Professor Lesley Green statement made on 2Aug17 to the Standing Committee on Agri, Tourism and Economic Development
AUGUST 8 · CUSTOM
“My name is Lesley Green I am a Professor in social sciences at the University of Cape Town.

I teach social science research methods, I also direct a program called Environmental Humanities at UCT and I also teach a graduate course called “Science, Nature, Democracy”. And I want to put on record to the committee that from a contemporary social science perspective, the kind of social science that is being proposed in a consultancy framework, is not acceptable.

It’s not acceptable for a number of reasons, the one is that in respect of questions of climate change, social science research has shifted completely.

And the kind of social science that is being proposed here this morning does not take account of contemporary international shifts in the social sciences to recognise that you cannot just consult stakeholders, as defined by property owners in respect of an area that is the commons.

We live on a planet that is in a crisis because we are not paying attention to the commons. And the definition of the commons is that it is something that affects not only property owners. But the idea of private property is directly informing the kind of social sciences that is mentioned this morning, and that affects also the way of thinking of space and spatiality. But that approach means not paying attention to the flows of ecology. We are living here an ecology [of the PHA] that can’t be divided up into little pockets.

On that map over there you can see all the bodies of water. If you take aerial photographs back to the 1920’s when the first aerial photographs were taken of this area, you see a substantially much larger number of bodies of water that were feeding this aquifer. You cannot feed an aquifer on little parcels of land here and there that has been carved up. The water that runs off streets is dirty.

The flows of ecology are critical. It affects water, it affects soil, it affects birds and it affects people — regardless of property ownership lines. The health of the soil affects the life of the people.

Contemporary social science will make a direct connection between gut biomes and soil health here in the Cape Flats and Khayelitsha, and in turn to epigenetics, which affects present and future generations. It’s that kind of integrated social science that looks at health, that looks at ecology, together. That understands that healthy soil builds healthy bodies. That does not just submit to the idea that social science consists of stakeholder meetings with property owners, value chains, retailers, markets and so on. That is not acceptable. The proposed research approach also doesn’t take account the critical responsibility of social science at this time, which is to consider not only where people are at, in this economised world that we live in — but to consider what kind of future is this economised world we building? Getting opinions from stakeholders is not adequate to providing the democratic task of framing leadership in this situation.

How do we bring ecology into a democracy that over the years has made so many decisions only on the economy? Economy depends on ecology. The two words even have the same root: “oikos”, which means home. Ecology and economy are both essential if a city is to be a home. But in the city of Cape Town, economy has come to shape just about every planning decision. If the PHA goes, then the ecology of the city is destroyed. You will be left only with the ecology managed by SANParks for the wealthy, and for tourists, with the illusion that we have a city with ecology.

But the city itself will be vulnerable to drought, and its food system will be vulnerable to fuel costs and transport costs. Because the ecological functioning of the city will have been destroyed. This is not only bad natural science, it is bad social science. And it is in contrast with city greening projects that are being celebrated as world leaders elsewhere.

Leadership is what is needed here, and for this I am appealing to the committee. I respect and admire your meeting here on this site today – thank you for coming. I want to say that leadership in this instance requires looking at much more than short-term financial cycles or five-year electoral cycles or one-year balance sheets. We need to be looking at future generations. In cities around the world, you’ve got generations that are suing government, younger generations that are suing government who are not taking account of their futures.

And in this situation, you know, one of the problems is the way consultancies are done. Development studies at university level will tell you this. There are so many books that have been published on the problem of the role of experts who are not based on the ground where the issue is that is needing to be addressed. I can offer you a bibliography on the problem of the role of experts. And the issue is when the democratic debate is outsourced, when ecology is not taken into account, when the flows of ecology are overridden by property boundaries, when the commons is not considered, when climate change is not considered, the kind of social science produced by experts will be generating evidence, but it will be evidence based on the wrong questions. You will get evidence, but it will not be useful evidence.”

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What is Capitalism

WHAT IS CAPITALISM??

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The New Human Rights Movement reinventing the economy to end oppression by Peter Joseph

Society is broken. We can design our way to a better one. In our interconnected world, self-interest and social-interest are rapidly becoming indistinguishable. If current negative trajectories remain, including growing climate destabilization, biodiversity loss, and economic inequality, an impending future of ecological collapse and societal destabilization will make “personal success” virtually meaningless. Yet our broken social system incentivizes behavior that will only make our problems worse. If true human rights progress is to be achieved today, it is time we dig deeper–rethinking the very foundation of our social system. In this engaging, important work, Peter Joseph, founder of the world’s largest grassroots social movement–The Zeitgeist Movement–draws from economics, history, philosophy, and modern public-health research to present a bold case for rethinking activism in the 21st century. Arguing against the long-standing narrative of universal scarcity and other pervasive myths that defend the current state of affairs, The New Human Rights Movement illuminates the structural causes of poverty, social oppression, and the ongoing degradation of public health, and ultimately presents the case for an updated economic approach. Joseph explores the potential of this grand shift and how we can design our way to a world where the human family has become truly sustainable. The New Human Rights Movement reveals the critical importance of a unified activism working to overcome the inherent injustice of our system. This book warns against what is in store if we continue to ignore the flaws of our socioeconomic approach, while also revealing the bright and expansive future possible if we succeed. Will you join the movement?

Purchase book via lootloot for R360

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Nuclear vs Solar

A tidbit of info by Elon Musk.
If the area used by a nuclear power station, including the exclusion zone (the area around the plant which isn’t safe for people to inhabit while the plant is operational, was used to build a solar power plant, the latter would generate more power.

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Water is LIFE

At Vegkop farm in Schaapkraal road, the Phillipi Horticultural Area Food and Farming Campaign co hosted an expert panel discussion to highlight the importance of the Phillipi Horticultural Area (PHA) and the aquifer beneath it. It was an extremely informative session based on science and anecdotal evidence. Nazeer Sonday, a farmer and campaign chairperson is on a mission to prove the importance of eco agriculture to reduce dependence on chemical fertilisers and to regenerate and increase soil fertility through natural methods. His goal is also to use drip irrigation on his farm which would go a long way to help preserve water as this would greatly reduce the amount of water used on the farm. If water is life then this fight to save and preserve our natural resources is of utmost importance to all. A victory in the PHA will ensure that no other community will go through the same struggle to preserve the environment and their livelihood.

http://m.ewn.co.za/2017/02/18/experts-highlight-importance-of-pha-to-wc-s-water-supply

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Enter The Dragon

ENTER THE DRAGON of the capitalist system. The dragon that’s putting people out of work and adding to the total unemployed statistic. However in a Natural Law Resource Based Economy such as proposed by Jacque Fresco from the Venus Project, automation will and can be used to free us from the slavery of mundane labour to do the things that we enjoy doing.

Chinese Factory Replaces 90% Of Human Workers With Robots, Sees 250% Production Increase

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Psychology of changing minds and behaviour by Dr Mel at Z-day London 2016

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where-eskoms-electricity-comes-from

The make up of Eskoms electricity supply to South Africa
Coal Power – 34,952MW
Eskom has 13 coal-fired power stations which produce the majority of the country’s power –34,952MW.
South Africa has access to cheap coal, but burning coal produces sulphur and nitrogen oxides, radioactive elements, and a lot of ash. This cheap coal is offset by polluting the environment.

Liquid Fuel Power – 2,409MW
Eskom has four liquid fuel turbine stations which produce 2,409MW of power.
Diesel is the primary fuel used.

Nuclear Power – 1,830MW
Koeberg is Eskom’s sole nuclear plant, and produces 1,830MW of power at full capacity.
radioactive waste from Koeberg is stored at Vaal Pits
in the Northern Cape. In June 1997 it was revealed that some uncovered containers had rusted and were leaking radioactivity. The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) temporarily suspended operations, until the licensing conditions were met by the operators. Water disposal and constructing and maintaining a nuclear plant is also expensive.

Pumped Storage – 1,400MW
Eskom operates two pumped-storage stations which produce 1,400MW of power.
The pumped-storage stations produce electricity in a similar way to hydro stations, using moving water to turn a turbine.
How they differ is that the turbine can be used as a pump to push water to an upper reservoir, which is then released and used to generate power in times of demand.

Hydro Power – 600MW
Eskom has 6 hydro-electric stations in SA, which produce a total of 600MW.
While water is a renewable source of energy, Eskom said SA’s lack of suitable rivers and the impact of the construction of dams are barriers for the building of hydro plants.

Wind Power – 3MW
Eskom has one wind energy station – the Klipheuwel wind farm – which produces 3MW of power.
Wind energy is renewable, clean, and does not produce harmful emissions. Constant wind is not guaranteed, though, and wind generators are expensive to build.

Power plants in the works
Eskom said that besides running the existing 27 stations, it was in the process of building five new power stations in SA.
These stations would add over 11,000MW to the grid.
Medupi: coal-fired power station –
4,764MW
Kusile: coal-fired power station – 4,800MW
Ingula: pumped-storage scheme –
1,332MW
Sere: wind power facility – 100MW
Concentrating Solar Power project –
100MW
There are also biomass, wave, and nuclear projects in the planning phase which are being driven by the Department of Energy, said Eskom.

Meanwhile in India, the facility in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, has a capacity of 648 megawatts and covers an area of 10 kilometres squares.
This makes it the largest solar power plant at a single location, taking the title from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 MW.
The solar plant, built in an impressive 8 months, is cleaned every day by a robotic system, itself charged by its own solar panels.
At full capacity it is estimated to produce enough electricity to power approximately 150,000 homes.
The project is comprised of 2.5 million individual solar modules, and cost approximately 679M USD to build.
The new plant has helped nudge India’s total installed solar capacity across the 10 GW mark, according to a statement by research firm ‘Bridge to India’, joining only a handful of countries which can make this claim.
As solar power increases, India is expected to become the world’s third biggest solar market from next year onwards, after China and the US.
Despite the fast-growing solar power industry, India will still need to increase its take-up of solar panels if it is to achieve the ambitious targets set by the government.
By 2022, India aims to power 60 million homes by the sun. It is part of the Indian government’s ambitious targets to produce 40 percent of its power by non-fossil fuels using 2030.
This aim has been praised by environment groups and is hoped will also help reduce the country’s problem with air quality. At the beginning of this month, the pollution in New Delhi reached its worst levels in 17 years.

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The trial of the plant

bringing-it-home

On Tuesday evening 15 November Tony Budden from www.hemporium.co.za hosted a screening of the documentary called Bringing it Home.

Some interesting facts were gleened from this free educational (#feesmustfall) screening. For those that dont know, Hemp or industrial hemp and marijuana are plants from the same cannabis family like cousins with different charateristics.

Lets start with the infamous cousin, marijuana which contains a high, excuse the pun, level of Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which is the principle psychoactive constituent. Industrial hemp on the other hand has more Cannabidiol or CBD which has a wide range of medical applications. Other uses of industrial hemp include, building materials, wall plaster, rope, clothing, rope, paper and the list goes on. The seeds are also a great source of protein. All this from a weed that grows virtually anywhere in the world. Check out Tony’s shop in Westlake.

Currently the major produces of industrial hemp are China, Great Britain and Canada. South Africa arguably has the most ideal conditions for growing this plant but old laws still prevail. Although just recently there has been a shift in thinking. Medical cannabis with a prescription is on the cards as early as April 2017 which is a step on the right direction.

Get involved in the discussion with Aimee and Tony at www.gatheronline.com/9dwk3nnz

Check out Aimee and Tony

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An empty plate

an-empty-plate

At the book launch of An Empty Plate by Dr Tracy Ledger in the Phillipi Horticultural area in Cape Town I got to hear about the current state of affairs with regard to the state of health of the most vulnerble in South Africa where it comes to nutrition and how industry is more focussed on the bottom line. The figures quoted for malnutrtion and mortality rates due to the lack of access to good nutrition is staggering and unacceptable. Dr Tracy highlights that children are the most affected by this problem in our society. This lack of nutrition or bad nutrition in children affects their cognitive abilities and their learning process and eventually leads to obesity and diabetes later in life.
This form of structural violence against the most vulnerable in our society is unacceptable and needs to be curbed and eradicated. YOU need to get more involved and do something about it.
You can purchase a copy of the book from Nazeer Sonday who is involved with the PHA campaign a water rights issue in Cape Town.
https://www.facebook.com/PHAFoodFarmingCampaign/

EDUCATE YOURSELF and then educate those around you.

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