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September 2017

Welcome to our latest news sweep. Please find more events and stories on our website, and support our work here.

Death and devastation in Puerto Rico after worst storm in 80 years

After hours of hurricane-force winds and torrential rain, Puerto Ricans emerged from shelters to find that their island was still under threat from landslides, flash floods and crippled water and electricity systems.

‘SA must work towards making renewable energy main source of power’

Two international anti-nuclear activists visited Durban on Saturday to educate the community on the harmful effects of nuclear energy.

Still no room for complacency when it comes to climate change

In June Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate chief who helped broker the Paris agreement in 2015, warned that the world has “three years to safeguard our climate”.

Plans afoot to save critically endangered KZN frogs

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is working hard to protect the last remaining locations in which the endangered Pickersgill’s Reed Frog (Hyperolius pickersgilli) can be found.

The time has come for The Big Shift

Recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the United States and devastating floods across South Asia are a stark reminder of the horrors that climate change will unleash if left unchecked.

Coastal clean-up initiative sees record number of participants

The Western Cape province in general and the City of Cape Town in particular are facing an unprecedented water crisis.

Why empowering women is the best way to solve climate change

In April of this year, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading: over 410 parts per million (ppm).

WESSA celebrates environmental achievements with annual awards

WESSA has paid tribute to a wide range of outstanding environmental achievements with the presentation of the organisation’s 2017 Annual Awards.

Fun runners clean Joburg, one plastic bottle at a time

A group of just over 180 proud residents took to the streets of Joburg on Sunday, 17 September 2017 as part of a ‘Joburg City Clean-Up’ in the prelude to the 2nd annual FNB Joburg 10K City Run.

Save Langebaan Lagoon from a potential aquaculture disaster

This international RAMSAR site and tourist hot spot is now under threat of ecological degradation amid plans to develop an extensive offshore aquaculture zone.

Raw sewage bubbling up in hurricane-battered Florida

First Hurricane Irma blew through. Then the electricity went out. Pretty soon, 2000 gallons of raw sewage was spilling onto a quiet residential street in Edgewater, a town south of Daytona Beach.

Engineering study dispels myths on limits to renewables in SA

A serious engineering study and report has dispelled the myths peddled by former Eskom CEOs Brian Molefe and Matshela Koko on the limits and costs of increased renewable energy capacity in the South African power grid.

From Paris to Houston, climate change is an undeniable truth

The climate change conversation has matured significantly over the past decade, but have alleviation efforts grown fast enough to match the progression of the phenomena itself?

Vietnam’s poorest worst hit by Typhoon Doksuri

Six people lost their lives last week when Typhoon Doksuri, their most powerful storm in a decade, smashed into central Vietnam.

Typhoon Talim bringing wind and floods to China and Taiwan

A strengthening tropical system has its eyes set on Taiwan and eastern China.

3 Dead as Hurricane Irma batters Florida coast

Hurricane Irma bore down on southern Florida on Sunday with 130 mile-per-hour (210 kph) winds, flooding Miami streets and knocking out power to more than 1.6 million homes and businesses.

Only 23% of SA toddlers eat a proper diet

The latest major health survey from Stats SA reveals that only 23 percent of South African toddlers are fed a diet considered to be adequate in terms of child nutrition.

Hurricane victims should be Trump’s wake-up call on climate change

Leaders of virtually every country who signed the COP21 climate agreement are expected to return to Paris in December – except Donald Trump. His absence is particularly alarming as America becomes the target of two of history’s most vicious back-to-back hurricanes.

Global economy transition needed to avert catastrophic climate change

The world's economy must urgently transition away from business as usual to avert catastrophic climate change, writes Christine Reddell of the Centre for Environmental Rights.

Let’s Do It! coastal clean-up initiative comes to Africa

Covering nearly 1,500 kilometres of the South African coastline, the inaugural ‘Big Clean-up’ delivered a wave of change to our shores earlier this month.

British company still exporting dangerous lead in petrol

A British company made millions this year selling a dangerous chemical linked to brain damage and premature death to a developing country, despite repeatedly stating it would stop.

Ghana environmentalists demand long-overdue forest protection

Ghana Environmentalists are demanding that government immediately approves the more than five-year-old Timber Procurement Policy aimed at helping save the country’s forests.

Nightmarish scenes in Houston: a global warning

The horrific damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey was an almost entirely man-made catastrophe, one fingerprinted by all-too-human neglect, corruption and denial.

Tourists could run drought-crippled Knysna dry

With no proper rain in sight, authorities in Knysna are worried about the added pressure holidaymakers could put on the town’s limited water supply.

Strongest ever Atlantic storm causes ‘major damage’ in Caribbean

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has destroyed buildings and caused major flooding on several Caribbean islands.

How climate change will affect our favourite foods

As our climate continues to change, what we eat, where our food is grown, and how much we pay will certainly be affected. Let’s take a look at these threatened foods and the social and environmental impacts that surround them.

Brazil rejects oil company’s ‘Amazon Reef’ drilling bid

Brazil’s environmental regulator Ibama has rejected Total SA’s environmental study on drilling in the Foz do Amazonas basin.

Power Purchase Agreements will be signed in October says energy minister

According to Minister of Energy Mmamoloko Kubayi, Eskom will finally sign the Power Purchase Agreements in October.

1,200 dead from monsoon rains in Bangladesh, India and Nepal

A month of severe monsoon rains, which peaked earlier this week, resulted in the deaths of at least 1, 200 people across India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and left two thirds of Bangladesh underwater.

Disaster relief money starts flowing into Western Cape

The Western Cape government has received the first tranche of the money it needs to cope with the devastating drought and fires in the province, Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen said on Tuesday.

Plans to save Africa’s polluted coastlines

The oceans have become the world’s biggest rubbish dump – and Africa’s coastlines are under siege. It is now the world’s second most polluted continent.
With love from Elma and the team.

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