Artwork created by our very own Cape Town youth was put up on exhibition on the 8th September at the Grand in Granger Bay. The young men whose work was exhibited are all participants in Mamelani's Youth Development Programme, Project Lungisela, which prepares young people for the transition out of state care, particularly children's homes.
Simon Alger (pictured), a second-year BSc Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Cape Town, walked away with one of two R15,000-00 Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) bursaries awarded at the organisations' prestigious Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony in November 2010. The second bursary was awarded to Lisa Mniki, also a second-year student, studying Town and Regional Planning at Durban University of Technology.
The CO.ZA registrar, UniForum SA, has rolled out a computer lab and network at Delta Environmental Centre to help the educational institution use technology more efficiently in its education and outreach programmes.
Innovative recycled products including a world first were rewarded recently at the South African Plastics Recycling Organization's (SAPRO) second annual Best Recycled Product Competition award ceremony. The winners were announced at a gala dinner at the Midrand Conference Centre.
With Summer nearing, Capetonians can once again look forward to lounging on the iconic beaches that stretch around the peninsula.
Al Jazeera correspondent Gabriel Elizondo paints a shocking portrait of life in the Brazilian Amazon, where at least 212 environmental activists have been murdered since 1996 ' an average of 12 a year.
Energy continues to be big news. In South Africa, there's a focus on our future energy mix: that is, to say how much energy we should be generating from fossil fuels, nuclear or renewable energy resources. It's a critical issue, not just from an environmental perspective but also from an economic viewpoint. Surprisingly, we've heard little from business on the issue and arguably current Government deliberations aren't to business's liking.
The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Government's framework for meeting SA's future energy needs, is being finalised. Under this scenario SA will require far more energy than is currently available and, the IRP proposes, up to 70% is to be sourced from fossil fuels (primarily coal-based energy), 14% from nuclear and 16% from renewable sources by 2030.
While the reduction of fossil fuels from its current 95% of SA's energy sources is to be applauded, there will still be an increase in fossil fuel usage in absolute terms and a concurrent increase in associated greenhouse gases. Eskom's two new coal-fired power stations ' Medupi and Kusile ' will provide an additional 9 500MW of energy to the grid. Medupi alone will be the world's fourth largest coal-fired power station. Antiquated stations such as Komati, Grootvlei and Camden are being revived, indicating that Eskom remains well wedded to coal to meet SA's future energy demands.
business needs to be challenged
Business needs to be challenged on whether that's in its best interest. There are numerous reasons why I'd argue it is not. First, Government committed SA to conditional, but ambitious, greenhouse gas reduction targets at the Copenhagen climate change talks in 2009. Against a 'business as usual' growth trajectory, SA aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 34% by 2020 and by 42% by 2025. With the help of some innovative legislation, Government must expect business to meet these targets on its behalf. This will be difficult if SA brings on line additional fossil-fuel based electricity.
Second, Government appears set on the idea of carbon taxes. A discussion paper released by the National Treasury in December last year mooted levies from R75/t of CO2, rising to as high as R360/t. Business will find that expensive, especially when bolted to increased electricity costs.
Third, companies are setting their own carbon reduction targets. Some of these are in absolute values, such as FirstRand's 11% reduction between 2008 and 2011. Those targets are publicly declared and in this day and age of integrated reporting are gaining prominence. Such targets will be difficult to achieve without significant reduction in fossil-fuel based power and the availability of alternate clean resources.
meeting reduction targets
Finally, business faces various forms of compliance, including the submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) of their carbon footprints and achievement (or not) in meeting reduction targets. The CDP has proven extremely successful in publicising business's performance and that's often picked up by the media. There's an inherent reputational risk for companies whose carbon footprints increase but are unable to achieve stated reduction targets.
So why the muteness from business when the issue of carbon and energy is of such direct concern to it? One could surmise it's because business believes it's more beneficial to engage with Government behind closed doors. However, that would strike a blow for transparency and misses the opportunity to join forces with other clean energy voices.
Cynically, perhaps, it's because fossil-fuel based energy is perceived as the cheapest alternative ' which it currently is ' and business wants the least expensive option, even if that's contrary to national or corporate carbon targets. But such a viewpoint would be short-sighted of business. With taxes and other instruments in the offing, fossil fuel energy will become increasingly expensive and, if climate change is a concern, then business should be unequivocally calling for a rapid replacement of such energy with cleaner alternatives.
By Alex Hetherington. Source
The German Ministry of Economics and Technology will provide a German pavilion to specifically promote the participation of German companies in the Africa Energy Indaba 2012.
Measurement and verification professionals will now be regulated and accredited by a new body to assist the roll out of tax incentives for demonstrated energy savings.
The Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) has joined forces with Gareth Burley, a radio presenter on Kingfisher FM in Nelson Mandela Bay, in starting a national conversation about energy efficiency.
African governance was praised at UN headquarters in New York when the winners of the 2011 Future Policy Award were announced: Rwanda's National Forest Policy was proclaimed the winner of the 2011 Future Policy Award and The Gambia's Community Forest Policy took home a Silver Award.
The prize is awarded annually by the World Future Council, a foundation that brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy making. The jury which decided on the winning policies was composed of experts on sustainability and forests from all five continents.
Runners-up were forest policies from Bhutan, Nepal and Switzerland. The US Lacey Act's 2008 amendment, which bans the import of illegally harvested wood, received the second Silver Award.
kulula's Project Green programme, which aims to combat the atmospheric carbon loads and greenhouses gases released by its aircraft, has raised R1 million to support greening and mitigate climate change through Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA).
By February 2009 Project Green had planted 2009 trees. Now, thanks to the thousands of kulula fans who contributed money every time they flew, thousands more trees and hectares of bamboo are being planted for disadvantaged communities throughout South Africa this year.
Trees are becoming almost sacred in a world constantly battling against carbon emissions and their resultant climate change with its dire ripple effects on every sphere of our planet's functioning. Nothing represents life, growth and vigour like an ancient, sturdy tree.
Hidden on the slopes of the Baviaanskloof hills, just beyond Gansbaai, is 70ha of indigenous forest. A rare and aw-inspiring site in this part of Fynbos country. Platbos Forest is privately owned by Francois and Melissa Krige, who made it their home in 2005. It boasts 13 tree species, some as old as 1000 years and transports visitors to a green wonderland where pollution is a foreign concept. Together with their two children, this family redefines the concept of 'treading lightly', using only renewable energy to power their wooden house in the forest.
star nosed mole
you work the world
below in a network
you recycle oxygen
as a blood protein
keeps you breathing
in the COÂ² dark.
acrobat of tunnels,
push up mounds
in the middle of lawns
that sprawl across
the moneyed world
that drink all that water.
some say you make
the ground unpalatable
for cattle and sheep.
there are those who
wish to poison you,
skin you for your pelt,
pest that you are
making piles of soil,
ground though grass,
reminding us of
the work you daily do.
you stir the earth
so we can grow patches
of carrot and cabbage.
faster than the
eye can follow.
down there, hidden,
you aerate the earth
eating the worm
that devours the roots.
you nest your young
near a larva larder
in a leaf lined chamber.
feed them mother's milk
nuzzle them fur close
before they dig
their own channel.
wind in willows Mole
fed up with chores,
you take to the countryside,
ride the river with Rat,
Toad of Toad Hall,
find Otter's missing son.
you sense vibrations
with your whiskers
and whole body.
true you are to
your collective noun -
not a herd, flock nor litter
but a labour of moles.
burrow on in blind faith.
excavate all the old beliefs.
you with your second thumb,
a sickle-shaped bone
rising from your wrist,
with your subway of words
cut down our aged ways.
By Dorian Haarhoff
Photo by Jack Hynes. Source: Flickr
In the Malay language, the coconut palm is called 'pokok seribu guna,' meaning 'the tree of a thousand uses.' Make that one thousand and one. In just over a year's time, the entire chain of the Tokelau islands plans to get 100 percent of their energy from a heavenly mix of coconuts and sunshine, according to United Press International.
With its white sand beaches, clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, palm trees and warm weather, the Republic of Maldives attract an average 0f 700,000 tourists each year. That's pretty impressive, considering that annual rate nearly doubles the population of the island nation. But what Maldivians and tourists alike love about the archipelago country may just be the very thing that threatens its existence.
Plaid Cymru delegates have backed a motion calling for a moratorium on exploitation of shale gas reserves in Wales until such time as the technology used can be proved to be thoroughly safe.
Mining Minister Susan Shabangu has extended a moratorium on prospecting for shale gas for a further six months, to allow time for public consultation on the matter.
The International Clean Energy Analysis (ICEA) gateway estimates that the U.S. possesses 2.2 million km2 of high wind potential (Class 3-7 winds) â€” about 850,000 square miles of land that could yield high levels of wind energy. This makes the U.S. something of a Saudi Arabia for wind energy, ranked third in the world for total wind energy potential.