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Dosage Mistaken At CoP 28---Greased Obsequiousness for A "Bashment" in Dubai.

Crestfallen Participants Exiting COP28, Hopefully for a Consolation in COP29

Six days ago, Ambassador Byron Blake, a colleague columnist, alerted me to what seemed then a tired April fool's joke told too soapily by Jamaica's Delegation to the 83,000 crestfallen participants in CoP28 as they departed after a further 23 hours of chat. They were exhausted, emerging from an elaborate flop in Dubai on December 2.

Off-hand, I scribbled: 

3 times 0 = 3x0 = 0 and posted it by email to him in the spirit of levity. I thought the joke warranted that. Within minutes, he shot back quoting the following bit of greased obsequiousness:  

Declaration Recognizes the Key Role of Nuclear Energy in Keeping Within Reach the Goal of Limiting Temperature Rise to 1.5 Degrees Celsius 

 Two days later,  The Gleaner Published: Tuesday | January 2, 2024 | 12:07 AM repeated the COP28 slapstick from Jamaica amid 24 strange and sad friends smiling dutifully at their own joke and desperately seeking company among the 83,000 invited guests to the UAE's "bashment" in Dubai.    

That made me reflect that no adequately medicated Island nation's delegation, let alone, the forlorn lone-star delegation of Latin America and the Caribbean, should need to be reminded of the following 19 hard Theses of life in this zone:

1.0 The Caribbean has maintained a nuclear-free zone status for over 50 years.

2.0 CARICOM nations and associated territories have not been consulted on Jamaica's potential commitment to pro-SMR initiatives.

3.0 Jamaica, along with Barbados, Dominica, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Guyana, and Belize, has demonstrated expertise in generating energy from green sources such as wind, solar voltaics, hydro, biomass, and fuel alcohol for decades.

4.0 The socio-political landscape of Jamaica favors a sustainable and eco-friendly approach, as reflected in the country's commitment to renewable energy sources.

5.0 Public opinion in Jamaica leans towards environmental conservation and sustainable practices, which may influence decisions related to nuclear energy adoption.

6.0 The government's historical emphasis on diversifying the energy mix highlights a strategic interest in minimizing dependence on any outdated notion of "baseload" comprising reliance on any single energy source.

7.0 Tourism is a significant and most sensitive economic activity in Jamaica and neighboring nations.

8.0 Jamaica, in collaboration with land-rich and water-rich nations like Guyana, Suriname, and Belize, can readily explore commercial partnerships to meet its basic agricultural and energy needs through the bulk trade in biomass. This shipped biomass, Biocrude, can be processed locally, in Jamaica to produce green hydrogen, animal feeds, green fertilizers (liquid and solid), pharmaceuticals,, and biochar.

9.0 In the named countries, Leucaena and other fast-growing, drought-resistant energy/ leaf protein plantation crops can be up and producing for continuous mechanical harvesting in less than 20 months. 

10.0 The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) reports that attempts to implement SMR technology in the Western world have consistently failed at various stages—feasibility studies, build-out, projected post-erection energy price to end-users, and national regulatory licensing.

11.0 Jamaica currently lacks practical capacity in any nuclear power engineering.

12.0 The nation's ability to respond to nuclear accidents is limited.

13.0 Jamaican and Caribbean universities and research institutes already possess enough technically skilled personnel who can promptly support and sustain a green, non-threatening, or non-nuclear future for Jamaica. The Instrumentation, Automation, and Controls expertise is abundant in our regional Science, Engineering, and Industrial Engineering departments.  

14.0 The Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault Zone (EPGFZ) has been one of the planet's most catastrophic seismic zones in the past century, with particular relevance to CARICOM, and all Caribbean Basin nations and colonies.

15.0 Within the past 500 years, the South coast of Jamaica, particularly Port Royal and Kingston, bore the brunt of the devastating tsunamis triggered by the 1692 and 1907 earthquakes. Three of my grandparents constantly harped on the tsunamis which they (my maternal grandparents) mistakenly called "tidal waves". They worked in Kingston when 1907 was fresh in the popular memory. Two of them married, lived and worked in Rae Town, literally on the Kingston waterfront, not long after that catastrophic event. Such types of events evidently affected Portmore, Portland Bight, Goat Island, Old Harbour Bay, Vere, Alligator Pond, Black River, Savanna-la-Mar and surrounding southern coastal areas. 

Within the past few years of recorded time, Northern coastal areas of Jamaica have also been affected by massive tsunamis generated thousands of miles away in the Canary Islands & Portugal (!755), and Central America.  My late geoscientist wife Sandra never let me avoid those realities. And the Burlington event which dammed the Rio Grande River completely for months is still seared in the living memory of Portland's elders and Eastern Maroons. That place where millions of tons of Blue and John Crow Mountain face slid hundreds of meters, like a slice of butter, into the river far below, is rather plain to see even from kilometers away at Dam Head, near Windsor.

It is important to remember that tsunamis can impact any coastal area, regardless of its previous experience. While the south coast has been hit hard in the recent past, future tsunamis could potentially affect other parts of the island as well. Therefore, factoring tsunamis into energy planning is most critical for Jamaica and the Antilles.  

16.0 No treaties currently guarantee the orderly international transfer of nuclear power reactor waste from Jamaica which currently has no capacity whatever to handle nuclear power station wastes on its own territory. 

17.0 As of January 1, 2024, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) have not been operational anywhere outside of the fenkeh-fenkeh one, a prototype on a remote militarized "conventional nuclear 2400x2 megawatts" peninsular outcrop in Eastern China. The place swarms with heavily armed PLA in uniform. UNIDO deployed me near there as a senior energy consultant in the 1980s. 

18.0 The serious and grave potential geopolitical implications of nuclear energy adoption, including its impact on international relations and alliances, should be carefully considered.

19.0 The grave national security issues that we would be courting with SMRs even though we have clearly proven below capacity to deal with those we now daily confront since the start of the past 10 years.

Here's the thing: The inadequately medicated representation of Jamaica at COP28, marked by the addled and greasy obsequiousness of the so-called "Declaration" to Triple Nuclear Energy, raises serious concerns about the authenticity of the country's commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly energy solutions. To be pellucidly clear, as a seasoned energy specialist, I consider Jamaica's concluding actions at CoP28 to have been foolish, insincere, and likely subservient to specific interests.

My presented 19 hard Theses underscore the impracticality and potential risks associated with Jamaica's consideration of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) as a viable energy option. The historical commitment to a nuclear-free Caribbean, the abundance of expertise in renewable energy sources, and the socio-political landscape favoring sustainable practices are all compelling reasons to reevaluate the recent endorsement. The highlighted vulnerabilities, including seismic activity, tsunamis, limited capacity for nuclear power engineering, and the absence of treaties for nuclear waste disposal, emphasize the need for a more informed and holistic approach to energy planning. The potential economic and geopolitical implications, along with national security concerns, further underscore the urgency of reconsidering the ill-advised endorsement and prioritizing the pursuit of proven, green alternatives for Jamaica's energy future. 

Why did such an obsequious endorsement of SMRs ever happen at CoP28?

Dennis A. Minott, PhD.

January 7 , 2023

BTW: To “COP28 is now on the verge of complete failure,” posted by Al Gore on day 6,

I sigh: Alas, at the Hotel Fossil Fuels, you may check out any time but, in Dubai, you can never leave!

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