pollution

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geosmin or geospin? a clearer picture of cape town's 'earthy' water

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2012-02-17 07:49

Cyanobacteria: Anabaena solitaria ~ the organism associated with geosmin in TheewaterskloofCyanobacteria: Anabaena solitaria ~ the organism associated with geosmin in TheewaterskloofAre you smelling it too? For a couple of weeks now I've been aware that our water tastes a bit funny and there's an odour too. It's a sandy, earthy kind of smell, but not earthy as in the wonderful smell of worm castings or compost - that fertile, rich smell. No, this is a dusty, decaying or stale earthiness. It's subtley unpleasant. I thought that it was perhaps time to change the water filter we use on our incoming supply.

Then all was made clear by an email received from the City of Cape Town, explaining that what we're smelling / tasting is Geosmin or MIB (2-Methyl-iso-Borneol), two "naturally occuring compounds found in surface waters (rivers and dams) as organic molecules produced by blue-green algae."

"Absolutely safe"
The city assures us that the water is "absolutely safe to drink".

“The water, however, is perfectly

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cycling, walking, best for health and climate justice

Submitted by incoming on Tue, 2011-12-13 10:12

pedestrians make use of the new paths in Durban: pic by Luke Reidpedestrians make use of the new paths in Durban: pic by Luke ReidRapid transit and safe cycling/walking networks are good for both health and climate - and climate experts should consider more systematically how these strategies can reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, one of the world's major contributors to climate change, says a new WHO report.

The new report, Health co-benefits of climate change mitigation - Transport sector was released 6 December, 2011 during the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-17).

The report reviewed over 300 studies on health outcomes from different types of land transport systems to identify those mitigation measures most closely associated with specific health co-benefits or risks.

The review is the latest product of


interactive climate change centre to be built at v&a waterfront

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2011-12-12 13:24

Imagine there was a place you could go to learn about Climate Change in a fun, interactive way?

The International Polar Foundation is bringing these kind of science centres to the world and South Africa gets to accommodate the first one!!

A small taste of what is to beA small taste of what is to be

(image by Grant Mcpherson)

For young and old, businesses and families, this science society interface will function to provide all the information and knowledge to empower a more ecologically responsible future.

With the recent discoveries on humankind’s specific


from the heart of the world: the elder brothers' warning

Submitted by JimmySprout on Tue, 2011-11-29 14:24

From the Heart of the WorldFrom the Heart of the World

Exploding Cinema and Cafe Ganesh present another documovie screening this Wednesday, 30th November. From the Heart of the World: The Elder Brothers' Warning is being shown as part of this season's documentary screenings.

This beautiful, sobering documentary from 1990 carries a strong warning from a remote South American tribe that cautions us, the “younger brothers”, to give up our self-destructive ways and honour the planet, before it is too late.

After four centuries of seclusion


climate change response expo: green innovation in a parking lot

Submitted by JimmySprout on Fri, 2011-11-25 14:34

Durban International Convention CentreDurban International Convention Centre

A host of green events, entertainment and exhibits will be held as part of the Climate Change Response Expo (CCR) which opens next week Monday the 28th November.

The biggest green expo in SA to date, it will be running alongside the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 17) in Durban and is expected to draw over 30 000 people and 15 000 UN delegates!

More than 100 exhibitors will showcase their innovations towards clean and efficient energy, sustainable development and water resource management amongst a host of climate change initiatives.

Business, Green Solutions, Science and


climate crisis: COP needs to cope

Submitted by John Scharges on Thu, 2011-11-24 16:13

Melting Ice CapsMelting Ice Caps

In the lead up to the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP17) to be held in Durban, science is pointing to the fact that time is running out for a political solution to the climate crisis.

According to Dr Emily Shuckburgh of the British Antarctic Survey “unless carbon emissions are reduced in line with the given schedule as established by the Kyoto Protocol, in 15 years the world will be unable to reverse the effects of runaway climate change".

Speaking at an event hosted by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership and Webber Wentzel in Cape Town last month, Shuckburgh said that while accurate climate change projections depend on future emissions, currently we are on track for the upper range. “Something needs to be done,” she said, adding that “in most scenarios, global surface warming will be up to 2 degrees Celsius by the middle


march to demand a solution to climate change

Submitted by incoming on Wed, 2011-11-23 20:34

Earthlife MarchEarthlife March

March to Demand a Solution to Climate Change at COP17 is being hosted this Saturday, 26th November, by Earthlife Africa Jhb

Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising to dangerous levels and if a global deal to reduce emissions to 1.5 degrees Celsius is not reached soon, Africa will face droughts, submerged cities and coastlines, famines, species extinctions and many climate refugees.

With the Kyoto Protocol coming to an end in 2012, global leaders need to reach a just, fair and legally binding agreement that continues to keep emissions in check.

For this reason, Earthlife Africa Jhb and allies will be marching on Saturday, 26th of November 2011.

As Makoma Lekalakala, Programme Officer at Earthlife Africa Jhb states, "The world is coming to South Africa and the only question is will there be only hot air, or will a deal be reached? We, in South Africa, need a deal. Runaway climate change, or even warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius, will undermine all of our development gains made since liberation. We are


COP17: the play of power and politics

Submitted by JimmySprout on Wed, 2011-11-23 13:10

COP17 DurbanCOP17 Durban

Lance Greyling, MP and National Policy Convenor to the DA, recently hosted a talk on South Africa and Climate Change. What quickly evolved was an intricate debate on climate change, COP17 and the politics behind our power sources, how they are impacting our world globally and locally, and what we can (or should) expect in the next few years.

With COP17 just around the corner, there is a growing deliberation around what this year’s Durban hosted conference will achieve.

After the Kyoto Protocol was brought into force in 2005, industrialised countries were bound by a legal treaty to reduce their combined GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions by at least 5% over the period of 2008 - 2012. This was a big step in the right direction, from a convention to a legal commitment, the protocol created some certainty around the fate of much of our global emissions. The problem we face this year: the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end in 2012 and the destiny of any legal obligations rests on the outcomes of COP17. Not only does this


be inspired this weekend

Submitted by JimmySprout on Thu, 2011-11-17 16:56

What's on this weekend... 17 / 18 / 19 NovemberWhat's on this weekend... 17 / 18 / 19 November

Our green guide to this weekend

Carrotmob Cape Town:

Join Climate Smart Cape Town in South Africa's first carrotmob this weekend in the heart of Cape Town. Carrotmob is a global movement aimed at creating social change and builds upon the power of consumers to change the way in which businesses operate. You will be mobbing certain carrotmob businesses, who will in turn agree to invest a certain percentage of the profits into improving its environmental or social impact. It is a “buycott” instead of a “boycott”.

Carrotmob takes place at Maria’s Café on Dunkley Square, Gardens, this Friday 18 November from 5pm till 10:30pm

For more information, click here

Green Expo Cape Town:

The Green Expo in Cape Town takes place this weeked at the CTICC. Expect some to find some great eco-friendly goods, green technologies, earth-friendly products and more.

For more information, prices and contact details, please click here

Inspiring Change:

Inspiring Change is brought to you by Climate Smart Cape Town and runs concurrently with


the radioactive reality...

Submitted by JimmySprout on Thu, 2011-11-17 16:42

Image: www.clker.comImage: www.clker.com

We are generally kept in the dark when it comes to the dangers of nuclear power and radioactive materials.

Japan had a scary awakening after the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis wrecked the No. 1 nuclear reactor at Fukushima. Since then the ‘no-entry zone’ totals roughly 1 100 square kilometres while caesium contamination zones are now estimated at over 8 000 square kilometres.

Cape Town has a nuclear reactor - Koeberg, and it sits slap bang in the middle of the west coast. Yet Koeberg has no evacuation strategy should a nuclear disaster occur, and their emergency response plan only deals with a radius of 16km around the site. This is slightly concerning considering the Cape Peninsula is exactly that – a peninsula. What’s even more concerning is that those evacuated from Fukushima were from a radius of 20km around the site!

Not only are emergency response plans seriously under-prepared, but the scale of possible disaster is also underestimated. The Cape Town city centre is only 28 kilometres from the current Koeberg site and despite this being almost 10 kilometres over the ‘outer reaches’ of an evacuation area, developments along the west coast over the past decade have been enormous.

Oddly enough, the South African Government wants


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