CARIBBEAN IMPACTED BY GLOBAL WARMING—12/29/12
The heavy rains experienced in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico, as well as in the Caribbean during 2012, are evidence that climate change is having a major impact on the region. Researchers from the Inter-American Development Bank, together with the World Wildlife Fund and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, issued a report quantifying the economic effect of climate change on the area. An increase in temperature of two degrees centigrade relative to temperatures seen before the Industrial Revolution could mean economic losses totaling some US$100 billion by 2050. The largest impacts would be found in agricultural exports, increased sea levels, reduced hydropower production, coral bleaching, and loss of biomass in the Amazon rain forest.
OLDER PEOPLE MUST BE CONSIDERED IN DISASTER PLANNING—12/30/12
Jamaica’s Ministry of Local Government and Community Development plans to push for more consideration of older persons living in long-term-care facilities during the development of disaster plans. According to Philbert Brown, senior director of hazard mitigation at the Ministry, individuals in infirmaries are especially vulnerable to natural disasters, and any system put in place to rescue them must address their special needs.
HEALTH MINISTRY BUYS FOGGING MACHINES TO CONTROL DENGUE OUTBREAK—12/31/12
Jamaica’s Ministry of Health has purchased 28 fogging machines at a total cost of J$5,264,000 as part of an effort to control outbreaks of dengue fever. Ultimately, 48 fogging machines will be procured under the Dengue Outbreak Control Program at a cost of J$188,000 each. Every parish health department will see the benefits of the fogging machines; eight have already been delivered, and 20 more are expected in January 2013.
REPORT PREDICTS BOOST TO CARIBBEAN SOLAR MARKETS—01/02/12
A report from NPD Solarbuzz, a solar energy market research firm, believes that the demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in the Caribbean and Latin America will increase exponentially in the near future. A yearly growth rate of 45 percent has been predicted for the sector. In the past, demand for PV has been in rural areas off the grid, but new renewable energy policies and incentives are making the technology more attractive to other environments as well.