Go Lean Commentary
In the Caribbean, this time of the year, it is “hot, hot, hot”.
While that is a hit song by “The Merrymen” of Barbados (see Appendix below), unfortunately, it is also the weather report.
“I just flew back from the Caribbean and boy are my arms tired…from fanning … for relief from the heat” – Old joke-new twist
This is not good! In fact, the hot weather, and the lack of infrastructure to mitigate and remediate the discomfort, is identified as one of the reasons for the brain drain/societal abandonment. (This commentary is an appeal for cooperative refrigeration).
The issue of Caribbean citizens abandoning their homelands is one of the more dire threats to societal life in the region. Why do they do it?
“Push and Pull” reasons!
Conditions at home drive Caribbean citizens to take flight and find refuge elsewhere. Many times these conditions are economic (jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities), security and governance related, but there are other reasons too; consider discriminations due to ethnic diversity or other lifestyle choices.
Lastly, there is the new threat of Climate Change. While this is a threat for the whole world, the Caribbean is on the frontline. Though there is some debate as to the causes of climate change, there is no question as to its outcome: temperatures are rising, droughts prevail, and most devastating, hurricanes are now more threatening. A Caribbean elevation plan must address the causes of climate change and most assuredly its consequences.
Early in the book Go Lean…Caribbean, a roadmap to elevate the Caribbean region, the pressing need to be “on guard” of climate change is pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11), with these words, (the first of many “causes of complaints”):
i. Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.
The Go Lean…Caribbean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU must advocate for systems and schemes for a lower carbon footprint so as not to contribute further to green-house gases. Plus, the CU must implement recovery measures to respond, and react to the ever-threatening climatic conditions. While this means hurricanes at the extreme, it also includes daily factors that must be dealt with, like excessive heat and frequent power black-outs … during summer months. (The elderly are more susceptible to heat stroke and other ailments).
“Growing up in the Caribbean, summer extended from Easter Monday to Columbus Day” – Recollection of a Caribbean/Bahamas Diaspora Member.
Now, the anecdotal experience is that there is a need to mitigate excessive heat in the region for an even longer season. How do we mitigate excessive heat?
But this cure may at times be worse than the disease.
Air conditioning requires even greater energy consumption, (the Caribbean has among the highest energy costs in the Western Hemisphere); the Go Lean book posits that the average costs of energy can be decreased from an average of US$0.35/kWh to US$0.088/kWh in the course of the 5-year term of this roadmap; (Page 100).
In addition, the release of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) in the air-conditioning process is a contributor of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The status quo needs remediation!
In addition to these climatic “push” factors, there are also climatic pull considerations.
These factors, as related in the Go Lean roadmap, posit that North American and European destinations have been more inviting to Caribbean citizens. Weather-wise, everywhere has “mean seasons”, but it is easier to stay warm during a wintry “mean season” in the North, than it is to stay cool in the “mean season” in the South. Plus with pronounced Climate Change effects on northern communities, the “mean seasons” in the north have been shorter and easier to endure.
This issue refers to an environment – the weather – that maybe outside of human control. But when humans do grab some control – climate control – the northern communities (US, Canada and Europe) do a better job of mitigating and remediating the new acute effects of climate change.
Consider again, the location for the composition for the Go Lean book, Omaha, Nebraska. That community in the American Midwest is notorious as a “land of 4 seasons” and all of them extreme. In May 2013, it snowed on May 1st then the temperature hit 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) on May 15th. Omaha is provided in the Go Lean book (Page 138) as a model for Caribbean communities to emulate. How does Omaha mitigate the extreme climate conditions they have to contend with?
Consider this one example of how a cooling/heating scheme provides the needed air-conditioning for the entire Downtown District:
Company Profile – NRG Energy Center Omaha
NRG Energy Center Omaha provides energy-efficient and environmentally sound district heating and cooling for the business district of downtown Omaha, including Woodman Tower, Creighton University, the Joslyn Art Museum, Creighton University Medical Center and more than 70 percent of all other public and commercial buildings in the downtown area.
NRG Energy Center Omaha has established a reliability history of “Six-Nines” (99.9999%) for its chilled-water service. Our steam service reliability history is equally impressive.
NRG Energy Center Omaha leverages a variety of conventional fuels, depending on which is most cost-competitive at a given time, and it has also incorporated cogeneration technology – a highly efficient combination of heat and mechanical power –to reduce the amount of energy lost up the smokestack. This kind of technology and fuel flexibility keeps costs down, preserves valuable natural resources and reduces emissions. We also provide the buildings we serve with free energy audits, budget assistance and historical use and cost data on request.
Recent developments linked to NRG Energy Center Omaha include the Hruska Federal Courthouse, First National Bank of Omaha Technology Center, Creighton University expansion, the First National Bank Office Tower, World Herald’s Freedom Center, Qwest Arena and Convention Center, the Omaha Performing Arts Center, and the Lasting Hope and MidCity Centers.
Area served: Downtown Omaha
Services Provided: Steam heating and chilled water cooling
Total system capacity: 29,250 tons of chilled water and 735,000 lbs/hr of steam
Buildings on system: Woodman Tower, Creighton University, the Joslyn Art Museum, Creighton University Medical Center and more than 70 percent of all other public and commercial buildings in the downtown area.
Consider the photos above; (the building with the mural is a refrigerated warehouse). Imagine this Omaha Downtown model deployed in Caribbean communities. This “District Heating and Cooling” scheme provides economies-of-scale, efficiency and lower costs. The design is a “plant” to produce steam, hot water and/or chilled water at a central location and then pipe the steam and water underground to individual buildings within a specific district. This process is energy efficient and reliable, typically requiring less capital investment, risk and operational costs than systems where each building must maintain its own boiler or air conditioner. The destinations/buildings only need air handlers – much cheaper than full air-conditioning – to blow and control preferred temperature settings.
This is a model of a technocracy. Without these types of infrastructure the Caribbean is just … ‘Third World’.
The Go Lean/CU roadmap recognizes that modern life has expanded the definition of basic needs to now include food, clothing, shelter and energy. And thusly the book proposes many solutions for the region to optimize energy generation, distribution and consumption. There are many lessons to learn from other more-efficient communities. This is the prime directive of the Go Lean roadmap, to apply these lessons and best-practices so as to impact the Caribbean in these 3 ways:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion GDP and create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improvement of Caribbean governance, including Self-Governing Entities, to support these engines.
As for energy, the Go Lean book posits that the average costs of energy can be decreased from an average of US$0.35/kWh to US$0.088/kWh in the course of the 5-year term of this roadmap. (Page 100). This is a 75% savings! Cooperative refrigeration allows for even more savings!
These initiatives will take some effort on the part of the community and governmental institutions. This is heavy-lifting! The Go Lean roadmap details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster the progress in the wide fields of energy optimization and cooperative refrigeration. The following list applies:
|Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices/Incentives||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Lean Operations||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Return on Investments||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Cooperatives||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Model: Regional Taxi Commissions||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future||Page 26|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations||Page 32|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing – Economies of Scale||Page 35|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Anecdote – Pipeline Transport – Strategies, Tactics & Implementations||Page 43|
|Strategy – Harness the power of the sun/winds||Page 46|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology||Page 57|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Aging Diaspora||Page 57|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change||Page 57|
|Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy||Page 82|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Public Works and Infrastructure||Page 82|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Energy Commission||Page 82|
|Anecdote – “Lean” in Government – Energy Permits||Page 93|
|Anecdote – Caribbean Energy Grid Implementation||Page 100|
|Implementation – Ways to Develop Pipeline Industry||Page 107|
|Implementation – Ways to Improve Energy Usage||Page 113|
|Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate to the Caribbean – Gerontology Initiatives||Page 118|
|Planning – Lessons Learned from Omaha||Page 138|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Public Works – Air Chillers Utilities||Page 175|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives – Refrigerated Warehouses Model||Page 176|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Monopolies – Empower Municipal Authorities||Page 202|
|Advocacy – Ways to Develop a Frozen Foods Industry – Need for Refrigerated Warehouses||Page 208|
|Advocacy – Ways to Battle Poverty – Third World Realities||Page 222|
The phrase “Hotter than July” should only be a song, not a way of life in the Caribbean.
Energy needs are undeniable. Air-conditioning needs to be readily available and affordable during the “mean season”. This should not be open to any compromise.
Fulfilling these needs is a great target for lean, agile operations, perfect for the CU technocracy. Any failure in this regards results in heightened abandonment.
Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people, businesses, institutions and governments, to lean-in for the optimizations and opportunities described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean.
Stay cool people! 🙂
Appendix MUSIC – The Merrymen – Feeling Hot Hot Hot – https://youtu.be/rbc_LxfhSoY
Uploaded on Dec 21, 2011 – The Merrymen recorded this song in 1983 originally on thier album “No Big Ting”, however this version was recorded in 1988 on their album “Hot Hot Soca”. http://www.facebook.com/themerrymenfr…