We have some very bad habits.
For years we let Potcakes roam our settlements without the slightest care. But as soon as foreign Veterinarians decided to treat them with the dignity of living things, (and we thought there was money in it), suddenly Bahamian Veterinarians utter the words Potcake.
So the habit is someone finds value amongst us, THEN we get brassy and act as if we had the slightest care for the value others recognized.
(If some foreigner had not recognized Amos Ferguson, he would have been knocking around The Bahamas as some old fella who can’t afford artist’s paint).
So now: The Chinese have come to our country and found something we have ignored, and have begun extracting it because it has value for them. Now – late as usual – we are clamoring that they are taking our things. NONSENSE!
We should get NOTHING!
Its not as if COB has an Industrial Chemistry Department, that found a use of calcium carbonate, and THEN the Chinese came and took it. Conch Shells have been lying dormant in The Bahamas for 200-years.
But because we NEVER cast down our buckets where we are and are always looking to Miami for worthless cheap products that others have created, we NEVER looked to see the value of the lowly Conch Shell. Now that the Chinese have found value in it, we demand the right to it and will probably kill each other for the right to export it.
People will start talking about the “Conch Shell export industry”.
Let’s be clear: There is maybe two years supply of Conch Shells in the entire Bahamas relative to Chinese demand. There will be no Conch Shell industry.
That would have occurred had we followed the advice given by myself and others in 2003 to have establish a scientific centre at North Andros, to leverage seed pollination, experimental fish hatcheries, the use of Blue Holes for researching Oolitic rock formations, Oceanography and the contribution of calcium carbonate to sand generation in our country.
Had we done that, rather than flinging Conch Shells into a bag to hawk to the Chinese, we would have been milling the refined finished or component products for a higher financial return.
So let’s be clear, in less than 3 years, 100 years of piled up Conch Shells will be gone, and yet again, as we waste time abusing poor people and building spectacular carbuncles, another opportunity will disappear from the face of The Bahamas forever
This post was written by Gilbert Morris and first appeared on his Facebook page.