First let me introduce myself. I am a Member of Parliament for the Independant Democrats with a passion for the environment and committed to the task of making South Africa a leader in the area of sustainable development. That might sound like an impossible task given that South Africa currently has one of the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the world and many of our natural resources, particularly water, are under severe strain. I like to set high goals, however, and I am convinced that there are enough committed South Africans with the knowledge, drive and ability to bring about the sustainable revolution that we so desperately need.
I am aware, however, that the term sustainable development is a contested one, with many different interpretations and perspectives being brought to bear on it. To me, sustainable development or sustainability is not an end point but rather a complex and dynamic process, which has to be worked out for each particular context. This also requires change at every level of society, right from the very personal level through to communities, cities, provinces, countries and the increasingly frustrating international level.
Thankfully I have been given opportunities to witness and be engaged in the sustainability process at each of these levels, whether it is being part of the government delegation at the climate change COP; fighting over the details of South Africa’s twenty year energy plan, or even trying to find the best way of installing a solar water heater and grey-water system in my house. This blog will therefore represent my musings on each of these levels in the hope that it will inspire others to become part of the change that is so desperately needed. I am also hoping that this can be an interactive process whereby those who are on their own journey to sustainability can give me advice on how to tackle some of the contradictions and conundrums that are inevitable in this change process.
Member of Parliament
Chief Whip and Environmental and Energy Spokesperson
- 2 November 2011: Lunch Hour Talk - South Africa & Climate Change
- 20 December 2010: A lesson in How not to save the world
- 20 December 2010: Time for the World to Grow Up
- 12 December 2010: Water as a Connecting Force
- 9 December 2010: Glimmers of Hope in America
- 9 December 2010: Will China and the US lead the Sustainable Revolution?
- 6 June 2010: What have I done so far!