Karoo succulent

We recently drove down from Durban to Cape Town and stayed at this lovely Victorian guesthouse in Richmond in the Karoo. Sprawled on the stoep was this impressive succulent. The temperature often drops below 0 degrees, so it must be pretty hardy!

Karoo succulent
Karoo succulent
environment sustainability water

“We don’t want to get into the green versus the big business debate”

Shell raring to go… What do you think? 

The Cabinet looks set to approve the removal of the moratorium on fracking in the Karoo at its next meeting in two weeks, and Royal Dutch Shell has already indicated that it may spend $200 million (R1.6 billion) on the exploration phase for shale gas. Jan Willem Eggink, Shell South Africa general manager upstream, told the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the company was set to spend this amount in the exploration phase if the cabinet gave the green light.

But Jonathan Deal, the leader of Treasure the Karoo Action Group, said he suspected that Shell had already spent R50m on its marketing and lobbying programme. Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi said a report by the Department of Mineral Resources had not been discussed by the cabinet on Tuesday. Ministry spokesman Zingaphi Jakuja could not confirm whether it would go to the cabinet at its next scheduled meeting in two weeks. However, she did say it was in the cabinet process.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has repeatedly voiced support for fracking and Deal said he would now be “pleasantly surprised” if ministers came to a different conclusion, although this was unlikely. Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu reported earlier that a decision would be taken by this month. Deal said the lack of input into the fracking report from “critical ministries” – including transport, health, tourism and agriculture – would undermine “the credibility of the report”. One of the consequences of fracking in the US was that the road system had been hammered by heavy trucks.

Cape Town Chamber of Commerce president Michael Bagraim said he believed the government needed to allow for more time to consider the pros and cons of fracking, which required drilling at great depths for shale gas. “We don’t want to get into the green versus the big business debate,” Bagraim said. Eggink said even a conservative shale gas reservoir could have a potential annual economic impact of R80bn over a 25-year period and could boost economic growth by more than 3 percentage points.

source: IOL

environment sustainability water

Anti-fracking Petition to SA Government

We have written briefly about fracking here and here. What are your thoughts on it? Is it a viable energy source? Too much of an environmental risk? So says the reader who sent in this link to an anti-fracking petition… Do you agree with what is written below? mol-d

In South Africa, the government is considering whether to remove the moratorium that prohibits fracking – a practice that destroys our environment by creating greenhouse gases, consuming water in unsustainable volumes, increasing air pollution, putting people at risk of toxic pollution and more. Don’t let fracking endanger South Africa’s environment and people. Keep dangerous fracking out of South Africa.

Fracking is an environmentally dirty process which will:

  • Add significantly to world greenhouse gases.
  • Consume water in unsustainable volumes.
  • Increase damaging air pollution up to 300km downwind.
  • Risk polluting groundwater.
  • Put workers and our people at risk of toxic pollution.
  • Produce wastes that we cannot treat.
  • Industrialise a hauntingly beautiful landscape.
  • Create temporary boom-town conditions.
  • NOT provide long-lived jobs with useful skill sets.
  • Increase the traffic on poor roads a hundred-fold.
  • Cause noise, dust and light pollution.

South Africa has no trained supervisors for fracking operations, which coupled with a low price of gas will mean that companies will cut all the corners they can. A free-for-all will result. That can be avoided by careful use of balanced, renewable energy sources. Tell the President, the Ministers and the Cabinet that removing the Moratorium will harm South Africa and its citizens!

Target: The South African Government
Sponsored by:

environment sustainability water

Boycott Shell?!

Some interesting reading and the opportunity to do something in your daily life if you are so inclined… Do you think it can make enough of an impact?

Anti-fracking Activists call for a National Boycott of Shell !

Plans by oil companies to explore for fossil gas in large parts of the Karoo have begun a firestorm of protest. Tens of thousands of square kilometres of the ecologically fragile, water-scarce Karoo are under threat from being devastated by a dirty, water and energy intensive gas exploration technique called hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

Several oil and gas companies, most prominently Royal Dutch Shell, are in the process of exploring this unique and beautiful region of South Africa for underground layers of so-called gas shale. If they are successful, we can soon expect to see

environment sustainability water

What the frack?

There have been a lot of articles circulating on the possibility of fracking in the Karoo, the threats it poses to ground and surface water, and its intensive use of water in a very arid area. Here are a few of them and some more detail on how some say we might oppose this:

Timeslive: 1 2 3 4

Karoo Space

Greenpeace and how to email the decision makers in South Africa…

More on fracking worldwide

What do you think about this?