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This week we decide about the future of our country and what and whom we will support or not. Like all species, we depend on our habitat being strong enough to support us. Promises can be made of economic progress, jobs and houses – most of which we have heard before. But if our potential leaders don’t understand and constructively respond to climate change, to my knowledge they are not fit to guard our nation and lead us towards a healthy future.

Imagine the environment as the legs of the table of our civilisation. If those legs are crumbling, then decorating the table beautifully with status symbols and out-dated success markers of a bygone era will not prevent the crash of the status quo. If the foundation is not in place, we cannot build a future. If you have been reading the Green Times for the past year, you will know that all aspects of the environment are currently under threat. And this is where the attention needs to go.

Information is crucial. What are the parties saying about water conservation, food security, fossil fuels … access to information? We have shared a summary with you here, but encourage you to read more and take informed decisions.

This week sees the start of important food conversations in Cape Town, the first one called Urban Farming and our Hungry City. We have now also managed to include a summary of our event diary for you here again. Support and be part of the most important conversation of our time. We would like to hear your opinions, so please comment on our stories.
 

Upcoming events in May:

Elections 2014 – who gets your green vote?


684px-South_Africa_electoral_wards_2011_blank.svgThis week we will vote for the future of this country. If you are aware of climate change and other threats to our environment and therefore to our civilisation, it helps to take note of how the different parties plan to respond to these threats. What are they saying in their manifestos about: Energy and […]
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Renewable energy from rivers and lakes could replace gas in homes


Heat Reservoir Bewl Water at Lamberhurst, Kent, could provide a site for heat pumpsHeat Reservoir Bewl Water at Lamberhurst, Kent, could provide a site for heat pumps A revolutionary system using water-sourced heat pumps is being tested on a new development. Millions of homes across the UK could be heated using a carbon-free technology that draws energy from rivers and lakes in a revolutionary system that could reduce […]
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Fracking and water: what we can learn from the US experience


Dead fish lie in the dry silt of Lake Arrowhead, Texas. Wherever they're operating producers and regulators must be transparent and engage on water risks. Photograph: Torin Halsey/APMany issues are poorly understood by those involved with and affected by fracking, the US shale gas industry can offer lessons Water is a critical but contentious resource for the fracking industry, which is booming in the US and poised to take off globally. Despite vast media coverage on the topic, many issues remain poorly […]
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Which US city will be submerged by climate change


KivalinaA new Climate Central report shows which U.S. cities’ fates are locked in by sea-level rise. The long list of 1,400 cities includes not only obvious coastal candidates like Miami and New Orleans, but also inland cities such as Sacramento. They’re doomed to drown by 2100 even if carbon emissions immediately—like right now—drop to zero. Representative Henry […]
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French energy minister promises 100,000 green jobs


segolene-royalSegolene Royal, appointed French energy and environment minister this month, said she planned to create 100,000 jobs in the next three years with a drive for green growth. Royal told a news conference she wanted to accelerate investment in renewable energies like wind, solar, biomass and marine energy, as well as in insulation of buildings. […]
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Skills drought taking its toll on SA water sector


addressing-the-urgent-need-for-safe-water  The water sector is experiencing a critical scarce skills shortage, owing to an insufficient skills base and fierce competition in the labour market for skilled personnel, said the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) acting director- general Trevor Balzer. During his address earlier this month at the Civilution Congress, in Ekurhuleni, he stated that a […]
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Sustainable design to address Cape Town’s rapid urbanisation


Chris Whelan - Private Edition photoThe challenges facing cities today are numerous.  Rapid urbanisation is a growing reality and Cape Town has the highest rate in South Africa.  This brings housing, infrastructure, social and biophysical challenges. Yet if we look for solutions across business, government and communities, we find tremendous energy and innovation to address the challenges. This was the […]
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Turning vicious business into virtuous business


BookVirtuesBusiness seems to be slowly adopting ‘do good and do well’ thinking. Advocates Richard Branson and Al Gore have called for a ‘return to values’.1 The bad news is that there are just too many disconnects between their stated values and actual practices. The ‘do good and do well’ slogan is useful for public relations […]
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