Being Green

Fine Music Radio  |  Podcast, ±6 min episodes every 1 week
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY GERLINDE MOSER OF RE/MAX. Being Green – Your window on the environment broadcast every Friday morning at 7.30. John Richards focuses on key issues affecting our lifestyles, science and research outcomes, the quest for sustainable living and a healthier planet.
21
APR
John Richards talked to FELIX PHILIPP about energy resources for communities ‘at the base of the pyramid’, those informal settlement and township dwellers who have a great need for fuel for cooking and living, and electricity, but who often end up paying far more than mainstream consumers. Felix is project manager for IMPACT AMPLIFIER. He is expert in innovation and shared value creation for entrepreneurs from low-income communities. They are building models for developing and using renewable energy resources in a way to benefit grass-roots communities, and supporting start-ups with innovative projects who could benefit from management experts. Felix will be speaking at the forthcoming Energy Revolution Africa conference in May.
14
APR
Fracking hasn’t been in the headlines much recently, but it’s not going to go away. The current state of play is that a limited number of licenses for exploration are going to be issued for the designated region in the Karoo to three entities – 3 to Shell, and one each to Falcon and Bundu. One of the reasons for the slow progress on fracking is the oil price, which has kept at a low level for most of this year and last, and the economic attractions of fracking are just not that great. But inevitably the oil price is going to fluctuate and probably trend upwards; and as for our economy- well let’s not go there.
07
APR
Do One Thing - D –O-- T – Dot. That’s the challenge thrown out from the Cape-to-Rio rowing pair of Braam Malherbe and Wayne Robertson. Do One Thing for the environment. Well, they’re doing one huge thing by rowing across the South Atlantic in their 6.8 metre craft, the Mhondoro, that’s Shona for Young Lion. So how’re they doing? You can check it out on the DOT website, as I am now. ( ) Well, they are doing great on that lonely voyage in the immensity of the ocean. You can read about the privations, the challenges, physical and psychological – beyond anything we can imagine I’m sure.
31
MAR
Over 2 billion PET plastic bottles were recycled in South Africa last year. Plastic bottle recycled tonnage in SA has grown by over 800% since 2005. PETCO* has announced their 2016 recycling figures. These indicate that the annual PET recycling rate has grown from 52% of post-consumer bottle PET in 2015, to 55% in 2016, exceeding their expected target. PETCO recycled an additional 22% of post-consumer bottles in comparison to the previous year, with the total PET market growing by 14.8% to 241 269 tonnes. 2 billion PET bottles were collected for recycling across South Africa during the course of 2016, creating some 62 000 income opportunities for small and micro-collectors, and changing their lives and those of their families in immeasurable ways.
24
MAR
Climate change won’t go away, despite many, including the champion of fossil fuels Donald Trump, wishing it would. Climate science is really very advanced today, and I often hear remarks from those who should know better decrying or putting down the findings. Nothing like ignoring uncomfortable news – but hey, we all do it. Some very interesting research has come to light regarding the history of glaciers on sub-antarctic islands. South Africa is the proud owner of two of them, Marion Island and Prince Edward Island. British Antarctic Survey scientists have been doing major oceanographic research around South Georgia, a beautiful mountainous island with snow-covered peaks and glaciers.
17
MAR
The energy debate simmers on, and has been relatively quiet for a while, but don’t be lulled into a sense of false security. At the moment we’re in a holding pattern, with the decision on Nuclear new-build programs in the pending tray. The Government has passed the hot potato on to Eskom, or have they? Does para-statal Eskom have the autonomy to call for tenders? There are court decisions to come.
10
MAR
If you’re wondering why there are so many recreational cyclists out on the roads in colourful outfits on sporty racing bikes or chunky mountain bikes – well, you’re probably from another planet. Yes, the 40th Cape Town Cycle Tour is dominating the scene this weekend and this is just a reminder to be mindful of the many adaptations that you may be involved in if you want to do anything approaching normal on Sunday. Or you could just join the throng along the route and enter into the spirit of the thing.
03
MAR
The Chameleon Survey – and the Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area John Richards talked to Ismail Wambi, a senior Field Conservation Officer for the KRCA, about the unique conservation status of the 52-hectare area and its vital role in conserving the few remaining natural sites in the urbanized Cape Peninsula region.
Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area
24
FEB
Humankind has benefited immensely from the natural abundance of biodiversity in the world. And evolved and adapted through technology to the point where we now control the environment, or think we do. No other species has changed and transformed nature – we call it agriculture and industrialization. And now we face some consequences, like water scarcity close to home here – and the looming crisis of climate change and our controversial contribution to it, world wide. But will we be able to overcome yet another challenge, by doing what we’ve always done – engineering? For instance, billions of tonnes of carbon are tied up in the carbonate sediments in the oceans. Limestone it takes thousands or millions of years to trap and transform carbon in the rocks – but hey, why not imitate nature? It’s worked before.
17
FEB
The political season is in full swing, and we will all soon be wishing fervently for a little relief from politicians’ antics and expostulations. But bear with me for this one edition of B-G – it is something we should be concerned about, because it’s about health, our health and more importantly, the health of our children and grandchildren.
10
FEB
"Army Worms on the March in Limpopo – and a Rhinoceros In Norfolk". In this nervous time of environmental uncertainty let me add one more thing to worry about. Don’t take your eyes off the water crisis in the West of the country, but do be aware of the fall army worm.
www.fossilpark.org.za
03
FEB
Emphasis on personal responsibility for managing your own ecological footprint and keeping it to the absolute minimum - some tips and ideas from ROBYN SMITH, founder of FAITHFUL TO NATURE, an online supply enterprise committed to providing ethically endorsed organic products, with every product sourced and checked for credible labelling and product claims, and minimising of packaging and other waste. www.faithful-to-nature.co.za