Worrying about water

Quote

I posted this image on the right quite a while back, and it feels more appropriate now than ever before. I’m so incredibly concerned about the water issues in Joburg and what worries me most is everyone’s apparent indifference to it.

In environmental circles a few years ago, there were warnings of drought and predictions of water restrictions. No one outside of those circles really listened. Share a predictive date that’s 5 or 10 years away and it’s apparently so removed from anyone’s reality that it’s not taken seriously. There are theories out there that say the human brain isn’t able to take threats seriously until they are imminent – but now that we have the very real threat of a lack of water, the average Joe still doesn’t appear to be taking it seriously.

Yes, there have been a few news articles in the paper, and the odd interview on radio. There’s the odd water-related hashtag floating about and most people are aware of the 6am-6pm restrictions. What’s missing for me however are the conversations around it, the mobility of the masses around it, or support from media and business. Very few appear to be talking about this issue with any sense of urgency.

Don’t we care? Don’t we understand? Is it not newsworthy enough? Or am I just not tuned into the right channels?

Admittedly, I actively insulate myself from everyday news channels, but the pertinent issues always rise out of the noise for me to find out about. In fact, I’ve found it a very effective way of filtering out the bullshit. So, the fact that I don’t hear much about our water crisis without actively going to look for the info, worries me greatly. It feels like the water issue and social encouragement to behave responsibly with our water supply is not finding a way to be heard, shared and acted upon.

Am I alone in feeling this way? Please let me know – I’d love to be proven wrong on this issue. I’d love to hear that everyone else is as concerned as I am.

Subterfuge in the kitchen

There is deception going on in my kitchen in the name of greening. I feel a little uncomfortable about it, so in order to nullify my guilt, I am coming ‘clean’.

Here it is: I repackage green cleaning products into the “known” but non-green equivalents. Gasp! 

Here’s why: My housekeeper is a lovely old lady, very set in her ways, and I’m guessing not too well educated. In her world, there are a limited number of brands that you can/should/must use to do the tasks needed when cleaning a home. Omo or Surf for cleaning clothes. Handy Andy, Domestos, Windowlene, Mr Muscle, Toilet Duck and Sunlight dish wash liquid for cleaning the home. Nothing else is acceptable.

I’ve explained that there are many better alternatives – ones that we all know are better for both her health and the environment – but I’m not certain she a) understands or b) believes me.

Either way, I keep getting requests for all these specific things, even though there are full bottles of green substitutes sitting in the cupboard. I cannot bring myself to buy the chemical brands, so I’ve resorted to buying the green versions, decanting them into the “known, loved and expected” branded bottle and (so far) she’s happy.

And then I’m happy. (Even though I’m technically lying).

You could argue this is a bit of a #firstworldproblem, but seriously, does anyone do this sort of thing in the interests of keeping a green home?

Visualising overpopulation, overconsumption

The Global Population Speak Out site has a number of rather scary images showing the impacts of overpopulation on our world. I’ve picked just one below to share with you – the one showing our computer waste (it felt appropriate seen as I’m always behind a computer, as I’m sure many of you are too.) Go take a look at all the other pics/postcards and think carefully about your impact on this world.

Trashing-Planet-Computer-Dump

Quote of the day

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.” – Gus Speth

Via Common Cause on Facebook

Latest IPCC report out. And it’s bleak.

IPCC 2013 report The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) released their latest and updated report about climate change yesterday.  Admittedly I haven’t read much in detail, having just skimmed over the headline and summary documents, but I find it bleak reading.

The primary take-out, and one which every climate change justice group worth it’s salt is talking about, is that it is “now 95 percent likely that human spewed heat-trapping gases — rather than natural variability — are the main cause of climate change.” (quote via: The Atlantic). I’m sure the climate change skeptics out there are fuming at this statement and trying desperately to discount this news and confuse the public as they’re so good at doing, but here’s a brilliant excerpt from the Climate Reality Project that I find completely indisputable. Continue reading →