It’s rubbish!

Husbands has says on local input to water solutions

A senior Government official has rubbished suggestions that the knowledge of ordinary citizens should be relied upon “almost exclusively” to solve the ongoing water problems.

At the same time, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Senator Harcourt Husbands has warned of “creeping” anti-intellectual elements in the society seeking to minimize the expertise of qualified technocrats.

Speaking this morning at the launch of Sci-Tech Xpo at 3Ws Oval at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Husbands said Barbados faced a number of challenges, including the effects of climate change, water scarcity and the need for increased economically viable renewable energy solutions.

However, he said while it was okay to listen to the average citizen’s suggestions, a proper scientific approach was needed to tackle these issues.

Harcourt Husbands
Harcourt Husbands

“[The sciences are] even more relevant today in relation to this creeping anti-intellectual element that encourages us to ignore science and depend almost exclusively on local knowledge, which is rubbish sometimes passing as knowledge,” he contended.

“In Barbados we hear everyday . . . especially when people are talking about the current water challenges, there is this constant refrain, you hear it everyday, ‘don’t mind those engineers, what you need is local knowledge’.

“Local knowledge is important, but the country and the development of the country can’t be left to local knowledge alone. As a matter of fact, proper scientific inquiry, which we are promoting here this morning and through the activities that we participate in, may begin with local knowledge but that is just the beginning,” explained Husbands.

The former teacher defended the engineers at the Barbados Water Authority, saying while they were not the “be all and end all” the “proper scientific inquiry” that their expertise offers was instrumental in the island’s development.

And while he did not mention anyone by name, Husbands referred to a caller to the talk shows who “propagates the view that removing the silt from the mouth of the Constitution River” was responsible for the low level of water in the aquifers.

“We are living in a period where I see anti-intellectual and anti-scientific elements creeping into our public discourse. Some of this is unavoidable but I think we must be aware of it and fight against it,” urged Husbands.

Earlier this week popular social commentator and farmer Richard Hoad suggested that Government scraps its plan to build two desalination plants and promote greater use of rain water instead, in order to solve the water shortages affecting the island.

Meanwhile, Husbands said as the country turned its attention to the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies, there would be greater need to ensure the island increases related activities.

He said Sci-Tech Xpo would provide an opportunity for students to apply scientific and technological knowledge and helped build an awareness and understanding of the importance of science.

7 Responses to It’s rubbish!

  1. Lawrence Griffith
    Lawrence Griffith January 21, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Society seeking to minimize the expertise of qualified technocrats! Wow
    No but society should be able to form their own opinions without you or anyone telling them what they should believe and support.
    What the people need to keep in mind is, engineers are for sale and does whatever is best for fanatical gains.
    So just because something comes out of so-called experts you should buy into it head and sole.
    Obs! One example your financial advisor has 2 things in mind helping you and himself make money from your money, but only one get paid if the advice is bad and it isn’t you.
    Same thing with lawyers their sole purpose is to make money. That means keeping you on the hook for as long as possible. That means telling you to go to court and fight for your rights because your chances are great.
    While all along they know it’s the opposite. So experts can’t be trusted because many have conflicts of interest..

  2. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria January 21, 2016 at 7:34 am

    So in short, if you don’t have a degree, keep your mouth shut? This government is proof that education isn’t common sense.
    Long before the first school existed, humans were invented things…. Bridges, wheels, boats etc.
    Struspe. Look, leff the place, do!

    • Art January 21, 2016 at 9:20 am

      This man is an idiot.

  3. Sue Donym January 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

    The issue isn’t one or the other! More to the point is whether the decision makers and the implementers will do what is best to remedy the disastrous situation.

    We cannot afford for either ‘side’ to be blinded by who had the idea; we must move towards solutions and it appears to me there is more than enough reason to consider several suggestions. The best results often come as creatures of many inputs

  4. Dave January 21, 2016 at 11:59 am

    You cannot ignore the contributions of others simply because, in your estimation; they are not intellectuals. The average citizens, as you refer to them; have a lot to offer.
    Bill Gates and a few others did not have degrees. Yet we have Microsoft, Apple, e.t.c. This condescending attitude stinks.
    I say: “Listen to all” We need the experts, but we also need the ‘ordinary citizen’.

  5. jrsmith January 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    That’s why we are this type of cross road , with people like MR,Harcourt Husband.. We haven’t seen in Barbados where all this education has taken us, there is simple technology to recover water, other simple infrastructure technology’s in use around the world , but we in Barbados have all the cleaver people but we are struggling to get water running from taps, we have a sewage plant which was installed, more than a decade ago and still not working. Even the seaweed was and still remains a problem’..

    We had a reasonably strong sugar industry , which seems to have been intentionally destroy, where were the clever ones. and all the clever ones do , with they CVs is to wave it at our bajan people , talk a loud of crap, about , climate ,change, renewable energy, what our countries is doing successfully and do nothing, other than trying to teach us bajans how to count to 5, when we know already ,how to count to 100..

    All our bajans politicians , just talk like fools, to remind this one most of the world billionaires are just ordinary people.. without degrees…


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