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Article Review:The Caribbean and Climatic Change by Bueno et al (2008)

Updated on July 31, 2017

The article by Bueno et al (2008) titled “The Caribbean and Climatic Change: The Cost of Inaction” examines the possible costs of greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and other harmful human activities on the environment. They observe through this analysis that the populations living in the Caribbean islands are vulnerable to climate change which has been largely instigated by human activities and failure by the authorities to establish proper measures to curb climatic change. The Caribbean nation experiences frequent rise in sea level, hotter temperatures, and the increase in the intensity of the hurricanes, excessive floods and storms. These harsh conditions have jeopardized not only human lives but, also the property in this part of the globe. At other times, the rise of sea levels leads to submersion of the smaller islands, thus making the lives of the inhabitants unbearable if not impossible. With considerations that a good number of tourists flock to the Caribbean because of its favorable temperature, the authors observe that the significant rise of temperature to extreme levels has significantly hampered the tourism sector. Tourism is currently considered the backbone of the Caribbean economy and when it is affected, it causes a noteworthy damage. The authors go on to present case studies of Caribbean states that have been adversely affected by climate change. These include Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands. However, the authors content that the acceleration of the impact of climate change is attributed by the inaction of the government and the international community. The authorities as reiterated by the authors need to exert force in controlling for instance, greenhouse emissions, deforestation as well as setting mechanisms of controlling floods, storms, and hurricanes among others.

This article relates with the chapter on the Caribbean Contrasts (Blouet, 2015, chapter 9) in various ways. For instance, while Bueno et al (2015) acknowledges tourism as the backbone of the Caribbean economy, Blouet has discussed the diverse attraction features that make the Island nation a popular destination for tourists. Therefore, the article agrees on the richness of the nation in the tourism perspective. Another area of convergence for Bueno et al article and the book by Blouet (2015) relates to the vulnerability of the local population due to climatic changes. For instance, Blouet et al (2015) writes that the massive deforestation experienced in the country as a way of creating space for agricultural practices has adversely affected the environment and the climate in general. In particular, deforestation is directly related to massive floods, soil erosion, lack of rainfall, rising level of temperatures and so on. In his recommendation, Blouet (2015) also aligns with Bueno et al’s (2015) observation by noting that the authorities have failed in their responsibilities of protecting the environment and providing guidelines on conservation measures. Additionally, the government has not bothered to create awareness of its people of the impact of their activities on climate change or the environment and what they need to do to create a good environment for their own benefit. In other words, the authors have rested blame on the government and international bodies for failing to make up policies or create awareness to ensure the environment is not destroyed. These authors also opine that if the trend persists, then the situation will ultimately turn from bad to worse and maybe make the region unfavorable for human habitation. This is therefore, a wakeup call for the Caribbean government and international bodies to refocus on the Carribean and work jointly to save the nation from degradation.


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