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Environment: Green Views from Africa

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, South Africa, Environment

Can you be a fan of Top Gear [1], cool looking fast cars and…the environment? What blogging event is slated for October 15th this year? What happens to all the computers donated to Africa? This week the answers to these uncommonly asked questions come from several bloggers out of Africa.
solar race picture

Image courtesy of Greencars.za.net [2] South Africa, where we begin with Carl Nienaber [3]. A self described ‘car nut’ who is using his blog to explore and highlight cars that have a minimal environmental impact. His About page [3] gives an exhaustive introduction, including the observation

The mainstream South African motoring media is still very much within the traditional “petrol head” paradigm, where the most desirable attributes of a car are typically speed and performance. When environmentally friendly automotive technologies are covered in most of South Africa’s car publications, they’re either mentioned with an underlying tone of resentment (”green” developments are perceived as taking away from the fun factor of cars) or they’re praised for their benefits in terms of consumer costs savings. Fuel efficiency, for example, is typically given positive attention not for its environmental benefits, but for its cost effectiveness.

Among his other posts [4] is one about a September 2008 Solar Challenge [5] Race in South Africa, which he is looking forward to and thinks that it ‘..should do a great deal to raise awareness of alternative energy in South Africa.’

From Your Group of Web AddiCT(s) [6] blog is a reminder about October 15th this year being a Blog Action Day for the environment. You can click on the image below to participate. We at GV would love to see your posts on that day too, so do feel free to leave a comment and we will definitely check with you on October 12th to cover what you say on that day (and any day) about the environment.
Blog Action Day jpeg [7]

From Urban Sprout, a post [8] about the Coalition Against Nuclear Energy – CANE [9]. Be sure to read the comments as there is a discussion about the safety of Pebble bed reactors [10].The post also highlights the goals of CANE, including the statement

We believe we have to oppose this unilateral decision on the part of the Cabinet to determine a radioactive future for us all. Ordinary communities need to be heard and our Constitutional rights — especially our right to an environment free of radioactive pollution – must be respected – not eroded

From Kenya enviro news blog [11], a thorough look at the problem of e-waste in Kenya, stating that it is a time-bomb, and set to get worse considering the fact that ‘Kenya is at the verge of an IT revolution and the mobile phone industry is currently at more than seven million active lines.’ Phil describes the escalating situation thus

The situation at home in Kenya is reaching crisis proportions, the notorious Dandora Dumpsite in Nairobi’s Eastlands area, is choking with electronic waste ranging from obsolete television sets, computers, and fridges to mobile phones and batteries – all containing highly toxic substances. Residents surrounding the area risk contracting cancer, respiratory and skin diseases due to poisonous by-products namely lead, cadmium and mercury from electronic waste. Apart from waste discarded by Kenyans, the country also received hundreds of container loads of e-waste each month from developing countries disguised as ‘donations’

He also provides links where readers can find more information about e-waste and specifically what they can do to be part of the solution [12].

Omar of Basawad's Safari Notes [13] posts some short excerpts and links to stories about the plight of polar bears [14]. He notes at the end

All animals and other living things on this Planet, rely on the environment and the habitat in which they live in; an environment and habitats which WE, humans, are supposed to be responsible of and for; but which we are systematically and surely destroying. To our own peril.

Update: Please note that Blog Action day is on October 15th and not October 12th as earlier stated, thank you.