climate change

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greening it up – mon 19 feb 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2007-02-19 14:45

Organic industry booming – 75 million acres of farmland are now organically certified worldwide. IFOAM presented the latest stats and emerging trends last Friday that also show that organic products offer attractive opportunities for producers in developing countries. [organic consumers]

SA is headed for a heat wave – the central parts of the country will be very hot this week and parts of the coast will also be very uncomfortable. [IOL]

Avaaz leads the way in ‘climate wake up call’. The new MoveOn-style group that will mobilize members all over the world to take action on global issues, is airing a TV ad to petition World leaders. The ad shows world leaders snoozing in their bedrooms, while climate disaster rages outside and urges them to "set binding global targets" for carbon emissions. It began airing in Washington on 6 Feb and will also show in Paris, Berlin and Delhi.[avaaz]

joburg scoops Live Earth concert: seven concerts, seven continents, 07/07/2007

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-02-16 17:46

live earthlive earthA series of simultaneous 24 hour music concerts, Live Earth , designed to trigger a global movement to combat climate change was announced yesterday as part of Save Our Selves (SOS) – The Campaign for a Climate in Crisis.

SOS was founded by Kevin Wall, executive producer of Live 8, is fronted by Al Gore, Cameron Diaz, Pharrell Williams and others and will be digitally broadcast around the world by MSN.

"In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to reach billions of people," said Gore, the environmental activist, filmmaker and almost President of the US.

SOS has announced 25 of the 100 Big name artists including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz and Black Eyed Peas.

"That’s what it takes to engage billions of people. We’re not just engaging fans of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg, or the Foo Fighters and Faith Hill. We’re engaging them and everyone in between," Wall said. "We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from the artist community and are feverishly working out the logistics for all of the bands that want to be involved."

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should we go nuclear part 3: 10 reasons why the pbmr project is not a solution for south africa

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2007-02-13 13:02

pic: ecolo.orgpic: ecolo.orgTaking up where we left off in part 2

Eskom plans to build a PBMR, a version of a group of reactors termed high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGCR). These types of reactors were never successfully commercialised and have been abandoned. Aside from the planned ten reactors in SA, Eskom plans to construct, operate and sell these reactors to create a potential export business.

Earthlife Africa believes that there are at least 10 reasons why the pebble bed modular reactor project is not a solution for our country:

health impacts – there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ dose of radiation. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that low doses may actually be more dangerous, as they may mutate cells more easily than high doses, which can kill the cells. There is no debate as to whether radiation kills, maims, causes mutations, is cumulative, causes leukaemia, cancers, respiratory illnesses and attacks the immune system. The only disagreement is about what is legally considered an allowable dose.

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should we go nuclear part 2: but is nuclear the answer?

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2007-02-09 10:31

All of this history aside, is going nuclear the answer to global warming and is it the right thing for South Africa? Are nuclear pundits taking advantage of climate change to misrepresent nuclear power as a carbon-free electricity source and the solution to global warming?

According to scientist and formulator of the Gaia hypothesis, James Lovelock, nuclear energy is the only feasible way to power the planet in order to counter climate change.

His alarming take on global warming is that current proposals for alternative energies are too little, too late – anything we might see fit to do at this stage, in the wake of global warming, is of no avail. As Lovelock says:

‘If we had 50 years or more we might make these [renewables, wind, tide and water power] our main sources. But we do not have 50 years; the Earth is already so disabled by the insidious poison of greenhouse gases that even if we stop all fossil fuel burning immediately, the consequences of what we have already done will last for 1,000 years.’ [yes magazine]

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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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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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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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