Friday, December 17, 2010
But while management at Fox is still banking on sowing doubt about climate change, the big-wigs at parent company News Corp. aren't. Earlier this year I reported at length about News Corp.'s effort to go carbon neutral. Rupert Murdoch has argued that dealing with global warming is not only the right thing to do, it's good for the corporation's bottom line. Yeah, all that stuff about how global warming is just Al Gore's pipe dream? The boss man doesn't think that."
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The general idea that groundwater used for irrigation is running off into ocean-bound rivers or evaporating into the clouds, only to end up raining into the ocean, has been around for two decades or so; it was a focus of a 2005 paper in The Journal of Hydrogeology. But Peter H. Gleick, a leading expert on water issues, said the new paper offers a fresh way of quantifying the phenomenon."
Friday, October 8, 2010
The more of us take part, the more unmistakable our message of determination to defeat climate change. And these parties won't just be vitally important; they'll be fun, too. Click below to find an event near you and RSVP (or register an event of your own) -- it's time to roll up our sleeves and take action:
The timing is critical: in the weeks and months to come, governments will make important decisions about whether to keep striving for a global climate treaty. All year, they've been reeling from last December's Copenhagen summit, where leaders failed to reach a legally binding agreement -- or even commit to developing one. Today, if politicians think that the public outcry for climate action has ended, they will succumb to the whispers of the fossil fuel lobby -- and simply give up on reaching a real deal.
But even as governments dither, the climate crisis itself is accelerating. 2010 is the hottest year on record. Climate-linked natural disasters, like the floods in Pakistan, have claimed thousands of lives. And scientists say the the picture is only getting worse. Our movement must race ahead more quickly than the crisis itself -- and pull the politicians along with us.
By demonstrating our willingness to take action, the Global Work Party issues a challenge to our leaders. Local events include tree plantings in rural Tanzania, solar installation in China, and an international bike-ride from Jordan to Israel -- along with much simpler events organized by small groups of friends. Wherever we are and however we get involved, we're making a point: if we're driving solutions to climate change within our own communities, our political leaders have no excuse not to get to work nationally and globally.
The more of us join, the more powerful our message. 10/10/10 is just days away, and it's easy to get involved -- click to sign up:
Although time is short to confront climate change, the climate movement itself -- from the perspective of history -- is young. Abolishing the trans-Atlantic slave trade and ending apartheid took decades. But climate change, because of its unique threat to everyone everywhere, has a special power to unite people across all lines and boundaries -- if we let ourselves believe that progress is possible.
Last year saw an extraordinary wave of activity, with successive global days of action (21 September, 24 October, and 12/12) that drove heads of government from around the world to personally attend the Copenhagen summit. It was breathtaking, but it wasn't enough. This weekend, let's renew our commitment to the fight of six billion lifetimes -- and show that we're not going anywhere as long as we've got a planet to save.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Today, we are told, is officially the start of Spring, and it is also New Year's Day -- welcome to the year 7519 (I think).
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe: Air conditioning: Fossil fuels used for AC in the US is same as all power used in Africa
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
ZCommunications | The Killing Fields Of Multi-National Corporations by Vandana Shiva | ZSpace:
The Bhopal gas tragedy was the worst industrial disaster in human history. Twenty-five thousand people died, 500,000 were injured, and the injustice done to the victims of Bhopal over the past 25 years will go down as the worst case of jurisprudence ever.
The gas leak in Bhopal in December 1984 was from the Union Carbide pesticide plant which manufactured 'carabaryl' (trade name 'sevin') - a pesticide used mostly in cotton plants. It was, in fact, because of the Bhopal gas tragedy and the tragedy of extremist violence in Punjab that I woke up to the fact that agriculture had become a war zone. Pesticides are war chemicals that kill - every year 220,000 people are killed by pesticides worldwide.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Notice is hereby given of the fourth Annual General Meeting of the Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute, which will be held at St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, 44 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview, Johannesburg on Tuesday 10 August 2010. (For directions, if needed, ?: 011 646 2660.)
The gathering will start with a finger supper at 17h30 for 18h00, with the meeting itself beginning at 19h00. RSVP for catering purposes by 6 August.
We also hereby give formal notice of our intention to change SAFCEI's financial year to coincide with the calendar year as from 1 January 2011.
This will be discussed at the AGM.
Bishop Geoff Davies
For catering purposes, please respond by Friday 6 August 2010 and include the following info:
Faith community/organisation you represent:
Any dietary requirements.
RSVP by 6 August 2010: email: email@example.com /Tel: 021 701 8145 (am
only) / fax: 086 696 9666 / mail to SAFCEI, Box 106, Kalk Bay, 7990.
Monday, July 5, 2010
The growing awareness of environmental issues throughout the Middle East is manifested in the Internet, which includes an ever growing number of websites, forums and blogs focusing on the environment. Some of the blogs are written in Arabic, others are written in Arabic and include translation into English, and, yet, others are written only in English.
In this weekly review “Green Prophet Flies To…”, we’ll look at a blog from a different country in the Middle East. We aim to give clues to the current environmental issues that each country is dealing with, as well as talk about the identity of the bloggers and the environmental agendas they pursue in their own countries and in the region at large. Here you will find valuable data, opinions and news on environmental topics and exploits which are not discussed anywhere else.
This week we fly to Lebanon and look at Mazen Abboud’s Blog, active from April 2009. In his blog Mazen Abboud writes that he is “an environmentalist, a freelance journalist and a businessman.”
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Will humans go extinct within 100 years? - Technology & science - Science - msnbc.com:
Is the clock of doom ticking for mankind? Yes, says an eminent 95-year-old scientist from Australia. Professor Frank Fenner — the same scientist who brought the myxomatosis virus to rabbits to control their numbers in the 1950's — is acutely aware of the impact of overpopulation and shortage of resources.
In 1980, Fenner announced to the World Health Assembly that smallpox had been eradicated, an achievement that is widely regarded as the World Health Organization's finest hour.
Now, in an interview with The Australian, the well-respected microbiologist expressed his pessimism for our future. 'We're going to become extinct,' he said. 'Whatever we do now is too late.'
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Southern Baptists speak out on the Gulf oil spill | OrthoCuban:
I find it startling that the first Scripture actually quoted is the Scripture that was chosen as the theme for this year in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” And, it was chosen last year, long before the oil spill. To me, it is a small sign that God was aware of what was coming.
But, more than that, catch a phrase that Southern Baptists have not been known to use before, “to promote future energy policies based on prudence, conservation, accountability, and safety.” This is a vigorous statement of an ecological viewpoint, one that had often been derided before as the purview of “liberals.” Notice also that the previous phrases call for an involvement by government that is a partial repudiation of the stance that many conservatives had taken previously, which was that the government should stay out of private business as much as possible.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades"
Monday, June 14, 2010
An average car with two flags attached burns an extra litre of fuel per hour at an average of 70mph, said Manchester University's Dr Antonio Filippone.
He also calculated that 500,000 drivers all doing the same will create 2.8m kg of carbon dioxide emissions.
The extra fuel consumption is caused by the flags creating drag."
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As reported in the New York Times, Brian Turnbaugh, a policy analyst at OMB Watch said, 'EPA had the authority to act all along; its decision to now disclose the ingredients demonstrates this. Yet it took a public outcry and weeks of complaints for the agency to act and place the public's interest ahead of corporate interests.'"
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
But I have one observation. Perhaps our grandchildren's generation may develop the technology to exploit that oil without wasting it or damaging the environment. It seems that BP were out of their depth, figuratively as well as literally. That is our grandchildren's oil that is being wasted by this generations hubris.
Monday, May 17, 2010
If successful, Transocean Ltd. would be left with as much as $533 million in insurance money from the failed venture. That's almost enough to cover the revenue the company was expecting from a three-year contract with BP PLC. However, it has also estimated additional expenses from insurance deductibles, higher insurance premiums and legal fees at about $200 million.
The move comes as lawsuits pile up against Transocean and BP, which leased the rig and is trying to shut off a well that's spewing 210,000 gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico each day. In addition, hearings by congressional and administration panels this week have raised questions about safety procedures and equipment employed at the drill site."
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
TO ALL CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE WILD COAST
The Wild Coast continues to be under threat from both the application to undertake sand dune mining and the N2 toll highway. The record of decision (ROD) for the N2 toll road was released on 19 April. It is stated that objections need to be made before 19th May. We are asking for an extension to this deadline but we are also told that DEAT is requiring a notice of intention to appeal. We attach this notice. We write now to ask that if you are registered as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) and wish to appeal, that you send in this form.
Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) will shortly issue a brief outline regarding our concerns. We believe it best if comments come from a denomination or a congregation or a faith community, though an individual may also object. If you are not registered as an I&AP but wish to object, please do it through SAFCEI. We will include your appeal with ours.
I do emphasize that we in both SAFCEI and SWC believe that the development of roads in the Eastern Cape is important. Our concern is about the route of this proposed toll road and the fact that it is to be a toll road which will place an extremely heavy burden not only on the people of the Eastern Cape but also on the residents of Durban. As long ago as 2003, we asked SANRAL to upgrade the existing roads. This would not have required an extensive EIA and the work could have been completed by now. Their refusal has been extremely costly in terms of failed development and human lives lost as a result of the poor condition of the present roads. I continue to recall that one of the best priests of the Anglican Diocese of Umzimvubu, the Revd Madoda Hlwatika, lost his life on 6th January in 2004 on one of the very road we have asked to be upgraded.
The greenfields route between Lusikisiki and Port Edward is not of concern only because of the threat it poses to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism but it will also isolate the present economic centres of the region, notably Mt Frere, Flagstaff and Bizana and it will have an impact on Kokstad. Certainly the residents of Umtata and Lusikisiki will benefit but the EIA does not include the matter of tolling. This is to be a separate application. We believe this is dishonest as residents of that area have not been informed that toll fees could be in excess of R75 to get to Durban. It is also absurd not to include the toll fees at the outset as the road cannot be built unless it is a toll road.
This highlights the fact that the road is for the benefit of through traffic. The road will isolate communities and provide them with extremely limited access. We believe strongly that the people of the Eastern Cape deserve the development of a road system which does not punish them with excessively high toll fees. It would seem that it is the engineering companies that are driving this proposal. This application has emanated from the Department of Transport but is an unsolicited bid. We were told by the Department of Transport that it was not integral to their development plan.
I think it would be fair to say that the people of Pondoland are divided on their opinion about this road. But there is unanimity in their desire for improved roads in the region. Those who will be directly affected by the toll road are extremely concerned not least because of the lack of consultation.
We hope to send you further information shortly.
With good wishes
Bishop Geoff Davies.
Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (SAFCEI)
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Oil is now flowing into the Gulf at a rate of as high as 25,000 barrels a day due to the explosion and the subsequent failure of a blowout preventer (BOP), which is designed to plug the well in the event of an emergency. The BOP is still not responding to attempts to close it.
Neither the company nor the government had in place any backup plans in the event of a failure of the BOP. Options currently being considered to plug the well will take weeks or months to implement and may not be successful."
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The European Union has set itself a goal of obtaining 10 percent of its road fuels from renewable sources, mostly biofuels, by the end of this decade, but it is now worrying about the unintended environmental impacts.
Four major studies are under way."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sustainable development has been an issue for decades and yet we do not seem to have made much progress in dealing with it. When I was a teen report was published by the Club of Rome called ' The Limits to Growth ' (1972). This has been updated at least twice since other writing is still on the wall. We cannot keep on living as we have without endangering the ecosystem upon which we depend, but if we must as a species continue to grow numerically and economically, then we cannot look to the earth as an infinite resource for us to plunder indefinitely."
Monday, April 26, 2010
This morning workmen came to install a solar-powered geyser in our house. It's a cold and rainy day and winter is approaching, so I'm not sure if we'll see the benefit immediately, but it will be interesting to see if the electricity bills are reduced after a few months.
Eskom, the national electricity supplier, offers subsidies for the installation of solar-powered geysers.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Well, it turns out that it wasn't a hoax, and that the conspiracy didn't exist, and that the whole thing was a storm in a tea cup. But you can bet that that won't get as much media coverage as the original rumours.
The Church Mouse Blog: Climategate - MPs report clears scientists:
The climategate scandal was the biggest challenge to the broadening consensus in Britain about the urgent need to limit carbon emissions to control the effects of climate change. The story broke that emails had been leaked between scientists at the heart of climate change research, in which they apparently stated that they were using a 'trick' to make the trends fit their theories. The conspiracy theories went wider, however, and claims were made that the emails showed that there was a conspiracy to subvert the whole scientific process on this issue.
It was a major international story. So presumably it is an equally big story that the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has now investigated the affair and concluded that there is no cover-up and no conspiracy. Well, no. But it should be.
Now perhaps someone should investigate the conspirators who decided to "unmask" the hoax that wasn't.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
But the loan is not a done deal. Some creditors are having second thoughts, with the US expected to abstain and several European delegates reportedly on the fence. And we can tip the balance -- we just need one "no" vote to table the proposal since the Bank rarely proceeds with divisive votes!
While Eskom trumpets the plan, we can tell World Bank directors how we feel about coal. Let the Word Bank know that we don't want its dirty loan - click below to sign the petition today:
The Bank is right to recognize South Africa's energy needs, but this loan would be putting money in the wrong place. Instead of dirty coal, South Africa needs energy efficiency and clean, renewable sources of power that people who most need it can actually afford. If this loan is approved, South Africans will pay for it several-fold -- in meteoric electricity rates, missed clean energy investments, polluted air, destroyed land, and the warming earth on which we live.
Dozens of South African environmental, community, church, labour, academic and women's organizations, representing a diverse, unified voice have mobilized to stop the loan. But every voice counts in these last days before the World Bank vote. Act now -- sign the petition opposing the loan:
Ben, Paul, Graziela, David, Alice, Ricken, and the whole Avaaz team
More information --
NGO Response to the World Bank panel report and Fact Sheet
Original World Bank Fact Sheet
Eskom Tariff Hikes Slammed
World Bank to Consider $4 Billion Loan Application From Eskom
SAfrica grants Eskom 24.8 pct price rise for 2010/11
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
It follows a tumultuous few months in which public opinion on efforts to tackle climate change has been undermined by events such as the climate scientists' emails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit."
Friday, March 19, 2010
In South Africa more than 100 000 people signed up their support. Further, based on the reduced electricity consumption over Earth Hour, ESKOM estimated that 1 million South African households participated! Earth Hour 2010 will have a very important role to play in ensuring that the South African government takes strong action against climate change.
For Earth Hour 2010, WWF calls on South Africans to switch off their lights on Saturday, 27 March, as a symbolic act to send a powerful message to leaders that the time to act on climate change is now.
This year WWF is challenging individuals, businesses, and communities to take the lead by pledging to reduce their own carbon footprint. We have to show world leaders that we are serious about tackling climate change and that we want them to deliver a fair, effective and binding climate deal.
Rolling out Earth Hour is easy, all you have to do is:
- Pledge your support on http://www.wwf.org.za/.
- Switch off the lights of your buildings on 27 March from 8:30pm - 9:30pm.
- Spread the message to your staff, students, members, colleagues, customers, tenants, yes, everybody! (We will email you a generic message to send out in the beginning of March.)
- Show your support by posting the Earth Hour 2010 web banner on your website, printing t-shirts for your staff or having an Earth Hour event on the night.
- If you would like to support Earth Hour 2010 in a big way by sponsoring an event or donating advertising space, please contact us on 021 888 2800.
Please save the date: 27 March 2010, 8:30pm - 9:30pm.
We hope that you will support Earth Hour 2010.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Hat-tip to Ex-nuclear workers to march on Necsa - Environment South Africa
They have vowed to stage a “sleep-in” at NECSA’s gates unless they are adequately responded to by the nuclear bosses. The memorandum they intend handing over is attached.
When: Thursday February 4, 2010
Starting time: 10.30 am
Place: Necsa Gate 3, Church Street, Pelindaba (west of Pretoria) Contact person: Mr. Alfred Sepepe 074 299 8214
Many of these Atteridgeville Township based workers formed part of the sample group of 208 ex-nuclear workers who underwent preliminary medical examinations by respected occupational health medical practitioner Dr Murray Coombs. Coombs found that a significant number of these workers suffered from occupational illnesses resultant from their employment at the Pelindaba complex and referred several cases to the Compensation Commissioner. All these applications were rejected. The Commissioner has yet to make known the basis on which he dismissed these applications despite legislation which entitles these workers to compensation based on presumption alone. Coombs further concluded that most of the ex-workers he had seen needed further in-depth medical tests and in 2006 Dr. Coombs approached NECSA to undertake these tests in the presence of representatives appointed by the workers themselves to ensure transparency. NECSA flatly refused and produced its own medical results that denied the claims made in the Coombs Report.
Almost 30 ex-workers from the original sample group have died penniless and with extreme medical conditions since this process began in 2005/6 – this despite numerous appeals to the President, various Ministers and a special hearing before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee in July 2007 which undertook to ensure justice and compensation for these workers. The chairman of that committee was dropped in the new post-elections administration and to date not a single promise made to these workers has been met.
Please contact Mr. Sepepe for further details.
This media release is issued by:
Pelindaba Working Group
acting in solidarity with the plight of these ex-nuclear workers
Dominique Gilbert – 083 740 4676
Thursday, January 14, 2010
In South Africa more than 100 000 people signed up their support. Further, based on the reduced electricity consumption over Earth Hour, ESKOM estimated that 1 million South African households participated!
Earth Hour 2010 will have a very important role to play in ensuring that the South African government takes strong action against climate change.
Please save the date: 27 March 2010, 8:30pm – 9:30pm.
We hope that you will support Earth Hour 2010. We look forward to engaging with you next year on this exciting and important worldwide campaign.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE (SAFCEI)
“Faith communities committed to cherishing living earth.”
SAFCEI NEWSBRIEF December 2009
More than 5000 participants from over 200 religions from around the world gathered for the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia, from 3rd to 9th December. I went with the hope of sending a message from the Parliament to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Because the Parliament does not issue statements, a “Message to Copenhagen” was signed by over five hundred participants, and the Parliament Council agreed to try to catch the
attention of the media with a banner.
Following the Dalai Lama’s address at the closing plenary, during which he called on the members of Parliament to put words into action and for the voice of religions to be heard, participants walked out onto the bridge and stood behind the Call to Copenhagen banner.
This is our call to you all as we go into the New Year. It has been a tumultuous year in many respects. We – all religions and all people and all nations – now need to:
protect the only earth we have
I pray blessings at this time that it may be a season of renewal for all that lies ahead.
Executive Director of SAFCEI