Environment

SACSIS is concerned about the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the lives of the poor. The poor carry a disproportionate burden as result of environmental injustice. SACSIS supports the ethical, balanced and responsible use of land and renewable resources.

Shale Gas Fracking in South Africa: Will the Costs be Socialised and the Benefits Privatised?

Picture credit: Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei asks, "What the Frack?" courtesy foodandwaterwatch.org Saliem Fakir - The local hype over shale gas continues as the ANC’s National Executive Committee recently announced that shale gas is a “game-changer” and must be exploited for the benefit of the country. How much gas there truly is below the Karoo’s surface is anybody’s guess. The original U.S. estimate of the South African resource was put at 480 trillion cubic feet (TCF). Separate resource estimates by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa and the Geological Sciences...

Facing Down the Apocalypse: A Plea for Sanity and Change

Picture credit: Joost J. Bakker/Wikimedia Commons Glenn Ashton - There really is no easy way to put this, so I will be blunt: If we fail to clean up our act, post haste, the world as we know it is doomed. We need to place our political, social and economic institutions on the equivalent of a war footing to fight for the survival of the natural systems that support us. Should we fail, the lives of our children will not only be radically different, they will almost certainly involve a constant struggle for survival. Sure, life on earth will carry on...

Tutu: Climate Crisis Demands 'Anti-Apartheid-Style Boycott' of Fossil Fuel Industry

Picture credit: Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu courtesy Welsh Government/Llywodraeth Cymru/flickr Jon Queally - Archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu is saying there is no longer any excuse for not doing everything humanly possible to fight climate change and called on Thursday for an international "anti-apartheid-style boycott" against the fossil fuel industry. In a striking essay and call to action in The Guardian newspaper, Tutu writes: "People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate...

Toward a More Resilient South African Energy System

Picture credit: Magick River Glenn Ashton - South Africa is supposed to be a developmental state yet the intentions that inform our national energy policy are at odds with the lived reality of most citizens. President Zuma’s 2011 promise to deliver electricity to every home in the country by 2014 will not be met. More importantly, despite free electricity allowances, many of those connected to the grid find this power unaffordable. South Africa’s approach to electrical power supply remains monolithic and inflexible....

Legislative Jigsaw Puzzle Undermines Rights of Communities Affected by Mining Pollution

Picture credit: Discharge of untreated acid mine water in the West Rand courtesy John Wesson/Centre for Environmental Rights. Gillian Schutte - Brown issues, in environmental jargon, refer to the environmental impact of pollution on communities living in the ambit of big industry. This is the very issue that has been highlighted by the recent Kagiso Extension 1 community uprising against the Mintails gold mining operation on the West Rand of Gauteng. Mintails, an Australian owned company, has been practicing opencast mining and blasting only 100 meters from people’s homes in Kagiso, which, the community say, has resulted in...

Our Agricultural System is Destroying the Earth and Our Health

Picture credit: Agribusiness courtesty blogs.uww.edu Glenn Ashton - Over the course of the past century our food supply has shifted from local to global. Most food our grandparents ate was grown regionally, often by neighbourhood farmers. Today our food comes from across the world. More importantly, it is often produced in highly destructive ways, at the lowest possible cost. Consequently our food production system is responsible for accelerating the rate of destruction of the very ecosystems we are reliant upon in order to maintain our delicate global...