Cap and Share in South Africa – A plan for cutting carbon emissions and reducing economic inequality

Fresh off the wires from Jozi:

How do we cut the emissions from burning coal, oil and gas that are destabilising our global climate system at alarming speed – while at the same time reducing economic inequality? There is a way – it’s a plan called ‘cap and share’, a version of which has already been mooted in the US Senate. Cap and Share has been described as ‘fair, simple, practical, effective, cheap, easy and empowering… not a tax – it puts us in charge, and it protects the poor’.

Economist Jeremy Wakeford will explain Cap and Share and how it might work in South Africa:

Saturday 23 October, at 10am: Cape Town Central Library (.ics. calendar appointment attached – click to add to your calendar)

Park on Grand Parade: or walk, bike, use public transport! The library is next to the City Hall.

Read more about Cap and Share at http://www.capandshare.org.

For interviews on Cap and Share, please contact Jeremy Wakeford on 079 018 9876.

For other info and more about the Sustainability Action Movement, contact David at david@sustainactmove.org or 0845 22 0968.

Presented by the Sustainability Action Movement, Association for the Study of Peak Oil and South African New Economics Network.

More about Cap and Share

The Sustainability Action Movement (SAM) seeks a just and truly sustainable future for all South Africans. Inspired by the Freedom Charter and Earth Charter, we are working for a society, economy and environment in which all can live a decent life. SAM works to build public understanding of the oneness of our social, economic and environmental crises, and to promote integrated solutions to these problems.

The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) is an international coalition of concerned people focussed on the supply of fossil fuels and the environmental, economic and societal issues that derive from this. The term “Peak Oil” refers to the maximum rate of production of oil in any area [and globally] recognising that it is a finite natural resource subject to depletion. ASPO South Africa is a Section 21 company that has been formed to work in partnership with international groups to raise awareness of these issues but to focus particularly on aspects that are unique and important to South Africans.

The South African New Economics Network (SANE) is a network of organisations and individuals developing new economic and financial models designed to promote poverty alleviation, community self-reliance, civic redevelopment, ecological sustainability, social equity, and economic justice for all South Africans.

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2010 Carbon Footprint

How big an ecological and carbon impact does a world cup sized event have on a country?

A recent article published in the Guardian suggests that the South African 2010 World Cup event will have an impact 8 times bigger than that of the one hosted by Germany in 2006.

A feasibility study conducted by analysts at Swedish group Econ Pöyry found  that “Africa’s first football World Cup will generate 2.75m tonnes of carbon emissions, one of the biggest environmental impacts of any sporting event in history.” And that’s before the impact of international long haul flights have been taken into account.

That’s not cool at all. Our geography is partially to blame – we’re big and visitors will need to travel far between games – but our transport systems aren’t very energy efficient:

The report said carbon offset programmes to counter the World Cup’s impact would cost between $5.4m and $9m (£3.3m to £5.4m).

It called for the early implementation of carbon offset programmes from football’s governing body, Fifa, the local organising committee and the South African government. These should be visible during the event to “maximise the contribution to public awareness”.

How will you be curbing your own carbon footprint during this time while still maintaining gees? I’d say travelling with full cars and walking where you can is a good start.


Documentary about climate change and the world’s oceans to be shown in Cape Town

Imagine a world without fish.

It’s a frightening premise and it’s happening right now. The threats of climate change are on everyone’s lips, but have you heard about the other shocking effects of steadily rising carbon dioxide levels? Ocean acidification is something that is threatening the oceans and life as we know it, yet alarmingly, this is an issue that few of us have even heard about! ‘

A Sea Change’ follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. Sven becomes obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans and what this “sea change” bodes for humanity. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington and Norway as he uncovers a worldwide crisis that most people are unaware of. Speaking with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists and artists, Sven discovers that global warming is only half the story of the environmental catastrophe that awaits us.

Excess carbon dioxide is dissolving in our oceans, changing sea water chemistry. The more acidic water makes it difficult for tiny creatures at the bottom of the food web to form their shells. The effects could work their way up to the fish one billion people depend upon for their source of protein. A Sea Change is a touching portrait of Sven’s relationship with his grandchild Elias.

As Sven keeps a correspondence with the little boy, he mulls over the world that he is leaving for future generations. A disturbing and essential companion piece to An Inconvenient Truth, A Sea Change brings home the indisputable fact that our lifestyle is changing the earth, despite our rhetoric and wishful thinking. A Sea Change is the first documentary about ocean acidification. Chock full of scientific information, the feature-length film is also a beautiful paen to the ocean world.

For more information consult the official website: http://www.aseachange.net The screenings will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion. These will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 24 January at 8.15pm, on Monday 25 January at 6:15pm and on Tuesday 26 January at 6:15pm. Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. This event is presented by the Labia, the Sustainable Seas Trust and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.

Issued by Mediaweb

Blog Action Day – join the movement to make a difference

Blog Action Day has partnered with Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and will this year be lobbying US President and controversial Nobel Peace Prize recipient Barak Obama to show vital leadership by introducing and fast-tracking the implementation of clean energy policies in the States. As one of the primary global carbon culprits, a deal at Copenhagen that doesn’t get the US’s buy-in will be stillborn.

You have a blog – now use it for good! Also take action by signing a petition telling the US it’s time to act on climate change here.

Get involved in local energy saving initiatives

Don’t forget to sign the National Energy Efficiency Campaign for South Africa’s  pledge to save energy – the site also give you tools and information for getting involved in local energy saving and carbon offsetting initiatives.

Denial: It’s becoming a warm place

We’re entering an era of consequences; opportunities to forge a global commitment to fight climate change must be seized.

In December 2009 world leaders will meet in Copenhagen with a view to come up with a solution to climate change. Its success will be measured by whether China and the USA come to the table and agree to reduce their carbon emissions. It cannot be another Kyoto; the planet is is running out of time.

The question is what you’re doing to keep this issue on the public agenda.

Earth Hour – do your bit; switch off on Saturday

Sign up and join Earth Hour for the global switch-off this Saturday night! Visit www.earthhour.org to joint the movement and switch off all your domestic appliances for one hour of darkness – also be sure make sure the light are off at work before you leave on Friday!

The V&A’s also hosting an Earth Hour Concert in the Dark; the Cape Philharmonic and marimba group Ethnic Rhythm will be performing in support of this worth cause.

Get in there! 🙂

Changing weather patterns in SA

If you live in Cape Town, you’ve noticed it: Summer came late, and it came hot as hell.

I’ve noticed a trend regarding global warming and environmental sustainability, (and if you were to check when last this blog was updated, you’ll notice it as well).

Global warming and reducing carbon emissions are hot topics when the economy  is booming; and virtually expunged from the agenda when people are worrying about making ends meet.

The problem, of course, is that global warming doesn’t slack off just because humankind’s doing damage control around the credit crisis.

There’s not 11th hour or Inconventient Truth to remind us today; isn’t it time we set daily cellphone alerts and sharpened up on green practices? I know I for one have been slack about carrying my green shopping bag around…