Environment

SACSIS is concerned about the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the lives of the poor. The poor carry a disproportionate burden as result of environmental injustice. SACSIS supports the ethical, balanced and responsible use of land and renewable resources.

The Cruelty of Dairy Farming

Picture: Fish and Game New Zealand Chris Hedges - MINISINK, N.Y.—The affable, soft-spoken dairy farmer stood outside his 70-stall milking barn on his 230-acre family farm. When his father started farming there in 1950 were about 800 dairy farms in New York state’s Orange County. Only 39 survive. Small, traditional farms have been driven out of business by rising real estate prices, genetic manipulation of cows, industrial-scale hormone use that greatly increases milk production, wildly fluctuating milk prices and competition from...

Rich Nations Urged to Cut Temperature Rise Targets

Picture: WWF France/flickr Tim Radford - LONDON − The official target of limiting global warming to a 2 degrees Celsius rise has been described by a senior scientist as “utterly inadequate” to protect the people most at risk from climate change. That’s the conclusion reached by one of the authors of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, in an analysis of the political tussle between rich and poor nations at last December’s UN conference on limiting temperature...

South Africa's Weak Green Governance and Virtually Non-existent Green Politics

Picture: Peter Blanchard/flickr Glenn Ashton - Both the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party and the South African flag have prominent splashes of green featuring in their respective colour scheme. After 1994 the new government was keenly focussed on demonstrating its green credentials in line with our constitutional commitment to environmental protection and sustainable use of our diverse natural resources. Twenty years into democratic experiment we need to reassess how green our political commitment remains. Liberation...

Groups Opposed to Fracking in the Karoo Must Forge Stronger Links

Picture: Climate Access Saliem Fakir - As the government presses ahead with fracking, it is not entirely certain whether all South Africans will reap the rich rewards proponents are punting. There is still some way to go. While exploration rights are being processed there is a legislative mountain that must still be climbed. The legislative terrain ranges from the passing of revisions to the Mining Act to the finalisation of water and drilling regulations as well as government’s desire to establish a Strategic...

In Seattle, Throwing Away Food May Cost You

Picture: Nature Melissa Kravitz - If you had to pay for every food scrap in your garbage bag, would you really scrape those last bits of spaghetti into the trash? In Seattle U.S. a new law makes eaters question how they deal with food waste. As of January 2015, home owners and apartment tenants who throw away food will be fined. The policy works like this: after receiving two warnings for having food waste in their trash, a $1 fine will be imposed on homes and $50 on businesses with dumpsters. But how do collectors...

Women Stand Their Ground against Big Coal

Picture: The Political Carnival Samantha Hargreaves and Hibist Kassa - Battles between coal mining companies, the municipalities that host them and affected local residents are now drawing blood with last week’s rubber-bullet shootings and arrests of activists (including key women organisers) fighting coal and demanding a decent life in Emahlahleni (formerly Witbank). This battleground stretches east across the continent’s main coal seam, out to Mozambique’s Tete Province. There, Mama Life (we use a pseudonym to protect her from reprisal), a...