ENVIRONMENT

2012 IS HERE

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WHAT CAN SOUTH AFRICANS DO ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?

  • Use your own muscle power whenever and wherever possible, e.g. walk or cycle rather than using a taxi or car – emissions from transport are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases.

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EFFETS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON SOUTH AFRICA

If nothing is done about climate change and we continue, among other things, to burn fossil fuels and chop down our forests at current rates, the following is predicted for South Africa:

  • South Africa’s coastal regions will warm by around 1-2°C by about 2050 and around 3-4°C by about 2100;
  • South Africa’s interior regions will warm by around 3-4°C by about 2050 and around 6-7°C by about 2100;
  • There will be significant changes in rainfall patterns and this, coupled with increased evaporation, will result in significant changes in respect of water availability, e.g. the western side of the country is likely to experience significant reductions in the flow of streams in the region;

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CRUNCH TIME FOR DURBAN CLIMATE TALKS

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently taking place in Durban, is also the 7th meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire at the end of 2012, unless renewed.

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BASIC NATIONS TALK CLIMATE CHANGE

Protecting the interests of developing nations in relation to climate change took centre stage as environment ministers from the BASIC group of countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – met in Durban on the weekend.

The meeting formed part of South Africa’s preparations for hosting the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban in November and December this year.

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WWF STATES THAT SA WILL FACE A WATER THREAT

Water security is the biggest threat facing our country and the South African public should be taking water issues more seriously, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has said.

“We’re naturally a country with water limits – it’s the life blood of our existence,” Dr Morné Du Plessis CEO of WWF South Africa.

He made his remarks as the WWF celebrated 50 years with the striking of a silver R2 coin on Table Mountain last Thursday.

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GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE QUICK GUIDE

Did the earth get hotter? Yes. Is it common? Yes. Since 1900, the average temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. Over the past 300 years, the temperature has risen by about 0.6 °C. Of course, we didn’t have cars and electricity for most of this time. So the great climate debate is not if the earth is getting hot or not but if or how we earthlings are having an impact on the global climate.

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POLLUTION RISE EVIDENT IN BIRD FEATHERS

Feathers collected from rare Pacific sea birds over the past 120 years have shown an increase in a type of toxic mercury that likely comes from human pollution, US researchers said on Monday.

Scientists at Harvard University took samples from feathers belonging to the endangered black-footed albatross from two US museum collections, said the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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GLOBAL WARMING NEGATIVELY AFFECTS FISH

Rapidly warming ocean temperatures are pushing some fish species to the limit by stunting their growth, increasing stress and raising the risk of death.

An Australian study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, focused on the long-lived fish species called the banded morwong in the Tasman Sea, between Australia and New Zealand.

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SA DECLARES TABLE MOUNTAIN THURSDAYS

All proud South Africans are called upon to set aside 30 seconds of your time every Thursday to vote for our favourite monument – one of only 2 African nominees – in the new 7 Wonders of the World competition.

Table Mountain is one of twenty eight finalists who has made it to the final round. Voting will end when the announcement of the 7 winners will be made on 11 November 2011.

Come on South Africa, let’s make history!

Cast your vote online at www.new7wonders.com

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WATER WEEK 2011

Every year South Africa celebrates National Water Week in the month of March which also features the World Water Day on the 22 March. The aim is to raise awareness among South Africans about the role of water in social and economic development including the need to get citizens to change their attitudes towards water use.

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FOREST ACCORDS NOT SAVING TREES

New York – International accords on saving vulnerable forests are having little impact because they do not attack the core causes such as growing demand for biofuels and food crops, a new report said on Sunday. With Africa and South American alone losing 7.4 million hectares of forest a year, the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (Iufro) said a drastic change of policy is needed by the UN and governments. Sixty international experts said in the report, to be presented at a UN forum this week, that too much attention is being put on forests as a store of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming.

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SOME HIMALAYAN GLACIERS ADVANCING

Oslo – Some Himalayan glaciers are advancing despite an overall retreat, according to a study on Sunday that is a step toward understanding how climate change affects vital river flows from China to India. A blanket of dust and rock debris was apparently shielding some glaciers in the world’s highest mountain range from a thaw, a factor omitted from past global warming reports. And varying wind patterns might explain why some were defying a melt. “Our study shows there is no uniform response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change and highlights the importance of debris cover,” scientists at universities in Germany and the United States wrote in the study of 286 glaciers.

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ECO ENERGY

The different concepts of Eco energy: Wind Energy Solar Energy Hydro Energy

FAQs What is wind energy? Wind energy is energy that has been transformed into energy. Instruments like Wind Turbine can produce a large amounts of energy without using conventional methods to access electricity.

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STEVE MNCUBE ON FARMING DEVELOPMENT

There is wealth of information that covers indigenous knowledge in stories of violent confrontation in African tribes that were scattered through out Africa . The most significance is that of Shaka the Zulu and Moshoeshoe .

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LIFE STRAW

PORTABLE-WATER-FILTER-240x144

More than one billion people on earth lack reliable access to safe drinking water, while water-borne diseases like diarrhea and typhoid account for more than 80 percent of all illness in the world.

LifeStraw Mark II Filters Bacteria and Virii Without Iodine Aftertaste

LifeStraw filters bacteria such as shigella, salmonella, enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli.

Please see the documents below for more info.

 

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SA TO SUBSIDISE GREEN ENERGY

Johannesburg – South Africa will start a much-delayed plan to buy electricity from green energy plants next year under a new subsidies programme to help boost private investment in renewable power, a senior official said on Monday.

South Africa is struggling to meet fast rising demand for power. State-owned utility Eskom said supply would remain tight until 2015, and especially over the next two years, until its two new power plants come on stream.

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SCAVENGERS, THE UNSUNG HEROES OF RECYCLING BY BENEDICT MNCUBE

Do you recycle? While most of us are consumers, and the idea of recycling does not concern us like it does Environmentalists. We are aware of initiatives promoting recycling, especially in the office environment. We are familiar with the Mondi recycling container, in which one discards used white paper, or metals cans separately, for recycling. We ideally should practice the same at home. Some neighbourhoods distribute a different coloured waste bag used for separating recycled waste, and while Municipalities are assisting us in practicing recycling. This initiative is not producing effective results.

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INITIAL RESEARCH, WATERLESS TOILETS CBC CONSULTING CC OCTOBER 2008

1. Introduction CBC CONSULTING has been approached to investigate the potential for deployment of a waterless sewerage and sanitation system. These systems are known by various names, the most common being a “composting toilet” or UDD toilets (Urine Diversion Dehydration) In recent years, several commercial compost-toilet systems have begun to compete with and replace conventional water closets in high-use public facilities. There they have found a market because of their resilience and the environmental advantages of not discharging pollutants into the environment

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