Your monthly green news round-up.
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Dear *|NAME|*

Right now climate change is riding its way up the global agenda, as all the world’s governments compile and start submitting their INDCs, or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the United Nations for the biggest conference to decide on the future of this planet in December in Paris, alias COP21.

We have attended some workshops where civil society was able to offer our opinions and indeed knowledge. Also the Climate Hearings in parliament. We were part of the Light the Way climate vigils held in 100 countries on the day before the International Conference on Sustainable Development started in New York.

Yet amongst civil society there is grave concern. Are we being taken seriously? Will our country take in a leadership position, as the tenth largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world? Simultaneously we are on the most vulnerable continent on the planet. Already climate refugees are pouring out of Africa. Yes, climate plays a major role - we make the link for you in this issue. This will be the new normal.

Notice our unique position. Is this not the perfect opportunity - as we represent both ends of the scale - for us to once again show the world what resolute courage, intelligence and innovation is locked in this nation? Our traditional communities, our labour force, those below the breadline, our vulnerable species are suffering. Crippling droughts are escalating food prices, water is becoming critical.

Now is the time for us as a nation to overcome our terminal narcissism, drop our need for short-term comfort and face the terror of standing up for what is right. We have done it before. Climate change, as the final obstacle to a fair and just world. How will we write this history?

It is also a great connector, as we are all in this together. This was the energy that moved me in parliament last week. Now more than ever we need each other to craft urgent, drastic and radical solutions for a reasonable future.  

Thank you for reading our monthly news sweep. We need YOU to forward this to all those you care about. Join our service and participate.

With love

Elma and the team

PS. Remember to check out the green events on our calendar and lots more news on our Facebook timeline.

Climate hearings heat up with an eye on Paris

Many moving events are happening in the build up to the most important conference ever on the future of this planet.

Faith communities appeal minister’s refusal to reveal nuclear secrets


Faith communities, supported by the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign and others gathered outside the Cape Town Parliament earlier this month to demonstrate against the government’s continued secrecy around the nuke deals.

Producers to take responsibility for waste created


Who is responsible for packaging materials lying around in the environment? How can we best curb this dilemma, which seems to be growing by the day? One solution is the principle of EPR, or Extended Producer Responsibility.

SA coastline gets thousands of loving hands-on cleaners


SA joined the biggest volunteer effort for ocean health in 1996. This year’s International Coastal Clean-Up Day was the best ever, said coordinators, sponsors and volunteers who participated in this important work this month.

Creating awareness begins with you


It is that time of year again when Green Beings conducts an annual campaign called Ethoma ka wena (Sepedi for: begins with you) in celebration of Arbour Week and National Clean up Week.

Environmental heroes recognised at sustainability-themed event


There are remarkable individuals and groups in this country who treasure our environment through innovative service. The 2015 National WESSA Awards have been presented to recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of five individuals and groups.

Recycled product awards ceremony rewards conscious creations


New products created from  waste materials is one of the most exciting and creative aspects of our green industry. So it was fun to attend the awards ceremony of the Best Recycled Product of the Year.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister wins UN climate prize


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in recognition of her country’s initiatives to address climate change.

Russia blocks mass poisoning via GMOs


Russia has announced a total ban on the cultivation of GMO crops, whilst Monsanto’s corruption is infiltrating every corner of U.S. academia, government regulators and corporate-controlled media.

A global tour of seven recent droughts


Every inhabited continent, to varying degrees, faces extremely high water stress.

Bats save corn farmers $1 billion per year


Bats deserve a better reputation. They may be creepy or troublesome when they occupy our attics, but overall they’re more pesticide than pest.

Banks for bean counters


In the early 1970s Asia’s rice farmers faced ruin. The brown planthopper, an insect up till then found mostly in Japan, began to appear across the region. It fed on young plants and transmitted grassy stunt virus, causing crops to shrivel and brown.

COP21 song for climate change


Just One Day is a song composed by Desert Rose to promote global awareness of the critical nature of Climate Change as the world prepares for COP21, most crucial climate change conference in the history of mankind.

Documentaries show women as force for change


Women Make Change, launched this weekend, is a new series from Al Jazeera showcasing women standing up and dealing with problems in their communities.

A different type of grid is needed to solve SA’s energy challenge


South Africa would get a much better return on its energy investments if it planned a smarter and more flexible electricity grid, Institute for Security Studies (ISS) researcher Steve Hedden said on Tuesday.

Time to embrace green building in SA


The Green Building Council of South Africa has invited all South Africans to take part in the celebration by getting involved in making their homes and work spaces greener.

Banting diet for dogs


The true judge as to whether a diet is “perfect” for both dog and human is based on whether they are able to provide the correct pH balances, with a leaning towards alkalinity. Thus, when one looks at popular human diets, this important formula is always fulfilled.

Damaging the land we live on is costing trillions every year


Calculating the economic value of nature — how much the world’s rain forests, grasslands and other natural areas are worth monetarily — is an approach many environmentalists are adopting in the fight to protect Earth’s dwindling wild spaces.

An uncertain future for our living blue planet


A new report on the health of the ocean finds that the marine vertebrate population has declined by 49 percent between 1970 and 2012.

Voices heard at parliament’s climate change hearings


Earlier this month, The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs held public hearings on SA’s Climate Change Negotiating Position in the lead-up to COP21, to be held in Paris, France, this December.

Olympic organisers tear down ancient South Korean forest


Olympic organisers in South Korea are tearing down a forest, with trees half a millennia old, to make room for new ski facilities.

Rich-poor climate reconciliation in sight at UN talks


The UN climate process is a complex beast, but at its heart lies a debate over the balance of responsibilities between rich and poor.

Seattle calls on Bill Gates to divest from fossil fuels

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is facing fresh calls to move his charity’s investments out of fossil fuels from the community in Seattle where it is based, led by the city’s former mayor.

Learners rewarded for addressing SA water challenges


Danville Park Girls’ High School in Durban North, KZN, was awarded first place at the National Water Explorer Awards event that was held on Thursday 3 September at the Durban Botanical Gardens.

Don’t get lost in a sea of climate information


At a recent gathering of the Climate Knowledge Brokers Group, the forthcoming ‘manifesto' on climate knowledge was road-tested.

Gift of the Givers opens second hospital in Syria


The exodus of millions of Syrians seeking refugee status in Europe and elsewhere is indicative of a major catastrophe inside Syria.

74 year old man cycles for climate justice

9 countries. One million signatures. Thousands of kilometres. This is the We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice cycling caravan’s objective, as COP21 in Paris draws close.

World’s forests face a decisive year according to UN report

In a UN report on forests, senior official Jose Graziano da Silva called slowing deforestation rates “positive”.

Ordinary citizens across Europe helping ailing refugees


Last week saw yet another horrible development in Europe’s refugee crisis: the discovery of 71 bodies in an airless truck, abandoned by an Austrian highway.

Mass migration the new normal as the climate changes


I’ve been interested in the way the migrant crisis is being debated in politics and the media. It’s that word – crisis – that is particularly striking. It suggests that what we’re seeing across Europe is a temporary disaster.

Climate crisis will compound the European migrant crisis


The hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving in Europe or dying on the way to its shores could be a harbinger of things to come, because of climate change.

99% of all seabirds will have ingested plastic by 2050


Plastics are pervasive in the world’s waters due to pollution, and birds – including albatrosses, penguins and gulls – can mistake brightly colored bottle tops or other fragments for food.

Germany and France demand binding refugee quotas for EU members


France and Germany have called on the EU to force member countries to take obligatory quotas of refugees and asylum seekers.

Next decade decisive for Earth’s future


The next 10 years will be decisive when it comes to the planet’s future – what we do (or don’t) will play out over geologic time.

Global mean methane levels are higher than ever


At no time in the past did humans exist under conditions that we are facing now, no matter how far back you go in history..

If you ate today, thank a farmer


It goes without saying that it doesn’t matter who you are, we all need farmers to survive.
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