pollution

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chemical warfare. what products in your home are slowly killing you?

Submitted by MichaelE on Thu, 2010-02-25 14:35

At the end of last month the CANSA association of South Africa launched its in-house initiative aimed at researching the environmental factors that cause cancer. The keynote address was given by Dr Devra Davis, a leading American scientist, who founded the world's first centre to focus on the environmental factors that cause cancer.

February 4th was World Cancer Day, and informed by the CANSA program, I thought it would be a good idea to look at what cancer-causing chemicals could be in the products in your home.


get with the programme, eskom

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2010-01-04 10:28

Remember the California option – John Joslin's alternative to Eskom - a proposal delivered to NERSA arguing the tariff increase is not necessary if Eskom pursues renewable energy? The story was one of our top ten stories for 2009.

John Joslin has now submitted his fourth of four submissions to NERSA regarding ESKOM's revised revenue application.

IN A NUTSHELL

The revised calculation (45% to 35%) was hastily done and did not examine all realistic alternatives - it was done in a few weeks based on an inadequate strategy...


pledge to reduce your carbon footprint

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2009-10-28 10:28

The term 'carbon footprint' is now a part of our everyday language. You hear people talking about it when referring to events, businesses and even their travel to and from places. But how often do we apply it to ourselves as individuals?

Do you even know what your carbon footprint is?

We last calculated our household carbon footprint using the CAP (Climate Action Partnership) calculator in April 2008. Then our total tons of CO2e (equivalent) emitted by our household per year was 10.37 tons (roughly 3.46 tons of CO2e each). The South African average per capita footprint was 9.3 tons...


all those for nuclear, remain in the room

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-09-10 12:13

CANE chairperson, Mike Kantey, was thrown out of a recent nuclear stakeholders meeting for daring to challenge Kelvin Kemm's case for 'clean energy'.

The government met on Tuesday in Cape Town at the Southern Sun hotel with nuclear stakeholders in what was supposed to be an open and constructive get together; an informative, open discussion of the issues, both for and against nuclear power.

The purpose of the meeting with nuclear stakeholders, the government originally said in their invitation, was to engage all nuclear stakeholders in South Africa on issues regarding nuclear operations. The media was invited too.

“When we got there the room was FULL of pro-nukers, from "old-timers" like John Walmsley, Kelvin Kemm, Andrew Kenny - and even Gordon Sibiya!" said Mike...


garbage: the revolution starts at home

Submitted by Dax on Sun, 2009-08-16 22:28

GarbageGarbageWhile You Were Sleeping have organised another documentary screening at the Labia. This documentary looks at the issue of waste and is called Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home.

It's a simple and endearing documentary with a powerful and scary message. The producer, Andrew Nisker, decides to get his friend's family to keep all their garbage for 3 months. The purpose is to try and get a better idea of exactly how much garbage a family of 5 produces. At the same time he does some investigation into what happens to the garbage when it gets taken away. He visits landfill sites and recycling operations, as well as interviewing relevant experts.

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who needs to cut emissions by when – a red herring

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-08-13 16:34

Another round of UN climate change talks started this week Monday in Bonn, Germany. This, the third round, focused on negotiating text drafted at the second round.

Whilst each of the countries involved is intent on looking as if they're doing their utmost to mitigate climate change, actually all that seems to be on the go is a lot of finger pointing and posturing.

As a recent Guardian article read: The problem is that all of the key negotiating teams are beginning to sound like broken records as they demand that others move first to deliver targets before they make any commitment.


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


eskom vs the california option - there is an alternative to the price hike

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-07-07 10:36

If you've been reading the news, then you know that NERSA granted Eskom a 31.3% tariff rise, falling just short of their request for a 34% hike due to hit our pockets from this month.

But there is an alternative, despite the tired - 'we've had such cheap electricity for so long that it's time we paid more for it' argument (skip my musings to 'the California option' below, to find out more).

A friend of mine came up with a pretty valid argument – because, let's face it, who wants to pay so much more for electricity when, rather than investing in alternative energy, the conglomerate is headed for 'business as usual' and intends spending R385-billion of our money on further coal-guzzling power stations...


it's the only pair we've got

Submitted by turbosprout on Wed, 2009-06-24 13:04

We've been puffing away for way too long and there ain't nobody to provide a transplant. More than a couple of packs a day for over two hundred years are taking their toll... climate change and deforestation are the same sides of a coin of uncaring.

This was part of a TBWA France campaign for WWF which really drives the point home. Gotta cut the carbon consumption. When are we going to quit?


you can recycle tetra pak!

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2009-04-21 11:00

I have to confess to sending various irate messages to Tetra Pak over the last year about their apparent lack of recycling facilities in Cape Town, or the country for that matter.

The perception out there, despite their very obvious drive to recycle overseas, is that one can't recycle tetra pak, and there are a fair amount of them if you consider things like fruit juice, some olive oil, long-life milk and custard all come in these containers – they heap up over time!

Despite receiving absolutely no reply to any of my emails, it seems Tetra Pak have been recycling, and some time ago we heard that there were a couple of drop-off sites in Cape Town.

The good news is that there are 18 different drop-offs around Cape Town, 22 points in Johannesburg and 1 in


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