Environment

Pedalling our way into a sustainable future

This weekend I’m sure I wasn’t the only one imagining what the M3 and other major routes around the Cape Peninsula would be like if hordes of people ditched their cars and cycled to work on Monday morning. I took part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which is one of those eye-opening experiences that…

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Violence is a necessary process of decolonisation

By Zinhle Manzini On February 25 it was reported that two buildings and a car were burnt at the North West University Mafikeng campus, yet this incident is not the only occurrence of violence that has disrupted some of South Africa’s universities. One would recall that a bus was also set alight a week ago…

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Climate change activism DOES work, even against a colossus

Anyone who feels as strongly about some issues in the globalised world as I do, would feel buoyed by reading the article by Alex Altman, titled “The Thin Green Line”, in a recent edition of TIME magazine (February 15, 2016, p. 38-41). It is a tale of hard-won success on the part of tough environmental…

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Going public in our homes

Many protest that public space is becoming privatised and, as put by Anne-Marie on her blog, some argue “big city public spaces turn out to be extended private spheres”. I would like to think it could actually be the other way around: our private space could be an extension of our public life. Our individual…

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Why Africa doesn’t need Bjorn Lomborg’s fossil fuel PR

“Revolutions are, as a rule, rare and momentous processes”, but across the African continent the potential for a clean energy revolution which upsets and leapfrogs the old fossil fuel order is ripe. Globally, clean energy technology has developed at such a rapid pace that a predominately clean energy future which brings energy access to all…

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My memories of the automobile

I will never forget the smell of the seats in our “brand-new”, second-hand car. My parents’ purchase had been a hot topic for weeks and it was finally there, a dark green Renault waiting outside my school. Unaware that a few years later it would be driven over my toe, nothing could bring more joy…

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Of black people, empty bottles and a body on the beach

I don’t quite see empty plastic bottles in the same way I used to. Two developments brought this about. The first being an initiative to create small businesses recycling empty soft-drink bottles. One that I called “Hanging Hope” and please go ahead, copy it, or tell someone else about it and give him/her a potential…

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Nene, nukes and Zuma’s timing

By Alex Lenferna Many have been confounded by the recent actions of our president: sacking Nhlanhla Nene from the post of finance minister, giving a weekend-long appointment to the relatively unknown David van Rooyen, and then kicking out Van Rooyen and finally rehiring Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. While much ink has been spilled trying…

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Is climate change a form of violence?

Over the past few years a number of studies have warned about the links between climate change and violent conflict. While the precise causal connections are not yet well-defined, it is likely that famine, flooding, and displacement will spur increasing conflict and war as the 21st century unfolds. This is a serious concern. Already the…

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A song for the rootless

There is an urgent conversation going on among the leaves. The branches scurry, desperate to dock in bad weather. Twigs pelt about; the tall boles raise and swing their leaf-bright oars. Our garden, the veggie field and the small gorge beyond are scooped up, swirled about by the gusts and the downpour into a bag,…

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