"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 22 September 2014

Deepest Darkest


Living here at the southern tip of Deepest Darkest one gets a distorted view of the rest of the world.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_the_world_1998.jpg
I have lived for all of my adult life under the impression that South Africa was a really, really tiny spec in the grand scheme of things.  And, as for Africa - I mentally pictured it as sort of the size of North America.

Well, that mental image took a drastic u-turn this past weekend.

Why?

Because this image appeared in an article in the Weekend Argus (page 21). 
Africa's landmass could accommodate the US,
Mexico, India, China and most of Europe
This misguided impression I held is caused through the Mercator projection which distorts the size and shape of the countries due to the scale increasing from the equator to the poles.

For instance - in reality, the landmass of the various countries is as follows:

South Africa = 1 221 037 kms2

The USA = 8 080 474 kms2

Australia = 2 589 988 kms2

China = 9 596 961 kms2

Mexico = 1 972 550 kms2

India = 3 287 590 kms2

Great Britain = 243 610 kms2

So 7 X South Africa's could fit into the USA, or 2 X into Australia, etc.

Just shows you that you shouldn't undervalue where you are, who you are, and the potential impact you could have on positively addressing the dire circumstances which, according to the scientists - and judging from the peculiar weather being experienced world-wide, this beautiful planet is heading towards catastrophe at a seemingly uncontrollable rate.

Africa, and specifically South Africa, is as important as every other country on this planet.  Especially when one considers that if we all combine our efforts - and I'm specifically beseeching  President Zuma here with the announcement over the weekend that he is in the process of approving 6 - I repeat 6 - new nuclear power stations which we, as a country firstly, can't afford (ZAR1 000 000 000.00 each - one frigging trillion rand, and which, secondly, shouldn't be imposed on this planet and, finally, and especially, if you don't know what you are actually doing...!?) to make this a eco-friendlier, healthier planet.

(Not too sure how one person can be empowered to make this decision - especially one as important as this?)

I shudder to think what would happen if another nut was misplaced in a reactor (as happened at Koeberg a few years back), or if we had a Chernobyl or Fukushima situation here...  Our (generally) pristine beaches and coastline have the potential to become a life threatening mess, as opposed to the vitally important source of marine life, food, and income that they are at the moment.

C'mon guys - especially JZee - please, please, please consider the alternatives. Solar and wind power - far cheaper from the start.  Far kinder on this planet. And far superior long term benefits for everyone concerned.  Rather allow this beautiful country to become a shining example and world leader utilising renewable energy, than a future beacon of nuclear waste.  We are more fortunate than many other countries - we have the land, we have the climate, we have the sunshine and the wind...

Anyone wanting to put their name where their mouth is, can do so here or here (the petition is in the top left hand corner) - if you go to those sites you'll notice that there are very few people who, up to now, have been prepared to stand up and be counted.

My plea to those in positions of authority - help make a long lasting difference, a more caring, positive difference through choosing the more intelligent solution to our power problems.

Update: Our TV news station reported last night that a deal was signed yesterday for 8 nuclear power stations!!!!

9 comments:

  1. Great post...thanks for letting all the world know what the president of your country is trying to do. I gladly signed the petition.

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    Replies
    1. Marlin - Thank you. And thank you for taking the time to care.

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  2. Here's another way to put Africa landmass into perspective. Africa would almost cover the entire surface of the moon. That's impressive.

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  3. When I moved here, I was really careful to pick a place where there were no reactors near me, or up wind. Then a few years ago my middle brother sent me an email with a map, showing three reactors near Chattanooga, TN. That's up wind of me. They built them after I moved here. I could sure do without that.

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    Replies
    1. Harry - Yup, same thing has happened to us. One of the eight proposed nuclear power stations is planned for Bantamsklip - roughly 110 kms as the bird flies from Bantamsklip to Swellendam - our nearest town :(

      But, if that's not bad enough - what about the pristine coastline in that area! In any area...?

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    2. Oh, and it's within 40-odd kms from the southernmost tip of Africa - a major tourist destination because it's supposedly where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.

      Grrrrrrrrr!

      Shove in wind turbines - solar panels - anything other than nuclear or coal fired power stations.

      Delete
  4. I'm so sorry, Dani. This is the kind of news that makes a person want to just lay down and not get up. But (perhaps fortunately for me) there are goats to be fed, and so here I go.
    And I'll hope the new plants, for reasons yet unknown, will never be completed.

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    Replies
    1. Quinn - Yeah, disheartening - sorta "stop the world I wanna get off..."

      Only thing that would stop these monstrosities from going up would be a miracle. I pray that the good Lord will step in and work his magic / answer prayers.

      Delete

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