Articles Posted in the Green News category

Climate change: snow, fish, flights and food crops

February 13, 2009
Posted in Green News


A garden in London in early February

If you’re wondering how there can possibly be “gobal warming” when you see images on the news of snow storms in Britain and we’ve hardly seen the sun in Jo’burg for what seems like weeks, well, it’s probably La Niña’s fault, say the experts. But read this article on Scientific American for an explantation of what global warming means.


Warming seas at the tropics will cause fish stocks to move towards the poles in the next 50 years, a study of more than 1,000 fish species projects. The fish are likely to swim an average of about 200km either north or south to escape warmer water, the study says. Countries in the tropics are likely to suffer the most from reduced catches, William Cheung, the lead author of the study, from the University of British Columbia and the University of East Anglia, was reported as saying. But, he said, it would be more a “reshuffling” of the fish catches in the world’s oceans, the total fish catches would be little changed. Species at high risk of extinction would be those that thrive in cold waters that would have no where to go. [Reuters via Planet Ark]

Four airlines – Air France/KLM, Cathay Pacific, BA and Virgin Atlantic – have called for airline pollution to be included in the broader climate change treaty that is being negotiated to replace the Kyoto Protocol, Reuters reports. This is the first time airlines have moved to join the debate and it is a bid to try and steer the debate on an emissions deal rather than having one imposed on them, the report says. The aviation industry contributes about 2 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions. [Reuters via Planet Ark]

A study on the impact of climate change on crop yield and undernutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa has identified regional hotspots where early intervention may avert future hunger and improve food security. The study indicates that while some regions may be able to withstand the most severe impacts of climate change – and South Africa, Uganda and Ghana, may experience increased crop yields – most sub-Saharan countries will continue to experience a decline in per capita food availability. It is critically important that adaptation strategies be developed and implemented soon, particularly in the area of improved crop selection, extending crop area and increasing yield through improved water and fertiliser management, the study says. It suggests that countries such as Congo, Gabon, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique and Sudan may suffer from lower crop yields. But the most important conclusion from this study, says Dr Steffen Fritz of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, is that “although overall crop yields may not decline, due to the projected increase in population and stagnating purchasing power, hunger will remain or even worsen if no drastic adaptation measures are taken”. The research was published in the recent Special Issue of Global and Planetary Change. [Via :: Polity]

Let them eat hake

June 11, 2007
Posted in Food

Sea Harvest frozen hake fillets have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as a sustainable fish product. The company, which is based in Saldanha Bay on South Africa’s west coast, can now display the MSC’s blue eco-label on their products.

The MSC is an independent non-profit organisation founded in 1997 to find a solution to the problem of overfishing. It has developed an environmental standard for well-managed and sustainable fisheries. For a list of fisheries that are MSC certified go to the MSC’s website.

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Good food guide for fish lovers

June 11, 2007
Posted in Food

South African seafood lovers who want to be ecofriendly have never had it so easy. Thanks to the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi), information about the types of fish it’s fine to eat and the types that should avoided is just an SMS away, or rather a FishMS.

So, if you’re sitting in a restaurant and you want to make sure the linefish of the day isn’t a vulnerable species, simply text the name of the fish to the number 079-499-8795. You’ll be sent back a message telling you whether the fish’s status is green, orange or red as well as a few words about why.

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