Throw it all into a big inferno! Let it blaze, because that is exactly what we seem intent on doing when it comes to the issue of how energy is consumed in Jamaica.
The ever humorous and insightful Din Duggan discuss the incredible paradox of how a poor nation like Jamaica disregards the issue of energy conservation in his article The hungry-belly, energy-wasting beast.
This is baffling. As The Economist reported, “The only by-product of energy efficiency is wealth, in the form of lower fuel bills and less spending on power stations … .” Even our own National Energy Policy finds that simply implementing an energy-conservation plan would substantially reduce our energy demand – saving us a whopping $48 billion per year by 2020.
Duggan tries to put forward some solutions as well.
But one thing we can do – right now – is to start using electricity more conservatively and efficiently: invest in fluorescent light bulbs, energy-efficient appliances and fuel-efficient vehicles. Government can incentivise these behaviours while setting sound examples: power schools and other government buildings with solar energy, construct a fuel-efficient government vehicle fleet, and make street lights more energy efficient.
Whatever your take on the issue, Jamaica’s economy certainly could use all the aid it can get. Why isn’t more being done to consider the benefits of conserving?