Tag Archives: water

Alternatives to coal-fired electricity exist but there are no alternatives for water

By Penny-Jane Cooke The last quarter of 2015 saw five out of the nine provinces — KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, the North West, including the breadbasket of the country, the Free State — declared as water disaster areas and by extension disaster areas for agriculture. Somehow, the linkages between how the intensive water use for coal-fired…

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Where do we go from here?

When the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recently published its most comprehensive and most drastic report on climate change to date, the president of the United States, Mr Barack Obama, called it a “call to action”. It remains to be seen if the leader of the biggest economy on the planet will live up…

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The terminal nature of poverty

By Gillian Schutte As academics, journalists, social commentators and activists we have a sense that we know the poor. We are outraged by poverty and inequality and advocate for equity and a life of dignity for all. We look for ways to bring the voices of the poor into the public debate and ask questions…

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Eskom crippling our water resources

It’s a simple truth: water is fundamental to life, we can’t live without it. The problem, though, is that water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource; one South Africa is running short of. By 2030 it’s expected that our demand for water will outstrip what’s available by a staggering 17%. Already more than 98% of…

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Beyond protecting the environment: Ensuring life support

Several recent reports on a variety of things have made me return to an important book by Thomas Princen, Treading Softly – on which I have written here before. The news items that caught my eye covered different, but related topics. Two of them focused on court cases involving big oil companies – Chevron and…

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MDG target for water met but our taps still run dry

A United Nations and World Health Organisation report released last week (South Africa’s national water week) has claimed a near victory in achieving one of the most important Millennium Development Goals: making drinking water accessible to millions of the poor. According to the report, titled Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012, “over two billion…

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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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We’ll need two planets by 2030

At the beginning of his latest book, Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order, American ecological scholar Thomas Princen quotes from the Living Planet Report of 2008: “Our global [ecological] footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30%. If our demands on the planet continue at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we…

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