Tag Archives: energy

Can fusion energy be achieved?

Lev Grossman (“Star Power”, in Time, November 2, p. 24-33) calls fusion the “holy grail” of “the quest for clean energy”, and with good reason — it is as elusive as the proverbial unicorn in your garden (with apologies to James Thurber). By this I mean that, although scientists and technologists know what has to…

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Why Africa should join the fossil fuel divestment movement

By Alex Lenferna Concern for poverty in Africa is coming from the most unexpected places lately: the boardrooms of fossil fuels companies. Multimillionaire fossil fuel execs, like Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and Peabody’s Charles Meintjes, are painting themselves as Africa’s saviours, claiming that fossil fuels are the answer to Africa’s poverty and development problems. The often…

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Nuclear power carries risks that are simply not worth taking

In the wake of President Jacob Zuma’s recent lone ranger escapade to Russia, evidently to secure Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assistance regarding South Africa’s energy needs — the status of which seems to be uncertain at present because of accusations and denials of him acting unilaterally flying to and fro — the question, whether one…

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The mining multinationals in Mozambique: Is it a win-win situation?

By Antonio Macheve Jr The generic stories of multinational companies extracting natural resources from poor resource-rich countries often maintain a strong emphasis on exploitation of cheap labour, environmental degradation, poor local economic and social development, and unresponsive corporate social responsibility policies as the most direct effects of such operations on the population, particularly around the…

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South Africa on the brink

Two weeks into the truckers’ strike and South Africa stands on the precipice of serious societal breakdown. The Marikana massacre was undoubtedly a tragic event in its own right, although it may prove to have merely been the spark that lit the fuse. The powder keg waiting to explode is the imminent shortage in liquid…

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Dear Fossil Fuel, I want a divorce!

Dear Fossil Fuel, There is no easy way to do this, so I’ll just say it: I want a divorce! Writing this letter is very painful for me, but the contents will not come as a great surprise to you. Our relationship has been wondrous at times, with ups and downs like every marriage. But…

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Time is running out – even Charles of Wales is worried

When Britain’s Prince of Wales shows clear signs of agitation at world leaders’ curious paralysis in the face of the rapid deterioration of planetary ecological conditions, it should send a message to everyone concerned. And that means every human being on the planet, where humans are (supposedly) the custodians of planetary “health” but have been…

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Going green in 2012: 12 steps for the developing world

Many of us are thinking about the changes we want to make this year. For some, these changes will be financial; for others, physical or spiritual. But for all of us, there are important resolutions we can make to “green” our lives. Although this is often a subject focused on by industrialised nations, people in…

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Why can’t we get ourselves out of this sticky mess?

By Roger Diamond The news is oozing with opinions on the Eurozone crisis, debt defaults, bailouts and why eating baklava is about to be banned. Although there is plenty of merit in getting stuck into the details of easing the pain of recession and finding short term solutions to employment, liquidity and keeping the monetary…

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Unstoppable forces and immovable objects

“That’s my new house,” my Chinese tour guide gestured toward a row of featureless apartment blocks beneath our vantage point overlooking the river, “and that’s where I used to live.” She showed me a photograph of a modest two-storey structure within the walls of the ancient city of Fengjie. It presumably remains intact, albeit more than…

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