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greening it up- renewable energy debates, water issues, a beetle and green sex

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-03-25 20:01

World's strongest creatureWorld's strongest creatureHelp for St Lucia lake
Durban - A donation of over R23m would be used to find an effective and sustainable solution for the hydrological problem of the St Lucia lake system, which is part of South Africa's first World Heritage Site.

The St Lucia system has for years been struggling with its worst drought ever. The salt content of the system is in places three times higher than sea water and there is currently no fish or birds in these parts.

In 2009, a channel was established between the Umfolozi River and the St Lucia lake to help the flow of fresh water as an emergency measure but the river twice came down in flood, which caused water full of sediment to end up in the shallow lake system.

a book review of cormac mccarthy's the road

Submitted by MichaelE on Wed, 2010-03-24 07:10

The roadThe road

Some of you may have recently caught The Road on the big screen here in South Africa, sadly I missed it and may have to wait for the DVD. In the meantime, however I have read the book. I always find that books can be so much more revealing, as there are details that cannot be translated on to the big screen due to time constraints.

The Road, is a post apocalyptic story that shows McCarthy's skills as a writer. In 2007, the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Imagine a world where life is dying, ash rains down and the world is freezing. There is little or no food and warmth. This is the world that McCarthy conjures up. However, the subtext is that this is not too far from being a reality.

bantamsklip draft EIR: fatally flawed and designed to confuse

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-03-22 17:16

great for tourismgreat for tourism

The draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a nuclear power station at the Bantamsklip site has been released for public comment, with a closing date set for 10 May 2010. Bantamsklip is situated near the Pearly Beach resort, 50 km east of Hermanus.
The Save Bantamsklip Campaign and its affiliates and associated organisations are happy to have been placed third on the list of priority sites, but the battle to have the Bantamsklip site removed entirely from the list is far from over. We assert that the Government has already confirmed their whole-hearted support for a "nuclear fleet" with all the ancillary nuclear fuel-chain components. Unless this commitment is opposed, we expect to see construction begin at Bantamsklip in ten year's time, at the latest.

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greening it up - tiger on brink, eskom sued to reveal tariffs, sustainably grown tuna, cloves and more

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-03-19 10:05

Tiger nearly extinct in the wild: pic by HeWhoWalksWithTigersTiger nearly extinct in the wild: pic by HeWhoWalksWithTigers

Eskom taken to court to reveal corporate tariffs

Sake24 has lodged a high court application to force electricity utility Eskom to reveal the tariffs it charges BHP Billiton, one of the world's largest mining companies, Beeld reported on Thursday. Sake24 wants to know how much its aluminium operations in Richard's Bay and Mozambique pay for electricity.

This comes after an investigations which showed that these operations used as much power as cities such as Durban and Cape Town.

Beeld said the tariffs BHP Billiton paid were lower than what it cost Eskom to generate the electricity. Eskom has declined to reveal how much BHP Billiton pays. More

Energy efficiency standards planned for this year

Business can expect mandatory energy efficiency standards, for both fuel and buildings, in a new

waterwise tips for water week

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-03-18 11:09

water going down the drain along with your money by monabona on deviantartwater going down the drain along with your money by monabona on deviantart
Since it is National Water Week, we thought we would give you some tips on how to save water around your home. These ideas can be done around your existing home and do not require you to install new systems. To see how you can change your home to be more Eco friendly using grey water systems, and other devices that could save water, see green your water.

Here are some simple tips, that with a change in mindset, could save you a lot of wasted water, and a lot on your water bill, and lets face it who doesn't want to save money?

1. Shower instead of bathing. It is far better to shower than to run a bath. A bath uses about 200 liters of water while a shower cuts down on water usage by 66%.

world water day

Submitted by MichaelE on Wed, 2010-03-17 12:55

Drop of water by overthehedge from deviantartDrop of water by overthehedge from deviantart

Water - life on Earth could not exist without it. All living things need water, and the human body is made up of about 60% water, and it is also one of the most abundant substances on our planet, giving rise to the term “the Blue Planet”. Therefore water is a very important part of our environment, and should be a major focus as we try to tackle climate change.

This week is Water week in South Africa and the UN World Water day is on Monday.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and so the World Water day was born - every year it is celebrated on March 22nd.

slow food mother city

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-03-17 11:44

Slow Food Mother CitySlow Food Mother CityMy experience is that there is a growing disconnect between people and the food they consume (I use the word consume because I think eating has connotations which often don't apply). I have many friends who cannot cook, many more who struggle to determine the difference between healthy and unhealthy options and most people I know don't have a clue where their food comes from, how it got to them or how it was processed (I could use the word made instead of processed, but again it suggests human intervention which is seldom the case).

This trend is concerning to me, and I am not alone. Slow Food is represented in over 130 countries and has more than 100 000 members. The movement started about 20 years ago in Italy.

greening it up - national water week, koeberg shutdown, american climate doubts and ingenious bees

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-03-15 13:16

waterfall by !pharaohsgirl from deviantartwaterfall by !pharaohsgirl from deviantartIt's National Water Week

It's national water week this week so why don't you consider your water usage, and see how you can help to conserve water. Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said that "It is therefore important for us to pull out all the stops to ensure that our visitors enjoy safe and clean portable water, whose quality rates among the best in the world." More

Koeberg shutdown to lessen World Cup risk

ESKOM will later this week and next month conduct two shutdowns at the Koeberg nuclear power plant for pre-emptive maintenance work on one of its cooling systems in a move to avoid power supply problems during the Soccer World Cup.

south africa's national bird still on a knife edge

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-03-11 19:47

Do you know what South Africa's national bird is? It is the Blue CraneAnthropoides paradisea. It is nearly endemic to South Africa with only a small population of between 60 -80 birds living in Etosha in Namibia. There are only between 20 and 25 thousand left in the wild.

The Blue Crane is unlike any of the other species of Crane having no red on its body and living in grasslands rather than wetlands, with a preference for higher altitude grasslands. There are three strongholds for the Blue Crane: the grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal, North-eastern Free State and South-eastern Mpumulanga; the central Karoo region in North and Eastern Cape, and the wheat-producing regions of the Western Cape.

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greening it up - koeberg scare, manuel joins UN climate panel, spider enzymes and more

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-03-11 14:16

No fishingNo fishingMarthinus 'not the man for climate job'
Xolani Mbanjwa – Cape Argus

Environmental lobby groups and civil society bodies are not convinced that South Africa's nomination of Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwayk for the top UN climate-change post is a good thing, with some questioning his track record.

Director of the Center for Civil society Professor Patrick Bond questioned van Schalkwyk's “integrity”, saying quality was required to head the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

“The UNFCC post must be headed by someone of integrity, and that's not a characteristic associated with van Schalkwyk, thanks to his checkered career as an apartheid student spy and a man who sold out his political party for a junior cabinet seat,” said Bond.

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