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Dear *|NAME|*

So we receive the news that there was a hiatus in the increase in global temperatures last year. I want to go yay, but then I think, really? We share that story with you in our feed. With apologies to those who were excited about this news, it transpires … 

“That hiatus was in fact merely an apparent slowdown in the rate of warming, primarily found in the U.K. Met Office’s dataset. But the Met Office uses the Hadley temperature record, which excludes the Arctic (!) — the very place on the planet that has been warming the fastest. When scientists incorporated Arctic warming into the Met/Hadley record using other data sources (such as the satellites), the slowdown all but vanished. With 2014 setting the record for warmest year, NASA (and NOAA) data make crystal clear that there was no actual pause even in the rate of warming.”

With moderate action, climate change will soar from 2020 by an increase of 1°F per decade. Read about the implications of this in our story here. And this is NOT good news. Sorry.

Hence I am grateful that the spiritual and church communities, with their powerful platforms, are joining our fight for climate justice. Most of us relate to this issue from a deep place – how else do you relate to life on earth and to the future of humanity? I invite all our readers to join our monthly fast and prayer and share the insights which arise for you.

How can we respond on a personal level? What can we do? Number one, know your number! What is your damage to, your footprint on this planet? How much water is your family consuming, on average, per day? How many kilowatt hours of fossil fuel energy do you use per day?

If someone woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you this question, you should know. Your city or municipality makes it easy and works this out for you. Just look on your municipal bill. Divide that by how many people there are in your family, and you know your personal number.

Now your family can work out your plan of action. Some people might do this intuitively, but most people are inspired by numbers. We need graphs, facts, stats. At least we have a place to start. It also means you can’t fool yourself and assume that you are living lightly, when perhaps you are not.

My personal mission is to cut my consumption by half. My family’s average daily water consumption is 1.6 kilolitres of water. Much of that due to the summer and veggies needing water (pumped from the eco pool, but then that needs to be refilled). So, right away I decide to cover and switch off the pool for 9 months of the year.

Then ESCOM power. 15.4 kwH on average per day. Not cool at all. Pool pump rises to the top of my concerns again. Maybe the whole thing needs to turn into a veggie garden? Yet I understand that entails a whole lot of drilling for the water to drain – not an easy solution. So switching off is again a good idea, except when climate change cooks us up during the summer months. It also provides a cool eco bath during those months, which saves water.

Off goes the electric backup of my solar geyser. Why do we need this during summer months? How much power have I already wasted this season? So we learn …

Next mission is to go off the grid. Next week we launch our “How to Go Off the Grid” series. Various experts are sending stories to provide their expertise. If you would like to add your skills here, please write to

The aim is also to share links to experienced, approved and reliable service providers to make this transition as easy as possible. If you tick these boxes, and would like to join these stories, you could become a Green Buddy and partner with us. Write to

Remember we share more stories via facebook so do follow us there too. Be active, comment on and like our stories – every bit helps.

With love from
Elma and the team

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Achieving practical sustainable goals for South Africa


We have constantly been made aware of the dangers of climate change in recent years, as global temperatures continue to rise and natural disasters affect human settlement more frequently.

The world is our host – a call for climate justice


Climate change is a spiritual, moral, as well as scientific, economic and political issue, said a group of Anglican bishops on Good Friday during an urgent call for climate justice action at the Volmoed Conference and Retreat Centre outside Hermanus.

Rate of climate change to soar by 2020s


New research from a major national lab projects that the rate of climate change, which has risen sharply in recent decades, will soar by the 2020s.

Catholics announce petition campaign for climate action


The Global Catholic Climate Movement announced a unique petition campaign to provide an easy way for Catholics to act and voice their concerns, ahead of the United Nations COP21 climate summit at Paris in December.

WHO admits Monsanto’s glyphosate ‘probably’ causes cancer


The chemical industry’s stronghold over many of the world’s largest and most influential regulatory trendsetters appears to be waning.

WESSA project wins UN award for water commitment


A joint water project initiated by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) under the Chief Directorate Transformation and by WESSA Eco-Schools has won a United Nations-Water “Water for Life” Best Practices Award.

CO2 emissions stalled in 2014 despite economic growth


In what has been described as a real surprise by the International Energy Agency (IEA), annual global emissions of carbon dioxide experienced zero growth in 2014, even as the globe’s economy continued to grow.

New study predicts end of “false” global warming pause


Forget the so-called ‘pause’ in global warming – new research says we might be in for an era of deeply accelerated heating.

GM maize transgenes penetrate small farmers’ seed supplies


A first study of its kind has found that GM maize transgenes have penetrated the informal seed supplies of smallholder farmers in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.


TKAG warns of fracking ‘Trojan horse’


Reports that oil and gas multinational Shell is reviewing its plans for fracking outside the Americas could be a “Trojan horse”, the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) said on Tuesday.


War on dagga puts rural people at toxic risk


A weedkiller used on marijuana plants is said to pose a danger to the health of communities where subsistence farming is the mainstay.


Agribusiness seed grab shows little regard for African small farmers


A battle is currently being waged over Africa’s seed systems. After decades of neglect and weak investment in African agriculture, there is renewed interest in funding African agriculture.

UN Report: world faces 40% water shortfall by 2030


The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a U.N. report warned last week.

President Obama announces ambitious new climate target


President Obama has made a new commitment to curbing climate change: federal agencies must cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.

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