EMG is currently running a programme funded by Lotto with 12 young activists engaged with environmental issues. Two of them, Abonga and Sizwe, and three of their friends Xolisa, Loyiso and Lonwabo, are participating in the Climate Tracker: Path to Paris Programme. These short pieces focus on aspects of Climate Change that interest them and count towards helping them get to Paris for the COP21. 


Educate the poor

By Sizwe Nyuka

Sizwe Nyuka2Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Our government should act quickly to help people and small scale farmers to adapt.

I want to see programmes about Climate Change issues being held in the townships so people from poor communities can know what is going on in terms of climate change research and being part of the solution. In poor communities people don’t really know about the real effects of climate change so a lot need to be done in terms of educating people. For example when people protest in the townships they burn tyres not knowing that tyre smoke also plays a part in climate change. When people burn tyres they that tyre smoke also plays a part in climate change. When people burn tyres they do not know that they are releasing hazardous constituents into the air and creating new frequently more toxic compounds. If this kind of information was known they would not burn tyres at all.

I am not saying people from the township are the ones to be blamed for climate change but they must be thought about the effects of burning tyres to avoid climate change. Our job is to make the impossible possible. The world has to consume less, stop cutting trees and grammatically reduce use of fossil fuels. Most Greenhouse gases are created in providing products and services for wealthy people, this must be reduced.


Climate Change and Challenges of Chlorine in Water

By Abonga Tom

Abonga Tom2The soil is being destroyed by using chlorinated water in our gardens because we notice plants are not growing the way they are supposed to, so that means they are not 100% percent healthy for our bodies.

Almost all municipalities today use chlorine to disinfect their so called fresh water. They say water contains chlorine (a poison that kills bacteria) to make it safe, but for us it is danger because every hot shower that we take turns the chlorine in the water into a gaseous vapour that assaults our skin. This causes respiratory system problem, kidney failure and harms other organs in our bodies. What I don’t understand is why government treat water with poison?

Climate change brings hotter days more water evaporation from rivers, dams, ocean and the soil. This means the ground will end up drier and the air wetter but farmers and gardeners are affected. Also, a high carbon chloride contributes in the air this leads to loss of nutrients depending on plant type.

The world is turning into a place that is full of problems caused by capitalists and cooperations that have no heart for other people. Challenging these two means that people should take a stand for their rights. The system is the only thing that can help us to challenge climate change is to challenge the economic system.

How Climate Change Rules the World

By Loyiso Hulushe from Ekasi Project Green

Loyiso Hulushe2Climate change represents one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the planet today. The combined effects of climate change, increased global population and income growth, among others, threaten to affect food and water resources that are critical to life.

Agriculture Vulnerability to Climate Change in South Africa
About 81% of the total land area of South Africa is formed. The most important limiting factor in agricultural production is water availability. Almost 50% of South Africans surface water used for agricultural purpose. Among other stressors, climate change is superimposed upon this stressor and is anticipated to exacerbate the issues affecting vulnerable communities. In combination with low adaptive capacity, the South African agricultural sector through the value chain is highly vulnerable to effects of climate change and associated increases in climate extremes.

Acid Rain
Acid rain is caused by chemical reactions that begin when compounds like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air that makes air pollution from burning fossil fuels. Acid rain affects the course of nature as it can kill fish, plants trees and is more harmful to human beings. As I am in the field of growing organic plants, I am scared about acid rain because it is so harmful to plants.

Government should force firms that are causing climate change so that they can reduce climate change. We should unite as a nation to fight climate change and bring the freshness of nature back again.


Climate Change Results in a loss of Plant and Animal Species

By Xolisa Bangani

Xolisa Bongani2The use of fossil fuels including chemicals, pesticides and industrial wastes are the main cause of climate change. Over the past years a number of animal and plant species have been lost due to climate change which continues to threaten remaining species. The catastrophic part of this is that it has a big impact on, and leads to destruction of the eco-system. This means that without some of these animals and plants, it’s going to be difficult for the earth to sustain itself. Animals and plants that are suited to cooler climates will be challenged when climate becomes even just that little bit warmer. The impacts on species are becoming so significant that their movements can be used as an indicator of a warming world. They are the silent witnesses to the rapid changes being inflicted on the Earth. Threatened species can already be found all over the world.

It is sad to discover that people in our local communities don’t have a clue about such issues. Not just people who are not involved in environmental related issues who are not informed, most small scale farmers, organizations and individuals are also not aware. At the moment the future of biodiversity remains in the hands of a few social and environmental organizations and individuals who reside in all four corners of the world, who busy trying to spread natural ways of farming. These communities believe it’s not enough, so governments and industrial companies are challenged to come up with industrial pollution management strategies. The problems remain unsolved as thousands of animal species and indigenous plants continue to disappear. Every day an estimated 100 plants and animals species are lost, current extinction rates indicate that about 27, 000 species a year are being lost.


Wake Up World!

By Lonwabo Mfenguza

Lonwabo Mfenguza2Our climate is becoming a problem as a result of acid rain and carbon and creates lot of diseases because many factories and companies are polluting our climate.

Government should stop all these companies who pollute our climate so badly. Government should introduce new laws that say you can produce less carbon dioxide per day and also charge a higher amount to these who pollute our climate. This problem will make it difficult to get healthy food and a healthy life style. The acid rain will destroy our plants, animals and humans and will have a high rate of people with dangerous diseases compered to people who live a life of health. This problem leads to people with low productivity.

If government does not take further steps to solve this problem we will break laws and destroy all these companies who pollute. We still have a dream to create a good environment for future generations and we are aware that in order for things to happen the way we want they might be blood. Just like in previous years, people who were fighting for freedom were killed by the police of the apartheid government. We too are not afraid of the consequences of fighting for our environment.


Climate Change - Resources

This easy-to-read, 4-page "beginners guide" to climate change. Climate Change and Global Warming (2011) by Heidee Swanby & Stephen Law, EMG, will tell you all you need to know.
... Ook in Afrikaans - 'n kort-en-kragtig, maklik om te lees stuk Klimaatverandering en Aardverwarming
NEW! NEW! isiXhosa...  Ukutshintsha kwemozulu kunye nesomiso

Want more? Download these Six Facts about climate change... then move on to A brief guide to Global Warming (2007) by Jessica Wilson & Stephen Law (published by Robinson, London). We have no more copies in stock, but it is available from Amazon and Goodreads in hard copy and e-book format.

EMG is part of the consortium responsible for planning, writing and launching this fantastic resource for anyone involved in community-based adaptation work. Participatory Adaptation Handbook : A practitioner's guide for facilitating people centred adaptation to climate change (3.1MB PDF) , and a set of facilitation cards Experiental Learning for Adaptation  (945KB). Alternatively contact us for a hard-copy (R100) while stocks last.

EMG has worked alongside small-scale rooibos farmers of the Suid-Bokkeveld for many years. Download this summary of our work and approach entitled Adaptation with a human face: Lessons learned from an ongoing adaptation and learning process (2012) by Noel Oettle, EMG (380KB) or contact us for a copy of the full report.

Into history? Download this 2-pager summary of the most important scientific and political milestones in the debate.... The Science and Politics of Climate Change - A summary timeline Stephen Law and Jessica Wilson 

These thoughs on how climate change may impact food security, were first presented to a Public Forum 2010 hosted by AIDC

This report was commissioned by Both ENDS, The Netherlands. The title says it all. The social and environmental consequences of coal mining in South Africa: A case study (2010) Victor Munnik et.al., EMG