greening it up

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greening it up - no new plant for koeberg, uk outsourcing emissions, sa to lead biotech & more...

Submitted by Ahmed on Fri, 2009-07-24 12:45

Koeberg plan nuked The City of Cape Town has refused to approve plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Koeberg (yes!). The current Koeberg power station, like the proposed one, doesn't allow for quick evacuation of residents living in the vicinity, should a nuclear emergency arise, and the City recognised that Eskom manages to sidestep the responsibility of removing nuclear waste from the site - something else that will affect locals![Cape Times]

South Africa aims to lead in biotechnology Naledi Pandor, current Minister of Science and Technology, and former Minister of “I-want-to-make- children-pledge-allegiance-to-the-flag-every-morning” has now announced that there are plans to make South Africa a leader in biotechnology...

greening it up – make poo work for you, we need higher feed-in tariffs, will the US and China form a green alliance, & more…

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-02-10 14:34

Making poo work for you. Kayaletu Makasi lives on a pretty little smallholding on the road to Chintsa. He has 17 cows, three pigs and a gaggle of chickens. He feeds their manure (about 20 litres a week) into a small digester and in return he gets an unlimited supply of free fuel, highly nutritious food for the pigs and chickens, and a treasure trove of organic fertiliser for his soil.

Far higher feed-in tariffs needed. The feed-in tariff currently proposed by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) for wind energy is 66 c/kWh, decreasing to 58 c/kWh in 2014. These tariffs are currently the subject of public hearings. To make wind energy truly viable in South Africa, the industry requires a feed-in tariff - in essence, a subsidy - of around 90c to a rand per kilowatt hour… [engineeringnews]

Iloilo City in the Philippines gets a road exclusively for bicycle riders. This is to promote bicycle as an environment-friendly mode of transportation that could...

green blog roundup: self-sufficient nz family, human water pumps, the bike that folds into a rucksack…

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2009-01-30 11:07

Human powered water pumps can solve the water crisis in developing and underdeveloped countries. Statistics point out that about one billion people lack access to safe drinking water, which leads to several diseases. A system has now been developed that can use the endless energy of children to pump underground water to the surface, which can then prevent waterborne diseases from spreading. [ecofriend]

A New Zealand based family has given up all luxuries and technology in an effort to educate the world the ways to go green and sustainable. The house has been constructed with recycled materials. Furniture too is made from recycled and post-use materials, and ...

greening it up – gyo, renewable energy creates jobs, carbon tax won’t reduce emissions, and coca-cola's hybrid trucks

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-01-19 10:15

pic: your own. As we feel the pinch as shoppers, more of us are turning our manicured lawns into vegetable patches. If the burning trend in the UK is anything to go by, mirrored by a parallel escalation in Cape Town, suburbia will soon become a source of food as vegetable beds, sapling fruit trees and compost heaps become the norm. [independent]

Renewable energy the potential to create thousands of jobs. In the face of Eskom’s moot to increase electricity tariffs by up to R9/kwh for high energy consumers (a huge leap from 25c/kwh), the DA has called for an urgent overhaul of the energy sector: a new Ministry of Energy and Climate Change, unbundling Eskom’s monopoly over production and generation of electricity, and meeting our 15% target for renewable energy introduction, addressing the skills shortage in SA. [moneyweb] [citizen]

Introducing a carbon tax not best way to cut carbon emissions in SA, says Deloitte. Research recently carried out by the firm into potential emission reduction methods indicated that the best way to reduce emissions in the country was by way of a cap-and-trade system. A carbon tax does nothing to incentivise much-needed behavioural changes. Nor would it

greening it up - tough climate talk, we're not alone, energy winds of change, clean power idle time

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-12-12 13:41

pic: wiredpic: wiredVan Schalkwyk's talking tough in Poznan. The DEAT Minister is seemingly holding no punches. "Unfortunately some of our developed country partners still play hide and seek with commitments on ambitious mid-term targets. We call on them to come forward with clear targets," he said in Poznan yesterday.

Van Schalkwyk said there was little time to meet their deadline of signing a global pact on fighting climate change in Copenhagen next year . "We cannot now dither in the face of a short term economic downturn." Developing countries were ready to take the lead in moving forward the process, designed to implement a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

But it was "disappointing" that wealthy countries turned a deaf ear to recent proposals from China and the Group of 77 on proposals to curb greenhouse gas output, he said. [business day]

We're not alone. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope recently discovered evidence of water vapour on a faraway Jupiter-sized planet just... 63 light years away. Although the planet, HD 189733b, is not itself a good candidate for alien life, the successful detection of water vapour on it in the location an quantities predicted bodes well for further studies of more promising locals for extraterrestrial life. Read more about what makes Earth unique over here [NVDL]

Sweden blows winds of change in SA.. The Swedish Trade Council has facilitated an open forum

greening it up - climate change park, manganism victims, low quality fuel, obama serious on climate change

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2008-11-13 10:14

namaqua national park: pic - SANParksnamaqua national park: pic - SANParksClimate Change Park for SA.
The Namaqua National Park has acquired another 36 000ha of land on the West Coast and is now SA's fifth largest park. It is also SA's first park which will be designed to give species a better chance of survival in a warmer, drier future. By ultimately extending the park to include mountainous land, the park will stretch from sea level to an elevation of around 1 700m and would allow plant and animal species to migrate to different altitudes in response to a drier, warmer climate.

"There may be other national parks where this climate change accommodation could take place, but this is the first one consciously designed with that in mind," said Paul Daphne, SANParks managing executive of park operations. [IOL]

Manganism victims were "pressurised"

Suspected manganese poisoning victims were allegedly offered R800 000 each to undergo further testing while their employer refused to recognise the attorney representing them, a Labour Department inquiry investigating several cases of manganese poisoning heard recently.

Richard Spoor, an attorney representing 10 workers who have been diagnosed with manganism, told the inquiry that Assmang had offered affected workers R800 000 to be examined by an overseas medical expert and that Assmang had "gone so far as to hire chiefs (traditional leaders) to press them into accepting deals". [Pretoria News]

Toyota criticises SA's fuel quality
Toyota South Africa has lashed out at the quality of fuel in the country and delays in finalising vehicle emission regulations. Johan van Zyl, Toyota SA CEO and president of NAAMSA said local fuels were only adhering to Euro 2 emission standards, while Europe would be moving to Euro 5 next year. He said government should impose legislation on the fuel industry to go directly to the Euro 5 standard by 2012. He also said environmental taxes had been proposed and Toyota had the advanced technologies to reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions but it could do nothing to assist consumers because of the quality of fuel in the country.

"Improvements in the quality of our fuel are imperative to the achievement of environmental objectives, including improved air quality," he said. [Business Report]

Obama's camp: we will act quickly on climate change
Obama sent Jason Grumet, a policy adviser mentioned for a possible energy post, to an environmental conference

greening it up - climate change curriculum, anti-gm prince, sa enviro journalist of the year, worthy rockers and more

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2008-10-10 10:42

Nic - Feedback, Monica - Mindshift, Prince CharlesNic - Feedback, Monica - Mindshift, Prince Charles
Climate Change Curriculum Western Cape Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development, Pierre Uys, announced on Monday that a special curriculum tool for teachers to educate about climate change has been developed. The pilot programme was launched this week with a training session for a core group of teachers across the province and includes a teacher's resource book. Climate change and environmental issues will form part of the school curriculum from next year. [sustainable home 4 all]

Prince Charles attacks GM Giants The Prince, shaking off a barrage of scientific & political criticism earlier this year, has made his most anti-GM speech yet. He delivered a video speech - the Sir Albert Howard Memorial Lecture - to an Indian pressure group Navdanya, at the invitation of renowned food activist Vandana Shiva.

"The reason I keep sticking my 60-year-old head above an increasingly dangerous parapet is not because it is good for my health," he said " but precisely because I believe fundamentally that unless we work with nature, we will fail to restore the equilibrium we need in order to survive on this planet", the Prince said. He cut to the chase by highlighting the suicides of Indian small farmers many believe were due to a failure by Monsanto GM Cotton Bollguard. [the independent]

For other matters royal, see the Queens windpower record over at Treevolution.

Mindshift Editor is Environmental Journalist of the Year Monica Graaff, editor of ITWeb's Mind Shift magazine, has been named the SAB Environmental Journalist...

greening it up – future milk bottles, solar power for india, plug-in hybrids & more…

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2008-09-23 13:26

The future milk bottle – made from recycled paper. The GreenBottle has developed a green solution to milk containers, to replace plastic milk bottles. The outer shell is made from recycled paper, which can be further recycled, or if left will simply decompose within a matter of weeks. Greenbottle consumes about a third of the energy used to make a plastic bottle and has a carbon footprint that is 48% lower than plastic. Now all we need is a local version… [ecolibris] via [hugg]

Plug-in hybrids the way to go? Hybrid engines like those used in the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, or Ford Escape use a combination of petrol and electric power. Plug-in hybrids, on the other hand, use electric power for a range of thirty to sixty miles, and rely on a combination of petrol and electric power for longer trips. Chelsea Sexton, a former GM employee featured in Who Killed the Electric Car? who promoted the electric EV1 until it was discontinued, says that plug-in hybrids are "the best of both worlds" between hybrids and electric cars. [alternet]...

greening it up – wed 27 aug 2008

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-08-27 13:35

This is what a zero emissions car looks like. Leave it to the Swiss to come up with the concept of Cree, a zero emissions electric car – new acronym for you ‘ZEV’ – is still at the prototype stage, but 80 of these gorgeous bugs will be produced for testing in Zurich and Basle. The team behind the car aim to bring this car to mass production and they’re asking for investors. Interesting to learn that all the development took place as early as 2001, and that they had to close their doors in 2003 due to lack of funding! Via [hippyshopper] [cree]

Rea Vaya baby – Jhb’s rapid transit system ready soon. Keeping with the transport theme, the first phase of Rea Vaya, Joburg’s new bus Rapid Transit system, will be ready before the Confererations Cup next year - 14 June 2009. According to the City, the first prototype Rea Vaya station will be in operation in October 2008. The double-model station will be located in Twist Street, Joubert Park. Via [sagoodnews]

NY city mayor wants windmills on city bridges. As part of a renewable energy programme for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing placing windmills on city bridges, solar panels on...

greening it up – 06 aug 2008

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-08-06 13:12

Kites – new renewable energy source . Researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have tested using kites tethered to a generator as a new source of renewable energy. Kite power requires minimal land use and minimal materials, as well as being more efficient than standard wind turbines. [thoughtsonglobalwarming]

Western Cape pushes renewable energy. Accelerate Cape Town, is geared to find environmentally sustainable responses to climate change and renewable energy. The provincial government’s plan is to generate 15% of the Western Cape’s energy needs through renewable sources by 2014. The provincial department is in talks with national government to roll out 100 000 solar heaters in the Western Cape, and is considering making energy efficiency and the proven use of renewable-energy sources among the preconditions for the approval of future housing developments.[engineeringnews]

Unions and govt clash over nuke plans. At the core of the dispute between the powerful National Union of Mineworkers and the government is the labour movement and environmentalist groups’ questioning of nuclear energy’s safety. The unions and civil society are calling for government to instead invest in clean, renewable forms of energy such as solar power, wind power and wave technology. The government, on the other hand, believes that nuclear energy is the route to go. [sowetan]

SA's 1st green building convention. A highlight of The Green Building Council of SA Convention & Exhibition, due in Cape Town in November 2008, will be the launch of the first Green Star rating tool for SA, for office buildings. The challenge to the SA commercial and industrial development industry is to see how quickly and effectively they are able to embrace the need for green accreditation. The Convention aims to take global green issues and examine them from a South African perspective. [cbn]

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