leasing clothes: an alternative to cheap, non-eco-friendly clothing?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-02-06 10:58

The rising trend for discount retailers to offer cheap clothes, and encourage continual buying in response to fashion trends means that clothes are discarded before wearing out.

This is an environmental problem, compounded by the difficulty in recycling. Most consumers are unaware of the true costs of the clothing they buy. They look at the purchase price and not the ongoing costs to themselves or the environment.

Part of the problem is that neither manufacturers nor customers understand much about how the clothing industry degrades the environment. Significant environmental impact occurs from the harvesting of cotton or the manufacturing of synthetic fibres; the production, packaging and transportation of the clothes; clothes washing; and drying by the consumer, and disposal.

In their efforts to "buy green," customers tend to focus on packaging and chemicals, issues that do not factor in with clothing. Likewise, they purchase "natural" fibres like cotton, believing they are good for the environment.

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should we go nuclear part 1: the pbmr thus far

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-02-05 14:20

The government gave the final go-ahead for the production of nuclear fuel,
for the Koeberg project in Cape Town, at Pelindaba in North West, just five days ago. [IOL] The IOL article, initially featured in the Cape Argus, was a little confusing and may have given the impression that the PBMR project – the controversial pebble bed modular reactor project – itself has got the nod.

For those who haven’t got their finger on the pulse (and I’m one of them), the PBMR project has two distinct channels – the production of nuclear fuel, on the one hand, and the production of a pebble bed reactor, on the other.

The two, from the perspective of Eskom (and thus the government), are not interdependent. Nuclear fuel doesn’t have to be used in the nuclear reactor at Koeberg exclusively. The nuclear fuel can, and this is Eskom’s intention, be transported and exported for use on similar reactors to those South Africa intends building, in countries like China and the USA. Thus the go-ahead.

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we're to blame for climate change

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-02-02 17:44

So the report is published and the verdict is out: we're "very likely" the cause of climate change.

"Very likely" (at least 90 percent probability) is strong language for climate scientists and a tougher stance since the last report was published in 2001 which judged the link between humankind and global warming as "likely" (between 66% and 90% probable)

The 21 page report published today "Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis", is the "Summary for Policymakers" and the first of 4 parts to be released this year.

"If you see the extent to which human activities are influencing the climate system, the options for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions appear in a different light, because you can see what the costs of inaction ar

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gene-wash part 1: a primer on industry reports

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2007-02-01 17:54

Genes are not the only organisms being manipulated. When it comes to telling the truth, reports by bio-industry funded, yet official-sounding organisations leave a lot to be desired.

Should you believe any report sponsored by the industry that stands to benefit from that same report? Hmmm.

Most of us "believed" the tobacco industry for twenty years whilst their scientist cronies repeatedly told us not to worry about the effects of smoking. "There is no evidence linking smoking to lung cancer" was their mantra, whilst we dragged and inhaled for way longer than we should have. [SourceWatch]

Don't Big Pharmaceutical companies always tell the truth? I wonder where the idea for the movie, The Constant Gardener came from? [The Nation] John le Carré author of the 2001 novel says in the book's afterword "By comparison with the reality, my story [is] as tame as a holiday postcard."

greening it up – wed 31 jan 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-01-31 10:39

netmar.comnetmar.comAs the world awaits the 4th report by the UN’s IPCC [urban sprout] it seems the entire world is climbing on the global warming bandwagon, in a bid to get their story heard before the obvious findings of the report are made known.

Even George W Bush admits global warming is a problem [komo tv] although the White House doesn’t seem to stop short of tampering with work of government climate scientists to get rid of any ‘inconvenient’ material [M&G], and Tony Blair talks about ‘saving the world’ – although some sceptics believe this just the beginning of his career as a ‘globetrotting statesman’ after his term ends.[Sunday Mirror]

climate change a lot of hot air?

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-01-29 21:00

desert balloondesert balloonAnyone else feeling the heat? Yesterday the mercury hit 44.8 deg C at Vioolsdrift, and Knysna and Joubertina recorded their highest temperatures on record (36.3 and 41.2 respectively). The SA Weather Service issued a warning of dangerously high levels of discomfort for the Eastern Cape over the weekend and again today for Mpumalanga and Limpopo province.

Need more evidence of a world heating up because of climate change? The world's top climate experts are meeting in Paris for four days this week and will release a long-awaited update on the scientific evidence for global warming.

The report is the first by the UN's IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) since 2001 and only the fourth since the IPCC was launched in 1988. The IPCC reports are highly regarded for their neutrality and caution and will hopefully kick-start further action to tackle our global warming problems. No doubt there will still be those in denial, still eager to poo-poo climate change, but the rest of the world waits expectantly for Friday. [IOL]

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global warming a ‘load of bollocks’

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-01-29 12:02

david bullarddavid bullardI LOVE David Bullard’s column – out to lunch – in the Sunday Times – he gets up people’s noses; he says what most of us only tentatively think and he deals with issues the government would rather have swept under the carpet.

So you can imagine how relieved I was to read in his car review yesterday [Sunday times], of the latest Audi Q7 on the market (she of giant SUV fame), that global warming is a load of poppycock and is no more than an attempt by the greenies to frighten mega consumers, who drive gas-guzzling SUVs, into smaller versions in the face of damnation the equivalent of avian flu.

Yes, apparently we have little more to fear from global warming than last year’s warning that avian flu was to wipe out a fifth of the world’s population. Whew! And there I thought we had a ‘real’ problem on our hands!

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la dolce vita at constantia country living market

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2007-01-25 12:07

Saturday was my third outing as "the organic veggie guy" selling fresh produce at the new Constantia County Living Market at the Cape Academy in Tokai. It was a very slow day, measured in sales, but a fulfilling day nonetheless.

My Mon-Fri job is spent in front of a 17-inch computer screen, hammering out code to automate the testing of software for corporate clients - an activity far removed from the natural world. So how does an IT guy by week, become an organic veggie salesman by weekend and why?

I've been a GIY (grow it yourself) fanatic for a few seasons and also know a few people involved in the organic scene in Cape Town, so when friend and market organiser, Jen Kummer, needed a produce stand for the market I put her in touch with someone who could help. As it turned out he was committed to other markets and, at the last minute, I was offered the job!

greening it up – tue 23 jan 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-01-23 09:54

© Paul Tingle© Paul TingleEco-town proposed for vacant land in Hout Bay. A section of land in Hout Bay, Cape Town, is the site of heated debate as parties, including the environmental organisation Envirochild, submit proposals for development. Envirochild’s proposal includes 400 eco-friendly houses, an organic farm, community amenities and commercial ventures. Cosatu has called for the poor of Imizamo Yethu to grab the vacant land. [IOL]

Bush comes under pressure from big business to do something about global warming. Nine US corporations, calling themselves the USCAP coalition and including the likes of GE, have demanded that Bush support mandatory caps on businesses’ greenhouse gas emissions. [sietch blog]

climate change - page 4 of sunday times

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2007-01-22 17:19

If you missed this week's Sunday Times you can read a quick summary of the climate change articles here:

Some of the consequences of climate change for SA are explored in "Climate change may unleash waves of destruction in SA" by Tiara Walters.

Mondli Makhanya puts his voice behind climate change in "Facing up to a hot future".

Some personal action you can take in "Halting Climate Change".

"It’s here, it’s scary — now what do we do about it?" quotes Peet du Ploy (WWF-SA): "Since we are the only nation on Earth to hold sustainable development as a human right — and have the potential to realise the ambition for addressing climate change — it follows that we can again rise as a bright light to the world."

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