By: Nondumiso Langa
This is the first time in two years that I have had writers block. After much pondering about this article, I finally decided on what to write about more specifically.
It is youth month and we are celebrating heroes who have been instrumental in the fight against apartheid. Young people who were not happy about the way they were living and taught at school. It would only be fair of me to salute the environmental warriors. Allow me to call them the ‘Green Generation’.
The Green Generation may not toyi-toyi or have mass meetings like political gatherings or service delivery marches but they make a mass impact.
Recently in the news, on 28 May 2012 there was a group of not more than 30 people from the Greenpeace organisation, 5 of whom chained themselves to the gate while some were protesting against the expansion of the 27 billion US dollar nuclear energy expansion in South Africa to increase the national supply of power .This protest was held during a meeting by the South African Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on the matter (yahoo.news 2012). Nuclear energy is the most dangerous in the world not only because of its danger to the environment but to the health of the people.
If you look at the past 16 years, the climate has changed drastically. I am sure you will agree with me that this winter is very cold and was so even before it offiocially begun. 2003 was one of hottest years but now 2012 is taking first place for not only the hottest but the coldest days aswell (wikipedia).
Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Billy ‘Mr. Green’ Lilombe who is the brains behind the youth environmental network in Zambia. They go around in schools, communities and even involve celebrities as they bring awareness all in the name of climate justice. He was also involved in the youth caravan campaign starting from Kenya 28 days before COP17 util Durban at the We Have Faith rally. The host organization, Safcei, had a group of youth ambassadors who have quite an impressive resume, ranging from political (working with the NYDA) to social (clean up campaigns to recycle businesses). Those who go to UCT will agree with me when I say Muriel Gravenor is one of the unsung heroes. If you are in need of environmental policies and ideas to get people involved, she is your lady.
If switched to flourescent and LED lighting, fuel efficient low emission cars and if you buy organic instead of GMF, I salute you. If you buy local produce and recyclable products, I salute you. If you are talking about the environment and you listen to environmental analysts and if you count and try to reduce your carbon emissions … I salute you!