State of the Union: Unstable ‘Volcano States’

Go Lean Commentary

Picture this …

… a duck swimming on a tranquil pond; calm and peaceful on the surface, but underneath the duck is paddling ferociously. Tranquility above; eruption below.

This visual also describes life in many Caribbean member-states – stable above; unstable below. Among the Lesser Antillean islands, the natural beauty is idyllic, while under the surface there are bubbling volcanoes, that periodically result in raging eruptions – see Appendix below.

CU Blog - State of the Union - Volcano States - Photo 1
These Lesser Antilles are the group of islands edging the Caribbean Sea. Most form a long, partly volcanic island arc between the Greater Antilles to the north-west and the continent of South America.[1] The islands form the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Together, the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles compose the Antilles (or the Caribbean in its narrowest definition). 

The Lesser Antilles region is a volcano zone – this is not just academic theory; this is a fact – most of the islands are of volcanic origins with extremely rich soil; this is the good history of the region’s volcanic past. There is bad history too; there have been devastating volcanic eruptions in the past – in modern times – and some volcanoes are active … now; think Montserrat where 2/3 of the island is now an Exclusion Zone.

There are volcanic activities on other islands as well; some are dormant; some are active, in particular on Martinique and St. Vincent. Will they erupt in the next few …?

The surety of an imminent volcano eruption is not known; but it is among the seismic threats – volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis – that must be accounted for. Economic engines can be disrupted with these seismic activities; even the threat of volcano can compromise economic security. This is the unstable reality; this is the State of the Union, for the following Caribbean islands; (click on any name for encyclopedic details of that island):

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Dominica Guadeloupe Jamaica Martinique Montserrat Nevis
Providencia Saba St. Eustatius St. Kitts St. Lucia St. Vincent

This discussion aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The book presents a roadmap to optimize the region’s security apparatus in conjunction with economic and governmental empowerments. This assertion – that regional stakeholders must be ready for any emergency – is introduced in the Go Lean book as follows under the title of “Crap Happens” (Page 23):

Economic security is tied to the community quest to reboot the Caribbean region to ensure a better place to live, work and play. To ensure economic security, the economic engines must be protected to ensure their continuous operations despite natural or man-made deterrents. Bad things do happen to good people, so we cannot be caught unprepared. We must institute the process and provisions to respond, react, restore and recover. Any and everyone may need to dial “911”.

The Caribbean community ethos is to consider the facts and realities:

  1. climate change cannot be dismissed – tropical storms are now more common and more ferocious;
  2. there are two geologic fault-lines that run through the Caribbean region;
  3. there is an active volcano on Montserrat.

It is not a matter of “if” but “when” emergencies will strike. The security principle therefore is to be prepared for all incidents, big and small, that involve all aspects of society: islands, institutions, companies, families and individuals.

The subject of emergency management is analyzed in the Go Lean book; this is presented as a required function of a technocratic governmental administration. This book – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap endorses a system of better stewardship, with these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security-disaster apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a true separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies. This dictates a regional response for natural disaster emergencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 13):

ii. Whereas the natural formation of the landmass for our lands constitutes some extreme seismic activity, it is our responsibility and ours alone to provide, protect and promote our society to coexist, prepare and recover from the realities of nature’s occurrences.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

This commentary is 4 of 5 in an occasional series on the State of the Caribbean Union. Surely, a volcano subduction zone throughout the Lesser Antilles must have a common sense of urgency. This threat has been assessed in the Go Lean book and the technocratic solutions provided there-in. The full entries of all the blog-commentaries in this series is as follows:

  1. State of the Caribbean Union – Lacking Hope and Change
  2. State of the Caribbean Union – Dysfunctional Spanish Caribbean
  3. State of the Caribbean Union – Deficient Westminster States
  4. State of the Caribbean Union – Unstable Volcano States
  5. State of the Caribbean Union – Self-Interest of Americana

As related in the first submission in this series, the young people in the region need the vision of “something better” or Hope and Change in order to be inspired to participate in the future of this homeland. We cannot have a future without these young people, so these solutions – strategies, tactics and implementations – are not optional.

Remember Montserrat? It is hard to have “hope for the future” if you live there; (2/3 of the island is now an Exclusion Zone). The reality of threatening conditions is a consistent theme from the Go Lean movement. Consider these previous blog-commentaries chronicling the pain and suffering of natural disasters in the region: ‘Crap Happens’ – So What Now? A Lesson in History – ‘Hurricane Katrina’ is helping today’s crises Managing a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ Dreading the Inadequate ‘Caribbean Basin Security Initiative’ Montserrat – A Post Volcano Ghost Town The ‘Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill / Planning / Preparations 6.5M Earthquake Shakes Eastern Caribbean

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. For one, the recommendation is to reform and transform Caribbean governance, to better manage disaster-emergency situations – i.e. 10 Ways to Improve Emergency Management on Page 196 of the book.

Yes, there is the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) already established in the region, and this organization represents a “good start” for a collaborative effort to monitor, mitigate and manage disaster situations. But CDEMA is undermanned, underfunded and under-appreciated. Embedding a security-disaster apparatus into a regional empowerment roadmap along with economic efforts allows the right people, right tools and right techniques for mitigating the threats of volcanoes … and earthquakes.

Many times, the same geological phenomena that fosters earthquakes – a constant threat in the Caribbean – also drives volcanoes. Considering  that “art imitates life”, see the fictionalized account of volcanoes and emergency management response in this Movie Trailer, in this related VIDEO:

VIDEO – Movie: Volcano – “The Coast is Toast” (1997) –  

CU Blog - State of the Union - Volcano States - Photo 3Published on Mar 8, 2008 – When a massive earthquake rocks the city of Los Angeles, Emergency Management department head Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones) returns from his vacation to help with the city’s response. After geologist Dr. Amy Barnes (Anne Heche) warns that a volcano may be forming in sewer tunnels, another severe earthquake unleashes the lava flowing underfoot, threatening to destroy the whole city. As the fiery molten rock runs through the streets, Roark and Barnes must figure out how to divert it.

Release dateApril 25, 1997 (USA)
DirectorMick Jackson
Budget90 million USD
Box office122.8 million USD

In the Appendix below, within the encyclopedia “scientific” data, it was asserted that …

“… typically the islanders [of these volcanic member-states] do not have access to scientific journals and international meetings. The data included here is of value to them in understanding their islands and the volcanic hazards present on them.”

This assertion is true … and sad! The Go Lean movement declares “Enough already!” No more immature administration of our homeland! It is time; actually it is past time to grow-up and optimize the stewardship of these unstable islands.

For the Caribbean’s future, we must do better! Our youth deserves every opportunity to live at home in a technocratic society, in communities where we monitor, mitigate and manage the risks of known threats. We encourage all regional stakeholders to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap – the strategies, tactics and implementation – to make the Caribbean homeland, even the Volcano States, better places to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – A [Scientific] Study of the Volcanoes of the Caribbean

Radar TopographyIn [the year] 2000 radar data was acquired by the space shuttle which enabled virtually complete mapping of the Earth’s topography to be achieved between latitudes 56 o S to 60 o N. A nominal 30 m grid was obtained at an absolute accuracy of 16m, although in flat non-vegetated areas the vertical accuracy may approach 3 m. While data at the full resolution is available in some regions, such as North America , elsewhere the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data is only provided on an approximately 90m grid, obtained by averaging the 30 m grid data. The new data is a vast improvement in resolution and accuracy over previous global topographic models, such as ETOPO30, and provides a significant new amount of information of use in geological and other studies.

For the Caribbean islands the SRTM data which is available on a geographic grid at a nominal 90-m cell size was converted to a UTM grid in Zone 20, using the WGS84 spheroid. A grid interval of 50 m was used to retain as much detail as possible, and minor gaps in the data were filled in using special routines. The data were fenced using coastline data obtained from NOAA, and it should be noted that the coastline data set for each island was displaced by up to a kilometre from its location relative to the SRTM grid. This is a reflection on the accuracy of the original geographic information and resulting data sets rather than that of the SRTM data, which is extremely accurately located. Hence the coastline for each island was bulk shifted until it appeared to fit the SRTM data, and was then used to create the final outline shown in these plots. The positions of the coastlines are probably accurate to within about 100 m. The SRTM grids are shown as raster images, with artificial shading by illumination from the northeast, and both UTM and geographic coordinates are included. Non-linear colour scales are used for optimum colour stretch, where low values are purple and high values are red.

Green Volcanoes – Green tropical jungle-covered volcanoes standing out of warm blue seas in balmy Trade Winds, surrounded by palm-lined white coral sand beaches and reefs may be the ideal of the tourist trade and the eco-tourist seeking unspoiled tropical rain forest, but they can be a headache for the geologist looking for rocks. In a review of the geology and hazards of the Commonwealth of Dominica, in the center of the Lesser Antilles volcanic arc we encountered this problem. The two volcanoes that make up the northern end of the island – Morne aux Diables in the far north, and to its south Morne Diablotins (1421m the highest point on the island) – are both very green. Exposures in the sea cliffs and along the coastal roads show that both volcanoes are made up of older foundations (3.7 to 1.8 million years for Morne Diablotins and 2.0 to 1.7 million years for Morne aux Diables) that have been deeply dissected by erosion. Both are capped by very young deposits that were probably erupted in the past 100,000 years, which overlie the older deposits on the coasts. …

About Caribbean Volcanoes This website on Caribbean volcanoes represents the cooperative work of the two authors over thirty years, [John Roobol and Alan Smith, two geologists both from South Wales in the UK who following Ph.D. studies at the Universities of London and California met on Mt. Pelee, Martinique in 1971 and have since worked together on most Caribbean volcanoes]. The views expressed and almost all of the photographs are those of the authors and do not necessarily agree with the views of other scientists. The site is aimed foremost at the populations and administrations of the volcanic islands. Typically the islanders do not have access to scientific journals and international meetings. The data included here is of value to them in understanding their islands and the volcanic hazards present on them. …

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(Click to Enlarge)

Source: Retrieved July 18, 2017 from:


Additional Scientific VIDEO:

VIDEO – NatGeo Wild: A Volcanic Surprise | Caribbean’s Deadly Underworld  –


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