Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Genetically-modified food: message from Greenpeace

An important vote on GMOs is due to take place on 7 May in Brussels. The agro-chemical industry wants to get EU permission to grow pesticide-producing maize plants and a GM potato that contains an antibiotic resistant gene. We want EU Commissioners to say NO when they discuss the applications on 7 May. Our petitions, postcards, emails, blog comments and actions have helped bring the EU to this historic moment. Now, this is it!

Can you join us in writing directly to all the European Commissioners this week?

The agro-chemical industry is already bombarding the Commission with lobbyists and messages. Greenpeace activists and campaigners are on the ground in Brussels, too. But with your voice, and your network of friends, we can deliver a louder, more direct message to Europe's top politicians.

We have contact details for all 27 European Commissioners, talking points you can use in your message to them, and links to further reading. The vast majority of EU citizens are opposed to GMOs, and emails direct from people who care ? in Europe, around the world ? can really work.

Please click here to take action.

Thank you for taking action before 7 May and for campaigning this far with us already.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cohen: Bring on the right biofuels - International Herald Tribune

An attempt to put the biofuels issue into a wider perspective.

Cohen: Bring on the right biofuels - International Herald Tribune:
The supposed crimes of biofuels are manifold. They're behind soaring global commodity prices, the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, increased rather than diminished greenhouse gases, food riots in Haiti, Indonesian deforestation and, no doubt, your mother-in-law's toothache.

Most of this, to borrow a farm image, is hogwash and bilge.

I'll grant that the fashion for biofuels led to excess, and that some farm-to-fuel-plant conversion, particularly in subsidized U.S. and European markets, makes no sense. But biofuels remain very much part of the solution. It just depends which biofuels.


Any comments? Has he missed something?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Notes from underground: Biofuels and food prices

I meant to post this here, but posted it on my blog by mistake.

Notes from underground: Biofuels and food prices: "The Washington Post reports on its front page today: 'More than 100 million people are being driven deeper into poverty by a 'silent tsunami' of sharply rising food prices, which have sparked riots around the world and threaten U.N.-backed feeding programs for 20 million children, the top U.N. food official said Tuesday.'"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Peak Oil -- Elizaphanian

An Anglican priest has written several posts on his blog about Peak Oil. Well worth reading.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flood: Faith and the Environment Collide - Synchroblog for April 16, 2008

Flood: Faith and the Environment Collide - Synchroblog for April 16, 2008: "Here’s the short version: consumption of fossil fuels throws CO2 into the air. Much of the CO2 stays in the atmosphere a century or more. There is so much CO2 in the atmosphere now, it is affecting the global climate. With more CO2 in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped in the atmosphere. Air and land temperatures warm up, then polar ice starts to melt. In the Arctic, the ice is replaced by sea water, which absorbs more heat than ice. As the water absorbs the heat, Arctic water temperatures rise, causing additional ice melt.

All of this contributes to climate change. There are places in the world that got snow this winter for the first time in years, and the rest of us had pretty brutal winters compared to what we’re used to having, but despite short-term variation, the long-term trend is clearly toward increasing average global temperatures."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Notes from the SAFCEI conference

SAFCEI AGM AND CONFERENCE --31 MARCH – 2 APRIL 2008

Over fifty members of SAFCEI gathered at St Peter’s Place in Johannesburg at the beginning of April to hear theologians from different faith traditions and an array of experts on economics, the environment and climate change.

Among the theologians providing input were Professors Tinyiko Maluleke, Ernst Conradie and Klaus N├╝rnberger. Energy Consultant Eric Mair, Dr Anthony Turton of the CSIR and Peter Lukey of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, along with other contributors provided the hard scientific facts and projected outcomes of our present wasteful consumption of resources.

A theme that ran through most of the presentations was the disproportionate effect that the current situation had on the poor and marginalised in South Africa. Despite the heavy burden of responsibility placed on members of faith communities, and the gloomy predictions about the future, the conference members were, never the less, optimistic. It was felt that, by the concerted, effective mobilisation of civil society, working together with the scientific community and relevant government agencies, it was still possible to make a significant difference.

In his keynote address, Professor Ernst Conradie of the University of the Western Cape, highlighted South Africa’s high per-capita carbon emissions, rampant consumerism, the vulnerability of the marginalised and desertification. He also offered some effective guidelines for faith communities to get their message across more effectively.

Delegates affirmed that the need to consciously stress the spiritual dimensions of the environmental problem and solutions. Care of the created order was primarily a moral issue. Neither science nor faith, on their own, could provide all the answers that were needed.

Director sums it all up

Bishop Geoff Davies, Executive Director of SAFCEI, in his concluding remarks, noted that the conference had succeeded in providing input from highly qualified and concerned individuals from the scientific, religious and civil society communities.
“The care of creation” he said, “is central to our calling. There is an urgent need for the development of poverty alleviation and job creation programmes. We want to be able to achieve sustainable growth, provided the environment is not further destroyed.

“We have more in common than that which divides us” he continued. In thanking the outgoing Management Committee, he referred to them as an excellent example of people of different faiths and cultures who are working together harmoniously for the
welfare of this “broken and fractured world.”

Bishop Davies also paid tribute to all those others who had worked so effectively to get the organisation off the ground and into the public sphere. However, he continued, there was a lot of work needed to raise SAFCEI’s profile at local, regional and national levels in both the various faith communities and civil society.
He endorsed what several speakers had said, that the leaders of faith communities need to be involved in the organisation. During the Annual General Meeting, Bishop Davies was mandated to make personal contact with as many faith leaders as possible.
He welcomed the undertaking made by Valli Moosa to facilitate a meeting of the Board of Management with members of the Board of Eskom, and stressed the point made by several speakers that government needs to listen to the message of both the scientific and civil society sectors.

In concluding, he had a special word of gratitude for SAFCEI’s Office Secretary, Di Mellon, for all the administrative work she had put in.

He felt that SAFCEI, which was a movement for ecological sustainability, social justice and spiritual renewal, had been challenged by the presentations and comments of the speakers and delegates. The message now needed to be taken to regional
and local faith communities.

New SAFCEI Management Committee for 2008

  • Bishop Geoff Davies (Exec Director, Anglican)
  • Ms Tahirih Matthee (Chairperson, Baha’i)
  • Mr Shaun Cozett (Vice-Chair, Anglican, DWAF)
  • Mr Peter Just (Buddhist)
  • Mr John Clark (Roman Catholic)
  • Rev Tim Gray (Jo’burg Anglican Diocese)
  • Ms Grace Makhudu (Anglican, Ceasefire Campaign)
  • Dr Dorie Moodley (Hindu Maha Saba)
  • Rev Andrew Warmback (Anglican, Diocese of Natal Environment Committee)
  • Dr Mohamed Karodia (Council of Muslim Theologians)
  • Prof Ernst Conradie (Uniting Reformed, UWC)
  • Ms Kate Davies (EEASA, Anglican)
  • Archbishop Seraphim Kykkotis (Orthodox Church)
  • Rev Pierre Naude (Methodist Church)
  • Rev Rully Notshe (UPCSA)
  • Rev Craig Morrison (UCCSA)
  • Rev Sue Brittion (Anglican, WCRP)
  • Sheikh Mohammed Gallant (Muslim Judicial Council)
  • Ms Jennifer Stern (Quakers)
  • Ms Gloria Khotlo (Traditional Faith Healer)
  • Prof Stephen Finn (Jewish Board of Deputies)

This is an extract from the SAFCEI newsbrief. For the full version, and conference papers, see the main SAFCEI web site.

Haiti: Stuffed and Starved

Behind the food crisis

RAJ PATEL, author of the just-released book Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, Patel said today: "What's happening in Haiti is an augury to the rest of the developing world.

Haiti is the poster child of an economy that liberalized its agricultural economy and removed the social safety nets for the poor, despite the protests of the majority of its people. Food riots throughout history have happened when two conditions have been
fulfilled. First, there has always been a sudden and rapid discrepancy between what people expect to be able to eat, and what they can actually feed their families. The price shocks around the world have introduced this discrepancy, and the politics that might have dampened them -- grain reserves, tariffs, support for sustainable farmers -- have been eroded by modern development policies.

"But the second feature of food riots in history is that riots happen when there are no other ways of making powerful people listen. Like many other countries in the developing world, Haiti has been forced to liberalize its economy despite popular opposition -- in other words, modern development policy has been forced to be anti-democratic. And since there has been no effective way for the people to hold their leaders accountable, we're seeing riots not just in Haiti, but in places as diverse as Mexico, India, Egypt, Senegal and even Italy. It's something to expect to see with increasing frequency, until governments realize that food isn't a mere commodity, it's a human right" (Hat-tip to The Institute for Public Accuracy)

Haiti and The King Canute of Food | Stuffed and Starved
Part of the more recent intervention came under Reagan and Clinton. When a group of US-funded guerillas deposed Jean Bertrand Aristide, Clinton imposed some harsh trade liberalization conditions as the price Aristide would have to pay to get back into power. It’s this gunboat diplomacy that, Aristide says, tied his hands behind his back in terms of fiscal policy.

Aristide was subsequently deposed when he tried to untie his hands – the current Bush administration bankrolled a coup against him, and only guaranteed his life if he left immediately.

That history is one that is erased. The fact that Haiti produced more rice in 1984 than it does now isn’t an accident. The fact that the bags of rice to be found in Haiti have US flags stamped on them is no accident.


See also __the state of gareth__: Hunger. Strikes. Riots. The food crisis bites!

Friday, April 11, 2008

SA Corporate Giants Come Clean? � The Antidote

This report, originally published in The big issue, shows who is responsible for most of the greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa.

SA Corporate Giants Come Clean? � The Antidote:
As a country, South Africa is characterised by a frivolous and hedonistic attitude towards global warming. Bond makes the shocking point that we have “an emissions output per person per unit of GDP twenty times worse than the US”. Yes, the industrialised countries of the developed world are to blame for much of our current climate predicament, but we had better clean up our own backyard and soon, or such accusations will sound increasingly hollow and hypocritical.

SA’s Top Carbon Emitters:

1. Eskom
2. Sasol
3. BHP Billiton
4. Anglo American
5. Sappi

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Resilient communities: A guide to disaster management

Resilient communities: A guide to disaster management | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse: "The following is a proposal to help make communities better able to respond to the coming economic shocks from resource depletion, beginning with Peak Oil, and perhaps also to shocks from other causes (such as the ongoing subprime mortgage and credit collapse).

In searching for a name for the strategy, I have settled on the phrase 'Resilient Communities,' which comes with considerable baggage—useful baggage in this instance. Once I have described and discussed the proposal, I will offer some background materials regarding the terms resilience and resilient communities, mentioning some other projects that have used the same title or that pursue similar goals."

Hat-tip to The Western Confucian.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scientists blame ocean dead zones on climate change

Scientists blame ocean dead zones on climate change: "Although scientists continue to amass data and tease out the details, all signs in the search for a cause point to stronger winds associated with a warming planet.

If this theory holds up, it means that global warming and the build-up of heat-trapping gases are bringing about oceanic changes beyond those previously documented: a rise in sea level, more acidic ocean water and the bleaching of coral reefs."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Shockingly unprepared for the coming end of oil

Shockingly unprepared for the coming end of oil: "Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight without Oil, by Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl, is one of the most thought-provoking books to cross my desk in a long while. Gilbert is an urban issues consultant and former York University professor and municipal politician in Toronto. Perl is director of SFU's urban studies program.

Their book is an eyebrow-raiser, portraying a future that's around the corner as oil production is projected to hit a peak and start declining around 2012. In adapting to peak oil, the way we move ourselves and domestic and international freight will change as dramatically as when the horse and buggy gave way to the car."

Coalition Against Nuclear Energy

We invite you to endorse our official launch of the national umbrella Coalition Against Nuclear Energy (CANE), on April 12, in a statement below that will be sent to newspapers across the country.

Representative coalition members from around the country will meet in Bloemfontein on that day to set CANE up as a democratic lobby group for those who wish to advocate for energy solutions that do not include nuclear power. This is an opportunity to support an end to the nuclear programme and send a clear message that South Africans want to exercise their democratic right to have a say in energy decisions that will affect generations to come.

Please could you return a signed letter of endorsement as soon as possible should you wish to participate. Your support is appreciated.

For more details or to join CANE, click www.cane.org.za

If you are an anti-nuclear stakeholder or are concerned in any way about South Africa's push for nuclear energy and wish to attend the launch of CANE on the 12th of April in Bloemfontein, please contact caneoffice@cane.org.za for more information.

Sincerely

CANE Interim Committee:

Dominique Gilbert 012-205 1125 / 083 7404 676
Daniel Reinecke 0844 0844 08
Christine & Rob Garbett 082 568 8844 / 082 565 7686
Mike Kantey 072 628 5131

Hat-tip to Rory Short.

Monsanto's Harvest of Fear: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com

Monsanto's Harvest of Fear: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com: "Monsanto goes after farmers, farmers’ co-ops, seed dealers—anyone it suspects may have infringed its patents of genetically modified seeds. As interviews and reams of court documents reveal, Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents in the American heartland to strike fear into farm country. They fan out into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate community meetings; and gather information from informants about farming activities. Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors. Others confront farmers on their land and try to pressure them to sign papers giving Monsanto access to their private records. Farmers call them the “seed police” and use words such as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” to describe their tactics."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities: "Are there retirees out there who would be interested in working together to form a residential community, I wondered. Hence this blog.

For many years I have been very concerned about the destruction that humankind is wreaking upon our natural environment. As my knowledge of the steadily increasing destruction expanded I became more and more despondent about any kind of long term future for humankind. Over the Easter weekend I spent a fair amount of time surfing the web looking at environmental web sites and I became even more despondent because the bulk of the information contained in them seemed to be predicated on fixing particular issues that arose from what I saw as the real problem which is the West's total way of living which is completely unsustainable and which the rest of humankind seems hell bent on following."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Australians named as world's worst polluters

It seems that Valli Moosa got it wrong -- Eskom is not the worst polluter in the world.

Australians named as world's worst polluters | Environment | The Guardian:
Australians are the world's worst individual greenhouse gas polluters if emissions are calculated from the output of the country's power stations, according to new analysis.

Each Australian produces nearly 11 tonnes of CO2 power sector emissions, the United States follows on nine tonnes per person, while Britain is ranked ninth at 3.5 tonnes and China - heavily criticised by the international community for its rapid development of coal-fired power stations - produces only two tonnes a year per person. Indians emit about half a tonne of CO2 per person....

The US produces 2.79bn tonnes a year and China slightly less with 2.7bn. They are followed by Russia with 661m tonnes; India 583m tonnes; Japan 400m tonnes; Germany 356m tonnes; Australia 226m tonnes; South Africa 222m tonnes; the UK with 212m tonnes and South Korea with 185m tonnes.

That's no reason for complacency, of course, and Eskom still needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and look for alternative sources of energy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Economics, environment and eco-justice, by Prof Klaus Nurnberger

Economics, environment and eco-justice

Some rough notes on a paper presented by Prof Klaus Nurnberger at the SAFCEI conference, Rosettenville, Johannesburg, 2008.

Some basic economics

Based on throughput -- leading to waste.

Classical economics based on the "market", but depends on power, and classical economics does not take this into account.

After nothing some of the characteristics and assumptions of classical economics, Nurnberger went on to explain that economics was based on the worldview of modernity, and contrasted it with traditional (premodern) worldviews.

Collective consciousness - interaction between traditionalism and modernity

Traditionalism is built on submission to authority, modernity is built on emancipation.

Some characteristics of traditionalist worldview:

a) Reality is composed of unstable dynamistic power
b) this can be manipulated beneficially through ritual or detrimentally through sorcery
c) humans live in a dangerous world. Solidarity and discipline are essential
d) life flows along the male lineage, authority based on patriarchal hierarchy
e) culminating on the ancestors
f) leading to tight status and role allocations
g) life oriented upwards towards authority, backwards to the past

Modernity is based on emancipation from authority

a) think for yourself (rationalism)
b) see for yourself (empiricism)
c) pursue your own interests (liberal economy)
d) try out what works (pragmatism)
f) insist on your personal dignity (human rights)
g) claim equality (female emancipation)
h) let the youth find its way (anti-authoritarianism)
i) relate to your personal Saviour (pietism)

Working principles of modernity

a) in science -- evidence
b) in technology -- efficiency
c) in commerce -- profitability
d) in the consumer culture / utility / pleasure

The dominance of modernity

Modernity has become the dominant culture because it delivers the goods in terms of

  • knowledge
  • productivity
  • wealth creation
  • need satisfaction
  • power generation
Traditionalism is being marginalised
This includes the Biblical faith as a traditionalist belief system

The lure of modernity lures peripheral populations to the centre, but worldviews, motivations tend to lag behind (urbanisation /civilisation)

Changes needed

The centre population must learn

  • modestry
  • solidarity
  • responsibility (ie ubuntu)
The peripheral population needs to learn (restructure consciousness)

  • emancipation, initiative, self-consciousness
  • scientific knowledge (maths and science education)
  • technological efficiency
  • administrative competence
  • concsientiousness, reliablity, worth ethic
  • freedom and responsibility
______

Questions/comments

Q - Beach at Simonstown -- using a front-end loader to move sand back -- cannot unskilled labour be used, less CO2 emission etc.?

KN - machines are cheaper, don't go on strike etc. China tried labour intensive dam building? At UKZN 30 years ago they used 20 people with hand mowers, now one man with a machine.

Q - it was precisely the attitudes of modernity that led to the problem. How can we advocate that as a solution?

KN - there are too many of us. We cannot feed 6 milliard people with old methods. Modernity, and the neoliberal/capitalist system is in control. We need to see how we can integrate people who have been thrown out of the system.

(My comment - One answer: recognise the system, but not worship it, not idolise it)

Q - What about Basic Income Grant?

KN - sight of poor people is heart-rending. It would take away the worst suffering. It would give purchasing power, so the system can begin to produce for those people instead of for the super-rich. They can get slightly more healthy, slightly more energy, slightly more hope.

Q - (Rabbi Hillel) has holiday cottage, oppoisite it is field ploughed by horses, using organic farming.

KN - such initiatives are critical. The system we have is not sustainable in the long term. We need alternatives, and to know what works. We have to overcome powerful prejudices. Tried this in seminary, setting up a vergetable garden to feed the students, but the students went on strike -- they are becoming baruti, they are not labourers. These were the leaders, but they could not see.

Q - (Grace Mokhuku) How can we motivate the government not to give a grant, but teach people how to work?

KN - Don't expect everything from the government. Start at the bottom. People in the NGOs know better than government. A problem in our society is that government at grassroots level lacks capacity. There are not the skills or knowledge at the local level. That takes time and dedication. Sometimes when he can't sleep he reads history and in the country of his forebears things were worse 500-600 years ago than they are here today. We need patience.

Q - 1913 Land Act. Now thousands leave land, come to informal settlements, become dependent on external resources. Immigrants come from elsewhere, show initiative and prosper. Isn't there a possibility of going back to farming.

KN - The impact of apartheid is enormous, but exacerbated the problem, it was not the root. You find it in Brazil, which never had apartheid. People coming from outside are the most enterprising people of their societies. They leave the relaxed society, and outperform our society. They are the elite, but our elite go to Britain and elsewhere.

Q - Do you know about socio-economic democracy. The floor and ceiling are established democratically.

Q- Is it possible to match modern and traditional without some kind of crisis.

KN - Modernity is dominant, whether you like it or not. Because we have a democracy, grassroots people who are more traditional than the elite assert their power, as happeend at ANC conference at Polokwane last December.

In Limpopo lightning struck a hut, and people thought it was witchcraft, a diviner detected the culprit, and he was tortured. There was a court case. Now a young man comes from that area, wanting to learn science. The worldviews clash. There is uncertainty; you try out what works and what doesn't we need patience for these things to work themselves out. We can encourage people to take science seriously. People have worldview assumptions that we know are not correct. You have a right to think what you like, but one is correct. They can't both be true (intejection: they could both be wrong!). Scientists continue try to investigate.

In Germany in the wonderful days a student could study as long as you wanted free of charge. There were no first-year exams -- only at the end of the course, you passed or failed. So students who felt they were not ready to face their finals could study another year, and another, and another. But such a system is not sustainable in the long term.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Eskom is one of the biggest polluters in the world

Eskom is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world said Valli Moosa, the non-executive chairman of the Eskom board, and former Minister for Environmental Affairs.

Moosa was speaking at the conference of the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute (SAFCEI) at Rosettenville last night. The picture shows Valli Moosa with Bishop Geoff Davies of Cape Town and Rabbi Hillel Avidan of Durban at the meeting.


Valli Moosa was Minister of Constitutional Development under President Mandela, and inserted a clause in the constitution on the right to a clean and healthy environment.

He was Minister of Environmental Affairs 1999-2004, after which he retired from government, but is still active in politics and was reelected to the ANC National Executive at the Polokwane conference last December.

He was asked to serve as non-executive director of the board of Eskom in 2005.

Here is a summary of Valli Moosa's speech:

There was a problem in serving on the board, Moosa said, as Eskom is one of the biggest polluters in the world. This was an interesting challenge for someone who had championed the Kyoto Protocol. The policy of Eskom had been to produce cheap electricity, so Eskom burns cheap coal, which is less efficient, and so produces more pollutants.

South Africa is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases per capita in the world because of our use of low-grade coal, and there is no requirement for Eskom to reduce its greenhouse gases. The big challenge for Eskom is to meet the growing demand for electricity.

South Africa has become an energy-hungry country because we have had wrong policies. The policy has been to provide cheap electricity and thus attract industry and so create jobs. But because electricity was cheap, people tended to use more. We have had massive economic growth.

We also did not bother to develop legal standards, like building regulations to make buildings more energy efficient. There are no regulations for the energy efficiency of light bulbs. The problem of cheap electricity is also seen in consumer behaviour. Salesmen comparing fridges never say which model consumes less electricity, and consumers never ask this.

But even though we are a developing country (and ths exempt from having to apply the Kyoto Protocol) we still need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ANC conference at Polokwane last December adopted a resolution calling for the country to set emission targets. This was largely ignored by the media, who were interested in other things, but no other ruling party in the world has done this.

Eskom also has a responsibility to set its own targets, and has begun to do so. Eskom aims to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases per megawatt up to 2025, and after that to achieve an absolute reduction. After 2025 the older coal-fired power stations will begin to be decommissioned, and they should be replaced by power stations that do not use fossil fuels. Two new coal-fired power stations are being built, and Moosa said he hoped they would be the last.

There will have to be a mix of renewable and nuclear energy sources, and there has to be a trade off. The best thing is solar energy. Nuclear power requires uranium, and the mining of uranium itself damages the environment, and there is also the problem of nuclear waste, but Moosa said he believed it was better than the use of coal-fired power stations.

The most effective renewable source of energy is solar, and the government is introducing a subsidy for solar panels to heat water for household use. Wind is another option, and Eskom is building two wind farms, but wind is not reliable all the time, and so wind power may not be available when it is most needed. It is difficulty to store electricity, but we do have some dam storage schemes, where water is pumped up to a storage dam at times of low demand, and released to generate electricity at peak periods.

There is also solar thermal technology that can produce distributable power, but this is still at the research stage.

In spite of recent and proposed price hikes, South Africa's electricity remains the cheapest in the world, and even if we doubled the price we would still be cheaper than anywhere else. Without the increases we will not achieve energy efficiency, because people will continue to waste electricity.

There is an opportunity in the crisis, which may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Until the power cuts last January, no one took the problem seriously. From the environmental point of view it has encouraged people to use energy more responsibly. If we hadn't built big aluminium smelters there would be no energy crisis, and this is another example of wrong policies in the past leading to the present problem, but this is a sensitive issue, as can be seen in BHP Billiton taking away its business from Standard Bank as a result of a Standard Bank spokesman saying that aluminium smelters should be closed down.

During question time several people queried the need for nuclear power, but Moosa maintained that it still remained the most feasible alternative to coal-fired power stations, which did more damage to the environment. Another questioner asked for more tranparency on the part of Eskom's board, and Moosa promised to try to arrange a meeting between the Eskom board and representatives of SAFCEI.
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