Environmental blogs around the world are addressing a myriad issues specific to their region, but of global concern. In DRC the Gorilla Protection blog is pondering what a peace deal would mean for Gorillas. From China Dialogue, a look at what is next after the Bali climate change conference, and from South Africa, we have reactions to the recent power shortages and an eco-car competition.
Starting in the DRC, the Gorilla Protection blog writes about the peace deal that could end years of war and conflict in DRC. The post includes snippets of Virunga wildlife preserve ranger's opinions and thoughts on the practical implications of the deal on gorilla protection efforts.
There are Rangers who, after 2 decades of conflict, view the situation with skepticism, and say that peace on the terms proposed will simply not last. When I ask them if this is all going to work, I hear “Je ne crois pas” very often. That is “I don’t think so“.
And there are many, who are tired, very tired. They want to move on. They want to work. They want to go home. And so they hope it will stick.
On the blog China Dialogue, Feng Gao writes of his optimism about conditions around ‘the road ahead from Bali'; saying:
The details of the two-year negotiation process are unclear, and there is much that needs to be discussed and confirmed. It is too early to predict the outcome of the negotiations, but the positive start we wanted to see is surely here. From this hopeful beginning, the world can enter a new era of global action on climate change.
Please note that some background information is available from last month's Global Voices coverage of the Climate Change conference in Bali.
Energy and environment are closely linked, as is shown by the Gorilla Potection blog, writing about how its rangers were beaten up when they stopped a truck carrying illegal charcoal. Charcoal is used as fuel for cooking by many in rural Africa and the problem of energy is persistent in most rural areas. The post includes photos of the trucks, the injured rangers and more details on what happened.
In South Africa, there have been power shortages and reports of cable cars in ski resorts being stuck. The blogger/cartoonist Jeremy Nell hilariously illustrates the situation, and the blog The ACDP Insider wonders who is to blame for the power shortages; saying:
Power shortages are indeed a hot topic in South Africa. I think most of us are somewhat at a loss for words on the matter. There's an unspoken question of: how can we be short of something so basic and so intrinsic to our lives? Electricity is so ingrained into our way of living that it comes as something of a shock to the system when you stumble cluelessly around the house at night wondering what to do with yourself.
While on the topic of energy and blackouts in South Africa, Ray Hartley of the blog Thought Leader writes that it would be an opportune moment for proponents of nuclear energy to make their case:
As the entire country experiences waves of “load-shedding”, the public is less choosy than ever about where the electricity comes from, so long as the stove stays on while supper is being cooked.
There is a danger that this climate could lead to the uncritical adoption of Eskom’s planned nuclear generators.
Communities need to be vigilant about where these facilities will be located and how waste will be disposed of once they are active.
Beggars can still be choosers.
Ian Gilfillan of Neverness looks at the alternatives to nuclear power, stating…
Besides all of its other problems, nuclear power has a long lead-time. Waiting for nuclear power to save us is like waiting for the tooth fairy. We need to do something before that. Reducing demand by rolling out solar powered traffic lights, and solar-powered water heaters, is a good start, and the only unfortunate thing is that it takes a crisis to implement something so obviously sensible.
Also from South Africa, the blog Greencars announces a fun competition from PlanetThoughts; a $500 Eco-car photo contest that is confirmed to be open to South Africans. More information on how it works is available on the blog post.
We end this roundup with a picture from DRC of a baby Gorilla, courtesy of the Gorilla Protection blog.