As a citizen of Earth, I feel sad, as an American I feel ashamed, as the founder and CEO of STAR Island Bahamas, I feel compelled to speak out. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is devastating on so many levels. I am not speaking politically because this is not a Republican or Democratic issue, this is a global human issue that will impact everyone of us. Trump’s decision is a vote for pollution, sea level rise, more intense storms, oppressive heat, massive migrations, reduced food security and reduced national security. I have spent the last decade of my life on a quest to demonstrate how we can reduce our carbon footprint in economically viable ways and proving that we can have a desirable lifestyle that provides sustainability without sacrifice.
America will forfeit economic and environmental global leadership if we fail to step up and do our best to show how great America and our people truly are. We already have the ability and technology to reduce our carbon emissions in a way that is favorable to all of us. This is not only about improving our economy, it’s about preventing irreversible environmental damage. The only “hoax” here is the portrayal that US economy will suffer by joining with almost every single nation in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
I encourage everyone to take time and educate themselves about the real, factual impacts of climate change already occurring globally and in your communities and the ramifications of doing nothing. We invite everyone, including Trump and his administration, to visit our project, learn about our mission and see what is truly possible to prevent the crushing impacts of climate change. Check out what leaders and innovators like Elon Musk and Richard Branson are doing as well about these issues. We need to raise public awareness and increase support now more than ever.
We see one good thing coming out of yesterday’s news: just this morning, we already see reports of city administrators all over the US as well as businesses and higher education institutions stating their commitment to follow the greenhouse emission targets that were agreed upon in the Paris Accord and to take the matter of climate change as a serious issue that needs urgent solutions. Let’s not forget that 195 nations in this planet are still part of the Paris agreement and their commitment to tackling climate change is an inspiration to all of us at STAR. This only makes our resolve stronger. We are left with no choice but to take responsibility and lead ourselves towards a clean healthy future. We will continue to do our work towards sustainable solutions and educate people about the future of sustainability and clean energy that is within reach for all of us. We are a small company trying to make a difference, and we would love if you share this message with as many people as you can. Thanks for listening.
I’m David Sklar. More than a decade ago, in 2006, I began a very improbable journey. It all started when I discovered a 35-acre uninhabited island in the Bahamas, hidden in a protected sound only minutes from North Eleuthera and world famous Harbor Island. When I first set foot on the deserted island beach, I knew this was a special place. I envisioned a new kind of destination on this beautiful island. A place where people could enjoy incredible comfort while leaving a zero carbon footprint! I looked for examples to follow that were realistic, replicable and scaleable. What I found was not very encouraging: at first, it seemed I either had to be an engineering genius or a billionaire. Unfortunately, I’m neither. The reality is that initially I had no idea how to do this and very little resources available. Having spent most of my career designing and building, I felt there had to be a reasonable way to do this. I spent years on the island trying to accomplish this seemingly impossible goal, with little more than a cooler of food, a machete and a hammock . I went broke 3 times, got hit by 2 hurricanes and made more mistakes than I care to remember. Most of the time, the only thing that kept me going was my desire to leave a good example for my young son, Vail, and not just quit because it was too difficult. Finally, with a lot of help from our team which continues to go above and beyond, I am pleased to announce we have reached our goal! S.T.A.R. (Sustainable Terrain and Resources) Island Bahamas is now a reality: we have completed our Phase 1 prototypes! Right now we produce clean power, pure water and fresh food. Visitors can come and take a sustainable lifestyle for a test drive. The Beach Bar & Grill is open and we are finishing the first overnight suite that will establish a new type of off-grid experience. For me, it has been the adventure of a lifetime, but it is only the beginning. We still have plenty to do and can use a lot of help. Unlike a conventional project, the development process is just as important as the final product: we welcome questions, suggestions and expertise from everyone. So much has been learned to get to this point and we are now able to reduce the learning curve for others. We want to create a desirable sustainable model for the future that can become a blueprint for as many people as possible. We would love for you to visit, and it’s our hope that you will spread our story and make it known that more places like this can and should exist. There are many ways you can get involved: from becoming a member to simply sharing our story and vision, everyone can contribute to the STAR Island project. We invite all individuals and organizations to visit our website and learn more about how you can become a part of it.
I hope you will join the STAR team and I in celebrating our grand opening this Earth Day, April 22nd 2017, and that you help us realize this vision for the future of our people and the planet. Thanks for listening.