NEPA cannot hold back the seas, be practical!

NEPA cannot hold back the seas, be practical!

Monday, September 23, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I have read People's National Party (PNP) Councillor Lorraine Dobson's remarks on page 6 of the September 11, 2019 edition of the Jamaica Observer, under the headline 'Concern about seawater flow on Port Royal street', and found it amazing.

Is she totally unaware of climate change and its consequences?

National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) can no more correct the 'problem' than King Canute (or Cnut) of old Denmark could command the tide from rising.

Neither construction nor dumping is the cause of the problem, and she, like a number of people have been saying that Port Royal (and other places) are below sea level, which is incorrect.

Typically, the height above sea level is officially stated as the average, or above mean sea level (AMSL). I have been fishing all along the Palisadoes for many years, and have observed the effects of sea level rise. For instance, in the 1970s, the playing field beside the Coast Guard rarely, if ever, was submerged by the sea at high tide, but now it is a regular occurrence. The sea level is rising at an accelerating rate worldwide and politicians should take note. Some things are in our lifetimes, unstoppable; build on higher ground; and abandon the low to the rising seas.

Howard Chin


Jamaica Institution of Engineers

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