that number.  You can see Dog Tales’ most recent photoshoot here.

Dog Tales even had a TV show back in 2018 that lasted for 2 seasons!

The TCIG says they will provide “logistical and regulatory support” for the program but Dog Tales will be funding the recovery and everything else on their own. You can donate to Dog Tales here

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Health

Moderna & Pfizer approved for toddlers in US

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, June 25, 2022 – Toddlers can now be vaccinated with either Moderna or Pfizer in the United States following the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee vote to authorize the jabs for the youngest humans.

Some 2.5 million vaccines were ordered for these youngsters from Pfizer and 1.3 million are on order from Moderna.

The authorization committee voted unanimously on both vaccines and it comes as a relief to millions of parents who opted to keep their children away from family gatherings, even school

The lowest age a US resident can now get vaccinated is 6 months, Pfizer says their shot is ready for children six months to four years old and Moderna goes one year higher at 6 months to 5 years.  Both Pfizer and Moderna say the toddlers will need boosters in the future.

As of June 2, there have been 442 children between the ages of 0-4 years old who have died as a result of Covid-19 in the United States.

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Education

TCI Agriculture launches Plant Clinic

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – These days anything can be online, even a plant clinic! The Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Agriculture wants to help budding and experienced farmers with any plant issues they may have and their new Online Plant Clinic is their solution to help as many Islanders as possible.

Launched on Thursday, June 16 the clinic will operate through Facebook. Individuals with sick plants or pest issues will be required to take a photo of the issue and upload that photo to the department of Agriculture’s Facebook page.

Answers to issues will be given once a month, on every third Thursday, via a public video so all Islanders can have access. The launch was attended by Chief Plant Protection Officer-CPPO Roneta Huntley Thomas, Director of Agriculture Wilhelmina Kissoonsingh, Minister of Agriculture Josephine Connolly, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mrs. Cheryl Ann Jones.

Connolly urged residents to “grow your own food and grow TCI.”

Attendees of the launch were allowed to participate in games trying to identify different diseases for a chance at prizes. Residents can now immediately start sending in their photos on the Facebook page.

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