Opinion: Under the lighthouse

POSTED: 09/29/11 1:54 PM

Under the lighthouse it is always dark. There are so many examples that prove this point that they make your head spin. The latest one comes straight from our own Tourism Minister Franklin Meyers. Yesterday, the minister announced that hotels could contribute to mitigating the effect of global warming and improve their bottom line at the same time.

All they have to do, we read, is to join a United Nations backed green scheme. The UN apparently has a toolkit to evaluate energy consumption, to find renewable resources, and to improve energy management. All of these help to reduce costs.

We’ve somehow lost the ability to fall over backwards when we learn something new in St. Maarten, because nothing surprises us anymore and the case at hand is no exception.

Let’s alert Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto about this green scheme. Adapted for his field of interest, Minister Meyers’ revelation could read something like: the government could contribute to mitigating the effect of global warming and decrease the budget deficit at the same time.

Shigemoto ought to get his hands on the UN green scheme, order the toolkit and start evaluating the energy consumption in government-owned buildings and companies. If he just looks out of his window on a sunny day, he will someday realize there is a renewable energy source right in front of his nose. It’s called the sun.

As far as improving energy management is concerned, we refer to the opinion we published yesterday under the headline air conditioning terrorism.

We suspect however, that our dear government will never contribute to mitigating the effect of global warming. We think the odds heavily favor the possibility that the government will keep proving that it is always dark under the lighthouse.

So we will keep working in freezing offices, the government will keep all air conditioning systems firing on all cylinders, and our ministers will keep going to international conferences and come back with lofty messages that tell others what they ought to do to keep global warming at bay and to improve their bottom line. That will enable the government to collect more taxes – money it desperately needs to keep its own air conditioning systems running.

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