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.

Tutu: Climate Crisis Demands 'Anti-Apartheid-Style Boycott' of Fossil Fuel Industry

Picture credit: Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu courtesy Welsh Government/Llywodraeth Cymru/flickr Jon Queally - Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu is saying there is no longer any excuse for not doing everything humanly possible to fight climate change and called on Thursday for an international "anti-apartheid-style boycott" against the fossil fuel industry. In a striking essay and call to action in The Guardian newspaper, Tutu writes: "People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate...

Toward a More Resilient South African Energy System

Picture credit: Magick River Glenn Ashton - South Africa is supposed to be a developmental state yet the intentions that inform our national energy policy are at odds with the lived reality of most citizens. President Zuma’s 2011 promise to deliver electricity to every home in the country by 2014 will not be met. More importantly, despite free electricity allowances, many of those connected to the grid find this power unaffordable. South Africa’s approach to electrical power supply remains monolithic and inflexible....

Legislative Jigsaw Puzzle Undermines Rights of Communities Affected by Mining Pollution

Picture credit: Discharge of untreated acid mine water in the West Rand courtesy John Wesson/Centre for Environmental Rights. Gillian Schutte - Brown issues, in environmental jargon, refer to the environmental impact of pollution on communities living in the ambit of big industry. This is the very issue that has been highlighted by the recent Kagiso Extension 1 community uprising against the Mintails gold mining operation on the West Rand of Gauteng. Mintails, an Australian owned company, has been practicing opencast mining and blasting only 100 meters from people’s homes in Kagiso, which, the community say, has resulted in...

Our Agricultural System is Destroying the Earth and Our Health

Picture credit: Agribusiness courtesty blogs.uww.edu Glenn Ashton - Over the course of the past century our food supply has shifted from local to global. Most food our grandparents ate was grown regionally, often by neighbourhood farmers. Today our food comes from across the world. More importantly, it is often produced in highly destructive ways, at the lowest possible cost. Consequently our food production system is responsible for accelerating the rate of destruction of the very ecosystems we are reliant upon in order to maintain our delicate global...

As COP19 Gets Underway: Time for a Revolution to Save Ourselves from Fossil Fuel

Picture credit: cuipo Glenn Ashton - This week the latest round of climate negotiations, the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) is meeting in Warsaw Poland, to grapple with the stalled Climate Change Convention. At the opening of the conference Dr Alicia Illinga, a Filipina delegate highlighted how her country had already been hit by 22 typhoons this year. The devastating Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful typhoon to have ever made landfall, hit the Philippines on the eve of the conference, causing thousands of fatalities and...

Coal 3: The Choke Point in South Africa's Energy System

Picture credit: weluvmu.wordpress Saliem Fakir - You would think we would’ve learnt a lesson or two from total dependence on coal. Ninety percent of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal in addition to 40% of our liquid fuels. Despite our coal abundance, the move towards its greater use for our energy system comes up against several constraints. These include environmental concerns, the carbon tax, the question of poor quality coal, the economics of coal mining and the logistics surrounding the extraction and distribution...