Environment

Over the rainbow – voices from the margins of South Africa

Why poverty? In a country where only 8% of the total national income is shared by 50% of the population the problem of inequality persists 20 years into our new democracy. While a quarter of all South Africans live on $1.82 a day the top 20% (10 million people) enjoy 75% of the national income….

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Voices from Kagiso: Community says Mintails’ suspension is a smokescreen

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu has suspended Australian mining company Mintails’ operations in Kagiso on the west rand after community members embarked on protests citing serious environmental, safety and health violations and structural damage to their houses as a result of the mine’s operations in close proximity to their homes. Media for Justice reports that…

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The intergenerational injustice of climate change

Scientists are getting more radical about climate change and its consequences for our descendants. In a recent edition of the New York Times, Dr Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University draws attention to the fact that the time is past when scientists could, with a good conscience, refuse to go further than state their considered…

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The day after the day before tomorrow

“If scientists were predicting the imminent return of the ice age I’m certain our response would have been more robust. ‘Global warming’ creates an illusion of a comfortable, warm future that is deeply appealing … ” The Weather Makers – The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery (Allen Lane, Penguin, 2005)…

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‘The Road’ and the disappearance of nature

Reading a short article about the reasons for the meat and dairy industry being unsustainable, and watching David Attenborough’s documentary, Madagascar (with its visual feast of beautiful, but ecologically endangered creatures in Madagascar’s forests), from the corner of my eye, reminded me of Cormack McCarthy’s novel, The Road, made into a riveting film by John…

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Me and Melissa Bachman

I have been thinking about lions a lot lately. Partly this is because of Melissa Bachman, and partly because I happen to be painting them at the moment, for my feminist wildlife art project. Lions are not afraid of the dark, and I envy them for it. I met a lion called Sunshine once. It…

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Want to help lions? For real?

Before I kick-off with this, let me state upfront so nobody can miss it: lion breeding in South Africa should be banned. The hunting of lions is clearly out of sync with middle class, Western public sentiment, and increasing their numbers merely exacerbates the problem. Breeding big cats for the gun is something that will…

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Ms Joburg 2013′s most ardent wish

I claim I love Johannesburg more than anyone else on the planet. I was born here. I eat these streets. I declare myself Ms Joburg 2013 — for today (you can have it tomorrow) — and here, for my inaugural address, is my ardent wish for our town: On orders from the executive mayor of…

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Lion hunts and other things we don’t like

All of us have that button. That thing that makes us see red, the thing we hate, which if we were in charge we’d ban immediately. In the past, people in power have been deeply offended by the notion that anyone who wasn’t white and male could have the vote. That gay couples could marry….

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COP19 – the cathedral and the bazaar

The people in suits want to talk and nothing will stop them from listening to the sound of their own voices. COP19, the global climate-change meeting, might seem far away in Warsaw, Poland, this week but like a massive weather system migrating the globe its impact will be felt in Africa for sure. Africa knows…

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