Some of us are fascinated by science, some find it boring. It is obvious that simply publishing unfolding science is not going to break through to those who veer away from such information immediately. This is the dilemma of climate communicators.
This month more people of influence used their platforms to alert their followers to their responsibility towards the environment.
Faith leaders are addressing the moral dilemma that climate change presents.
“As citizens motivated by faith and other moral traditions, we recognize that there is a grave obligation to act on climate change.” So said Bishop Tutu, to whom we send our best healing wishes, this month.
Islamic leaders have also spoken up and issued a clarion call to 1.6bn Muslims around the world to work towards phasing out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a 100% renewable energy strategy.
“By recognising the interconnectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth.” This from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Now is indeed a time when we need all sectors to speak in unison. Some prefer to listen to celebrities. Arnold Schwarzenegger was chosen by the French government to join Nobel prize winners, philosophers, UN secretary generals, spiritual leaders and theologians to make the moral case for the world to act urgently on climate change.
“I’ve starred in a lot of science fiction movies and, let me tell you something, climate change is not science fiction, this is a battle in the real world, it is impacting us right now,” he said.
The president of Kiribati, one of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries, has written to fellow world leaders asking them to support a global moratorium on new coal mines.
“Humanity could confront a sea level rise of several meters before the end of the century, unless greenhouse gas emissions are slashed much faster than currently contemplated,” said James Hansen, the former NASA scientist whose congressional testimony put global warming on the world’s agenda a quarter-century ago. To date the “climate seer’s” predictions have all come true.
Meanwhile four continents around the world are experiencing historic droughts affecting millions of people. In southern Africa a toxic mix of erratic rains, abnormally high temperatures and floods have wreaked havoc on farming, writing off the bulk of this year’s crop. An estimated 27.4-million people out of the region’s combined population of 292-million — or nearly one in 10 people — will be depending on food hand-outs by the end of the year.
And a devastating drought in key agricultural provinces of South Africa has left farms in ruin and affected crop production, leading to fears of an imminent hike in food prices and inflation.
This whilst we’re gearing up to make a strong case for change at the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December. WWF South Africa is concerned by the vague and defensive position taken by the SA government in its latest climate change statement of intent (its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution – INDC) to the 21st United Nations climate change negotiations conference. But workshops are underway to refine our country’s position and we will be keeping you up to date.
There is good news too, always. Enjoy the read and please BE the change yourself.
Elma and the team
PS. Remember to check out the green events on our calendar and lots more news on our Facebook timeline.
A climate-induced change of male dragons into females occurring in the wild has been confirmed for the first time, according to University of Canberra research recently published on the cover of international journal Nature.
Scientists are only beginning to investigate how certain chemicals may contribute to cancer development. But given that we live in a sea of chemicals, it makes sense to begin reducing exposure to those that have been found to disrupt cancer-related pathways — known as cancer hallmarks.
Cecil the Zimbabwean lion has gained more worldwide prominence in death than it ever did during its lifetime. Not since Simba of “The Lion King” fame has another lion captured the world’s imagination in this way.
The launch of the 2015 Schools Recycling Competition was greeted with excitement by all concerned. The competition forms part of a project that focuses on raising awareness and encouraging learners to collect recyclable waste in the Middelburg, Mpumalanga area.
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s leading spiritual teachers, is a man at great peace even as he predicts the possible collapse of civilisation within 100 years as a result of runaway climate change.
The mustard hue of the Animas River in Colorado – the most visible effect of a mistake by the Environmental Protection Agency that dumped millions of gallons of pollutants into the water – is striking.
Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, at considerable environmental cost. There will no doubt be many surprises during the Games, but we already know there will be a substantial environmental toll to relocating in Beijing.