Friends of Stellenbosch Mountain
- October 2018: Start by reading the Summary
by The Guardian newspaper of the IPCC announcement and the
- The IPCC must be conservative for political reasons, so their estimates and predictions are likely understated. There
are far more alarming studies which conclude that the new committed infrastructure alone exceeds the available carbon
- There is
scientific consensus that global warming is
a real effect, not just a fluctuation, and that it is caused by human activity.
- The most recent climate models now indicate that the earth is warming more quickly than previously estimated and could see the global average temperature rise by 7
degrees rather than just 5 by 2100. See the French CNRM press
- Accelerating climate changes is the topic of
the WMO press release. The
synthesis report documents greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, shrinking ice, the state of the arctic and antarctic regions, ocean heat and acidity,
extreme events and wildfires.
- September 2019: the IPCC Special Report and the accompanying press
release on the oceans and the "cryosphere" (the frozen parts of the earth system). The report affirms previous conclusions; quote: We will only be able to keep
global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels if we effect unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society, including energy, land and ecosystems,
urban and infrastructure as well as industry.
- United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019
- This infographic summarises compactly where we stand in terms of past, present
and possible future carbon emissions and the likely consequences.
- October 2018: The IPCC report states that by 2030, within twelve years, CO2 emissions have to be cut by 45% from 2010 levels to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. Not
doing so would have the catastrophic results summarised in the Guardian resulting from warming by 2.0 degrees and require emission cuts much larger than 45%.
- Global annual emissions have reached an
all-time high, according to the Global Carbon Project. So far there is much talk at Katowice, but
governments have little appetite for concerted action.
- If you need it to be spelt out in shocking detail, read this lurid account of
the uninhabitable earth published in July 2017 by New York magazine deputy
editor David Wallace-Wells. He has now followed up with
a book of the same title.
- The Carbon Disclosure Project runs the global disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions to manage their
environmental impacts. Quote from the 2018 Global Climate Change
Analysis: Climate Change is a threat to every sector in every country. Those who don't act are facing massive financial losses.
- January 2019: The World Economic Forum in Davos has just released its
Global Risks Report 2019
- May 2019: with respect to biodiversity and ecosystems, the international body of scientists IPBES comes to dire conclusions,
speaking of a sixth wave of extinction
- December 2018: As reported in
the Guardian, a consortium of
the world's largest investors issued a
statement at Katowice with 415 signatory financial funds. Here is
their briefing paper calling for 1. achieving the Paris Agreement's goals, 2. accelerated investments into the low
carbon transition e.g. putting a meaningful price on carbon and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, and 3. committing to improved climate-related financial reporting.
- United Nations Climate Change site
IPCC SR15 report
Climate Change and Economics
- South Africa country profile show that South
Africans emit on average 9.6 tonnes of CO2 per capita per year, which is higher than the G20 average. By far the largest component is energy, which included
electricity generation, industry and transport.
- Mail and Guardian talks of a paradigm shift
along with a 12 October summary of the IPCC announcement and the
estimated Implications for Africa
- Meanwhile, South Africa is blowing its carbon budget
- City Press reaction 17 October 2018
- South Africa is heavily reliant on coal.
- SA's disastrous CO2 emission performance is mainly due to coal-fired power stations. By far
the largest new construction capacity is, however, located in China and India.
- Meanwhile, the SA coal industry continues to claim that all is fine, citing
current income, current employment, current prospects and current excuses, with no regard of the drastic changes which are more than likely in the coming years. Clean
coal will solve all their imminent problems and bad image, they think.
Second Climate Change Report 2016 posted 181126
- Department of Environmental Affairs collection of studies and policy
- African Climate and Development Initiative of the University of Cape Town
- See also the Namibian Institute for Public Policy Research
- Elections 2019, climate change and environment
First get an
overview of what is available on the national level. For provincially-registered parties, you have to turn to the
Independent Electoral Commission itself. None of the manifestos even remotely aspire to what
needs to be done to prevent temperature rises above 1.5 Celsius.
- WESSA has brought out a comprehensive analysis of the election manifestos of 11 parties. This document
is probably the most objective comparison.
- In its 68-page manifesto, the ANC devotes
exactly three bullet points with a total length of eight lines to the topic
- On the DA manifesto website, climate change does not even make it into the top 40 priorities. You have to dig into the
booklet to find less than a page on the topic, with rather
- As of writing, only a secondary source for the EFF manifesto can be
found. Only 2 out of 170 pages cover "Environment and Climate". The "ambitious" goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 10 % by 2024.
- See also the articles in the Mail and Guardian
and in the Daily Maverick
on the ANC here,
on the DA here and
on the EFF here.
Carbon Tax Bill and Regulations
Western Cape and Stellenbosch
The destructive Knysna wildfire and
the Bettys Bay fire of Januar 2019 are seen as portents of what is to come. The
Knysna fire cost the insurance industry dearly, and re-insurance rates rose steeply after the event. Those who claim that mitigating and adapting to climate change harms
the economy need to take note --- or else be overtaken by events on the ground.
- The Western Cape falls into a mediterranean climate zone, for which wildfire is predicted to become a rapidly growing problem. See this
article on recent California wildfires to
get an idea of the systemic trends which we are also
- Some photographs of the January 2019 Bettys Bay Fire