Litter Wardens. Not everyone gives much priority to the environment. James Watt, President Reagan’s first Secretary of the Interior, is supposed to have told the US Congress that protecting the natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he allegedly said, “After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.” For what he actually said, if you are interested, see this copy of the Alternative Energy Bulletin. Or, see his entry under Positive Atheism’s Big List of Scary Quotes. It is hard to fight against that type of ignorance coming from a presumably educated man.
I can remember the day when littering was first made an offence in Anguilla. The House of Assembly passed the Litter Abatement Act. That was years ago. Not a single person has ever been prosecuted for an offence under it. To be effective the Act needs Litter Wardens. People were asked to volunteer, and many did. These appointments were essential for enforcing the Act. A Litter Warden could impose a ticket of a $50.00 fine for littering. But, not one Litter Warden has been appointed. I enquired why. My informant tells me the Ministers had a change of heart. They did not want to make criminals of people who only throw bottles and tins out of their car windows. The consequence is that littering is as much of a problem around the island now as it ever was before the Act was introduced. What a joke this law is! What a calamity our Ministers of Government are creating!
How can we as a tourist destination claim to be catering for the upscale market when we cannot keep our island clean? When the tourists start posting pictures of our litter-strewn roadsides on the internet, how will we respond?