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.

Apartheid Continues In Access to Clean Air

Picture credit: Surrey Travel Anna Majavu - More platitudes can be expected this coming week when Parliament's portfolio committee on environmental affairs goes on a mission to find the facts about air quality in the highly polluted unfortunate Black, working class communities in the Vaal. Communities in the Vaal seem to be caught up in a ridiculous and perpetual charade whereby the ANC government fails to electrify their homes, then with that in mind, the coalmines dump their “below quality” coal next to the communities...

Diet's Effects on Emissions Give Food for Thought

Picture credit: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Tim Radford - The worldwide trend towards a Western-style diet rich in meat and dairy produce will lead to an 80% increase in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from agriculture. And since agriculture already accounts for 25% of all emissions, two US scientists argue in Nature journal that a shift away from the trend towards steak, sausage, fried potatoes and rich cream puddings offers tomorrow’s world three palpable rewards. Greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced. There would be...

On Going Vegan to Fight Climate Change

Picture credit: Affitnity Chris Hedges - My attitude toward becoming a vegan was similar to Augustine’s attitude toward becoming celibate—“God grant me abstinence, but not yet.” But with animal agriculture as the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, ocean dead zones and habitat destruction, and with the death spiral of the ecosystem ever more pronounced, becoming vegan is the most important and direct change we can immediately make to save the planet and its species. It is one that my...

Climate Change No Longer Linear

Picture credit: The Bloom Trigger Project Anna Majavu - Could humans become extinct within 40 years as a result of climate change? A body of evidence to support this theory is gaining ground. American climate scientist and professor emeritus Guy McPherson is one of a few climate scientists who believe that the governments and corporations of the world have no real intention of combating climate change, and that it will be up to communities to radically alter their lifestyles if we want some species, perhaps not including ourselves, to survive past...

Synthetic Biology: Artificial Life Threatens Nature and Society

Picture credit: Get ready for extreme genetic engineering in your ice cream cautions environmental NGO, Friends of the Earth U.S. Glenn Ashton - Synthetic food has long been the subject of speculative fiction, from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” where poor quality artificial food spawned dissent, to Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions” where food was manufactured from coal and petroleum because fossil fuels had trashed global ecosystems. Today fiction manifests as reality. If genetic modification (GM) of our food were not enough, biologists continue to push the boundaries of their...

World of Clean Energy 'Feasible' by Mid-Century

Picture credit: Reve Tim Radford - A global low-carbon energy economy is not only feasible, it could double electricity supply by 2050 while actually reducing air and water pollution, according to new research. Even though photovoltaic power requires up to 40 times more copper than conventional power plants, and wind power uses up to 14 times more iron, the world wins on a switch to low-carbon energy. These positive findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Edgar Hertwich and Thomas...