Glenn Ashton

Glenn Ashton

Glenn is a multidisciplinarian with a background in geography. Besides being a published author, he also edited "A Patented World? The Privatisation of Life and Knowledge," published by Jacana in South Africa. He currently is on the editorial board of the SA Journal of Natural Medicine.

Additionally, Glenn has written many commentaries and analyses of wide ranging issues including waste management, water use, food security, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, health, agricultural fuels, marine resources, climate and many other environmental and socially relevant issues.

He has also presented many papers and talks to a wide range of audiences. He specialises in communicating complex scientific issues in an accessible manner. He is a freelance writer and researcher.

An Unenlightened Vision for Energy Security Casts a Pall over Our Future

Picture: Solar farm courtesty TckTckTck Glenn Ashton - Our most recent round of load shedding, coupled to Eskom’s current application to increase power tariffs by over 25 percent, has raised the level of public anger and frustration with both the national power utility and government. Eskom has now ineluctably demonstrated its incapacity to deliver on its mandate to provide reliable electrical power at a reasonable cost, as set out in its 1923 founding charter. So how do we meet the collective challenge, as South Africa Inc., to supply...

Are We Entering an Age of Increased Optimism?

Glenn Ashton - “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places - and there are so many - where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the...

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...

Activists under Attack by the Corporate State

Picture: Anti-Fracking Activist Arrested in Washington D.C. courtesy EcoWatch Glenn Ashton - Naomi Klein’s latest book, “This Changes Everything – Capitalism vs the Climate” explains how the dominant economic system is destroying the life support systems of humans and all other life on earth. Klein proposes that in order to prevent catastrophic climate change we need to fundamentally shift away from the existing materialist based capitalist system. The 1970’s and ‘80’s were decades where human threats to planetary ecosystems were not only...

Can the Post Office Become an Instrument for Change?

Picture: Chicken Smoothie Glenn Ashton - South Africa’s Post Office has effectively ceased to function over the past three months, turning this once successful and strategic state-owned enterprise into a dead letter box. The recent agreement between unions and management will not solve its ills. Even before this latest strike it was, along with many of its international counterparts, in deep trouble. But perhaps there are ways to reform this much maligned government run corporation to truly reform this once important...

Shadow Dancing with Debt: The Credit Ratings Agencies Must Be Reformed

Picture: Consilium Glenn Ashton - South African economic prospects have recently been downgraded, yet again, by major credit ratings agencies (CRA’s). The nation’s sovereign rating now stands just above junk bond status. Major parastatals like Eskom and Sanral have also been knocked by ratings declines because of poor planning and investment decisions. Similarly, South Africa’s highly regarded and robust banking system has been marked down by the CRA’s, precipitated by the recent blowback of African...