greening it up

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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.


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


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.


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.


greening it up - eskom woes, tranquil winds, it's curtains for solar energy and more

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-03-08 14:03

Wind power blows away tranquility?

BENEDICTINE monks living in the hills outside Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, are angry about plans to build a wind farm near their monastery. Brother Timothy Jolley, the Mariya uMama weThemba Monastery prior, yesterday said the Anglican monks feared the noise and visual impact of the 135m turbines would forever destroy the “contemplative life” they had worked so hard to achieve over the past 12 years. More

The standard of water quality in the Cape under question.

The overall quality of the city's inland and coastal water has reached a 10-year low, and despite the associated health threats, budget and resource constraints mean the situation is unlikely to be reversed soon, says a City of Cape Town report.


green prefab homes, jet fuel from rubbish, and eskom shuns renewable energy

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2010-02-23 12:04

Green prefab homes rising in popularity
A modular home manufacturer in USA says that, where other builders are cutting projects in the down economy, his company is raising production of the energy-efficient model, called the 'i-house' – a solar modular home. South Africa has its own version that's caused quite a stir, known as Zenkaya – ready-made living space that is re-defining the term 'prefab' and giving it a new eco-friendly and eco-chic slant. They're cheeky, easy, chic and unique. The designs are based on core sustainable principles – efficient use of space, reducing waste in the factory, and all materials are recyclable.

Eskom shuns renewable energy
An Irish energy company, Mainstream Renewable Power, claims that Eskom does not want renewable energy to succeed in SA. Mainstream vented its frustration over what it said was Eskom’s unwillingness to accommodate renewable energy players in the SA power generation market. It last year established a joint venture with local company Genesis Eco-Energy to build wind farms to generate 500MW in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape. “Eskom does not want renewables. They do not want competition,” Mainstream CEO Eddie O’Connor said yesterday. [businessday] read here about what Eskom should be doing...


world news: future climate change scenarios, maldives' president hosts underwater meeting, global green heroes

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-10-01 14:26

Sea level to rise, say scientists. Climate change is turning Antarctica's ice into one of the biggest risks for coming centuries. Even a tiny melt could drive up sea levels. “If you're going to have even a few metres it will change the geography of the planet," Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said of the more extreme scenarios of fast ocean rise. [IOL]

How will the earth look in the the future? Google Earth is launching a series of layers, ahead of the Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen, that allows one to look at possible furture climate scenarios, depending on our actions now. [ecogeek.org] Watch Google Earth's climate introductory tour, called Confronting Climate Change, with Al Gore narrating. [youtube] (takes a while to download)

How is this for innovative? Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed is to host an underwater cabinet meeting on October 24 to draw attention to the impact of


local news: sa to run out of surface water, first wildlife-friendly label, would you cycle 3000 km?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2009-09-30 14:01

SA to run out of surface water Scientists who have recently done an update on a study on water resource availability in SA now warn that estimates given previously are not the true picture and that there is even less water available than estimated - 4% less, to be precise. If you consider that 98% of our water is already accounted for, that SA has become 2% hotter and 6% drier since the 1970s, a struggle for water could ensue. [cape times] via [treehugger] Also read 25 things you might not know about Water and Green your water

Cape no 1 in recycling The Western Cape is leading the country in terms of recycling waste material. This is due to tight space constraints and very limited access to dumping sites close to Cape Town... [cbn.co.za]

SA's first wildlife-friendly eco label – Fair Game. Later this year we will be able to choose eco labelled meat and fibre products...


greenest grocer in sa?, why spier is green, gm vine field trials allowed & more...

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-08-24 14:55

World's tallest wooden building for Norway. Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects are responsible for the ambitious project, which will be situated in downtown Kirkenes on the historical ground of a multiethnic area. To achieve carbon neutrality, Reiulf Ramstad Architects is relying on integrated systems that also enable it- to adapt to the changing seasons and climate. The firm also plans to reuse biodegradable household and industrial waste to produce biogas. [inhabitat]

Who is the greenest grocer in SA? According to the Sunday Times Top Brands survey, the company that has done the most to promote 'green' in South Africa is Pick n Pay, followed by Woolworths. [the times] [bizcommunity] ...


greening it up - why go nuclear when cheaper options exist, organic food study slammed, & more

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-08-03 15:05

Why go nuclear – better and cheaper options exist
Why are Eskom and the departments of energy and public enterprises so grimly determined to generate electricity by the most expensive and complicated of all options -- atomic power stations and their high-level radioactive waste depositaries?

There are two bombshell facts for taxpayers and neighbouring residents. The first is that the PBMR generates more than 10 times the volume of radioactive waste than any other known type of atomic reactor. The second fact never aired by PBMR promoters is that its defects include the radioactive gas by-products of nuclear fusion, such as a radioactive isotope of xenon, seeping and percolating through their famous pebbles and escaping into the coolant. [m&g] [there is an alternative; the california option]

Organic food study slammed by Soil Association A food fight has broken out over the health benefits — or lack thereof — of organic produce. The UK Food Standards Agency released a report saying that organic food did nothing to improve health or offer any more nutritional benefits than non-organic food


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