Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jamaica's energy conservation policy

April 14, 2008 - The world's population is growing. Globalisation has opened up hitherto (geographically, politically and ideologically) isolated places to travel for business and pleasure. Competitive and diverse job markets necessitate frequent long-distance commuting and precipitate lengthy, serpentine traffic lines.

The demands of 'modern' living and the need for creature comforts have put a tremendous strain on the world's energy resources. The economic boom in India and (especially) China is accelerating the depletion of our uncertain energy stores. Consequently, every nation, including Jamaica, needs a programme of energy conservation to significantly reduce consumption of fossil fuel. This energy source - believed to be formed by the fossilised remains of dead plants and animals that have been heated and pressurised within the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years - is not only non-renewable, it is expensive and extremely polluting.

Jamaica's innumerable motor vehicles congest our streets day and night. Air-conditioned, multi-storey administrative offices; hillsides bejewelled by opulent illuminated residences, energy-hungry factories and businesses all go to prove that we consume far more than we produce. Our penchant for First-World amenities on a Third-World budget (that landed us deep in generation-spanning debt) belies the fact that Jamaica's energy bill is subject to volatile crude oil prices (now more than US$110 per barrel). More >>>