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tapped documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Wed, 2010-09-01 12:27

I can't remember exactly when I became aware of the problem of bottled water. I do have a post on Relax with Dax (The Scourge of Bottled Water) which was written in April 2006, so probably sometime before then. I personally try not to drink bottled water unless there is no alternative, but many people are still unaware of the damage bottled water does. In fact, when I attended the Eat In Awards lunch, they had imported bottled water on the table even though they are promoting local, organic and fair produce!

athlone power station to be converted to windfarm...

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2010-08-24 15:20

a greener athlonea greener athloneWe've seen some unexpected media releases in our time, but this one takes the cake. So here it is verbatim:


South Africa’s leading energy supplier has announced that, in conjunction with the City of Cape Town, it will be converting the old Athlone coal fired power station into a wind farm filled with eight new 1.5MW wind turbines.

It indicated that the implosion of the old power station is a symbol of its commitment to clean energy and plans to convert all existing coal fired powered stations into renewable energy sources by 2016.

review: waste - uncovering the global food scandal

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-08-02 20:33

waste: you are what you eat; but also what you wastewaste: you are what you eat; but also what you wasteThis is perhaps one of the most shocking books I have ever read. I know we live in an age that glorifies consumerism, but I had never really contemplated the waste that goes hand in hand with this mentality. Forget the fact that consumerism is the religion of the twenty first century, waste is our religion. One may wish that this was something out of science fiction, but its not.

Waste – Uncovering the Global Food Scandal is one of the most important environmental books anyone can ever read. It shows you the inherent flaws in our current system. The book delineates the ways in which every action we take when we buy food has a huge effect, on world wastage, poverty, economics, deforestation and climate change. This book is meticulously researched with 68 pages of bibliography full of facts and figures. Yet the book is gripping. This is not some boring academic tome. Stuart compels you to read, like some horrific industrial thriller, and suddenly it hits you – this is reality. This is an incredibly sobering book.

What have you eaten for breakfast today? Toast? Think about it. Where did that bread come from?

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greening it up- penguins, kruger, oceans, oil spill, whales and tigers in danger

Submitted by MichaelE on Wed, 2010-06-23 16:40

giraffe in kruger national park by arno and louise from fotopediagiraffe in kruger national park by arno and louise from fotopediaPenguin chicks perish in the cold

Frigid weather and strong winds have taken their toll on African penguins on islands offshore of Port Elizabeth.

Nearly 500 chicks living on Bird Island died over a 24-hour period early this week, more than half the island's juvenile population.

More died on St Croix Island, home to the largest breeding colony in South Africa, but because of heavy seas, SA National Parks officials have not been able to count the dead birds.

Spokesperson Megan Taplin said the deaths were concerning because the penguin population in South Africa was already in decline.

She said it was normal for about a third of the chicks to die with the first cold weather every winter, but this time a lot more had died.

greening it up - ministers charged, windy city power, fuel leaks, oil spills, biodiversity loss and food supplies threatened

Submitted by MichaelE on Wed, 2010-05-12 11:42

Ministers charged for water pollution

Criminal charges over the pollution of the country's water supply were laid against three Cabinet ministers at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria on Friday.

After laying the charges, TauSA chairman Louis Meintjes said the organisation had been forced to approach the police after Minister of Agriculture Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Mining Minister Susan Shabangu and Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, had repeatedly failed to address the problem.

"We want them to act and get the water clean... a snowball that gets too big is a runaway snowball," he said.

Meintjes said mines which used seven percent of the country's water supply were responsible for 75 percent of water pollution.

He said Sonjica should have acted in line with the National Water Act and that Shabangu should have known that mining, water supply and food security were directly linked.

He said the act provided that it was criminal for ministers to knowingly or unintentionally allow for natural resources to be jeopardised.

"If it's not the ministers, who is responsible?" - Sapa

Developers downplay King Shaka leaks
By Gugu Mbonambi

Developers of the new multi-billion-rand King Shaka airport admit that there are "minor leaks" in the airport's fuel pipeline, but deny

greening it up - sewage, drivers, cats, forests, plants and the ice caps

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-05-03 10:28

cats reducing biodiversity?cats reducing biodiversity?Sewage the next Eskom
By Sapa and Moleboheng Tladi
The Green Drop report has found that more than 75% of South Africa's sewage treatment plants are not up to standard.

Of 852 waste water treatment plants, 403 weren’t even in good enough nick to be assessed. Of the remainder, only 203 scored better than 50%.

Of the 403 that weren’t assessed, the report highlighted municipal managers not feeling competent enough, and municipalities not adhering to the call to be assessed.
Those that managed to get more than 50% on the standards set by the Green Drop report were mostly based around Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria.

Only 3.8% of the total plants actually got the Green Drop status, which is broadly equivalent to international standards.

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.

eskom get their dirty hands in the cookie jar

Submitted by MichaelE on Mon, 2010-03-08 14:26

The World Bank has proposed to give a US$3.75 billion (R29 billion) loan to Eskom to build a number of new coal-fired and nuclear power plants

And at the same time, Eskom plans to raise electricity rates 25% over the next three years. Big polluters are getting cut-rate electricity - the world's cheapest - while the poorest will face the highest rates in the country.

Dozens of South African environmental, community, church, labour, academic and women's organizations have mobilized, but we need your help sending a message to the World Bank that we won't accept a dirty loan.

the cost of living next to a vineyard

Submitted by MichaelE on Fri, 2010-03-05 10:49

Spraying vineyardsSpraying vineyardsIt has been known for some time that people are being affected by spray drift from pesticides, there have been several incidences of pesticide poisonings in South Africa.

“It is estimated that worldwide, 25 million people are poisoned by pesticides each year.” This is the lead slogan of The Air That I Breathe Foundation (Tatib), which has been formed by the local residents of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Somerset West & surrounding areas, as a platform from which they can campaign against the harmful effects of exposure to potentially toxic spray drift from the adjacent vineyards & orchards, into bordering dwellings/residential areas.

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driving your way to the bank

Submitted by MichaelE on Wed, 2010-03-03 18:29

I'm sure you've heard of a little thing called the recession. Well, in light of recent economic upheavals, I think that many of us are concerned with saving a couple of rand wherever we can. One way of doing this is to drive more efficiently. Most of you probably have a commute to work. By learning to drive effectively you can save fuel which in turn saves energy and is good for the environment and your wallet.

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