By Carol Lawton
I sometimes think randomly and write on impulse as the intangible of my brain needs the tangible of the pen. While both are real it means nothing unless it is created in hard form. For months they sometimes stay still not even a vowel to create by this marriage. But in time, the partnership of brain and pen bears fruit with gushes of words, sentences and nonsensical logic. So too it is with the relationship of all of us who are true capitalist as ideas become market commodities. Hence the capitalist cannot ignore and must understand the environment as this is a real waste and not a imagine waste. Environmental protection is not in the mind of the capitalist anymore it is real in terms of dollars and sense for those who doubt it is the partner that will sustain the very market that pushes return on investment (ROI).A simple profit analysis yield s that revenue minus expense equal profit should settle that. NO ONE CAN DEBATE THAT even the socialist. It is hard wired into all activity of the market. Why then should the capitalist break this wedlock which binds us forever with the environment?
The carbon footprint of our actions seems to missing from the bottom line of our accounting statements. There are few businesses much less one official or government willing to see how critical it is to make these adjustments as it will increase economic growth and efficiencies. It will create work via new career paths for all strata which will drive services. Capital investment will be created with the sales of hard purchases over a long term as these as not quick fixes or one time fixes. It ties in the lifecycle management and merges scientific management with the liberal arts. An El Greco is just a painting but its value is priceless so too is the environment as it’s just a beach but its value is priceless. So pity the fool who destroys our beaches in Jamaica under the guise of development, GDP and political brownie points because they are thieves of our present and future. This value is nothing to them because they place no value on it and will wreck it just for a back door cut of the projects slated. Lets us just be real about how it really works. So short term gains are traded off for exponential ROI gains. Is that a fair tradeoff Are you willing to trade these off?
A move to make adjustment could see new technologies and concepts of debt financing between Jamaica and its donor agencies who belong to the countries producing the most waste ,if we should think outside the box while inside the reality of Jamaica. Jamaica is a box open out flat. THIS IS ALSO A FACT AS SO FAR NORTH, SOUTH EAST OR WEST THEN WATER. Investment could be use to convert energy into numerous by products of which Red Stripe is doing with its cogen plant. One of the more forward think companies I must add. But it would also affect the social including crime, education, health and even the direct and indirect customers of those who leave a carbon foot print. But then again I have yet to hear anyone speak of the matter in Parliament so it is not on their radar. How can an economy exist with being in an environment? The intangible and the tangible must blend in this age as we exist with the technology to convert ideas into reality. Hence what did not exist now becomes tangible and what exist become an intangible making it obsolete and irrelevant. So too is social responsibility to the act of business and government.
We complain about JPS and the cost associated but have we ever seen the real accounts for the carbon waste that JPS produces to gain profits? Yet they speak of some people wanting something for nothing. Is it actively planting tree and upgrading its system fast enough to ensure that the cost are mitigated? How many tons of emission does it produce and what is the real value of the cost of the pollutants? JPS is not the only one I might add all business produce a carbon footprint . It just that JPS is the beating stick which is the easiest to pick on as an example. Our air quality is invisible but it has a value to me. Do you value the air you breathe? Is this a negative ROI for those who are trying to say clean but still forced to breathe because life s everything?
In some forward thinking countries debt can be written off for their pollution waste. Countries trade this at time for debt as well in their trade negotiations for well over two decades. What a concept air is a tangle commodity even across border that can attract a monetary ROI! Companies are given tax breaks for buying new equipment and reducing Carbon output. How novel! Yet the world has been doing this for years. This is not only about climate change but how do we put value to the intangibles of environmental protection to be socially responsible to both internal and external stake holders hence increasing equity.
I am a capitalist and the environment does have a price on it. It carries revenue and expenses with ties into the primary law that runs our head which is profits. Without profits no taxes and increase in social liabilities on the human side. Losses normally just give us headaches. Since the laws of economic bonds the environment, it is rightful that we look at it as capital and protect it and try to expand its worth and value. Two projects will harm it that are slated as mega projects which I believe in which makes it hard to resolve. But I will choose the environment at all times especially since these project involve the sea, beaches and water. The logistics hub and Port Royal development are these two projects. They will affect me directly on all fronts hence they are an interest to me as well. It is at this point I look more at government as the largest business and ignorer of its social responsibility and the footprint it makes in our lives past present and future. The government feels it holds no responsibility to us for the environment yet we are required as active investors in taxes and fees to support its action blindly. Our waters are polluted and watershed damaged. Do you like clean drinking water?
Legislation is hinder under the pretense of the process but the government makes up the majority in Parliament and is sure of a win when it wants it. So is it they lack the will to look out for our interest? The use of the state’s power forces us to hold a negative business with disregard to our environmental laws. Why create laws if they do not apply to the maker? An environmental impact study must determine the cost in real dollars and cents to the society and economy. Yet they are mostly words. Show me the money is all I have to say to the cost. What are the financials behind the environmental cost? I hear the emotions but I want to see the numbers and what the resource are valued at by the government. This is what is expect to be responsible to us in our generation, Government of Jamaica. Do you think the government is being responsible here by holding back information? More questions than answers as it concerns my interest and what I value.
1. What will happen to the annual turtle migration nesting sites along the Palisadoes Strip?
2. What will happen to the crocodiles in the mangroves when your mega projects go up?
3. How to you project to maintain the estuaries and mangroves which are breeding ground for the fish?
4. Will we have access to beaches?
5. Will we be able to afford to go to Port Royal to relax?
6. How is it right that my friends in Port Royal cant build a home because of historic landmarks and environmental limitation but this project will go ahead? Is the government beyond the law as the stake holders are the government agencies in the project?
7. The government sells energy to JPS and runs the only refinery. How many tons of CO2 is pumped into our air and how much more will be added with this new build out for the logistics hub and the traffic it creates?
You cheat us Government of Jamaica with withholding key information and holding phony accounting books on the environment and its cost. If future cost can be access and liabilities, state your case for the short term gains and long term gains. How we can mitigate the liabilities of your forced decisions on the environment. The government and the true capitalist must review the balance sheet and ensure that the cost of doing business includes the environment. Plant a Tree and don’t step on your social responsibility to us with a footprint and a news headline saying it was a missed step.