climate change

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project 90x2030 youth forum: inspiring behaviour change 101

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-09-12 11:12

Project 90x2030 Youth ForumProject 90x2030 Youth Forum

Toward the end of August the Project 90x2030 youth forum met to present their views on environmentalism to key delegates involved in the COP 17 negotiations and in the realm of sustainability in general. The process funded by the Goedgedacht Forum, and is the beginning of a dialogue between youth and environmental leaders. I was lucky enough to be included in the process that involved story rather than statistics, heart rather than head, and provided room for personal and collective introspection. The journey took an already active and diverse group of young leaders to Grahamstown during the arts festival, the leafy reflection spaces in Observatory, the revolutionary streets of Melville and the roaring spaces of the Johannesburg Zoo.

During this process the youth participants hoped to inspire action among the delegates attending. Most people know about climate change. Most people, however, do not act on this knowledge. Most continue in their daily lives, and treat the outcome as inevitable. So the key question for the youth group was: how to create a message that inspires action rather than complacency, that changes ways of being in the world, instead of merely creating awareness. The Project 90x2030 team that guided us through the process helped us to create a message that inspired action. We hope that the methods that we stumbled upon are the

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changing the realm of the possible: yvo de boer on cop 17

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-08-22 09:44

Yvo de Boer before working at KPMG Photo: Simon WedegeYvo de Boer before working at KPMG Photo: Simon Wedege

Yvo De Boer, the Special Global Advisor on Climate Change and Sustainability for KPMG, and the ex- executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Converntion on Climate Change (UNFCCC), briefed the media this week ahead of COP 17 happening in Durban at the end of the year. He gave insight into the business perspective of climate change issues, environmental management and green branding.

de Boer on COP 17
For de Boer the key issue at COP 17 will be that of the future of the Kyoto protocol. It seems that climate negotiations cannot continue without a universally accepted agreement stipulating targets for countries and measures to monitor the environmental behaviour of countries.

The Protocol has been a stumbling block with regard climate negotiations since its inception in 1994. The key issue is whether emissions targets should


choose reality

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2011-08-17 13:31

Climate Reality ProjectClimate Reality Project"24 Hours of Reality will focus the world’s attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis. To remove the doubt. Reveal the deniers. And catalyze urgency around an issue that affects every one of us." So says Al Gore, in his latest Climate Reality Project.

In a world where most of us have an attention problem, keeping our heads afloat the tsunami of daily news, the big issues like Climate Change can easily drown amongst the other flavours of the day. The Climate Reality Project is hoping to refocus our attention and bring "the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream" and engage with the public about how to solve it.

The last time I checked I was pretty convinced of the reality of climate change. The reality is that our lives WILL be affected, in adverse ways that scientists have modelled with a reasonable degree of certainty. Is there a link between human activities and the change in climate? Yes, I'm prepared to put money on it.

The trouble is that I don't have much money, while some BIG players like the oil and coal industries have

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being an african environmentalist - reflections from the bluebuck youth summit

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-07-25 13:08

The Brass Wood-Screw -Photo: Jonathan JonesThe Brass Wood-Screw -Photo: Jonathan Jones
The BlueBuck Network held its first annual Youth Summit in Grahamstown recently, attracting young environmentalists throughout Southern Africa. Emily (aka SproutScout) was challenged and inspired as she travelled to Grahamstown to get a feel for the green youth.

“Can anyone tell me what this is?,” asks Lawrence Sisitka, holding up a small nail-looking object between his thumb and forefinger. “A brass wood-screw,” he answers after a few seconds of silence from the unhelpful audience. “I live a fairly sustainable life,” he elaborates “I grow my own food, I harvest rainwater, I husband cattle; yet I still rely on these tiny objects for functioning in every-day life.” Sisitka uses the example to challenge the audience; to illustrate the nuts and bolts of what a 'green lifestyle' would look like. This simple wood-screw


explore the oceans at the national arts fest

Submitted by sproutscout on Thu, 2011-07-07 19:13

Curtain of Crocheted CoralCurtain of Crocheted Coral

Slip into a small room in the corner of the Rhodes ELRC to find a momentary escape from the chatter and buzz of national arts fest, and explore the coral reef and ‘marine life’ you find yourself surrounded by. This exhibition, Reflection Synthetic, a collaboration between Simon Max Bannister and Woodstock Art Reef Project (WARP) explores the beauty of coral reefs, and craftily demonstrates the threats that reefs face.


hope in a changing climate on world day to combat desertification

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-06-17 11:02

Today is "World Day to Combat Desertification" which the UN uses to "sensitise the public and policy makers to the increasing dangers of desertification, land degradation and drought for the international community".

This year the slogan, "Forests keep drylands working" is used to tie into awareness of 2011 being the "Year of the Forest" and to recognise the impact dryland forests can have on halting and reversing desertification.

Check out the amazing Hope in a Changing Climate by Jon Liu which was a winner in the International Forest Film Festival's Issues & Solutions category.

Liu shows how massive areas that were damaged by


a green youth

Submitted by sproutscout on Thu, 2011-06-16 15:12

Respect the EarthRespect the Earth

Youth Day, commemorating the Soweto Uprisings in 1976, reminds South Africans of the pivotal role played by the youth in overcoming Apartheid. The day reminds us that all voices, particularly those of youths, need to be heard in order to solve issues facing society. The day reminds us that the voice of the youth is indeed powerful. Perhaps, just as the youth were pivotal in overcoming the struggles of apartheid, they too will be pivotal in finding a solution to the issues facing society today. The youth can add a unique and valuable perspectives to environmental challenges and the manner in which we live on the earth.

For Alex Lanferna, a Masters student at Rhodes University, Chairman of the the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum (SEACC SF) and founding member of the Bluebuck Network (see below) "the strange thing about these modern times is that the youth are being


the arts for a change of heart

Submitted by sproutscout on Tue, 2011-05-24 10:25

Well Worn Theatre Co.Well Worn Theatre Co.

Have you ever truly thought, if human actions remain unchanged, as the process of climate change sweeps the earth, how the mountains and deserts and landscapes known and loved by your eyes would transform? Have you ever truly thought how your life would be transformed? What would the specifics of gathering food, water and medicine be in such a changing world? Would you ever be able to use, other, taken for granted items, like showers and clean socks, and (dare I mention it) feminine hygiene products? More importantly, how would you be able to make (and keep) friends? Would you ever be able to shake hands? Would you still be able to love?


care about the forest - here's what you can do

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2011-05-04 09:15

We visited Platbos recently. For those who don't know what it is, Platbos is this fairly incredible ancient, indigenous forest that was discovered kind of by accident by Francois and Melissa Krige, just off the coast of Gansbaai, in the Overberg.

We'll save the story of our visit for later, but what this blog is about, is how YOU can contribute to Platbos, for only R75, and put your money where your mouth is, by sponsoring a tree (or two).

If you look closely, you'll see that companies, like Solartech, sponsor 20 odd trees a month to lower their carbon footprint.

Each tree you sponsor contributes a square metre of forest canopy and


gearing up for COP 17 and the year of the oceans?

Submitted by sproutscout on Thu, 2011-04-21 12:11

SEA Pledge CampaignSEA Pledge Campaign

If you’re fed up with the tales of rubbish islands afloat in the Atlantic, increasing global temperatures and oil soaked penguins, sign the SEA Pledge today.

2011 has been declared the Year of the Forest, the "lungs" of the earth, following the COP 16 UN conference on Climate Change in Cancun in December 2010, where UN delegates met to discuss and disagree about Climate Change and how to deal with it.

Environmental organizations throughout South Africa are already gearing up for the COP 17 Conference, to be held in Durban in November and December this year. The South East African Climate Consortium (SEACC) and the Sustainable Seas Trust hope to name 2012 "the Year of the Oceans", with their SEA Pledges campaign. Set to be one of the biggest public participation campaign towards COP 17 in 2011, the SEA Pledges campaign will create awareness about the importance of oceans, their current state of degradation, and the impact this has on climate change and human livelihoods.

The real lungs
What many non-scientists don't know is that the real lungs of the earth are the oceans. They have a unique capacity to absorb carbon dioxide (more so than the earth's forests) and in so doing

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