Race & Environmentalism

I just read this letter in the Bermuda Sun site, and I’ve decided to reproduce it in its entirety here for discussion as I think it is very relevant. This issue is something I’ve wondered about for a while now, and I think Ms. Eddy goes some way to addressing what the problem is.

I’ve been of the opinion for some time now that the PLP could break the monolith that is White voting for the UBP if it were to directly appeal to the environmentalist groupings, and I had the impression that Alex Scott’s move on sustainable development could have done just that had it been handled properly. Unfortunately the hospital issue and then Southlands seems to have scuppered chances for that development for the immediate time-being. It has been said that the colour question would be the question of the 20th century, I think the main question for this century will be the environmental one. In order to resolve that question I do think its neccessary to continue solving the great question of the last century which is still unresolved in its entirety. In Bermuda, with our history of race, this is even more important.

Why are so few blacks environmentalists? Has anyone ever bothered to ask them?

Dear Sir,

In a TV news interview on January 29, Premier Brown said he does not see environmentalists involved in social issues.

Before reacting defensively and putting on the cloak of denial it would be constructive to explore the truth in his statement. First, listen carefully to what is meant by it. I think he is speaking for many blacks who see environmentalists as largely white people who represent white or elitist interests.

It is a fact that the membership of environmental organizations are largely educated, white people and the only time we have seen (in recent times) whites take to the streets to protest have been for the environment and gay rights, both of which are regarded as luxury issues by the majority of blacks. Although some environmentalists may be among the socially conscious, as a group they are not so vocal about issues that are of highest importance to the black population.

Perceptions tend to rule how we value each other and so, what to do to change that? No doubt there is a wide range of belief systems among environmentalists and I would hazard a guess that some may not have a clue why there are not more black people (and white people for that matter) involved in environmental causes and how best to engage them. The clues are out there; they only need listening to.

Consistent with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the environment may become more important to people after their basic needs are met. My experience in petitioning to save Warwick Long Bay has been that the majority of ordinary blacks approached signed the petition and some gave vehement verbal support for keeping the beach as it is. But there were valid comments like “we always go along with their things; when will they come over to our side and understand our experience and point of view”, “my environment is Marsh Folly dump, when will the environmentalists address the smells that assails our noses on a regular basis?”

There is a perception that environmentalists are not PLP supporters, which could lead blacks who are loyal to the PLP to be silent on those issues. History plays a role: most blacks were forced in the past to live in congested surroundings and many have come to like the security of people around them and the cultural values that grew from it – a different experience from those who have always lived among trees and wide vistas.

There is a perception that environmentalists are extremists. In their defence, most are not and appreciate the need for growth. Others have said environmentalists are selective in what they fight to protect. Again, in their defence, threats to the environment are overwhelming: some take priority over others as the handful of volunteer workers and small resources cannot accommodate them all.

I cannot say it is true of all environmentalists but I know some, both black and white, who regard environmental work as social work in its most comprehensive and profoundest form and have chosen simple non-consumer lifestyles foregoing large salaries and perks that their talents and education would otherwise attract, to devote their lives to the often lonely and hard work of protecting the natural resources (without compensation) that we all depend on for our survival.

There is a perception that leaders of the environmental movement and Dr. Brown are at opposite ends of the pole. How about changing that and give our Premier credit for his positive achievements as a start? How about giving those who work tirelessly to protect the environment some gratitude? How about asking blacks directly what stands in the way of them becoming more involved in environmental issues? When will whites educate themselves about the black experience and address their fears around wealth sharing? How about the Premier meeting with environmentalists privately in an atmosphere of openness on both sides?

I think the underlying need of both sides is no different than in any other human conflict – “I want you to see and understand me”.

Frances Eddy

Warwick

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80 thoughts on “Race & Environmentalism

  1. Jonny,

    Glad you decided to post this one here. I think that Ms. Eddy is spot on in many of her observations and her perception of the issue. In particular, I would agree that many blacks see the environment as a “luxury” issue. Overall there tends to be more emphasis placed on the environment from within the white community, and an awareness raised from a young age than does tend to take place within the black community. I’ve often thought that it would be interesting to see a racial breakdown of issues even as simple as recycling to see whether there are in fact differences in such basic, practical terms.

  2. I agree this is a worthy piece for discussion. I found that there was a fair bit of “who cares” when the Southlands situation came up, for instance. It appeared that there were far more pressing concerns for a large section of the populace (namely, housing) than preserving a spot of land which is not public, not immediately accessible and therefore out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

    CasualObserver – I agree on perhaps a study on things like recycling. Which households use those blue bags with regularity?

  3. Jonathan,

    I thought Ms. Eddy’s letter was spot on. I actually sent an e-mail to David this morning asking him to read it and respond to it. I’ll also suggest that he respond on this site as well.

  4. I commend Ms. Eddy for such a thoughtful and thought provoking letter. She has done a stellar job of laying out the possible reasons why the environment does not seem to be at the top of the list of may black Bermudians.

    Well done Ms. Eddy and I do hope the Premier takes up your suggestion to meet with environmentalist.

  5. This is the MAIN reason I do not like Dr. Brown. The environment on a 22 square mile island with VERY LIMITED resources should be top priority when deciding on a new project in Bermuda. Instead environmentalists are labeled as troublemakers by many in the PLP government.
    How can anyone dare think that they can make informed decisions on Bermuda’s environment without the proper education of the subject?
    I think because ignorance is bliss. By making decisions that negatively affect our environment we are only ruing our island for the future generations.

  6. Sara,

    I hear you cries, but Ms. Eddy raises some key issues as to why blacks in Bermuda do not give the environment to attention it needs, social issues have always been at the forefront for black Bermudians and that is the jist of what Ms. Eddy is saying. As she also implies, ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK is not a good ploy either because clearly it does not accomplish much by way of change in attitude.

  7. Sara,

    You say “this is the MAIN reason I do not like Dr. Brown …. because environmentalist are labeled as trouble-makers by many in the PLP Government”. I think you’ve forgotten, or never knew, that it was Arthur Hodgson, the first Environmental Minister under the PLP Government that first started the public conversation about Sustainable Development. If my memory serves me correctly, it was Alex Scott who set up the Sustainable Development Round Table. The PLP Government has done a lot when it comes to sustainable development, although some people don’t think it’s enough.

    To say that the PLP doesn’t care about the environment is sheer nonsense. There are members of the PLP who are environmentalists, but because you don’t see them with pickets every time there is a new development, doesn’t mean that we don’t care about preserving the environment. In my opinion, Bermuda is a day late and a dollar short when it comes to preserving the environment. But I do believe that most Bermudians care about the environment in which they live.

    I do have a problem with “environmentalists” who chose which projects they’ll oppose. I find it quite interesting that BEST has been silent on the development at the Reefs, yet they were very vociferous about the proposed Southlands Development. Have you taken a drive to South Shore, Southampton lately?

  8. LaVerne Furbert said

    “You say “this is the MAIN reason I do not like Dr. Brown …. because environmentalist are labeled as trouble-makers by many in the PLP Government”. I think you’ve forgotten, or never knew, that it was Arthur Hodgson, the first Environmental Minister under the PLP Government that first started the public conversation about Sustainable Development. If my memory serves me correctly, it was Alex Scott who set up the Sustainable Development Round Table. The PLP Government has done a lot when it comes to sustainable development, although some people don’t think it’s enough.”

    Laverne, I was referring to the CURRENT PLP government, my apologies for not making this clear. I thought what Alex Scott was doing was AWESOME and I admire him for what he was going to do.

    “To say that the PLP doesn’t care about the environment is sheer nonsense”

    I never said this. Maybe you should re-read my post again, although the minister of environment’s decision to overrule the decision not to allow this new bar @ Warwick Long Bay does not support what you just said.

    “But I do believe that most Bermudians care about the environment in which they live.”

    If this were true, why do KBB volunteers have to pick up trash from the same spots on the island month after month?

    “I do have a problem with “environmentalists” who chose which projects they’ll oppose. I find it quite interesting that BEST has been silent on the development at the Reefs, yet they were very vociferous about the proposed Southlands Development. Have you taken a drive to South Shore, Southampton lately?”

    Perhaps they just don’t have the man power to fight every horrible environmental decision made by our government because there have been so many in the last two years.

  9. I do apologize for saying I don’t like Dr. Brown. I could have done without the personal attack, and see how this makes people mad.
    The government is a collective body and everyone is accountable for the decisions made, not just one person.

  10. Sara,

    No worries.

    I think the point LaVerne is making is that there were complaints and pickets over Southlands but the same people were silent over the Reefs. It just begs the question whether it has more to do with who owns the project than the project itself. Surely you can see the hypocracy that LaVerne is pointing out.

  11. Laverne, I was referring to the CURRENT PLP government, my apologies for not making this clear. I thought what Alex Scott was doing was AWESOME and I admire him for what he was going to do.

    Sarah,

    There is one PLP governmetn, not current or past. The UBP has had several leaders since 1998, but they’re never referred to as the “current” oppostion or the “past” opposition. Alex Scott had his place in history, and now the PLP is moving forward, with him, as he is still a member.

    As far as KBB volunteers are concerned with regards to picking up trash, don’t you continue to pick up trash from the same place all the time. I do – from my home. Every Monday and Tuesday and I put my trash out that has been collected in my home to be picked up, as do 100% of Bermudians.

    As I wrote in my column this week, I’m looking for people to educate Bermudians about the enviroment and sustainable development, not just criticise what people are doing. I try and do my part. In my opinion, it’s not enough for people to stand on beaches with pickets. That’s the easy part, the hard part is educating the Bermudian people about preserving the environment. As I see, that’s what those picketers should be doing.

  12. See, from an environmentalist point of view, Southlands and The Reefs are two totally different scales of environmental impact, along with building a hospital on the Botanical Gardens. I see no hypocrisy in trying to save the environment and no, I don’t think it has anything to do with who owns the project; but if you can provide specific examples to substantiate this notion…
    I don’t think it is fair to judge and question the motives of people who volunteer their time; for a cause that unquestionably will benefit everyone on this island. Also, for the record, I see whites involved in every areas/types of charity work, giving money, and volunteering their time.

  13. Laverne said

    There is one PLP governmetn, not current or past. The UBP has had several leaders since 1998, but they’re never referred to as the “current” oppostion or the “past” opposition. Alex Scott had his place in history, and now the PLP is moving forward, with him, as he is still a member.

    Um, no, not quite. Decisions made by a PLP member from the past does not negate or change what is going on in the future.
    The PLP may be moving forward in some areas, the environment is not one of them.

    “As far as KBB volunteers are concerned with regards to picking up trash, don’t you continue to pick up trash from the same place all the time. I do – from my home. Every Monday and Tuesday and I put my trash out that has been collected in my home to be picked up, as do 100% of Bermudians.:

    Are you serious with this? You do know that I am referring to the monthly cleanups when people volunteer to pick up trash at public places that you, your children and grandchildren play/played and enjoy right?

    “As I wrote in my column this week, I’m looking for people to educate Bermudians about the enviroment and sustainable development, not just criticise what people are doing. I try and do my part. In my opinion, it’s not enough for people to stand on beaches with pickets. That’s the easy part, the hard part is educating the Bermudian people about preserving the environment. As I see, that’s what those picketers should be doing.”

    Wow, if this is all you see, then you need to look a little deeper. If Bermudians want to educate themselves, go to a Greenrock meeting, surf the internet about why open spaces are really important to a 22 square mile island, read a book from the library that talks about the environment. When you start to educate yourself on the subject, you will see that it is not rocket science; as a matter of fact, most of it is common sense once you read a little bit about it.

  14. Sara,

    Why do people always try to put words in my mouth? I said nothing about whites or blacks.

    “When you start to educate yourself on the subject, you will see that it is not rocket science; as a matter of fact, most of it is common sense once you read a little bit about it.”

    That statement is laughable to me. My son is an environmentalist and is in the process of publishing his third children’s book on Bermuda’s environment. He taught environmental science at Berkeley and is now doing PhD studies in the area. But I’ll let him speak for himself.

    I just don’t see one group of people involved in monthly clean-ups. But I do suggest you read Ms. Eddy’s letter again.

  15. Briefly, in response to:
    “There is one PLP governmetn, not current or past. The UBP has had several leaders since 1998, but they’re never referred to as the “current” oppostion or the “past” opposition. Alex Scott had his place in history, and now the PLP is moving forward, with him, as he is still a member.”

    That’s hogwash. A government is defined by its leadership, and its leadership is by definition shaped by those leading the party. An Obama democractic party is massively different from a Clinton one, a Blair government markedly different from a Brown and so forth. While parties may share ideals or founding principles, that’s a bit like saying firms are designed to make money, so the CEO doesn’t matter. The reason CEOs come and go so frequently is to help a company revingorate itself, challenge itself and to evolve. Dr. Brown has constructed a PLP government built in his image, with his choice of cabinet, his prioritisation of issues and his method of leadership.

    To the point.

    In my opinion the reason that there is less black activism around the environment is a second-generation removed Maslow thing. A generation back, most blacks in Bermuda were struggling and working so hard just to get food on the plate and a roof over their heads that whether that food came in biodegradeable cardboard and whether that roof was cleaned with non-damaging solutions was not really big on the ole list of priorities. This mentality has trickled down to the current generation, who obviously are still working hard, but in all honesty probably do have the time, resources and knowledge necessary to contribute to the environment debate.

    What I would find very interesting is a comparison on environmental group membership done purely by income per household, then split into black and white. My hypothesis is that whites are more likely at every income level, (though obviously lower-income whites would be less likely than higher-income whites) just because it does seem to me to be cultural.

  16. You say “this is the MAIN reason I do not like Dr. Brown …. because environmentalist are labeled as trouble-makers by many in the PLP Government”. I think you’ve forgotten, or never knew, that it was Arthur Hodgson, the first Environmental Minister under the PLP Government that first started the public conversation about Sustainable Development.

    I believe Sara mentioned it was the current leadership (Dr. Brown) who she has issues with … not other PLP MPs. One need only look at the abuse of process evidenced by the (illegal?) construction of the new dock arm(s) in Dockyard for a current example of this disregard for long established planning procedures.

    Or how about the parking lot at Clifton which miraculously sprung up virtually overnight and which continues to be in contravention of planning regulations due to the absence of properly installed drainage grates on the driveway leading to the main road?

    By the way, if Arthur Hodgson is credited with starting the Sustainable Development conversation why was he not permitted to finish it?

    If my memory serves me correctly, it was Alex Scott who set up the Sustainable Development Round Table. The PLP Government has done a lot when it comes to sustainable development, although some people don’t think it’s enough.

    Alex Scott also did quite a bit with introducing public access to information reforms … not much has happened with either matter since his replacement took over the reins. One wonders why these have been shifted to the back burner of the legislative agenda while at the same time efforts are re-tasked to other less important matters (like introducing temporary duty relief for the importation of limousines or a D.C. party for Obama’s inauguration)?

    Do you see a trend here? The PLP can certainly be credited with starting a number of important initiatives (education reform also comes to mind) but unless they have complete party support or if leadership/minister changes prompt a tweaking of priorities they seem to become orphaned over time.

    There is one PLP governmetn, not current or past. The UBP has had several leaders since 1998, but they’re never referred to as the “current” oppostion or the “past” opposition. Alex Scott had his place in history, and now the PLP is moving forward, with him, as he is still a member.

    While there may be one PLP government there are multiple successor administrations within it (at both the Ministerial and Premier levels) whose policies and priorities change considerably in lock step with the individual inhabiting the position.

  17. 30something,

    You really have an issue with me don’t you? It seems as if I’ve done something to offend you at some point in time.

    I don’t think that the construction of the new dock is illegal, and I don’t think you have any proof of that.

    I think the parking lot at Clifton was a great idea. Once W&E found out they need planning permission, they stopped the project and got the permission. I think the technical officers dropped the ball on that one. I also think it’s the technical officers who should had made sure that drainage gates were installed, not the Minister.

    It is my understanding that Arthur Hodgson is the Chairman of the Sustainable Development Round Table.

    I also understand the the PATI legislation is still a work in progress.

    It is also my understanding that Ministers follow through with campaign promises/issues. They may have different ways in doing that, but that’s what I see happening.

    I’m sure you’ll disagree with everything I’ve said, but that’s okay.

  18. “A generation back, most blacks in Bermuda were struggling and working so hard just to get food on the plate and a roof over their heads that whether that food came in biodegradeable cardboard and whether that roof was cleaned with non-damaging solutions was not really big on the ole list of priorities. This mentality has trickled down to the current generation,”

    WOW….!!!

    “What I would find very interesting is a comparison on environmental group membership done purely by income per household, then split into black and white. My hypothesis is that whites are more likely at every income level, (though obviously lower-income whites would be less likely than higher-income whites) just because it does seem to me to be cultural.”

    wower…!!!

    is this how white bermuda thinks – really – in 2009

  19. One of the difficulties with discussions of this sort in Bermuda is that they so quickly sprial into political polarisation. The Big Conversation gets spun into a UBP/PLP thing, instead of a frank discussion on race in Bermuda. Race and Enivronmentalism gets into a ‘the PLP did this bad’ and the reply of ‘the PLP at least started the discussion’ and so forth.

    While there may well be valid points to all that, that environmentalism has been polarised along racial and political lines, I still don’t think that this alone explains why that is; it only helps explain why the status quo is continued.

    When I was an adolescent I came up with this theory, based on my observations and limited knowledge at the time, that Blacks were afraid of nature and sought to control it by destruction (this came about from watching a centipede and some toads get massacred for no reason). The Portuguese saw nature as something to be controlled for production purposes (if it doesn’t produce food, or revenue from golf, then its not being used properly) – I guess that came from their dominance in the agricultural and landscaping sector. I saw the Whites as seeing nature as having an intrinsic value to be appreciated, kind of aesthetic like.

    I had this theory that the above evolved from historical class relationships with nature. The Blacks were artificially separated from nature (peasant communities back in Africa) and forced to work in productivist nature (plantations, seafaring in Bermuda’s case), which led to a resentment and fear of nature. Also the forced living quarters of the Blacks certainly contributed to a perception of nature as a result, kind of a disregard. I saw the Portuguese as keeping their connection to nature, as a transplanting their peasant society here, and maintaining a peasant approach to nature, something to be controlled to produce goods. And the Whites I saw as having the luxury of time and recreation to appreciate the aesthetic value of nature. I also had this sense that control of land, of space, was a representation of the social control the Whites enjoyed.

    Not sure how that stands today though, I guess I never really ventured to revisit it.

  20. Hi Dr. Doom,

    Its called a conversation, you know, where people actually contribute, listen, reflect and contribute again as a result. One might not agree with what others are saying, but one learns from it all the same. What do you think about what Lost In Flatts actually said? What do you think about race and environmentalism in Bermuda?

  21. @ Dr. Doom (unless of course you’re who I figure you are, in which case there’s no point in asking you for a response) – Do you disagree with my hypothesis? Based on what? I’m just going from my personal experience in Bermuda, from what I’ve seen of boards of environmental organisations, who shows up for protests and so forth. Do you think that black and white bermudians are equally likely to give their time for environmental causes? Emperically?

  22. “is this how white bermuda thinks”

    No. It’s how A white BERMUDIAN thinks.

    Jonny doesn’t speak for white Bermuda any more than you speak for whatever racial and national group you belong to.

    Damning the whole for the actions or ideas of the one is just wrong.

  23. I do not agree with you because you are judging in terms of groups – that’s always a flawed way to make an observation. Judge people as individuals. I seriously doubt that anyone’s melanin count is directly correlated to their care of nature.

    and johnny your black, portuguese and white take sounds scarily reggie white-ish

    van jones is a leading black environmentalist from san franciso – because HE cares about the environment – nothing more.

    for what it’s worth – in bermuda i believe that whites feel shut out of pop culture events (sports, bars, churches, etc.) that they are more pushed toward “what’s left” more as a means of establishing social space as opposed to being intrinsically interested in the environment

  24. Hi Dr. Doom,

    I don’t think that anyone is saying that ones melanin count determines their approach to environmentalism anymore than it determines their support for independence or political party. however there have been shown to be definite trends amongst these groups, at least in terms of political party and independence support, which is explained by certain shared features that make these representative groups. Personally I think it would be more useful to use income grades (as a reflection of economic class) for these purposes, while also including the class breakdown of the races. I think in general terms one would find a definite correalation between class and race in Bermuda as a result of our history. But also as a result of our racial history I do think it stands to reason that their may be cultural differences between these groups as a result. Perhaps it would be better to call them sub-cultures though.

    Not sure if you actually read what I wrote, but if it counts, I’m White, and definitely a fan of culture reggae – hence the title of this blog… 😉

  25. @ Dr Doom – I’m not sure I understand your point. The whole purpose of the social sciences is to understand trends and patterns amongst people. So you can aggregate data and analyse it in different ways. I’m sure you were very interested in income per capita split by race, it is an illuminating analysis. It’s also helpful for policy setters: it allows them to better target public funds.

    Given that your final point is then to group whites together and broadly summarise why they don’t go to ‘pop culture’ events (church? really?) I however figure that you’re just being awkward, and trying to diver attention from the point.

    Do you think that, if you were to do the analysis I mentioned above, and compare the % of whites involved in environmental work and % of blacks involved in environemntal work, taking out income, the figures would be the same? Different? I just find it interesting, as it would support the article at the top of the page.

  26. “I do not agree with you because you are judging in terms of groups – that’s always a flawed way to make an observation. Judge people as individuals.”

    Then:

    “in bermuda i believe that whites feel shut out of pop culture events (sports, bars, churches, etc.) that they are more pushed toward “what’s left” more as a means of establishing social space as opposed to being intrinsically interested in the environment”

    Um… huh?

  27. You really have an issue with me don’t you? It seems as if I’ve done something to offend you at some point in time.

    Not at all. I’m just presenting a different point of view.

    I don’t think that the construction of the new dock is illegal, and I don’t think you have any proof of that.

    I cited the abuse of process (confirmed by the following link) and questioned whether the governemt (in)action was also illegal.

    http://www.royalgazette.com/siftology.royalgazette/Article/article.jsp?sectionId=60&articleId=7d9152b30030002

    Once W&E found out they need planning permission, they stopped the project and got the permission. I think the technical officers dropped the ball on that one. I also think it’s the technical officers who should had made sure that drainage gates were installed, not the Minister.

    As the parking lot was installed under the behest and direction of Government MPs (presumably Dr. Brown and Mr. Burgess given their presence at the press conference announcing/taking credit for the initiative) when will they also begin to accept and take responsibility for the errors and failures of their ministries?

    It may seem like a trivial thing but we see this time and time again … the blame for poor performance being placed on the civil service instead of the decision makers. The progressive failure of tourism over the last few years is another example. The Minister has ultimate responsibility for this portfolio and if we see successive years of decline he should be removed from that position (if unwilling to voluntarily step down) in favour of someone who can effect real change and improvement. Hiding the declines with (selective and inconsistently applied) statistics and hyperbole (i.e. ignoring the bad news and trumping up the positives) doesn’t help matters either.

    I also understand the the PATI legislation is still a work in progress.
    It is also my understanding that Ministers follow through with campaign promises/issues. They may have different ways in doing that, but that’s what I see happening.
    I’m sure you’ll disagree with everything I’ve said, but that’s okay.

    No, we agree on something very important. Successive administrations have no problem placing front burner issues on the back burner in favour of their own agendas.

  28. “I do not agree with you because you are judging in terms of groups – that’s always a flawed way to make an observation. Judge people as individuals.”

    Then:

    “in bermuda i believe that whites feel shut out of pop culture events (sports, bars, churches, etc.) that they are more pushed toward “what’s left” more as a means of establishing social space as opposed to being intrinsically interested in the environment”

    point taken

  29. LaVerne Furbert said:

    “As I wrote in my column this week, I’m looking for people to educate Bermudians about the enviroment and sustainable development, not just criticise what people are doing. I try and do my part. In my opinion, it’s not enough for people to stand on beaches with pickets. That’s the easy part, the hard part is educating the Bermudian people about preserving the environment. As I see, that’s what those picketers should be doing.”

    So I wrote responded by saying:

    Wow, if this is all you see, then you need to look a little deeper. If Bermudians want to educate themselves, go to a Greenrock meeting, surf the internet about why open spaces are really important to a 22 square mile island, read a book from the library that talks about the environment. When you start to educate yourself on the subject, you will see that it is not rocket science; as a matter of fact, most of it is common sense once you read a little bit about it.

    Laverne then wrote:

    That statement is laughable to me. My son is an environmentalist and is in the process of publishing his third children’s book on Bermuda’s environment. He taught environmental science at Berkeley and is now doing PhD studies in the area. But I’ll let him speak for himself.

    Dear Laverne,

    I want you to know that I am not trying to pick a fight with you, but what does this imply?

    To me, it means you and your son already are educated on the environment. Is that the case? If it is, then why are you looking for other people to educate Bermudians on the environment when you and your son are able to do so? Secondly, that is what Greenrock, Best, and The Bermuda National Trust do, they educate people on the environment. They don’t just stand on the beach with picket signs. Also, what happened to Stuart Hayward? Wasn’t he trying to educate the government about the environment?

  30. Environmentalists are a threat to the poor because they hinder growth of new development that create jobs. Without jobs the poor resort to violent crime. Social engineering is the problem with the long bay development. It should be moved to Admiralty House along with the Sally Basset statue. one thing i hate with brutal passion is blacks who believe in social intergration with whites. it prevents investment in the black community.

  31. The main person i hate the most is Julian Hall a former UBP prostitute now a PLP prostitute.

    **I really don’t like doing this, but I@ve decided to edit this bit here, making physical threats to others is, well, unneccessary – Jonnystar**

  32. Pleasant.

    And “Environmentalists are a threat to the poor” is a ridiculous statement.

    The only possible way that growth of new development is hindered is because big business doesn’t want to change their ways.

    If they did, new jobs would be created, with new eco-friendly companies cropping up, new technologies, new products.

    Is that environmentalists fault? I don’t think so.

    And I’ve known Mr. Hayward for a long time and, as far back as I can remember, he’s been fighting for the environment.

  33. Sara,

    I’m not looking for other “people” to educate Bermudians on the environment, I’m looking for “Bermudians” to educate Bermudian people on the environment. I believe it’s only Bermudians that can make Bermudian people understand that. Education on the environment is not just about protest, and as I see it, that’s what BEST is about. I don’t put BEST in the same box that I put the National Trust and Greenrock. As I see it, Greenrock is now trying to work with the Government. The Bermuda National Trust, is another story, and time and space does not permit me to go into that, but I do believe that their focus has changed and they are now trying to be more inclusive, but that has not always been the case.

    When was the last (or first) time that you saw Stuart Hayward go into a classroom in Bermuda and explain about the importance of preserving the environment. All I (and others) see Stuar Hayward doing is criticising the government through his columns in the Bermuda Sun. I don’t see him trying to educate the people of Bermuda about the importance of conservation. Constantly accusing the Government of being corrupt is not educating the Bermudian people about the importance of preserving the environment. The classroom (formal or informal) is the place to do that.

  34. LaVerne Furbert said:

    “I’m not looking for other “people” to educate Bermudians on the environment, I’m looking for “Bermudians” to educate Bermudian people on the environment. I believe it’s only Bermudians that can make Bermudian people understand that. Education on the environment is not just about protest, and as I see it, that’s what BEST is about. I don’t put BEST in the same box that I put the National Trust and Greenrock. As I see it, Greenrock is now trying to work with the Government. The Bermuda National Trust, is another story, and time and space does not permit me to go into that, but I do believe that their focus has changed and they are now trying to be more inclusive, but that has not always been the case”

    Wow, I just can’t believe that you are talking this way about people that are volunteering their time to protect your island. But whatever, your entitled to your opinion. As you and your son are Bermudian, why not start educating other Bermudians on the environment? While your at it, you both could educate the minister of environment as well, as I understand he needs it.

    “When was the last (or first) time that you saw Stuart Hayward go into a classroom in Bermuda and explain about the importance of preserving the environment. All I (and others) see Stuar Hayward doing is criticising the government through his columns in the Bermuda Sun. I don’t see him trying to educate the people of Bermuda about the importance of conservation. Constantly accusing the Government of being corrupt is not educating the Bermudian people about the importance of preserving the environment. The classroom (formal or informal) is the place to do that.”

    With all due respect, does the minister of environment do these things? Before you judge the actions of a volunteer, perhaps you should be judging the person that actually makes the poor decisions regarding the environment.

  35. Sara, with all due respect – I would rather see the zeal with which you argue your point directed toward some of the dire social ills in Bermuda. But that’s your choice. In regards to Stuart Hayward, I have to agree that he spends far too much energy being a critic and not enough writing books, or even educating himself. having heard him speak on the environment several times he doesn’t seem very well read on the science of environmentalism but rather seems to be winging it and resting on his past reputation.

  36. I hear what both of you (Sara/Dr. Doom) are saying, but I don’t think that really addresses the problem. I mean, the questions are:

    a) Are there race/class differences between approaches to environmentalism?

    b) If so, what are they? And why?

    c) What is the way forward for our nation in terms of balancing socio-economy with ecosystem integrity?

    Me, I think that both races (White/Black) do indeed care about the environment, and both do practice environmentalist politics, but the approach/articulation and action are different and not mutually intelligible. For example Blacks have been prominent in protesting the old Marsh Folly dump which could arguably be called a form of environmental racism. Similarly in the movements to gauruntee public access to all beaches. This were both social and environmental issues. The divide seems to be between a White ‘luxury’ environmentalism and a Black ‘popular’ social movement whith environmental underpinnings. The two are compatible, but it takes more understanding and initiative from the White ‘environmentalist’ issue to get involved in partnering with the social movements.

  37. “Wow, I just can’t believe that you are talking this way about people that are volunteering their time to protect your island. But whatever, your entitled to your opinion. As you and your son are Bermudian, why not start educating other Bermudians on the environment? While your at it, you both could educate the minister of environment as well, as I understand he needs it.”

    Sara,

    Wow!! I can’t believe you just made the above statement. It is obvious that you either refuse to read what I write, or can’t read what I write. I already posted here that my son taught environmental science for five years at Berkeley, has published two children’s book on the enviroment and the third one is due on the books stands shortly.

    As I’ve said, and will continue to say,I don’t know if “those people” are about protecting the environment or protesting against the government. I’m sure some of them are sincere.

    As far as the Minister is concerned, he has a whole ministry of people to educate him. Not all “environmentalists” believe that the beach bar in Warwick is a bad thing, just like all “enviornmentalists” don’t believe that the Reefs extension is a bad thing.

  38. LaVerne Furbert said”:

    “Wow!! I can’t believe you just made the above statement. It is obvious that you either refuse to read what I write, or can’t read what I write. I already posted here that my son taught environmental science for five years at Berkeley, has published two children’s book on the enviroment and the third one is due on the books stands shortly.”

    No. I read you post just fine thanks. My point merely being is that why look for Bermudians when you only need to look at yourself and your son to do the educating since you don’t think the groups that dedicate their time to this are getting through to Bermudians. I admire your son for the career he has chosen and the books he has written for the children of Bermuda. He is doing his part, and so are many others invovled in these organizations that you continue to put down.
    BTW, bar on Warwick Long Bay is a bad environmental decision no matter what you may think and so is long line fishing.
    Just out of curiosity, what does protesting the bar on Warwick Long Bay and protesting Southlands have to do with the government? Does the government own the Southlands and Warwick Long Bay projects?

    Also, I think that it is just as important to educate the government on the environment as it is to educate Bermudians in general.

  39. Okay Laverne, if you don’t want to answer my questions that is fine.
    I think it is a cop out.
    Nevertheless, I am thankful for people like your son that see how important the environment is for future Bermudian generations. After all, the youth are the ones that are going to be affected the most.

  40. Sara,

    Please list the questions that I didn’t answer. Maybe I didn’t give the answers you would have wanted to hear.

    One thing you should know, my son is an environmentalist today, because of the direction that was provided by his mother. Now, my grandchildren are environmentalists. But you know what, my mother was an environmentalist and I didn’t even reallise it, because that was not a term that was used back then. She recycled everything and my son talks about that today. As I said before, environmentalists are not just people who stand on beaches with picket signs.

  41. Sara,

    Another thing, please don’t ever again refer to my disagreement with your point of view as a “cop out”. I don’t “cop out”. That term is not in my vocabulary. You don’t know me!!

  42. “Please list the questions that I didn’t answer. Maybe I didn’t give the answers you would have wanted to hear.”

    Sara’s questions:

    Just out of curiosity, what does protesting the bar on Warwick Long Bay and protesting Southlands have to do with the government? Does the government own the Southlands and Warwick Long Bay projects?

    “One thing you should know, my son is an environmentalist today, because of the direction that was provided by his mother. Now, my grandchildren are environmentalists. But you know what, my mother was an environmentalist and I didn’t even reallise it, because that was not a term that was used back then. She recycled everything and my son talks about that today. As I said before, environmentalists are not just people who stand on beaches with picket signs.”

    This being said, if you truly are an environmentalist, then how can you sit idly by and let these disastrous environmental decisions be made and still defend them. Don’t pretend to be an environmentalist.

  43. Hi Sara,

    I think what LaVerne is looking for is why you think that the development on the beach is a bad thing from an environmental perspective. The problem with these things is that they get so quickly polarised and people stop approaching them rationally and just see things as political attacks. That is one of the key problems with BEST. There may very well be valid environmental concerns about the proposal, but to many PLP supporters for one reason or another the protests are not interpreted as a pro-environmentalist thing and instead as an excuse to attack the PLP. This leads to defensiveness within the PLP camp with people either not saying anything or instead defending the proposal instead. And just to stress the proposal is not a PLP thing, but the action of a PLP minister to override recommendations against it makes it look PLP. There is a fundamental disconnect or miscommunication perhaps. Why is that and how should that be addressed?

    I personally have not had the time to look at the details of the proposal yet, which is one reason why I have not commented on it. As I’ve said to other PLPers I don’t see the need for it (the beach bar) no matter how environmentally-friendly it is, but as I haven’t really looked at the proposal my thoughts are more gut reaction than anything else. I would be interested in having a full out pros and cons discussion on it though, so that I can learn more about it, and so too, hopefully, can others.

  44. First, I apologize to you Ms. Furbert for saying the cop out thing. It was unnecessary.

    jonnystar said:

    “The problem with these things is that they get so quickly polarised and people stop approaching them rationally and just see things as political attacks”

    The reason “these things” get polarized so quickly is because these decisions come out of nowhere and without warning and planning. This makes people mad man, what do you expect?

    “I think what LaVerne is looking for is why you think that the development on the beach is a bad thing from an environmental perspective.”

    From article by Amanda Dale-Royal Gazette Jan.27

    http://best.org.bm/

    First, The Development Applications Board refused planning permission as Warwick Long Bay is zoned as Open Space and a National Park Conservation Area. The DAB said the ‘SandBar’ was contrary to the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986 and the Bermuda Plan 1992 Planning Statement.

    Second,you will see that this bar is quite possibly illegal.

    The grounds of the appeal include claims that “the ministerial decision is illegal” and “is supported by no, or no adequate and sufficient evidence or enquiry”. It alleges Mr. Blakeney’s decision is “inconsistent” with section 22 of the Liquor Licence Act 1974 and section 4 of the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986.

    A Government spokeswoman said: “The appointment of Mr. Thomas is not considered a conflict of interest as the Tourism Board is made up of private sector stakeholders, including hoteliers, restauranteurs, taxi drivers, excursion providers and others.

    “The role of the Tourism Board is to act as an advisory body to the Minister of Tourism. Mr. Thomas’s role on the Tourism Board will have no effect on decisions made within the Department of Planning, and his presence on the Board cannot be used to influence any ongoing application reviews relating to his business.”

    I am sorry, but it does seem like a conflict of interest when said person gets the decision of the Development Applications Board is overturned for him.

    A Government spokeswoman said: “The appointment of Mr. Thomas is not considered a conflict of interest as the Tourism Board is made up of private sector stakeholders, including hoteliers, restauranteurs, taxi drivers, excursion providers and others.

    “The role of the Tourism Board is to act as an advisory body to the Minister of Tourism. Mr. Thomas’s role on the Tourism Board will have no effect on decisions made within the Department of Planning, and his presence on the Board cannot be used to influence any ongoing application reviews relating to his business.”

    I am sorry, but it does seem like a conflict of interest when said person gets the decision of the Development Applications Board is overturned for him.

  45. Sara,

    I don’t pretend to be an environmentalist. Yes, I do care about the environment but I would never describe myself as an environmentalist. That being said, all environmentalists don’t agree with BEST’s opinion on Mr. Thomas’ beach bar. As far as the “proposed” bar being illegal, that is a matter of opinion. I will wait to see the outcome of the judicial review. However, it is not illegal for a Minister to override a decision made by a Board.

    “Just out of curiosity, what does protesting the bar on Warwick Long Bay and protesting Southlands have to do with the government? Does the government own the Southlands and Warwick Long Bay projects?”
    No, the government does not own Southlands although the government is now looking to do a land swap. No, the government does not own the Long Bay project. But what does either of those questions have to do with the topic at hand?

    Now maybe you can answer a question for me. Why did BEST not protest the Reefs project? As I see it, it certainly is less environmentally sensitive that the proposed Long Bay project. Just as it a private enterprise, so was Southlands.

    I would suggest you read the letter to the editor from David Chapman on the Long Bay project. He is an environmentalist but he has no objections to the project. Now, you may not agree with his opinion, but you cannot accuse him of not being an environmentalist.

    I personally don’t see Mr. Thomas’ appointment to the Tourism Board as a conflict of interest.

    I think the Bermuda National Parks Act 1986 was just recently amended, although I’m not sure what the amendments are. Remember acts of parliament change all of the time. It was once legal to own slaves in Bermuda.

    As I said previously, we can agree to disagree. It’s okay. I don’t expect you to think the way I think as our life experiences are totally different.

  46. Morning Sara,

    I will read over the BEST objections, its been on my to do list. The thing is though, BEST doesn’t seem to have been very strategic in their press statements or actions. I’m not sure at the moment what would be a better strategy, and that is one of the important questions that I’m hoping this thread will shine some light on. But at the moment they do seem to come across by many as a UBP by proxy, which is unfortunate as the environmental message is the one being caught in the crossfire.

    I can understand alot of the frustrations that you list there, about an apparent conflict of interest. That seems to be almost unavoidable in a small island state such as ours, and it is definitely something we all have to be wary of regardless of who is in power. But that issue, while something to take into account, doesn’t really address whether the development is detrimental, beneficial or neutral from an environmental perspective. Thats more of a process question than environmental impact assessment.

    As I’ve said, I’ll read over the BEST site, and I’ll also read over the letter from David. I would also be interested in reading the DAB objections to the proposal. My main thing is that I think the proposal, along with casinos, Southlands and the panamax cruise-ships, is a wrong approach for Bermuda tourism – I see it as an attempt to replicate the mass-tourism of the Caribbean (which is full of problems to boot). I think we should be focusing more on niche markets and developing eco and cultural tourism, as well as the luxury cruise market. All of these involve lower total tourist numbers, but theybring in greater revenue, as well as complement our own development.

    I don’t know enough about the Reefs issue to comment; my feeling would be that the MoE departments looked at the environmental impact and okayed it, while Southlands and the beach bar proposal were both rejected, then overturned. This led to them becoming issues of concern. But thats just my thoughts without having investigated it fully.

  47. The Reefs wasn’t parkland, nor was it zoned as woodland or coastal reserve.

    Warwick LongBay is a park and nature reserve in fact (as is all of the South Shore Park).

    Southlands was substantially zoned as woodland reserve in exchange for a small parcel to build the existing structures on.

    BEST is not against all development. They appear to me to be focused on protecting the current zonings and open space.

  48. Southlands was/is zoned tourism with some woodland reserve. The developers had promised to the woodland reserve in tact. I wonder why the Reefs was not zoned coastal reserve. It’s on the coast isn’t it? What’s the difference between there and the coast where the coast off Southlands?

  49. The Reefs wasn’t parkland, nor was it zoned as woodland or coastal reserve. Bingo.

    I think what people are having a hard time with include:

    – Direct and indirect abuse of process
    – Misuse of tax dollars
    – Selective reporting of how tax dollars are spent

    … which we’re witnessing with increasing frequency in the Planning Department(Warwick Long Bay, Dockyard pier, Duck’s Puddle, etc.), Works & Engineering/Transport (no-bid contract for new and now over budget TCD centre, Dockyard pier, etc.) and Tourism (arrival statistics, closing of NY office, Playboy party, Obama party, etc.).

    The PLP will cite “the UBP did it” and “plantation questions” as a weak defence instead of choosing the path of least resistance … information disclosure. This in turn fosters further frustration and increases calls for PATI legislation because the government is seen to be acting in a vacuum effectively ignoring the electorate. In an age where information is king and the delivery mechanisms available for distribution are vast there is absolutely no reason why the government should proactively withhold information or not accurately refute what they see as bogus claims.

  50. 30 something,

    You must write for either the Royal Gazette or the Mid Ocean News, because you continue to post inaccuracies. It’s one thing giving your opinion, it’s another things posting inaccurate information.

    First of all, just because something is not printed in one of the local newspaper, doesn’t mean that the Government has not reported it. When you say selective, reporting you must be referring to one of the newspaper. They are selectively report.

    … which we’re witnessing with increasing frequency in the Planning Department(Warwick Long Bay, Dockyard pier, Duck’s Puddle, etc.), Works & Engineering/Transport (no-bid contract for new and now over budget TCD centre, Dockyard pier, etc.) and Tourism (arrival statistics, closing of NY office, Playboy party, Obama party, etc.).

    Warwick Long Bay – Special Development orders are not an invention of the PLP Government.

    DOckyard Pier – What’s wrong there?

    Duck’s Puddle – The Minister already admitted that he made a mistake and set up correcting it. What more do you want – blood?

    Arrival statistics – Do you have correct ones? The Minister does not compile the statistics and you know that.

    TCD Centre – Under budget and under time.

    The UBP did do it. What’s your problem with that? They gave SDOs, had projects that came in over budget, made mistakes, practicised cronyism, etc. etc. Built an airport terminal without toilets on the ground floor. The UBP didn’t pass PATI legislation either. The UBP wasn’t perfect, neither is the PLP, so what’s the big deal. The fact of the matter is that the PLP is in power. You may be frustrated with them, but more than 50% of the electorate is satisified with the PLP’s performance. That’s what counts for now.

  51. Your last sentence speaks VOLUMES Mrs. Furbert and can be interpreted in so many ways.

    “now”? Better leave it at that for ‘now’. I must google the dictionary and see what the definition of future is.

    I must admit, your comments amaze me only because there is no way in hell that you as a person who is not a Government spokesperson and not privy to anything can come up with this stuff.

    Commonily know as a coiltion of spin artists.

    According to the RG the Cahow was first seen by Dr. Wingate in 1922 but then was not confirmed until 1952/5.

    Thas a riddle and if you can’t fathom it, I suggest more paperwork and emails and telephone calls.
    Lord have mercy.

  52. Reasons why I support Belcario Thomas in his Sandbar Development

    by David Chapman (an Environmentalist)

    1. The area where the facility will be constructed is already and has historically been a high use area and access point for Warwick Long Bay.
    2. Bermuda is in need of further diversity of entertainment, dining and outdoor experiences for both tourists and locals alike. I believe based on past examples and the plan that has been submitted that developer Mr. Thomas will be able to provide a quality facility that can help fulfill part of this need.
    3. The developer has shown from the outset a desire to both protect and incorporate the unique landscape and habitat of the coastal dune environment that the development will find itself in. With the effective mandate and monitoring of the land use agreement set by the Ministry of Environment and the Department of Planning as well as Park’s Department, a balance can achieved in suitable use of the planned facility and protection of the environment.
    4. Nature does not follow an equilibrium pattern but rather follows a non-equilibrium pattern over time; meaning as time moves on nature exhibits change. The transition of the Cooper’s Island nature reserve over time is an example of this. The massive changes that took place at Horseshoe Bay, and indeed the entire southern coastline, due to Hurricane Fabian is also an example of this. We also as society should embrace change but in a manner that is adaptable and resilient. The developer has recognised the vulnerability of the location in this regard and has planned to build a non-permanent structure, which in reality is wise based on the pattern of hurricane impact in that area. To imply that sustainable development means either no development or only a certain type of development catering to only select groups is counter-evidential to the reality.
    5. The environmental groups and small group of residents that are protesting only represent a narrow demographic of the island’s society, a demographic that has a vested interest in denying economic empowerment through utilisation of natural resources by other segments of Bermuda’s society. This vested interest is the protection of spaces that they see as sensitive and natural, which is warranted; yet at the same time the vast majority of natural space on the island is not accessible to the large majority of island residents due to entrenched socio-economic class sectors. Historically, due to its surrounding socio-economic demographic, Warwick Long Bay has been seen as a bastion of part of this class system and thus the attempts by the developer are a threat to changing this status quo. The developer is seeking to empower a variety of users to not only utilise this public space for beach enjoyment but also for ptoential economic gain. Likewise, the opportunity exists to further educate and incorporate active participation by the majority socio-economic and disenfranchised of Bermuda’s population to be actively involved in recognising the importance of issues such as conservation and environmental sensitivity thorugh the particular practises and innovations potentially deployed by the developer at the facility. (i.e. the use of non-disposable utensils and table ware, integration of native and endemic flora, facility design reflecting the character of the beach and natural Bermuda, music and ambience catering to the character of Warwick Long Bay, interpretative signage outlining the history of the area as well as the sensitivity of the surrounding habitats.
    6. The concession at Clear water and the multi-use facility of the Clearwater Beach green and playground has shown that Bermuda can properly manage a facility that involves both beach use, wildlife preserve, protected nature reserve, recreational and beach bar-facility and family oriented areas. Unfortunately, many suggestions counter to this are suggestions that Bermudians are not capable of intelligent and well managed, effective and sensible decision making – a suggestion often used to create division between local protests groups and the majority populace, particularly in the case of issues such as Independence, governmental spending and governance in general.

  53. Cahow,

    You can read whatever you want into my last sentence. The fact of the matter is that over 50% of the population put an x beside a plp candidate. There is nothing that can happen to change the government until we go to the polls again. But, it doesn’t surprise me that you’ll read something sinister into my last sentence.

    You are correct, I am not a government spokesperson, however I am a member of the executive of the plp, and as the interim editor of the Workers Voice I receive every press release that the government issues, just like the Royal Gazette, Mid Ocean News and Bermuda Sun. I am privy to as much as the editors of those newspapers are. Everything that I’ve written about should be information that every Bermudian is privy to.

    Further, I did not just become politically active, nor am I just understanding the role of the media. I worked as the assistant to the Opposition Leader for 11 years, plus I wrote for the Bermuda Times for many years.

    How old is Dr. Wingate? 1922 was 87 years ago. Or, were you just testing me?

    By the way you must purchase my son’s third book for your grands as soon as it hits the stands in a couple of weeks. This one is called Daddy and I Explore… Nonsuch Island. It features Dr. Wingate.

  54. Article by Stuart Hayward,Feb.20,2009

    Our planning laws are good, so why does government break them?

    A couple of weeks ago, the Ministry of Works & Engineering (W&E) issued a press release explaining, and in essence apologising for, illegal dumping it had done at the Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club site.

    What the press release neglected to admit, perhaps deliberately, was that the shoreline dumping was linked to an illegal new roadway that was built at Duck’s Puddle without approval from the Planning

    Department. Rubble from the illegal roadway was then illegally dumped on the foreshore.

    The roadway effectively bisects Wilkinson Memorial National Park, which is a designated Class B protected area. There is no question that Bermuda’s National Parks are extremely important.

    Given our limited land area, the fast pace of construction and development, and our high population density (among the highest on the planet), preservation of Bermuda’s parklands is of social and economic as well as environmental importance. Without open spaces, the quality of life – a social value – deteriorates. As Bermuda becomes more built-up, more urban, our attractiveness for tourists – an economic value – declines. And the shrinking of biodiversity and habitat for local and visiting wildlife that attends each incursion into parklands adds to overall environmental stress.

    The Bermuda National Trust has been at the forefront in investing in the social and economic aspects of environmental protection. Trust Executive Director Jennifer Gray highlights this in her comments on the roadworks and dumping, “The Bermuda National Trust believes that our National Parks are of extreme importance both culturally and environmentally and are shocked that this development went ahead without following the appropriate procedures or allowing the public the opportunity for comment.

    Historical quality

    “We feel that the only development permissible in a National Park should be essential to their maintenance and be designed in such a way so as to not harm any natural features or damage the visual or historical quality of the area.”

    This is not to say that the shoreline doesn’t need work. It is prone to erosion, especially when there are storms, and the repair and

    shoring up is a good idea. But even good ideas must be done in a lawful and orderly way. These were not.

    The W&E press release implies, but stops short of, admitting ignorance of the law which, we are told by the sages, is no excuse.

    Frankly, it is surprising and almost unbelievable that Ministry leaders didn’t know that Planning Law applied to them. It’s not like they haven’t been through this before. New roadworks require Planning approval, period. Even if they are doing what they believe is good work (laying boulders alongside roads at the airport; building cruise ship piers at Dockyard) compliance with the law is paramount.

    This is really about due process, about transparency and accountability. Bermuda’s planning process, put in place decades ago, is actually very well conceived. In fact, our Planning laws are

    considered a model for the Caribbean area. Bermuda’s leaders should scrupulously recognise, appreciate and adhere to our Planning laws and processes. These laws should be, not chipped away at, discounted or ignored at the slightest opportunity.

    Premier Dr. Brown, while recently admonishing the taxi drivers, stated, “Compliance with the law is paramount; compliance with the law is paramount!”

    The entire government, especially Cabinet Ministers, must set the example for complying with, not flouting, the law.

  55. Laverne – David is an environmetalist second but a whoopin cheerleader for Uncle Ewarts friends and family plan first and foremost….

    **Just edited a bit of this for the moment**

  56. You must write for either the Royal Gazette or the Mid Ocean News, because you continue to post inaccuracies. It’s one thing giving your opinion, it’s another things posting inaccurate information.

    Ok, then kindly direct me to a link on a government website our press release which corrects these apparent inaccuracies.

    Warwick Long Bay – Special Development orders are not an invention of the PLP Government.

    I don’t recall saying they were but exactly how is it our national interest (the basis for utilising an SDO) to erect another bar? Are they suddenly in short supply?

    DOckyard Pier – What’s wrong there?

    Work went ahead with the 2nd development stage without the requisite planning approvals and/or environmental impact surveys so the Government was subsequently required to seek retro-active approval (… again).

    If the Government (which unarguably should set the example as far as complying with planning rules and regulations is concerned – especially where the marine ecology is involved given its integral role in our society – past, present and hopefully future) can’t even abide by long standing planning laws its not an unreasonable logic jump to conclude this isn’t an isolated incident.

    Duck’s Puddle – The Minister already admitted that he made a mistake and set up correcting it. What more do you want – blood?

    No, don’t recall seeing such a blood request. Why so testy? Nonetheless see my comment directly above regarding compliance standards.

    Arrival statistics – Do you have correct ones? The Minister does not compile the statistics and you know that.

    No, no one does it would seem but if you can provide a link to the Department of Statistics website listing this information it would of course be much appreciated (the same Department by the way which coincidentally falls under the auspices of the Cabinet Office – members of which serve at the pleasure of the Premier).

    The DoS does an excellent job aggregating various data points and publishing a wide variety of reports (CPI, GDP, BoP, RSI, QBS, etc.) which are extremely useful to both the public and private sectors of our economy, however, there appears to be a void of information as far as tourism is concerned. Why is that>

    Furthermore the Premier has absolute control over what information is chosen to report (or not report) to the media and include (or exclude) in press releases so the fact his office is in any way involved with filtering the data would certainly support the notion that the DoS is not integrally involved with the public reporting aspect of the process.

    TCD Centre – Under budget and under time.

    Ok, can you please direct me to the RFP?

    I find it interesting that you choose to ignore the Department of Tourism examples. Why was that?

  57. Thanks to those who alerted me that my reputation was under attack here. I will respond as/when I can.

    Dr. Doom said
    February 19, 2009 at 6:41 pm (#31)

    “Stuart Hayward was an MP for 1 term and did not try and push any of these issues that he now seems so concerned with.”

    Dr. Doom is incorrect. I have been “pushing” these issues for over 30 years, before, during and after my stint in parliament. Even a minimal glance at the media or the parliamentary record for that period would discount Dr. Doom’s statement. I can only assume he/she is more concerned with mischief than truth.

  58. LaVerne Furbert said (#36
    February 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    “When was the last (or first) time that you saw Stuart Hayward go into a classroom in Bermuda and explain about the importance of preserving the environment. All I (and others) see Stuar Hayward doing is criticising the government through his columns in the Bermuda Sun. I don’t see him trying to educate the people of Bermuda about the importance of conservation. Constantly accusing the Government of being corrupt is not educating the Bermudian people about the importance of preserving the environment. The classroom (formal or informal) is the place to do that.”

    Ms. Furbert asks the question as though she knows the answer and wants to prove a point. She doesn’t know the answer, and proves only her willingness to spread innuendo as though it were fact. In fact, I have been to two schools talking about the environment within the last three days.

    As to what Ms. Furbert sees me doing or not doing, it’s fairly obvious that she sees or doesn’t see only what she wants to. In any case, it’s no use shooting at the messenger. The current PLP government deserves and gets criticism from me just as the past UBP government did. As much as she might like to, Ms. Furbert does not control who does what, whether it’s how environmentalists do their job or what columnists comment on.

  59. jonnystar said
    February 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm (#47)

    “The problem with these things is that they get so quickly polarised and people stop approaching them rationally and just see things as political attacks. That is one of the key problems with BEST. There may very well be valid environmental concerns about the proposal, but to many PLP supporters for one reason or another the protests are not interpreted as a pro-environmentalist thing and instead as an excuse to attack the PLP. This leads to defensiveness within the PLP camp…”

    Jonnystar, the process is polarising from the start: the developer applies and those who have concerns can only be heard by putting forward an objection. No objection = no say in the process.

    But to your point, BEST makes no statements against the PLP or against whatever individual happens to be the Minister. Among the people opposed to the proposal are PLP supporters, UBP supporters and people who have no party affiliation. What they say as individuals should not be held to BEST’s account.

    For the record, there are objections to the proposal beyond the “environmental”, including:

    * Parks legislation was created to intentionally prohibit commercial activity on parklands. That some private and public beaches already have concessions doesn’t alter that fact.
    * There is an inherent conflict of interest when private enterprise, that is, business ventures benefiting a few, are permitted on public lands.
    * Warwick Long Bay is not the safest of beaches because of the ledge a few feet from the shoreline. Alcohol sales at the beach raises the risk…

  60. Sara,

    Mr. Hayward, has not set the record straight. Mr. Hayward has given his opinion and his recollection of events.

    I have one question (for now) for “Mr. Hayward”. Which two schools has he visited?

  61. stu – i’ve looked but i don’t see any mention of ehat legislation you pushed or got passed as an MP – can you please tell us what they were.

    what are your academic credentials and please tell us more about your educational outreach

    i did find this though:


    Published: December 17. 2002 12:00AM
    A questionable paragon

    December 11, 2002

    Dear Sir,

    About a month ago, I wrote you a letter that, in essence, defended Mr. Jamahl Simmons for speaking bluntly about some rather unattractive PLP Government traits.

    Since then, Stuart Hayward has taken him to task in a column published last week in the Bermuda Sun, calling him the UBP’s poster-boy political hack. Mr Hayward went further, saying: “To provide an historical context, it wasn’t uncommon during slavery times for a black man newly elevated to a position of power – as overseer, for example – to use the whip more often and more viciously than anyone could imagine possible.”

    This is the same Stuart Hayward who, most of the time, calls down to us from a very lofty pulpit indeed, tut-tut-tutting at the first hint of an uncharitable word from others, and behaving as if.well, a polite way of putting it would be that he behaves as if he were a paragon of civility.

    To find him down here among us, banging his size 11 boots into the nearest UBP crotch, is a revelation – truly one of those Kodak moments someone was talking about the other day. Give that man a glass of champagne! He has earned it.

    BLUTO

    St. George’s “

  62. Okay.

    I think there are a number of people here have completely failed to get the point THAT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT DISCUSSING IF, AND IF SO, WHY, THERE ARE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ENVIRONMENTALISM IN BERMUDA. IT IS NOT ABOUT PERSONAL ATTACKS OR POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP – PLEASE STICK TO THAT ISSUE AND NOT THE PERSONAL ATTACKS/POLITICAL PARTISANSHIP. I will let Mr. Hayward respond to these attacks if he so chooses, but beyond that I have no interest in continuing this stupidity.

  63. What I want to know is how the protection and preservation of Bermuda’s beautiful natural habitat has turned into some stupid race discussion once again?

    Why does everything and every issue get turned around into some race baiting argument that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. We are blessed with one of the most naturally beautiful surroundings in the world and all the PLP can do is turn it into some baseless accusation of racism once again, when there are individuals who are generally concerned with the impact that overdevelopement is having on our environment. Grow up Bermuda….

    This overused tactic is nothing but a diversion from the actual problems facing OUR island. I mean just look at Dr. Brown’s reply to the UBPs rebuttal to the budget. It is pathetic, tiring and does absolutely nothing to better this island. Grow up everyone and

    Dr. Doom (but we know who you really are),

    What does your usual cut and paste prove? Nothing excpept that you can cut and paste, but you are familiar with plagiarism from what I understand. While I disagree with Mr. Hayward’s objection to the beach bar, at least he is and had been making a concerted effort to better and protect Bermuda. What exactly have you done except throw around racial bigotry, claim racism at every post and harass individuals that don’t agree with you or your masters actions. You provide no benefit to this island as compared to individuals such as Mr. Hayward.

    Ms. Furbert,

    Why is it when you tell people something you are “setting the record straight” but when others tell their point it is quite the opposite? Not everyone has to resort to lies and half truths to try and justify their argument. We all know who utilizes those tactics now don’t we? Oh and by the way nice article in the Workers Voice the other day. You know the one where you compared black UBP members to the Nazi collaborators during the Third Reich. Great job you are doing for our island. Top class really.

  64. I agree 100 percent. Mr. Hayward has been in the public eye for many years and voiced varient opinions, comments and statements. Others have done the same the only thing that gets my goat is that he and others are always attacked when trying to preserve this pristine bunch of Islands and Islets here in a remote area of this planet.

    Rodney Kings words come too mind. I’m no prophet but it will take and awakening or other cronic event to bring people together but it may be too late.

    We all say things but just remember, it’s been recorded and will continue to be so.

    The Longtails are back. Time to check my nest.

  65. “I think there are a number of people here have completely failed to get the point THAT THIS THREAD IS ABOUT DISCUSSING IF, AND IF SO, WHY, THERE ARE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO ENVIRONMENTALISM IN BERMUDA”

    Jonnystar,

    What do you mean by this? I personally don’t see there being different approaches to environmentalism. I see there being those that are educated and care about it, those that don’t yet have the education to care about it, and those that do have the education that just don’t give a darn. And why can’t you see IT IS A POLITICAL ISSUE when the government of the day is making the decisions concerning the environment and there isn’t much we can do but protest these decisions. We can educate Bermudians till the cows come home about environmentalism, but it is the government, not the people, who make the decisions. I am not attacking the government, rather trying to show you that this is is very much a political issue.
    However, educating the laymen which is what the article was about, is not a political issue and I totally understand that. Many people are very dedicated to educating Bermudians and have been for a long time, but not everyone wants to listen and that’s okay too.

  66. 9ps,

    I know that you have not read the Workers Voice. Instead what you have read is something written on Vexed Bermoothes and I think Bermuda is Another World about a column in the Workers Voice, written by Eugene Stovell which is titled “The Collaboraters”. At no time did Mr. Stovell refer to Nazi Germany. For your information, all kinds of people colaborate, not just “Nazis” during the the Third Reich. If you would like to respond to Mr. Stovell’s column, please do. The information as to how you can do that is contained in each issue of the Workers Voice.

  67. By the way to all, I thought the topic was “Race and the Environment”. How can anyone discuss race and the environment, without discussing race?

  68. LaVerne Furbert said
    February 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    “By the way to all, I thought the topic was “Race and the Environment”. How can anyone discuss race and the environment, without discussing race?”

    Good point.

  69. Ms. Furbert originally asked, “When was the last (or first) time that you saw Stuart Hayward go into a classroom in Bermuda …” as though she knew the answer. Now that her assumed answer is proven wrong, instead of admitting she was wrong she wants to ask further questions. Obviously she has no interest in answers that don’t fit what she wants to see. Why should I assist if the goal is only to spread poison?

    Likewise, Dr. Doom’s original claim was that I “did not try and push” these issues. Now that that claim has failed the test of truth he/she wants to ask further questions about legislation and my academic credentials. Again there seems to be no interest in facts, only in digging for dirt and spreading poison.

    In so doing, however, Dr. Doom has done me a favour, he/she has unearthed evidence for Ms. Furbert that not all my criticism is of the government.

  70. Dr. Doom repeats, stu – i’ve looked but i don’t see any mention of ehat legislation you pushed or got passed as an MP – can you please tell us what they were.

    what are your academic credentials and please tell us more about your educational outreach

    i did find this though:

    ** I’ve edited this bit out as it just repeats the letter from ‘Bluto’ that was posted above. As i’ve said, I’m pretty much done with this not answering the topic that this post illustrates.**

  71. Jonnystar,

    Thanks for choosing my letter as a topic for discussion on your blog. Sorry to see that it has gone off course. Perhaps there needs to be some guidelines. Words often offend even when it is not intended. If the objective is to explore the topic and gain more perspective on the issue it will be necessary to avoid behaviours that block communication. I suggest these as starters:

    a) keep the discussion on topic
    b) avoid personal attack
    c) offer factual information as well as perceptions.
    d) participate with a receptive attitude
    e) sign with real names; it inspires trust

    The point of my letter was to open a dsicussion on what is perception and what is fact with regard to race and the environment. What one perceives, even repeatedly, is not proof of fact. I happen to believe that all of us care about our environment but how it is shown varies greatly depending a great number of factors. Rather than carry the view that “my view is the the right one”, we have an opportunity to dialogue and find a bridge.

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