December 2009

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South Africa's Muted Response to the Global Crisis

Picture: Project H Design Leonard Gentle - People the world over are facing an economic crisis unseen since the Great Depression of the 1930's. Despite the talk of "green shoots" and the emergence of the United States of America (US), Germany, France and others from recession, this "recovery" (if one can all it that), is extremely fragile. Witness the scare of Dubai World defaulting, and at some stage the costs of some US$14 trillion dollars will have to be carried somewhere. The long wave of decline in capitalist...

Naomi Klein and Martin Khor on the Growing North-South Divide in Copenhagen over Kyoto, Climate Debt and Emission Targets

The secret draft climate agreement leaked to The Guardian newspaper yesterday sets unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050. This means that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much as those in poor countries. The document also proposes a $10 billion a year fund to help developing nations cut emissions and tackle the effects of climate change. But the fund is far smaller than what many delegates say is...

South Africa's 'Other' Epidemic

Picture: I am Kat Dale T. McKinley - It has been ten years since the South African government held its first annual '16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women' (and children) campaign. While the campaign has, no doubt, achieved a degree of success in relation to raising awareness, this has clearly not translated into much positive, practical impact.  Despite all the good intentions, fine rhetoric, myriad events and work done, the intervening decade has seen a precipitous rise in the overall levels of violence...

Stayin Alive in Joburg

'Stayin Alive in Joburg' is a gritty take on inner-city life in Johannesburg. It examines the changing landscape of South Africa's biggest post-apartheid city, providing an eye opening account of the trials and tribulations of Johannesburg's poorest inhabitants engaged in a daily struggle for survival, as they get overlooked by authorities and development agencies fixated on elite projects, including, but not limited to the 2010 soccer world cup. The film is informative, exposing a...

Green Jobs and the Miracle Deferred

Picture: Fazila Farouk Saliem Fakir - The mention of green jobs salivates the eager tongues of politicians seeking quick answers for dismal economic prospects. Green jobs have become the new panacea for joblessness and a ‘pathway out of poverty’. Statistics dazzle and sometimes flail the timid heart. Countries that have used the recession to kick-start a new industrial opportunity have seized on the idea of the green sector as a strategic choice. It has also helped them save jobs given the rapidity with which other...

The Story of Cap & Trade

The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host, Annie Leonard, introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the "devils in the details" in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from whats really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you've heard about Cap & Trade,...