Being Green — John Richards
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.
DON TOOTH, C E O of the VERGELEGEN Wine Estate talks about the science projects and conservation initiatives on this historical and modern-day working farm on the banks of the Lourens River. Four PhD’s have been produced based on field work in the Estate, and there are numerous partnerships with local and overseas universities and research institutes. Projects include wildfire mitigation measures and sustainability studies of the riverine and wetland environments, monitoring and good practice management of the vineyards www.vergelegen.co.za
BIOMIMICRY and Water - Claire Janisch, eco-systems engineer, founder member of Biomimicry SA, and a partner in For Love of Water, explained the principle of biomimicry in designing systems to reproduce natural processes and harness the complex efficiency of nature. With particular reference to water treatment, but it could apply to any utility action, energy conversion, or agricultural technique. She is presenting a keynote address on water at Africa Utility Week. www.flow.org.za www.biomimicrysa.co.za
AFRICAN UTILITY WEEK - the continental showcase for the utility sector in Africa - Energy and Water. John Richards talked to EVAN SCHIFF, event director, on the challenges and exciting innovations in utility management and governance that will be highlighted in Africa’s biggest industry conference and exposition. At the Cape Town International Conference Centre, 16 - 18 May. www.african-utility-week.com
Developments in the Nuclear Power Saga – and the DOT Challenge What with the Freedom Day holiday yesterday and other distractions, the ruling of the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday didn’t get the spotlight it deserved. So a recap here – the Court was approached by Earthlife Africa and SA Faith Communities’ Environment Institute to rule on a government decision to buy nuclear power stations – up to eight.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.