Environment

Capitalism, calling a spade a spade

Today I had the privilege of listening to two of the best conference keynote addresses I have heard at an international conference for a long time. They formed part of the same plenary session, here at Dublin City University in Ireland, where members are gathered for the annual conference of the International Association for Media…

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The Marikana Files II

Presented by Sipho Singiswa this episode looks at the impact the mining companies have on the environment and people living around the Lonmin mining operations — with a particular emphasis on children. Community leader and activist Chris Molebatsi says that what the people want is respect from mine owners. If there was respect for the…

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Johannesburg: The city that once was

About a year ago at a party, I met a well-known South African artist (he shall remain nameless) who described the Johannesburg Art Gallery as “Miss Havisham in her wedding dress”. He wasn’t saying it spitefully, he seemed to really like JAG; it was just a very honest, pithy comment. I believe the metaphor can…

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Turkey: The last green space

In one of its earliest reports on the turmoil that is ripping through Turkish cities, CNN highlighted an apparent paradox: How the anti-government protests that are now being compared to the Arab Spring were sparked by a “trivial” matter: The destruction of Gezi Park in the centre of Istanbul. Gezi Park is the last remaining…

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Our alien mother ship

I’d just watched the new Tom Cruise sci-fi about alien machines who invade the planet to suck up Earth’s resources. The movie has a happy ending, though: the alien mother ship is destroyed and Tom gets back to his rustic cabin, his family, nature. Like in most sci-fi’s, the planet is fought for and saved,…

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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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Something worth saving

We’re about 300km off the coast of South Africa, sailing in the high seas of the Indian Ocean. During the night we caught up to a Spanish longliner, one of the many foreign vessels fishing in the region, others coming from places like Taiwan, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Since yesterday morning we’ve been in…

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Why isn’t shark finning news?

I saw six sharks being cut up for their fins yesterday. And as monstrous as it was, it won’t make headlines, it isn’t News: currently the fins from between 26 million and 73 million sharks are sold a year, that’s up to 8 000 sharks killed an hour. And the market is booming. I’m currently…

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Drilling Africa’s Arctic

The Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest Unesco World Heritage Site, is situated along the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. It contains more species of mammals, reptiles and birds than any other protected area on the continent. It has an exceptional diversity of landscapes stretching from the glaciers of the…

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Did you buy into Nedbank’s greenwash?

As the bank with “green answers” – according to their marketing campaign – I have a few questions for Nedbank. Nedbank has put a lot of effort into creating the impression of being a ‘green’ bank. They have an entire website devoted to the environment, and a range of account options with a green ‘flavour’….

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