Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Golden goose could choke on all this litter

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WHAT DO PAUL DUFF, Terence Browett, John Walmark, Marcus Clarke, Geoffrey Padgham, Bill Kent and Peter Quinlan have in common?

They have all been visitors to Barbados who have been expressing disappointment at the dirty way we keep our little country. By writing letters to the editor – and signing their names – they have been telling us how dirty and untidy we are.

Add to that list Sam Burns. He wrote last week: “After spending some time in Barbados, I enjoyed many things, but one thing I didn’t like was the litter found across the island.”

Mr Burns, we like it so; we are comfortable with litter; it is part of our landscape. We don’t even notice it. Haven’t you noticed how we step over and around it on our sidewalks? If you had looked a little closer – now that the rainy season has begun – you would have seen the larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in the plastic cups and bags and the styrofoam food containers we toss at the roadside.

I’m glad you returned home before those larvae became adults to extract some of your blood in exchange for dengue or chikungunya or Zika.

When a sizeable number of folk like you stop coming, Mr Burns, our Barbados Tourism Authority will mount a campaign to woo you back.

We will board planes (the minister will likely go first-class, as usual) and fly around your country with a 20-member retinue of officials, cultural ambassadors, fire-eaters, stilt-walkers, calypsonians and limbo dancers, and beg you and the others mentioned above to come back to Beautiful Barbados, our island in the sun.

How many more visitors will it take to warn us that we are rapidly destroying our environment and with it, our economy?

CARL MOORE

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