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Showing posts from April, 2012

Returning to Economic Properity

A few weeks ago I received an email from an anonymous source.  It was some analysis of Trinidad’s pricing model for gas exports and it concluded that we could be losing up to US$7 billion annually by selling to low price markets.  In summary this is because of our being locked into low price contracts as well as soft prices in the main global markets caused by increasing supply.  This is of course is not an unusual view as most interested observers are seeing what access to unconventional gas sources in particular are doing to the traditional economic models.  By unconventional, I am referring to six main categories of unconventional natural gas - deep gas, tight gas, gas-containing shales, coal-bed methane, geopressurized zones, and Arctic and sub-sea hydrates. 
As the United States in particular becomes less dependent on foreign gas supplies and some projections such as those in the Ryder Scott report suggest that reserves may be depleted sooner than Trinidad would like, there is s…

Thinking About Prejudice

Megastar, Shah Rukh Khan, was on his way to deliver a lecture at Yale University earlier in April.  On landing in a private plane at the White Plains Airport, 53 km from Manhattan, Khan was detained by immigration officials for nearly two hours.  Reports say that he was given immigration clearance only after the intervention of the Indian Consulate General.  It was also reported that Yale University officials had to contact the department of homeland security and the immigration and customs department at Washington to appeal from Khan's release.  After the detention drama, U.S. customs and border protection authorities offered a letter expressing 'profound apology' over the entire issue. 
This however was not the first time.  Apparently in 2009, Khan was detained at Newark Airport and questioned for more than two hours before being allowed entry.  That incident also led to extensive media coverage over his treatment by U.S. authorities.  Anyway, this time the actor did no…

Threat to gov’t gas revenues

“We can be losing up to 11 billion USD per year due to selling our Gas to low price markets and the GORTT needs to act now to rectify this”
Threat to gov’t gas revenuesApr 17, 2012– Trinidad Express Last Wednesday , the price of natural gas on the Henry Hub Index plunged to a ten-year low to US$1.96 per thousand cubic feet (MMBtu). It later fluctuated, hovering around the US$2 mark, where it seems destined to stay – unless unusual weather conditions drive up demand for the commodity in the United States. While Trinidad and Tobago no longer sells most of our LNG on the US market, reality is that we are very much a gas-based economy. When, therefore, prices plummet in a country like the USA, we need to understand what that could mean for us. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/business-magazine/Threat_to_govt_gas_revenues-147862755.html The above article prompted this piece which I found in my inbox this morning...PLEASE NOTE that I (Derren Joseph) did NOT write it...

Why are WE losing up to 1…

Remembering Father Murray

The past month or so has seen the loss of two influential figures in the field of education.  Both Sister Mary Margaret and Father Senan Murray were born in Ireland, but spent much of their lives in Trinidad.  Two of my sons attended Maria Regina Grade School when Sister Mary Margaret was the school Principal.  Father Murray spent much of his life teaching at St Mary’s College where my father and I studied; and where my eldest son is in Form 2 today. 
At a time when teachers too often find themselves in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons, I wanted to recognise that there are many educators who quietly and humbly devote their lives to shaping the minds and character of young men and women.  Father Murray died on Holy Thursday in Ireland and the short obituary that I received by email noted that he was born in Killenaugh, Carrigaholt, Kilrush, County Clare on the 13th April 1933.  Following his secondary studies at Rockwell College, he entered the novitiate in Kilshane and w…

Economic Citizenship Opportunities

In late March, I remember reading an interesting article in the Antiguan press.  Apparently the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, had made some negative comments on the issue of economic citizenship.  Specifically he stated that his country would not recognize economic citizenship granted by any of the territories in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).  The Chairman of the Antiguan Labour Party, Gaston Browne, described Dr Gonsalves’ position as ‘foolish’.  The article went on to say that Dr Gonsalves had campaigned against economic citizenship in his native land, and is philosophically opposed to the idea. He said only people who had attained citizenship in OECS countries through traditional means would receive the same rights and privileges in SVG.
Normally, one can qualify for citizenship of a foreign country on the grounds of birth on its territory, marriage, lineage or religious affiliation or through naturalization. Naturaliza…

Vanishing of the Bees

Someone in a web forum I frequent suggested that I watch this documentary.  They thought I would enjoy it and they were quite right.  'Vanishing of the Bees' is a documentary about an apiary science mystery called “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD) where bees mysteriously abandon their hive and fly away.  Even the predators that usually raid hives for honey stay away.  When I first heard about this phenomenon, I considered it yet another urban legend or a tale told by those obsessed with 2012 and the apparent spiritual effects of this cycle on our planet. 
I now realise how wrong I was.  Unfortunately, this CCD phenomenon is both dire and very real as bees are disappearing around the planet and there is no consensus as to why.  On the film website, it is likened to half a million adults skipping town and leaving their kids behind.  Why is this important?  To those like me, who may have missed that Science class, the University of Illinois estimates that in North America, about …