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Category Archives: Conservation
Don’t spill, you’ll waste it! Precious drops sink into the hot sand as I mentally admonish myself, pouring water from a 25l canister into a basin. It’s time to wash my hair and there’s not a chance the shower will do it. A scant spray at best, I’d hog our whole supply that way. This is the Central Kalahari Desert and water is scarce, so we’ve brought all our own. Along with a potent reminder not to take things for granted. Such as the basic essential that we’re blessed to have on tap back at home. Like countless other people, but unlike almost a billion around the globe. Here are a few pics to set the Kalahari scene:
It’s Blog Action Day today, which means that thousands of us are posting about Clean Water, this year’s extremely worthy topic. Accordingly, today offers the perfect opportunity to say THANK YOU, and for that matter, in writing. Having recently visited Lesotho, Dave and I witnessed women carrying water from rivers to their rural dwellings, high on hillsides. Back-breaking work, to be repeated in endless cycles. Our Blog Action Day team have provided significant insights into the world’s water crisis, including the statistic that “African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms to gather water, which is still usually not safe to drink.”
The Lesotho rivers appear clean and likely are, fed from the majestic Maluti mountains. But we can’t be sure, nor of the mineral make-up of the water. Jason Green from Protector Treatment Systems drew my attention yesterday to their revolutionary solution that removes “contaminants such as silt, colloidal particles, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, cysts, metals, fluoride and arsenic” and can “be powered and operated by children”. His business partner, George Rose, is quoted in their press release as saying: “I’ve seen people in Africa with skeletal fluorosis who can barely walk due to the mineral content of their water supply.” To read more, also of the pilot project in Kenya, visit www.protectorsystems.com.
This is just one example of the positive effort being applied to this issue internationally. Big up to the whole Blog Action Day crew for their part in it too. They offer a simple way for us to contribute, by signing their petition to “Stand for an International Water Treaty to Provide Clean Water Everywhere”. You can do that here: Sign Petition. Good for them also for making us mindful. Last week I blogged about teaching our puppies to swim, without a passing mention of the privilege of a pool. I won’t wait for our next trip to the Kalahari to say THANK YOU again, with sincere appreciation for an abundance of Clean Water.
Finally, speaking of Botswana, water and lions, here’s a pic of the thirsty cats that we found in a shower (from my post: Taking a shower on the Wild Side…together with Lions!) :
- Blog Action Day – Clean Water (newward.com)
- Are You Ready for Blog Action Day on Friday? (servantofchaos.com)
- Blog Action Day (housewifesutopia.com)
- Blog Action Day is Coming! (smartfamilytips.com)
- Join The Bum Rush For Blog Action Day (smallbusinessmavericks.com)
Those of you who’ve read about My Books, will know that our endangered African Penguins are close to my heart. This stems from childhood, when my late father sailed on our national research ships to the Southern islands and Antarctica, sometimes returning with penguins and seals. Despite the passing decades, I’ll never forget them, nor the pungent cocktail of diesel and oil mixed with the sea, so characteristic of the Cape Town docks. The docks of the old days, before the development of the vibrant V&A Waterfront.
So it’s wonderful to learn of support for the world’s penguins. My fabulous Facebook friend, Dyan deNapoli (The Penguin Lady) is in the process of launching her book The Great Penguin Rescue. Documenting a devastating oil spill that threatened 40,000 African Penguins, it will no doubt be a PHENOMENAL read, so take a look! For anyone unfamiliar with these birds, here are some pics of the Boulders Beach colony in Simonstown:
Dyan also recently drew our attention to a stunning new website of the Global Penguin Society, which ‘is dedicated to the survival and protection of the world´s penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management and community education.’ High five to them for all for their amazing effort!
As an aside about sea travel, Dyan offers invaluable advice for preventing seasickness: ReliefBands. She apparently felt no discomfort during five days of crossing the Drake Passage (to Antarctica and back) on a stabilizer-free ship, while others on board were beyond green. The bands ‘have a metal plate that sits against your wrist and provides an electrical pulse that stimulates a nerve, reducing peristaltic activity in your stomach’.
This recommendation came in response to a query on my Mom’s behalf, as she plans to visit ‘The Ice’ next year, shortly after turning seventy. Hard core women, or what? I can’t take the thought of those hectic seas, preferring to stick much closer to coast-lines, but these bands are a definite for future dive trips! I’ll task my Mom with photography 🙂
And how’s this for a cool side benefit? A user testimonial for ReliefBands mentions going on Adventureland rides that kids adore, with ‘NO ill effects whatsoever’! WOW, if that’s possible, perhaps there’s hope for me to read in cars. Now that would be AWESOME 😀 Continue reading
While on the subject of conservation, we have some special photo’s to share. I posted these last September, but the sequence is so exceptional that it bears repeating, particularly since WordPress have introduced their great Gallery feature! Over the years, … Continue reading
A few years back, Dave and I were privileged to meet Lewis Pugh, most famous for being ‘The Human Polar Bear’. What a phenomenal, compelling man, who is harnessing his unique talent for the greater good. Most recently to lobby world leaders about global warming. He took on the Himalayas, learning that Mount Everest is not to be bullied, but rather treated with quiet respect. Much like the man himself.
Managing to raise his body’s core temperature with his mind, he is able to swim in freezing water, clad only in a speedo. The Himalayan stint in May was 1 km long at 2 degrees C. To find out more about this amazing feat, read about it on Lewis’ website: My Latest Expedition and watch Carte Blanche’s video: Carte Blanche: Lewis Pugh (Part 2).
Lewis’ message? “Conservation of the environment is no longer their problem or my problem but our problem.” Himalayan glaciers provide around 2 billion people with constant water, defying the thought of what might happen if they melt. Almost a third of humanity may be affected as radically as our threatened polar bears. You can see more about the Arctic issue on this stunning site: A Beautiful Lie.
Although polar bears don’t occur naturally here, we had a close encounter once at the Johannesburg Zoo, when Dave helped to clean their pool. Here are a few pics, just for fun. Note that, unlike Lewis, the divers all wore wetsuits!
SORTING COINS FROM THE POOL
Green over greed.
Quotes to consider:
“Every day is Earth Day.” – Unknown
“We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.” – Francis Bacon
“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.” – Chinese Proverb
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb
“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” – Martin Luther
How does a human stoop so low as to slaughter an animal simply to feed their own greed?
It appears that a cartel of poachers has been doing exactly this, close to Johannesburg, by raiding the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve by helicopter at night. They’ve been killing rhino’s, hacking off their horns with chainsaws, and leaving their young distraught and defenceless, if not dead too.
Game rangers took many hours to find the nine-month-old calf of the most recent victim. He has been moved to a camp with other orphaned rhino’s, in part to alleviate his trauma and loneliness, which rhino’s have been rumoured to die from.
About six weeks ago a pregnant rhino and her calf were massacred in the same reserve, for the same reason: to supply the illegal market for rhino horn. A single one is said to fetch around $1,000,000 in China.
There are no adult rhino’s remaining in this park now, but for the record, here is a photo of a youngster that Dave took some time ago:
WHITE RHINO – Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, South Africa Continue reading
This morning, people who care are joining hands across the sand at Blouberg Beach, wearing green and bearing placards that say “Yes” to clean energy, while doing their bit in a bid to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Rocky, SANCCOB’s endearing ambassador penguin, will be there as a living reminder of the threat of ocean-related pollution to sea birds. African Penguins have recently been reclassified as ENDANGERED, as per the IUCN Data List, with oil pollution rating as a key contributing factor in their declining numbers. Their plight features in my first novel, OUT OF AIR (see My Books).
Here are two pics of these engaging birds, which Dave took last year at Boulders Beach:
AFRICAN PENGUIN – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa Continue reading