turbosprout's blog

stand up for chappies

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2012-02-23 12:36


“My message to the people of Cape Town is get involved. This is your mountain. We are custodians of this mountain for future generations. I feel we have to stand up".

So says Fiona Hinds who was arrested after occupying the Chapman's Peak toll plaza construction site for five days. Fiona appeared in court yesterday on a charge of "malicious injury to property" for reportedly spraypainting "Murray & Robbers" on netting around the site. Entilini, developers of the R 54-million plaza and administrative centre, are owned partly by construction firm Murray and Roberts.

Hinds' legal representative asked the court to remove the bail condition imposed on her after her arrest on Monday which prevented her from returning to the construction site. Removal of the bail condition was granted and the court hearing postponed until 23 March.

Graham Taylor (Hinds' attorney) said: "It is a long shot to prosecute people for


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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green jobs i-wec style as local wind turbine making tools up

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2011-12-05 09:06

The I-WEC Story

How many engineering companies, or any other manufacturing concern for that matter, have a witch as their logo? Not many conventional companies for sure. That I-WEC's full name is a bit of a tongue twister also makes them stand out - Isivunguvungu Wind Energy Converter! Logos and names aside, these guys are working their magic in the local wind energy sector, that's for sure.

I-WEC recently launched it's turbine manufacturing facility with the arrival of a giant mould that will be used to manufacture wind turbine blades in South Africa for the first time. With all the Wind Energy development projects lined up, I-WEC will play an important role in the proliferation of local green-collar jobs.

"Something is happening, something new, something exciting, something with future", says Michael Kast, IWEC Managing Director.

Looking at their launch video, the

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check out the COPpuccino COP17 talks

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-12-02 12:44

Richard Calland hosting COPpuccinoRichard Calland hosting COPpuccinoThe University of Cambridge Programme of Sustainable Leadership has created an "Oasis of fresh thinking and leadership for a low climate risk economy" just outside the ICC. Their COPpuccino talks are well worth tuning in for as they feature thought leaders with international profiles and international networks.

Guests have included: Christina Figueres (UNFCCC Executive Director), Kumi Naidoo (Greenpeace Executive Director), Stefan Raubenheimer (SouthSouthNorth), Laurence Brahm (The Himalayan Consensus).

The discussions are hosted by the astute Prof Richard Calland of IDASA and the media get to ask guests questions afterwards.

If you're not in Durban the COPpuccino talks are being recorded for viewing on

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cop17 off to wobbly start, stakes high, occupy cop17

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2011-11-29 12:43

Trans African Climate Caravan of HopeTrans African Climate Caravan of HopeThe 17th Conference of the Parties literally got off to a slow start yesterday, with Pres. Zuma arriving on Africa Time. There were also rumours of Canada backing out of the Kyoto Protocol before Christmas and fears of the Kyoto Protocol being "murdered on African soil". Will Occupy COP17 become a force to be reckoned with and dare you drink the water? More after the jump!

President Zuma urges a "balanced, fair and credible" outcome.
The Pres arrived over a half an hour late for the opening of COP17, with proceedings only getting underway by 10.41. "You have before you the responsibility to re-affirm the multilateral rules-based system undercut by the Kyoto Protocol," said Zuma. He warned that Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change and called on delegates to



greenpeace fired up against kusile

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2011-11-08 16:09

Greenpeace protesters outside KusileGreenpeace protesters outside KusileNine Greenpeace activists were arrested yesterday for trespassing and "malicious damage" at the construction site of Eskom's Kusile coal-fired power plant.

Activists chained themselves to the front gate, acting as a decoy, whilst a smaller group made their way through a back entrance and climbed a crane to unfurl a big banner reading "Kusile: climate killer"

Michael Baillie, one of the activists protesting South Africa's "addiction to coal" said that for most South African's the idea of where their electricity comes from doesn't even occur to them. "They switch on a light and don't realise that coal is burning at that moment"

Eskom said that they engage with Greenpeace and other NGO's on climate change, but that they cannot allow illegal entry onto their sites.

On its completion in 2016, Kusile is expected to burn through 17M tons of coal every year, emitting another 37M tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.


hout bay green faire this saturday!

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2011-10-27 08:46

Hout Bay Green Faire - Sat 29 Oct 10amHout Bay Green Faire - Sat 29 Oct 10am

One of our favourite events on the green calendar. The Hout Bay Green Faire 2011 has something for everyone. You'll be able to find information and products for greening your lifestyle and lowering your ecological footprint, gifts and entertainment for the kids and yummy local and organic food, plus a whole lot more. An authentic green exhibition in the open air! (remember sunscreen, depending on weather).

There is a REALLY COOL line up of talks on the day, view the Hout Bay Green Faire Programme here.

Some highlights include:
Sue Visser showing you how to make and use probiotics for garden and human health.

Andy Le May on sustainability as the new norm the "realisation that what each of us does is essential in forging the world we want our kids to live in.”

Anthea Torr providing insight into living in peace and harmony to heal ourselves and the planet.

Rod Tritton uncovering some mind-expanding mysteries in his new book Exploring Mystery, Changing History, Taking Responsibility

Tony Budden on the process


shyann - my service dog, my life

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2011-10-04 09:02

I received this moving email from a friend, Dawn Pilatowicz, who administers the Cape Town Community Exchange and relies on her "service dog", Shyann, to help her through her day. Read on to find out about Dawn's braveness and willingness to overcome, the amazing difference these animals make and how you can support the SA Guide Dogs Association.

Dawn and ShyannDawn and ShyannDear friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances,

Last year we raised a record R53,000 for S A Guide Dogs! Thank you thank you thank you.

What can we achieve this year? Why should you help Guide Dogs? Who are Dawn and Shyann?

Shyann is a service dog, from the ‘S’ litter of 2008. S A Guide Dogs breed their own puppies and each litter is given a letter of the alphabet. They then get ‘puppy raisers’ to name them, by submitting three name choices using the letter of the litter. Each name is unique and never repeated. The puppy raisers raise the dogs for a year and a half. The dogs then go to the training centre to be matched with a recipient and trained for that recipient’s requirements, be it Guide dog for the blind, or Service dog for the disabled. At around 2 years old, the dogs are shipped off, to be trained with their new owners. These new owners then have to commit to their dogs for the rest of the dog’s life. Guide Dogs keep a watchful eye on their dogs: via monthly reports from the owners, regular vet visits, and frequent visits from the trainers. If there are any issues with a dog, Guide Dogs are there to help.

My life changed completely in January 2010 when Shyann came into my life. I applied for her a year before I got her, never knowing quite what I was getting myself into. Because of Shyann, I am out and about in my neighbourhood every day. I have met

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eco kids environmental film festival a must next week

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-09-30 12:12

eco kids film initiativeeco kids film initiativeA great idea whose time has come: environmental films for kids!

The Eco Kids Film Initiative Environmental Film Festival for Kids will be taking place from 3 to 7 October from 10am to 12pm at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town.

Through films that are entertaining, educational, and above all inspirational it is EKFI’s goal to inspire real change through the children of today and generations to come by promoting a proactive strategy to environmental awareness through film as medium.

Each of the films has been selected for their strong environmental theme by a panel consisting of parents, childhood experts, environmental educators and conservationists. We have taken great care to ensure that the films that have made the final selection speak positively to children of diverse ages, backgrounds and cultures and are made for children rather than about children.

Format: Two parallel screening sessions of a selection of short films, taking place daily from


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