Somewhere in the U.S. north-west, a condemned man is on his way to the gallows.  He takes small, measured shuffles; his elbows gripped by guards to bolster his nerve; his young public defender bursting with anxiety for a last minute reprieve; a prison chaplain mumbles words of comfort from Isaiah 41:10.

The phone rings.  By the time the conversation ends, the condemned man has climbed the scaffold and confronted the hangman.  The Warden announces the Governor has granted a stay of execution.  The public defender, hopping like a firewalker testing the leidenfrost effect, says “Warden, you sure?”

“I’m sure” replies the Warden.

“But” the earnest young lawyer persists “can we be absolutely sure?  Shouldn’t we get it in writing?  If it turns out to be a prank call, it’ll mean additional trauma for my client.”

The young lawyer was about to continue when his client interrupted him.  “Shut up!” the condemned man said “My perspective is simple.  No noose is good noose.” 

Listening to the pompous hoo-hah surrounding the proposed seaport at Goat Island brought this story to mind.  As usual, as the proposal was made, environmentalists swarmed government with reasons why it couldn’t be done.  “The coral reef!” they shrieked; “poor little fishes!” Then they threw in the endangered Iguana for good measure which made me picture Peter Espeut leaping (well maybe “rolling”) between an Iguana and oncoming Chinese dredgers hanging over the lizard like a birdie putt needing a half rotation to drop.  One more biscuit for breakfast, Peter, and Iguanas might wish they’d taken their chances with the dredger.

                   “Here we go again.
She’s back in town again
I’ll take her back again

                one more time….”

Remember when north coast hotel development would destroy beaches?  Remember when the Palisadoes road improvement project was Jamaica’s death knell?  Remember when the north-south link was an impossibility because a small section might’ve been environmentally unsafe?

                   “I’ve been there before
and I’ll try it again.
But any fool knows
that there’s no way to win.
Here we go again.
She’ll break my heart again.
I’ll play the part again

                 one more time.”

Breaking news: Everything, especially development, comes with cost including environmental degradation..  Anybody who doesn’t want a degrading environment should ask Doctor Who for a ride back to the Garden of Eden.

Jamaica stands on fiscal gallows with multinational hangmen fitting the noose around its neck.  Meanwhile, the environment worldwide is under real attack by oil producers; fossil fuel burners (over 85% of earth’s primary energy consumption comes from fossil fuels which take millions of years to be renewed yet are depleted daily); acid rain; Chlorofluorocarbons depleting the ozone layer; worldwide deforestation threatening to eliminate all rain forests within 100 years thus destroying natural habitats of millions of environmentally critical species; and so on.

So, can I respectfully suggest Peter and Diana ride their horse and buggy to Washington to protest U.S. insistence that nuclear technology be used only by Americans; or to the Amazon where they could productively chain themselves to an endangered tree; rather than ranting and raving in support of King Stitt’s reptilian cousin and against an offer to resuscitate Jamaica’s condemned economy.

Talking about the Iguana, when last has one actually been spotted on Goat Island?  Goat Island got its name from the large numbers of goats left there for cheap board and lodging.  Goats, in the vernacular, “nyam everyt’ing”  They made life impossible for any Iguanas left behind by their earlier predator, the mongoose.  So the Iguana fled to Hellshire (from frying pan to fire) where their hardwood tree refuge is constantly burned by charcoal burners who threaten conservationists trying to protect the specie.  

The “poor little fishes” were eliminated years ago by local fishermen’s over-fishing.  These fishermen can’t afford long term thinking.  Their children are starving NOW.  As Omar Davies correctly stated “the environment’s greatest threat comes from abject poverty.”  The remaining fish population have surrendered to invading lion fish as the Iguana did to the goats.

Jamaica’s coral reef is an island-wide disaster.  The reef around Goat Island is no different.

C’mon man.  Surely there’s SOMETHING Government can do expeditiously to avoid fiscal strangulation that environmentalists will just leave alone.  Do we really want to do nothing for fear of the environmental effect while Jamaica falls off the fiscal cliff and the noose tightens around its neck?

Here we Go Again, a seminal Ray Charles recording, was written by Don Lanier, Donnie Henson Lanier, Russell Steagall and Russell D. Steagall

Peace and Love


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