Environment

Imagine your electricity bill went up 459%

You’ll often hear that renewable energy is a nice idea, but it’s simply too expensive to be a realistic option. The choice between burning coal and switching to renewable energy is said to be a simple cost calculation — one that coal wins every time. It’s the rationale for why Eskom is going ahead with…

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Things aren’t alright

I’ve been writing for Thought Leader for roughly two years, and consistently on the same types of issues. I write about consumerism, “affluenza”, climate change, environmental degradation, oil and coal addiction, and the politics of eating meat — and after each piece, when I go through the comments, I’m left with the same overwhelming feeling:…

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Thoughts on the Greenpeace action at Eskom

Recently Greenpeace Africa took action at Eskom’s Megawatt Park, dumping five tonnes of coal at one entrance to the power utility’s headquarters. The act was a protest against the way Eskom produces South Africa’s electricity, 90% of which comes from climate-changing coal. As the twelth largest CO2 emitter in the world, located at the foot…

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There’s no place for fracking in our future

Recently I went to a public debate about fracking in the Karoo. The motion debated related to the moratorium that’s been imposed — should it be permanent or simply scrapped altogether? The four speakers — two in favour of the moratorium, and two against — each presented their views and spoke about numerous aspects of…

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Shell, fracking and job creation

The degree to which Shell disgusts me is no secret, and this will not be the first time I write about the multinational. Take the worst aspects of capitalism, the most perverse levels of greed, and the highest disregard for nature: combine them and you have the Shell corporation. Whereas in the past Shell has…

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Powering madness

For a while now I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how recent events in Japan and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are similar in some way; what’s the link between them? I’m not talking about some weird conspiracy theory, like the one linking the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami…

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Nuclear: A phone call away?

The good news is that energy department officials have been facing pressure from MPs to cut South Africa’s dependence on coal. The bad news is that a few MPs seem to think that nuclear energy can help achieve this. Following some time with French nuclear company Areva, DA MP David Ross recently told the portfolio…

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Population explosion!

Some time later this year, probably toward the end of October, the 7 billionth person will be born, and judging by birthrates, (s)he will most likely be Indian. The jump from 6 billion to 7 billion people on the planet will only have taken 12 years. The birth of this 7 billionth person raises important questions about…

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Shell-shocked

I think it’s outrageous that Shell sponsors part of the environment section on the National Geographic website. What makes the situation even more ironic is that right beneath one of Shell’s adverts on the page is National Geographic’s slogan: Inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. Now I don’t think there are many…

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Is your lifestyle really worth it?

Last week I watched a documentary type film called Oceans. The whole film was spectacular, but for me one piece was particularly striking. Shot underwater, looking up towards the surface, we slowly panned over what looked like a bright red satin sari. It was gliding through the water, soft yellow lines rippling across the red…

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