machismo and energy planning: time for soft energy paths

Submitted by Hélène Connor on Mon, 2011-12-12 11:38

From time immemorial, mankind’s relationship to nature has been far more adversarial than cooperative or convivial. Man has had to fight and scurry in order to ilk out a meagre living. The contest between man and nature remained vastly unequal until the Industrial Revolution when coal, previously considered “evil” as it came from underground, became widely used and thus changed the face of the earth in many ways. One way was the ability of man to be able to harvest more and more with less and less effort. Technical progress has increased man’s efficiency to such an extent that lately nature’s ecosystems have become overtaxed; they are unable to cope. The result is that these ecosystems can not return to a balanced equilibrium that is necessary to be able to provide  the services that man depends on for survival (clean water, air, arable land etc).

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copcast: more news from COP17

Submitted by JimmySprout on Fri, 2011-12-09 14:05

With COP17 drawing to a close this week, a new deal on climate change and GHG (greenhouse gas) emission policies is hot on the cards. Although outcomes are far from known and 'climate wrangling' is still hampering real action, this week's discussions will have a pivotal role to play in any deals that take shape. Here is our copcast on the latest and most important news, side-line stories, events and more...

south africa and the other 'basic' countries are willing to take the plunge with a new climate contractsouth africa and the other 'basic' countries are willing to take the plunge with a new climate contract

Down to the BASICs

Brazil, South Africa, India and China - collectively known as the BASIC countries - share a common approach in the climate change negotiations: they are all urging that the final text

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ocean adventurer: cape town’s new marine eco-tour

Submitted by incoming on Fri, 2011-12-09 13:12

ocean adventurer departing at the VA waterfrontocean adventurer departing at the VA waterfrontOcean Adventurer, in partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium, is now offering a boat-based marine eco-tour. The tours depart from the V&A Waterfront and focus on the rich biodiversity found in the waters of Cape Town’s Table Bay and surrounds.

In Cape Town, we are fortunate to have one of the most prolific upwelling systems off the South African coastline. This creates an ideal environment for


climate-smart agriculture should be livelihood-smart too

Submitted by incoming on Fri, 2011-12-09 10:27

Climate-smart agriculture must target the short-term needs of the smallholder farmer to be effective in combating climate change.

Encouraging climate-smart agriculture can lead to climate change adaptation practices in a partnership where the farmer’s needs are addressed.

“Climate-smart agriculture has the potential to increase sustainable productivity, increase the resilience of farming systems to climate impacts and mitigate climate change through greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon sequestration,” says Henry Neufeldt the lead expert on climate change at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

Agroforestry and its benefits

Agroforestry – the growing of trees on farms – is one such climate-smart agricultural practice, and it has tremendous potential for both


great day for UP!

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Thu, 2011-12-08 10:45

The UPliftment programme is a local organisation committed to uplifting and supporting society by sharing the healing power of joy.

A child benefits from playA child benefits from play

Through their work, The UP encourages people’s natural inclination towards kindness and love. Their aim is to inspire the growth of laughter, smiles and play in the world.

‘Bliss is the gift you receive when you share joy with another,’ believes Nicola Jackman, founder and chairlady (AKA ‘cheer lady’) of The UP. Self-proclaimed ‘joy activist’ this lovely lady is all about bringing back the smile, in a big way.

‘I like to greet people as I pass them, as nothing beats the feeling of seeing someone eyes light up,’ says Nicola.

For years The UP have been


cape town’s plan for energy and climate change launched

Submitted by incoming on Thu, 2011-12-08 10:15

climate smart cape townclimate smart cape townThe award-winning Climate Smart Cape Town Pavilion at COP17 in Durban was the venue for the launch of ‘Moving Mountains, Cape Town’s Action Plan for Energy and Climate Change’.

The City of Cape Town’s Energy and Climate Action Plan has 11 objectives, with targets and detailed implementation plans involving over 40 programmes and more than 120 projects. The Action Plan is managed and coordinated by the City’s Environmental Resource Management Department, across all Directorates and Departments.

Speaking at the launch on Friday 2 December 2011, Councillor Gareth Bloor, Chair of the City’s Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning Portfolio Committee stated that the City of Cape Town acknowledges climate change as one of the greatest challenges of our generation and seeks to use it as an opportunity to build


COPcast: news from COP17

Submitted by JimmySprout on Wed, 2011-12-07 08:18

With the second week of COP17 in full swing, here is our newscast on the latest and most important stories, side-line news, events and more...

what will the outcomes post-kyoto hold?what will the outcomes post-kyoto hold?

A new way forward? Kyoto lives on?

The Kyoto Protocol comes to an end in 2012 and a resolution on the second-commitment period is now no longer a question of if but how.

With intense debates over GHG (greenhouse gas) emission policies taking centre-stage this week at COP17, the outcomes and details of a legally-binding treaty are still very much a deliberated topic. Opinions are varied and some nations remain unhappy with certain targets and agreements.

However, it is not all doom and gloom, and there is good news within the realms of treaty discussions. China, the world's worst emitter, publically announced late last week that it


community and ecosystem-based approaches needed for climate change

Submitted by incoming on Wed, 2011-12-07 08:04

The world’s poorest people are on the frontlines of climate change, with everything to lose and little to cushion the blow of its far-reaching impacts. A new position paper by the Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network (ELAN) illustrates how empowering local communities to pursue sustainable livelihoods while managing their natural resources can contribute to better adaptation in the face of climate change.

The paper, titled Integrating Community and Ecosystem-based Approaches in Climate Change Adaptation Responses, is part of a partnership that includes IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), CARE International, the International Institute for Environment and Development and WWF (World Wildlife Fund). It asserts that integrating approaches to


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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nuclear development – a toxic topic

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2011-12-05 08:23

Toxic waste hangs around for thousands of yearsToxic waste hangs around for thousands of years

The Koeberg Alert Alliance organisation goes back as far as 1983, but was reformed by Peter Becker in 2010. A determined man, he spends much of his time sharing the important news of what nuclear means to the people of Cape Town, trying to cut through the smokescreen that is governmental brainwashing and monopoly-driven propaganda.

For Peter, it all started with a poster. Before his anti-nuclear days Mr Becker was into wind power and one day while giving a talk at a school he couldn’t help but notice the crude misinformation on one of the posters on the wall about energy. With a couple of degrees up his sleeve Peter quickly saw through the subtle manipulation tactics scrawled across that school poster, seriously downplaying the potential dangers of Nuclear Energy. He was so disgusted that he


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