Support Community Healing in Haiti

I’m planning my first trip to Haiti next month as part of Ayiti Resurrect a collective of artists, farmers, holistic healers and cultural workers who have come together to contribute their skills to healing the trauma of post-earthquake Haiti.

We’re just $500 away from our goal of USD10,000, which goes towards supporting community based programmes in farming, the arts, women’s empowerment, computer literacy, sustainable energy.
I’m excited about this project because it represents a critical shift in the approach to ‘charity work’. It’s not about giving handouts and being the saviour, it’s about being there and asking the community what their needs are and doing the work that leads to sustainable livelihoods.
So if you have please give and if you don’t please share the info with someone who might. Also if you’re in Trinidad we are hosting an event on April 9th at Big Black Box at which you can contribute cash and/or essential needs like First Aid items, women’s sanitary wear, small toys (no guns please).

Everyone but T&T

A Union village resident surveys the 800 acres cleared for an industrial estate
You know there’s no place like planet home
Nowhere else I would rather be
It’s the only place I know
Where you can witness tragedy
There’s no time to wonder now
About who is right or wrong
We’re Gonna need some help to get things straight
So come on bring your advice along
Planet Home, Jamiroquai

The temperature hit 36 degrees this week in Trinidad and that managed to not make front page.
Time was when the average temperature in Trinidad never went above 32.
Meanwhile, everybody else in the world is talking about climate change. Today in cities all over the heart of the beast that is the United States of America, regular Americans will be calling for action on climate change. Regular Yanks will be demanding an 80 per cent carbon cut by 2050.
Meanwhile, guilty liberals like New Yorker Colin Beavan are embarking on no impact living projects where they are making an attempt to shrink the environmental impact of human life on the environment.
The latest buzz term for this year in enviro chic circles in Europe and North America is carbon neutral.
The so-called first world is moving on from the century plus of damage they’ve done. They all act very contrite now in retrospect that industrialization and the rise of the corporation in this past century were terribly evil and destructive forces.
And now that the guilty liberals are getting more leverage and all the Hollywood arty farty types are jumping on the green bandwagon, it’s suddenly okay to care about Climate Change.
Not in sweet T&T though. A Guardian editorial earlier this week glibly says that Trinidad should not shelve it’s own industrialization drive just because everybody else is freaking out about global warming. I mean to say, what do melting polar ice caps have to do with us?
I guess by 2020 when it’s about 40 degrees somebody might write an editorial saying that maybe it might be time for us to start thinking about saving what’s left of our environment.
There might still be some of the Northern Range then. Uncle Bas might still be in court and police officers would have been replaced by upright blimps.
Trinidad will be known around the world as the land of smog and plastic bottles.
I guess at that point maybe somebody might remember that back in the late 90’s our government signed all these international declarations like the Kyoto Protocol and the Vienna Convention on Ozone Depletion.
Somebody might even remember that we have a National Environmental Policy of 2005 that says:
“National physical development and planning policies must address, in a realistic and holistic way, the need to stabilize population growth, reduce poverty and promote equal access to all national services. An ecologicial approach to human settlements planning must be implemented in order to make our villages, towns and citie clean,green and efficient. Strategies and plans must be introduced to reserve the most fertile soils for agriculture and to utilize existing agricultural land optimally.”
Take and look around and see if you can find one example of that policy in action.
Anyway, I want to wish the Americans all the best on their call for action, because Jah knows, they’re responsible for a lot of it.
The jokey thing about it is that the newly assembled United States Climate Action Partnership includes businesses like my favourite multi-national, none other than the goodly Alcoa.
Because what’s going on is that the guilty liberals in the First World are still yet to fully reject their consumerist culture. So what’s a corporation like Alcoa to do? If they can’t get away with it in their own backyard, take it to the Third World. This is not just an environmental issue, it’s a labour issue, a poverty issue, a gender issue.
Perhaps Uncle Fidel is right to say that he doesn’t want to talk too much about alternative forms of energy because that’s just creating ways to continue to feed the greed of the North. Ethanol for MTV’s pimped rides and solar power for Al Gore’s heated outdoor swimming pool.
The world’s poor, some of whom exist right outside our doors, are going to be the most affected by Climate Change. Already the billionaires are heading for outer space tourism. Who’s to say the rich minorities aren’t going to make a big stinking mess out of this beautiful blue green marble and then ride out without as much as a backward glance?