|Issue 93: Politicians rise to the green challenge
One day, when top politicians understand the link between climate change and poverty, our continent will finally join full throttle recovery from this world scourge. This has been my mantra for years. This month some powerful statements were made, which has brought us closer to the new world we are working towards.
“We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” said US President Barack Obama at GeorgetownUniversity in WashingtonDC, where he laid out a package of measures aimed at curbing climate change, including limits on emissions from power plants. Allow me to respond in one of our newly acknowledged African languages: So ‘n bek kort jam!
Our own Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said at the Green Economy National Youth Summit in Cape Town: "Poverty is the most urgent challenge because it is the daily reality of many South Africans. We must therefore move with the necessary speed in dealing with climate change, which invariably exacerbates conditions of poverty for many."
And then Stefan Gsänger at the Global Alliance for 100% Renewable Energy in Munich: “To break the inertia, we need a robust, global call for 100% renewable energy that creates urgently needed political will among policy makers around the globe.”
At the Greenest Event Dr. Hartnady introduced the concept of “ethics for geologists” – similar to the Hippocratic Oath for doctors. In essence mines need to make “all efforts not to harm the earth” and restore or improve environments to pristine conditions.
Yet in ‘Feeling the Heat: Consequences of rising temperatures for desert birds,’ a bleak picture was painted for the future of the birds of the Kalahari, if climate change continues on its trajectory, said Susie Cunningham, during the University of Cape Town’s ‘Climate Change Impacts & Adaptation Seminar Series’.
So while the Arctic ice is rapidly vanishing, it’s up to every one of us to hold our leaders accountable and become the leader in our own spheres of influence. There is no time to wait for others. With the bad news, we always bring you inspiring examples of our brave new world.
Like 5000 households running on …pooh power. How about bringing such innovation to resolve Khayalitsha’s sewage and energy problems? Wild cheetahs are home in the Free State again, green buildings are arising all over the place and even the Department of Environmental Affairs have taken the lead with a 6 Star Green Building! Another milestone happening next month …our first off green banking branch. It is indeed a time of miracles and wonders.
“We’re going to have to trust something that is deep in us – the instinct for fair play,” said Dr. Ian McCallum, author of Ecological Intelligence. “Without this there would be no personal ethic.” He said we need a social evolution of our species. “Free will is the freedom to say yes and the freedom to say no.”
We have decisions to make, daily. During the next month, what are we going to say no to, and what will get our yes? Enjoy the read, be a green hero and send your news to our welcome new intern, Soninke Combrinck. Thank you to the Universe for lending this enthusiastic bunny to us for 6 months – she has truly brought the sunshine into our office.
Finally our hearts are with Tata Madiba and we pray that he is granted the freedom to fly into the peace which he deserves. His courage and integrity will remain in this country forever, and in the green movement for climate justice.