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Dear *|NAME|*

Welcome to 2015 and our first issue of the year. Once again we light the green candle and share with you stories of healing and hope, transformative news to hook those dormant recesses of our brains into new and inspired action.

Lamenting the bad news without celebrating the magnificent good, is as bad as ignoring the rising heat and persisting with business as usual. Neither exists without the other.

Ever devoted to the yin and yang, we believe that to get the full picture we need to boldly step out to embrace the paradoxes in our world in transition. Even more so in our beloved country, the pressure cooker of nations, where the world’s shadows are magnified for urgent resolution.

But the response is happening here too. As the chaos deepens, so too land new stories of ordinary people and corporates rolling up their sleeves and living up to our country’s legacy of making plans.

For indeed we have knowledge and skills to share. Community to build. A nation to heal, a plethora of problems to solve – and more people are joining the do-it-yourself revolution than ever before. No longer waiting for the over-burdened government. That time is over.

So here is January’s sweep of dire and daunting news, buffered by brilliance. Last year was the hottest year since recorded temperatures -  the 13th hottest year since 2000. This year will be the same.

Yet 1200 more coal fired power stations (the biggest contributors to climate change) are planned across 65 countries, so too here in our land of sunshine. This would mean 180 million more Africans dying by 2100, mostly rural women and children!

Our suffering neighbours in Malawi this month lost at least 176 people to floods and another 200,000 have been displaced. Their defence force rescued at least 4,000 people, but many more are stranded and need help. At least 153 people are unaccounted for.

"People hung on to trees, waiting for the waters to subside, as they usually do, but water kept on coming and they were washed away. These were unprecedented floods, don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Now to prevent an outbreak of waterborne diseases, such as cholera. "Rain water, sewerage have all mixed with drinking water, and this is the next major concern," Kisyula said. Our hearts go out to Mozambique too with dire losses there.

The social cost of carbon is 6 times higher than thought. In a study published in Nature Climate Change, in the US, researchers from Stanford University reckoned  that it costs US$220 per tonne. These costs may include lower crop yields, harm to human health and infrastructure damage from extreme weather.

The glyphosate in Roundup is leading to more and more autistic children. Think also Alzheimers and Cariovascular Disease; avoiding chemically sprayed foods is the only sensible way to shop for our families. Philippino farmers stuggling with GM corn… Eskom going broke.

Yet all is not lost. Thank you to corporates reaching out to our schools, for funding for recycling programmes, for Cansa checking out carcinogens in fracking water, for recycled bottles made into bedding for the needy, for the first solar computer lab launched in an under-resourced school, for women standing together against coal, for Al Gore launching a spacecraft to track climate change, and more. Please read and comment – those are very valuable to us!

With love from
Elma and the team

Check out the green events on our calendar.

The platform is open to all members who would like to post their own constructive and educational stories. Become a green business or NGO member by writing to us at members@thegreentimes.co.za. Send your news to writers@thegreentimes.co.za.

Helping underprivileged learners in SA find their way

 

"Real change only comes from being actively involved in communities and the environment.”

 

Six lucky recyclers to receive loans to fund their projects

 

Recycling initiatives are often in need of seed support, whilst volumes escalate and the business becomes viable.

 

Cansa launches fracking transparency initiative

 

The Cancer Association of South Africa is worried hazardous substances & carcinogens could contaminate drinking water, should fracking for shale gas become a reality in the Karoo.
 

Malawi faces 'unprecedented' flood disaster

 

The waters may be receding and the rainfall subsiding but Malawi is only now coming to terms with the “unprecedented” floods that hit the southern half of the country last week.

 

Reaching out a sustainable hand of comfort to the needy

 

Can you believe that recycled bottles could turn into warm bedding for those in need? Well, it can, and it does.
 

First solar powered computer lab launched in KZN school

 

This new school year, the learners and teachers at Umhloti Primary School in Verulam will be given access to modern technology, thanks to their new Solar Powered PC Lab.

 

2014 officially the hottest year on record

 

The numbers are in. The year 2014 – after shattering temperature records that had stood for hundreds of years across virtually all of Europe – was the hottest on record, US government scientists said last week.

 

Women stand their ground against Big Coal

 

Despite threats to the planet and to humanity, coal expansion continues to escalate rapidly as energy demands increase globally, and supplies contract.

Social cost of carbon six times higher than thought

 

The economic damage inflicted by climate change could be six times worse than previously thought, US scientists have warned.

Al Gore's climate observing spacecraft gears up for launch

 

After nearly 14 years in limbo, an Earth-monitoring spacecraft built by NASA is finally set to fly.

Half of all children autistic by 2050 from Roundup?

 

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior researcher at MIT suspects that glyphosate toxicity from the overuse of pesticide on our food supply will result in half of the children population having autism by the year 2050.

Living life on purpose

 

Where is it I really want to go this year and what is it most fills my heart and soul with joy?

9 Points to ponder on the Paris shooting and Charlie Hebdo

 

As a person of faith, times like these try my soul. They force us to turn inward, not because the answers are easy, but because not turning inward is unthinkable in moments of crisis.

Doc sheds light on Filipino farmers' GM corn struggles

 

“We loan the seeds, and pay upon harvest. We are usually left with empty sacks. So we loan for food and family expenses, and inputs to be able to plant for the next season. Upon harvest, we have leftover debt.”

CO2 emissions may help tropical rainforest grow faster

 

A new NASA-led study shows that tropical forests may be absorbing far more carbon dioxide than many scientists thought, in response to rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas.

New solar plants coming to sunny Northern Cape

 

Two new concentrating solar power (CSP) plants have been announced by the Department of Energy, to be built in the Northern Cape.

Stop complaining and do-it-yourself

 

Do you want things to be done, and done properly, in 2015? Then do it yourself. Behave as if government is not going to deliver any services, and if it does, see that as a bonus.

Fossil fuels: the 'untouchable reserves'

 

A paper in the journal Nature has lent support to the notion that combating climate change and developing more fossil fuels are mutually contradictory.

Eskom is 21 days from going broke

 

Power utility Eskom is 21 days from going broke, the minister of public enterprises has confirmed.

DAILY GREEN DAY 1: one year of tuning into the miracle

 

Here on holiday I could not find loose Earl Grey at the health shop, so now I sit with tea bags. Something I have avoided for some years. Ten times the carbon footprint of loose tea, did you know?

 
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