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!
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.
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.
“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.”