Thursday on MCL is (good) green news day. It’s when I give doom and gloom the beady eye by sharing a selection of the latest feel-good stories that have helped warm the cockles of my increasingly green heart (and which are inspiring me to live a better, greener life).
SA to go green with carbon tax? (news24.com)
Our National Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Marthinus Christoffel Johannes van Schalkwyk, has been busy of late.
At a recent briefing in Parliament, the minister announced government’s plan to make industry greener.
South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy to combat global warming will be marked by ambitious and mandatory energy efficiency targets and the possible introduction of a carbon tax.
No longer shall our country be a ‘base for energy-guzzling industries’. Nay, the energy-transgressors shall forthwith be duly punished, whilst those ‘industries that used cleaner technologies and saved power would be rewarded’.
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
For the cynics who don’t share my enthusiasm (or haven’t consumed quite as much coca tea as I), proposed measures include:
- diversifying the energy mix away from coal (not a very green energy source, wot)
- the setting of “ambitious and, where appropriate, mandatory national targets for the reduction of transport emissions”
- “stringent and escalating” fuel efficiency standards
- encouraging more folks to use public transport
- the “aggressive promotion of hybrids and electric vehicles”
So that’s good news, right? Right.
Cape plans route for buses and cyclists only
Sitting in traffic for hours on end not only stresses out us human beans unduly, but also isn’t very good for the environment (as that there brown winter smog shows so clearly). So, it’s great news that our city has decided to do something constructive about it:
The City of Cape Town is planning a dedicated route for public transport and cyclists that is to stretch from Cape Town station to Milnerton through Paarden Eiland – and hopes it will be in use by March 2010.
The route would be separate from that for other traffic and could cut travelling times on the congested West Coast roads during peak periods by up to 15 minutes for commuters using buses.
Good for our mental health, and good for reducing smog pollution…
I’m lucky enough to work from home, but I know I’d certainly take public transport far more often if I knew that it would save time (and hair-pulling) as well as reducing my carbon footprint.
And so on to other good green news both here and around the globe:
- Rocking the Daisies goes biodegradable! – This year, Rocking the Daisies, SA’s first carbon-neutral music festival will be going one step further by using biodegradable containers made from natural and renewable resources. (greenflavour.blogspot.com)
- ‘SA makes ethical travel destinations list’ – South Africa has been named as one of the developing world’s Ten Best Ethical Travel Destinations in the 2008 Ethical Traveler Report. (sagoodnews.co.za)
- ‘major discovery primed to unleash solar revolution’ – ‘MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn’t shine. (urbansprout.co.za)
- ‘Constantia Waldorf goes green‘ – Local school, Constantia Waldorf, aims to register as an eco-school and to create a school which is ‘environmentally-sustainable and actively involved in the protection and care of the earth’. (greenflavour.blogspot.com)
- ‘Wind-Powered Tall Ships Are Once Again Important As Oil Prices Hurt Trade‘ – ‘As oil prices soar, tall wind-powered ships are looking like an increasingly viable alternative.’ (cleantechnica.com)
- Town to get ‘green’ concrete – ‘A road in the small Dutch town of Hengelo is to be paved with air-purifying concrete in a trial that could lead to a breakthrough in the fight against rising pollution’ (news24.com)
- ‘Solar trees get to root of energy crisis‘ – ‘the “Solar Tree,” is a solar-powered streetlamp that also serves as a piece of modern art, infusing a bit of nature into the usually gray urban landscape’ (cnn.com)
- ‘Let’s Get It On (& Protect the Amazon While We’re at It)‘ – how buying a specific brand of condoms is ‘a way to not only get some good lovin’, but a way to protect yourself, the Amazon and help the local economy of a remote Brazilian town’ (greenupgrader.com)
- ‘House and Leisure and Woolworths join forces to develop local eco-design stars‘ – ‘House and Leisure and Woolworths have teamed up and launched their Green Designers competition’ (greenupdate.wordpress.com)
- ‘Study finds organic farmers better equipped to survive drought‘ – ‘A study has found that organic farmers are more resilient than traditional farmers when it comes to drought’ (abc.net.au)