Temas Especiales

18 de May de 2021


Getting the kids to lead parents

The incoming Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar will have her in-basket full from day one. With corruption clouds, maladministration, a...

The incoming Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar will have her in-basket full from day one. With corruption clouds, maladministration, administrative incompetence, failing students and rebellious underpaid schoolteachers to cope with, she probably doesn’t need any more “good ideas.” But here’s one that she can bring out and help not only Panama, but the world.

Mexico has already announced that it” will be introducing the environment as a school subject. Panama next?

I witnessed this from the bottom up revolution when it began in Canadian schools, and saw the effect it had on parents. When pushed by the kids, they began to to follow the Three R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The movement grew, and cities across the country brought in a rainbow of recycling boxes, for paper, bottles, plastics, even composting boxes to turn kitchen waste into good stuff for the garden. Those kids are now young adults, and helping lead the way to a more environmentally conscious world.

Air pollution. Another take on the same subject. If you feel an itching in your lungs its not just your imagination, especially if you live in San Miguelito or Paitilla, identified in a recent report, as the two areas in Panama where you are most likely to be affected by fumes from the vehicles that jam our streets. In other parts of the city, you will be moderately safe, indoors.

That’s because emission controls in Panama are a sick joke, If you suffer from asthma or bronchitis, you will not see the joke, but will understand the sick reference.

If you are environmentally conscious and want to reduce gas consumption, you might like to drive with your windows open and the air conditioning switched off. Bur to you really want to fill your lungs with the diesel smoke from the under serviced diablos rojos, dump trucks and broken down pick ups that haven’t seen the inside of a garage since their warranties ran out?

Some of the meritorious suggestions that will be landing on the desks of Incoming President Ricardo Martinelli , include have been made include equipping a team with equipment to measure the emissions of polluting vehicles. But without enforcement the monitors will become stage props, showing that “something has been done” In other jurisdictions, polluting vehicles are immediately hauled off the road and have to pay not only the fine, but also the towing charge, and cannot return to the road until the problem has been fixed fixed. Unfortunately that would create a big shortage of public transport, including taxis. So for all those transportistas who did not manage to get in under the wire and get $25,000 from the aborted Transmovil project, for their polluting wrecks, the government could give them a week or two of grace to do the right thing. This would need a guaranteed follow up, Otherwise they will ignore the warning, and carry on with flouting the law.

Unsweet music. Those same bus owners are already returning to their old ways, re-installing blaring ghetto boxes, for the enjoyment of the driver, and the pain of passengers.

Road repairs are a daily sight in Panama. But look at the picture below. Digging up a traffic way on the Cinta Costera, not yet opened.