Environment

‘The Road’ and the disappearance of nature

Reading a short article about the reasons for the meat and dairy industry being unsustainable, and watching David Attenborough’s documentary, Madagascar (with its visual feast of beautiful, but ecologically endangered creatures in Madagascar’s forests), from the corner of my eye, reminded me of Cormack McCarthy’s novel, The Road, made into a riveting film by John…

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Me and Melissa Bachman

I have been thinking about lions a lot lately. Partly this is because of Melissa Bachman, and partly because I happen to be painting them at the moment, for my feminist wildlife art project. Lions are not afraid of the dark, and I envy them for it. I met a lion called Sunshine once. It…

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Want to help lions? For real?

Before I kick-off with this, let me state upfront so nobody can miss it: lion breeding in South Africa should be banned. The hunting of lions is clearly out of sync with middle class, Western public sentiment, and increasing their numbers merely exacerbates the problem. Breeding big cats for the gun is something that will…

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Ms Joburg 2013’s most ardent wish

I claim I love Johannesburg more than anyone else on the planet. I was born here. I eat these streets. I declare myself Ms Joburg 2013 — for today (you can have it tomorrow) — and here, for my inaugural address, is my ardent wish for our town: On orders from the executive mayor of…

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Lion hunts and other things we don’t like

All of us have that button. That thing that makes us see red, the thing we hate, which if we were in charge we’d ban immediately. In the past, people in power have been deeply offended by the notion that anyone who wasn’t white and male could have the vote. That gay couples could marry….

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COP19 – the cathedral and the bazaar

The people in suits want to talk and nothing will stop them from listening to the sound of their own voices. COP19, the global climate-change meeting, might seem far away in Warsaw, Poland, this week but like a massive weather system migrating the globe its impact will be felt in Africa for sure. Africa knows…

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The natural resource T-junction in Mozambique

By Antonio Macheve Junior Since the beginning of the current decade, Mozambique has and continues to be a key destination for foreign direct investment. The government and international companies involved in the prospection of hydrocarbons have made several announcements of significant discoveries of natural gas in the Rovuma Basin. A South African Institute of International…

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The normalisation of the unthinkable

We live in apocalyptic times. This is the considered belief of an extraordinary contemporary philosopher, who also phrases it as Living in the End Times — the title of a book that appeared in 2010 (Verso), and which contains between its covers so many intellectual tours de force that I, for one, will not even…

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Who are you calling radical?

The planet needs activism. It is being drilled, mined, excavated, pumped, and fracked more than ever before. Rivers are clogged with clingwrap, Simba packets, and toxic dyes; saturated with the run off from crops that are lathered in pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilisers. Forests are being wiped out: Even in the DRC where the Congo…

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The Arctic: Why you should give a damn

The Arctic is melting. The Arctic is thawing — reaching record lows this decade as Arctic temperatures are at their highest in the last 44 000 years. Climate change is heating our planet, and we could soon see ice-free summers at the North Pole. In their latest climate report, scientists around the world are more emphatic…

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