Your monthly green news round-up.
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Dear <<First Name>>

We conclude 2016 with a range of emotions – hope, despair, joy, trepidation. Amazing how humans are able to stagger a couple at the same time. Essential here is to feel, and to be, present.

Partly to blame, I think, for the state of the world is the old Norman Vincent Peal’s ‘Power of Positive Thinking,’ the book I still inherited from my mother. (Now on the turfing pile. Which means donate to someone else.) Making positivity the only desirable way to be taught us modern people to shove all non-positive emotions into a hidden chamber. Or cut them off completely. In duality thinking we split  ourselves in two. This good, that bad. Better not feel those. Unless you’re feeling great, of course.

Those with mind, eyes and heart wide open take in the information and allow it to change their lives from the inside out. Often people don’t like you to be honest and real – you lose some friends this way. They may call you ‘negative.’ But then isn’t it too late to be focused on being popular rather than voicing the truth? And filling in what corporate media still ignore.

This year also taught me other ways to lose friends. Like being poor (ala waiting for funding) – big no-no. Real people stayed in touch, some helped spontaneously. Thank you! The rest vanished. Very interesting. Only to promptly return when funding materialised. Yeah?

The other reaper of friends is ill health. Same thinning out process. I marvel at our addiction to positivity. As if your friends are there to help you maintain the illusion of happiness no-matter-what. If you’re not grieving for the world now, you are either not informed or not in your body.

Being real is the new spirituality. What the world needs now. We are in trouble and we cannot respond appropriately if we are attached to smiling and impressing friends.

When the commission on Human Rights of the Philippines launch the first ever national investigation of human rights violations by the fossil fuel industry then the world is finally becoming real. Yay! If 47 investor owned companies are finally going to be challenged on the impact of their business on the world, but especially vulnerable island nations, then I want to celebrate. So too when Stellenbosch farm workers get to share the carbon credit pay-outs on an organic farm. Or when a new rating tool is launched to help construct sustainable neighbourhoods. Bold steps in the right direction make the sacrifice worthwhile.

News is either true or not. Relevant or not to the greater good. Timeous or too late. I receive a press release from a company boasting about their new green corporate office. Of course green buildings are cool. But with emissions flying off the charts I find this a bit too late. Why are they still driving to work? How can we afford that? This is a tradition that I think must go.

Right now we should STOP all commuting altogether. How else can we solve multiple problems fast and in one foul sweep? Carbon emissions need to be stopped and fast. We ran a physical office for only one year. Then I realised it was nonsense.  We have technology, let’s get with it! Let’s start a #commutingmustgo campaign?

Radical times call for radical actions. Thank you for being on this journey with us – for caring, sharing and changing the old normal to something that takes the greater impact into account. See my Christmas message here. Have a super chilled time with your family and friends. Stay off the roads, out the shops and in nature. No better recipe for peace.

Enjoy the read
With love


Elma, Ruben and the rest of the team.

PS. Remember to check out exciting upcoming events on our calendar.

The new gift of Christmas

Over-spending, over-eating, over-drinking. It’s this über mentality that got us into trouble in the first place. And now it’s suddenly OK because it’s Christmas?

Green bank safeguarding the future

What is our green bank and valued partner up to in their quest to “futureproof society?”

Yet more secrets for nuclear power

Yet another secretive Section 34 Determination for nuclear power has been signed by the current Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson. This was revealed in Court during what was described as a “disquieting” twist of events by senior counsel for the State (Marius Oosthuizen SC) on Tuesday.

Stellies farm workers turn carbon credits into cash

How do carbon credits benefit workers on an organic farm and the environment?

Recycle and avoid an unEarthly hangover this festive season

The festive season is the perfect time to pay greater attention to the way we use the planet’s natural resources.

Green Star Communities Pilot Programme launched in SA

The tool is a framework that will drive the development of more sustainable neighbourhoods and precincts, ultimately making African cities more sustainable.

People’s hearing reveals much distress over proposed nuclear plans

What are the people’s concerns with our government’s planned nuclear deal? A People’s Hearing was held for affected communities and civil society to make their voices heard.

Using recycling to create jobs for the disabled

In honour of International Day of People with Disability, we paid a visit to the Orion Organisation who works to uplift disabled people in the Atlantis area.

Glass bottles and paper take-away bags ruin our beaches

Glass bottles and pieces and paper bags have taken over from PET bottles and bottle caps as macro pollutants on Cape beaches.

Australia must choose between coal and coral as Reef disaster looms

The Great Barrier Reef needs far more help than Australia claims in its latest reports to Unesco.

Are SA’s energy plans a threat to citizens’ human rights?

Following the Department of Energy’s presentation last month, SA civil society are more convinced than ever that our government’s approach to energy planning is an infringement of citizens’ human rights.

Fossil fuel divestment funds double to $5tn in a year

“It’s clear the transition to a clean energy future is inevitable, beneficial and well underway, and that investors have a key role to play,” said UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon.

Human rights investigation into climate change proceeds despite fossil fuel opposition

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) today initiated the next steps in the world’s first-ever national investigation into human rights harms resulting from climate change, despite apparent opposition from some fossil fuel companies.

Tanzania sets goal towards sustainable energy

Tanzanian government is adamant to fulfil Sustainable Development Goal number 7 – providing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

Cape Town to open Africa’s first electric bus factory

Cape Town’s dream of becoming the heart of Africa’s green economy got a boost last week with the announcement of an electric bus manufacturing plant that will create hundreds of jobs.

Morocco lights the way for Africa on renewable energy

As the host of this year’s COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco has been keen to demonstrate its green credentials and make this COP the “African COP”.

The company that wants to recycle everything

Recycling cigarette butts, tampons and toothbrushes is likely an already impossible demand for most traditional waste management companies.

UCT excels in environmental innovation at second Greenovate Awards

Young environmental visionaries from the University of Cape Town took first place in the Growthpoint Greenovate Awards for the second year running.

SA water sector a case study in state capture

A lot of what is being presented as radical economic transformation initiatives in South Africa is simply state capture by a corrupt elite, as is clearly evident in the water sector.

SA’s young eco-warrior makes it to Brisbane to claim Steve Irwin Award

Hunter Mitchell of Cape Town is passionate about SA’s wildlife. So much so that he was named ‘Visionary Wildlife Warrior for 2016’ by the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors founded by Steve and Terri Irwin in Brisbane.

Fireworks & revelry erupts at Dakota Pipeline protest camp

Scores of bundled-up protesters cheered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for refusing to grant an easement request for the Dakota Access Pipeline last week.

Lobby group for electric cars launched in SA

A consortium aimed at accelerating the development of electric cars and meeting government’s commitments to reduce emissions‚ was launched in Joburg last month.

Giant rats are being trained to combat pangolin poaching in Africa

Africa’s giant rats have been trained to sniff out landmines and detect tuberculosis in humans, and soon they could turn their superior noses to protecting threatened wildlife.
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