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Dear *|NAME|*

In the Cape we are experiencing serious wake-up calls in the form of fires all over the place. People talk about arson and accuse each other. This is a recipe for escalating violence, which is not going to be helpful. We don’t want to divide ourselves even more, we need to unite around our joint survival needs.  

I wonder why we miss the elephant in the room? Against my background it is all too obvious that climate plays an important role here. Crises like these present what is called ‘teachable moments.’ But are the students ready to learn? What is it going to take? Read my story about that here.

Energy issues persist. Next week our series on getting off the grid starts. "How to …." is the question on readers’ lips. Then always back to water. Already 37% of our water is getting lost due to infrastructural problems. What are we going to do about that?

“The good news is that pressure is growing. In fact, that relentless climate movement is starting to win big, unprecedented victories around the world, victories which are quickly reshaping the consensus view – including among investors – about how fast a clean energy future could come. It’s a movement grounded in the streets and reaching for the photovoltaic rooftops, and its thinking can be easily summarised in a mantra: Fossil freeze. Solar thaw. Keep it in the ground.” Bill McKibben

Yet victory is far from assured. We need to mobilize much bigger action – knit together our inspiration and craft powerful collaborations. In discussing the escalating fires, UN Chief Christiana Figueres said  what we need is “vigorous action” to avoid “doom and gloom.”

Join our Green Buddies programme and let’s work together. Read, be inspired and please pay this forward.

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With love from
Elma and the team

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Are we learning from the fires?


As the fire from Stellenbosch jumps across the Helderberg mountains and spreads down onto the Lourensford estate, Somerset West, everyone’s talking arson. That might be one of the reasons, though I think there is an obvious contributor that is conveniently left out of the discussion: climate change.


5 most shocking things people flush down the toilet


You may think no-one knows what you do in a bathroom behind closed doors, but the men and women working at the Department of Water and Sanitation definitely do.


Creating a vibrant and viable future for all


One response to the doom and gloom of modern life is pure denial and a continuance of the status quo. But there is another response, which is the impetus to take positive action in small steps on a daily basis.


Bad infrastructure maintenance contributes to water crisis


Failure to replace and upgrade our country’s water infrastructure poses a severe risk to both the quality and quantity of the country’s water supplies.

Visionary new African network for green women leaders launched


The newly established African Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment will lead the development of an AMCEN policy on gender and the environment.

Climate fight won’t wait for Paris


Relentless climate movements have shifted the advantage towards fossil fuel resistance for the first time in 25 years. But triumph is not certain – we must not rest till the industry is forced to keep the carbon in the ground.

Nominations sought for rhino conservation heroes


Since 2012 the annual Rhino Conservation Awards have served to recognise the remarkable individuals and organisations that protect Africa’s rhino population.


US government fraud over GMOs exposed in new book


American public interest attorney Steven Druker reveals how the US government and leading scientific institutions have systematically misrepresented the facts about GMOs and the scientific research that casts doubt on their safety.


Get recycling to make a difference in your community


Are you helping to improve the appearance of your community? Every little bit helps – each of us can make a contribution to looking after the environment by recycling packaging materials and other items.


Respected firefighter dies in Cape Point helicopter crash


Condolences have been pouring in for former South African Air Force (SAAF) pilot Willem “Bees” Marais, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday while battling the Cape Point fire.

Positive progress in environmental management of mines


We can’t properly manage the environmental impact of mines if there isn’t one management system that regulates all the licenses, authorizations, financial requirements and environmental impact assessments.

Coming together to save one of Earth’s largest mammals


Rhinoceros and their ancestors have been around for nearly 55 million years and, at one time or another, nearly 100 different species of these incredible creatures have roamed the planet. Now, only five species remain — white, black, greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran — and three of those are critically endangered.


Mining imminent in West Coast’s biosphere reserve?


It is hard to imagine “Putting nature first” as the slogan of a mining company. It’s a bold statement to make when it plans to strip-mine phosphate in an environmentally sensitive and internationally significant area.


Time to combat marine debris at 2nd summit


The growing amount of litter found in oceans around the Africa, the lack of understanding about ways of combatting marine debris, and the need for a unified plan to tackle the problem on the continent will be high on the agenda at the Second African Marine Debris Summit, taking place from 3-5 June 2015 in Cape Town.


Can Bt maize improve South African smallholder agriculture?


There is intense debate about the role of genetically modified (GM) food crops in combatting low yields and food insecurity amongst smallholders in Africa.


Film fest goes nationwide to bring awareness about eco issues


The South African Eco Film Festival (SAEFF) will bring the world’s best documentary films with environmental themes to South African audiences from the 26th of March to the 2nd of April.

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