Environmental

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Auditing for Fun and Profit

This article by Simon Gear first appeared on the MoneySmart website (www.moneysmart.co.za) in Jan 2012.

One of the most illuminating things you will ever do in the management of your home is to take the time to fill out an energy calculator. 

Coffee

This column by Simon Gear first appeared on the Don’t Be a Passenger blog (www.dontbeapassenger.com) in January of 2011

The Kilimanjaro ice cap has become a poster child for global warming. 

The Environment Gets Personal

This article by Simon Gear first appeared on the MoneySmart website (www.moneysmart.co.za) in Dec 2011.

What a month it’s been.  At a time when the world’s leaders should be closely attending to events at COP17 in Durban, Europe’s leaders have had their hands full averting a collapse of the Euro.  And quite rightly too.  

Betting Everything on our Ability to Adapt

This article by Simon Gear first appeared on the MoneySmart website (www.moneysmart.co.za) in Nov 2011.

COP 17 is on its way and we have another opportunity to watch the human animal wrestle with its own nature.  Here is a golden opportunity to look beyond short term disadvantage, and pull together to avert the environmental disaster that awaits us if prompt, decisive action to tackle climate change isn’t taken.  Unfortunately, what will actually happen is not very much.

Little Solace

This column by Simon Gear first appeared on the Don’t Be a Passenger blog (www.dontbeapassenger.com) in October of 2010

There is very little solace for those who hope that we can appeal to humanity’s higher faculties.  Looking back over history, we have made many startling about turns and changes of course, but every single one has been forced upon us by external crises or has been driven forward by profit.  

Gosh

This column by Simon Gear first appeared on the Don’t Be a Passenger blog (www.dontbeapassenger.com) in May of 2010

Until District 9, every UFO movie worth its salt had the aliens landing in the US.  I personally think that this is an entirely accurate reflection of our interaction with extra terrestrial civilisations.  Across the world, really, really big things can happen, but if a CNN camera crew isn’t there, we only learn about them weeks, months, maybe even decades later. 

Think Again

This column by Simon Gear first appeared on the Don’t Be a Passenger blog (www.dontbeapassenger.com) in April of 2010

I recently spent a diverting couple of hours wandering around a completely ‘off-grid’ house, powered by a combination of solar panels and liquid gas.  What continues to strike me about these set ups is the degree to which green energy solutions are about looking at every aspect of your power, not just at where your electricity comes from.

Take Control

This column by Simon Gear first appeared on the Don’t Be a Passenger blog (www.dontbeapassenger.com) in February of 2010.

South Africans revel in their frontier mentality.  We like to think of ourselves as tough, rugged and adaptable.  It shows in our newspaper headlines, our holiday choices and our international ex-pats’ reputation as hard workers. 

Climate Change and the Language of Money

An opinion piece published in Landscape SA magazine, 2008. This column won an award at the 2008 "Practising the craft: writing about climate change and global warming" conference at Kirstenbosch in July 2008.

Chicken or Beef

This article was written by Simon Gear.

Forget carbon footprints.  Water is the big bear in the woods for South Africa.  Already, it seems like Cape Town barely needs a week of sun in winter to set them back for the rest of the year. Everywhere else relies on ingenious but massive projects to shift water over mountains and between reservoirs to ensure that our towns don’t run dry.

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Recycling
This article was written by Simon Gear. Who’s got time to recycle? I mean, look at my life. I’m schlepping off before dawn to provide a report that no one believes on a TV channel that nobody watches. Then it’s a rush back home to clean up dog poo, make the wife tea, explain to my daughter that she can’t have chocolate for breakfast and explain to my son how income tax works.
Swiss Diss
This column by Simon Gear first appeared on the Don't Be a Passenger blog (www.dontbeapassenger.com) in July of 2010. Last week, a Swiss friend of mine was outraged because she had just been nailed with a €1350 fine for straying a smidgeon over the suburban speed limit. Well, maybe I must clarify. If she was truly Swiss, I doubt she would have been that angry (or indeed have been fined in the first place).
Driving
his article was written by Simon Gear. There is a craze in Japan and the States called hypermiling. Petrol heads with too much time on their hands, and I suspect, not enough female energy in their lives, compete with each other and themselves to have the lowest possible fuel consumption in their cars.
Chicken or Beef
This article was written by Simon Gear. Forget carbon footprints. Water is the big bear in the woods for South Africa. Already, it seems like Cape Town barely needs a week of sun in winter to set them back for the rest of the year. Everywhere else relies on ingenious but massive projects to shift water over mountains and between reservoirs to ensure that our towns don’t run dry.
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