Predictions On The Future: How Climate Change Will Affect Southern Africa

As the reality of a changing climate becomes irrefutable and extreme weather phenomena occur around the world with more regularity, the looming question for all of us is; what comes next?

The truth is, nobody is exactly sure of the details. But experts do know that not all regions will be affected equally. And, according to Future Climate for Africa, the African continent will be hit hardest by climate change. 

CLIMATE IMPACT: AFRICA’S BIG FOUR: 

Before we look at the changes southern Africa will face, it’s helpful to know what all of Africa can expect. There are four key reasons why scientists believe Africa will experience the most drastic changes;

  • African society is closely connected to the land; hundreds of millions of people depend on rainfall to grow their food.
  • The African climate system is controlled by an extremely complex mix of large-scale weather systems, which, compared to almost all other inhabited regions, is vastly understudied. It’s therefore capable of all sorts of surprises. 
  • The two most extensive decreases in rainfall on the planet by the end of the century are expected to occur over Africa; one over North Africa and the other over southern Africa.
  • Finally, the capacity for adaptation to climate change is low; poverty equates to reduced choice at the individual level while governance generally fails to prioritise and act on climate change.

It’s important to note that our understanding of climate change in Africa is disturbingly poor as a result of gaping holes in historic data and a lack of climate research in Africa. For example, there are more reporting rain gauges in the UK county of Oxfordshire than the entire Congo Basin. Nevertheless, many experts believe Africa is sleepwalking into a potential catastrophe. 

What particular changes can we expect in the climate in southern Africa?

HIGHER TEMPERATURES, LESS RAINFALL 

Unless concerted action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures may rise by more than 4°C over the southern African interior by 2100, and by more than 6°C over the western, central and northern parts of South Africa. This is according to models built by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Many towns in the Karoo are already experiencing a process of desertification.

The IPCC also projects these warmer temperatures to intensify existing precipitation patterns, with increases in rainfall in equatorial regions of up to 30% and decreases of 10-20% in southern Africa. There’s also a general agreement that extreme events (higher max temperatures, longer periods between rainfall, more intense rainfall) and variability will increase, but little certainty on the extent or precise locations.

VIRUSES, DISEASE + INCREASED HEALTH COMPLICATIONS

Global warming has already been implicated in the increased transmission of malaria, Rift Valley Fever, schistosomiasis, cholera and other diarrheal pathogens, and Avian influenza in South Africa. Africa is also likely to face new disease challenges caused by the impacts of climate change outside the continent. For example, the thawing of northern hemisphere permafrost will free long trapped viruses that will use avian migration to move across continents. Specific predictions are impossible, but the majority of infectious diseases that have emerged in the last 100 years have had a zoonotic origin (from animals). Health systems in and outside of Africa will face new challenges.

Climate change will affect water availability and potentially the quality too, which in turn, could have serious impacts on health. ‘If every person in South Africa has continuous access to water that’s clean and safe to drink and in the quantities needed, the health impacts from water-borne diseases, such as cholera, can be greatly minimised,’ writes Professor Rebecca Garland, principal researcher of the climate studies modelling and environmental health research group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). ‘However, the opposite is also true. If people do not have access to water that’s clean and safe to drink, the health impact from deteriorating water quality from climate change will be worsened.’ Garland also writes that exposure to high ambient temperatures, including those experienced during heatwaves, has been associated with increases in mortality from heatstroke, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory diseases.

FOOD SECURITY 

Food access is already an issue in South Africa given the existing levels of poverty. The situation is expected to worsen given that crop yields are likely to decline in several provinces, which would lead to a loss of livestock. To confound the matter, any negative impacts of climate change on the country’s economy will have major implications for food prices, which is largely contingent on affordability. 

THE POOR WILL SUFFER MOST
Simply put: if an individual’s or household’s socio-economic status is robust, they will have a greater ability to withstand shocks induced by climate change. In South Africa, however, about a quarter of the population are unemployed and over half live below the poverty line. 

According to the Financial and Fiscal Commission report from CSIR, the 20 most vulnerable municipalities in South Africa are rural, small towns and secondary cities. Their vulnerabilities are expected to increase due to the high levels of informal housing and the lack of efficient management of these growth areas. ‘Rural areas are particularly vulnerable due to their dependency on climate-sensitive resources such as water and an agrarian landscape,’ says Professor Garland. 

CLIMATE REFUGEES

Rising temperatures will also influence the habitability of some areas. However, the largest climate-related migration will likely result from poor farming opportunities, adding to the inevitable movement of people from rural to urban areas already underway and, to a lesser extent, to movement across national boundaries.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL ADAPTATION STRATEGY 

Globally, the response to climate change is gradually gaining momentum as the impacts of climate change unfold. In South Africa, however, it’s increasingly apparent that delays in responding to climate change over the past decades have jeopardised human life and livelihoods. While slow progress, especially in the energy sector, has garnered much attention, focus is now shifting to developing plans and systems to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The CSIR says it is critically important for planners and decision-makers to move from ‘reactive crisis management approaches’ to proactive climate change and disaster risk management approaches. 

In 2017, the second draft of the South African National Adaptation Strategy was made open for public comment. This is a 10-year plan, which describes key strategic areas, with measurable outcomes. The implementation priorities for health are listed as water and sanitation, early warning systems for effective public health interventions during extreme weather events, and occupational health.

SO, WHAT’S NEXT?

While the effects of climate change will be significant, we’re not powerless. Technological innovations (more research in Africa by Africans, more investment in research, adaptive health systems) and smart governmental decisions can still make a difference. Ironically, a shared interest in climate solutions can perhaps provide an avenue for new forms of cooperation between African states and be the opportunity the continent needs to see the common humanity that unites us all.

Collagen Rich Mushroom Risotto

This creamy, gluten-free, dairy-free, collagen-rich mushroom risotto has been created in collaboration with The Harvest Table.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Arborio/ Risotto Rice
  • 4 Tbsp Harvest Table Bone Broth
  • 125g White Buttom Mushrooms
  • 125g Brown Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Large Onion
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • 1/2 Red Pepper
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 10 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 10 Sprigs Fresh Origanum
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Cups Boiled Water
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • Black Pepper & Salt to taste
  • 100ml Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Mascorpone

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place half of the measured fresh produce into a food processor
    and pulse until a paste is formed.
  2. Chop the other half finely, except for the mushrooms – they
    should be sliced.
  3. Pour the olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
  4. Add the diced onion to the pan, fry for a few minutes until just
    translucent.
  5. Add the celery, carrots, red pepper and garlic to the onion and
    fry for 5minutes.
  6. Add the rice to the pan and fry slightly.
  7. Add the blended paste and chopped mushrooms to the pan and
    fry on medium-low heat until the mushrooms are cooked
    through.
  8. Add the wine to the pan and allow the alcohol to evaporate.
  9. Mix the Bone Broth Powder with the boiled water and whisk
    well until incorporated.
  10. Pour half a cup of the Bone Broth to the pan and stir
    continuously until all the liquid is absorbed. Do this until all
    the Bone Broth is used.
  11. While continuously stirring, season the risotto with sea salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Add the Parmesan cheese to the rice once it is cooked through.
  13. Garnish with a dollop of mascarpone, crushed black pepper and
    extra Parmesan shavings.

Greek Veggie Bowls (Whole30 Approved)

These Greek Veggie Bowls with Greek Cauliflower Rice are a weeknight favorite! Packed with veggies, fresh herbs, hummus, and so much flavor, these easy-to-prepare gluten-free bowls are a fabulous dinner or lunch, and perfect for meal prep!

Ingredients

Grilled Or Roasted Veggies

Cauliflower Rice: (See notes for regular rice)

Everything Else

  • Hummus, for topping (homemade or store-bought)
  • Optional: crumbled feta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread veggies across it in one single layer. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Bake for 45-5o minutes, or until veggies are soft and start to blister.
  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, and herbs and cook until the onion turns translucent. Add in cauliflower rice and lemon and cook for 5 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
  4. Assemble the bowl! Place roasted veggies and cauliflower rice in serving bowls of choice. Top with hummus, feta cheese (if using), and serve right away or store in an airtight container for later.

 

Recipe Notes

  • *To make this dish with regular rice, follow the directions on your basmati rice package, and add fresh herbs, garlic, and onion to the water while cooking your rice!

What is Whole30?

5 Things To Know Before Starting Whole30

Whole30 Recipe Inspiration

Recipe from lexiscleankitchen.com

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai (Paleo + Whole30)

This Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai is a simple rendition of a very classic, traditional recipe, swapping rice noodles out for fresh zucchini noodles. Choose whatever protein you’d like, shrimp, chicken or tofu and definitely don’t skip on the tamarind – if you want the full experience!

Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce*
  • 3 tablespoon honey or other sweetener (LEAVE OUT FOR WHOLE 30)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • ½ pound peeled and deveined wild caught shrimp*
For Serving:
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 limes, quartered (optional)
  • red pepper flakes or thinly sliced hot peppers (optional)
Instructions
  1. Using your spiralizer, mandoline slicer, julienne peeler or other veggie noodle maker, cut your zucchini into noodles. Place into a colander or strainer and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to sit, sweat and drain while you make your sauce and start the cooking.
  2. Make the Pad Thai Sauce: in a small saucepan, add 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to barely a simmer. Taste and add more tamarind paste, as needed, if desired. It should have a sharp, pungent flavor, but not unpleasantly sour. You can also adjust the sweetness level, as desired. Stir in red pepper flakes and set aside.
  3. Remove the zucchini noodles from the colander or strainer and with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, gently squeeze as much of the moisture from the noodles, as you can. Set aside.
  4. Place the ghee or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil shimmers, add the scallions and garlic and cook for about one minute. Add the eggs to pan; once they begin to set, scramble them until just done. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, then add shrimp.
  5. When shrimp begin to turn pink add the zucchini noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss everything together to coat with tamarind sauce and combine well. When noodles are warmed through, just about 1-3 minutes remove from the heat and serve, sprinkling each dish with peanuts and garnishing with cilantro and lime wedges and additional red pepper flakes.
NOTES
  • You can also use cut up boneless chicken breast, but you will want to use already cooked chicken or note that it will take longer than the shrimp to cook
  • Leave out the eggs and shrimp, opt for tofu, if you are looking for vegetarian/vegan.
  • Swap tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos for the fish sauce to be vegetarian/vegan.
  • Leave out the honey/sweetener for Whole30

What is Whole30?

5 Things To Know Before Starting Whole30

Whole30 Recipe Inspiration

Recipe from tasty-yummies.com

Vegetarian Paleo Chilli Bowl

A Paleo AND Vegetarian Whole30 Chili recipe. (Which means your gluten free friends can also eat this.) Yes, that’s possible. It’s even vegan if you don’t don’t add the egg!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 1/2-3 cups of butternut, cut into cubes (about 1 small squash)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped, or 1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Poached or fried eggs, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or Instant Pot, heat the oil to medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and bell peppers to the pot, and cook, stirring, until the onions become translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the cilantro and eggs) and stir. Cover and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cilantro. Taste, and add more salt, if needed.
  4. Ladle into bowls and throw a poached egg on top if you feel so inclined.

Recipe from perrysplate.com

What is Whole30?

5 Things To Know Before Starting Whole30

 

Whole30 Recipe Inspiration

Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowl

For those of you wondering what a “power bowl” is: think of it as a giant collection of goodness, all piled together in a single dish with a yummy sauce on top.

This power bowl is part roasted vegetable bowl, part creamy dressing, and part lean protein.

Ingredients

FOR THE VEGETABLES:

  •  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — or melted coconut oil, divided
  •  1 small red onion — cut into wedges
  •  2 large sweet potatoes — scrubbed with skins on, halved lengthwise
  •  2 teaspoons chili powder — divided
  •  3/4 teaspoon salt — divided
  •  3/4 teaspoon black pepper — divided
  •  1 small head broccoli — or cauliflower
  •  1 small bunch kale — large stems removed

FOR THE DRESSING:

  •  3 tablespoons lemon juice — about 1 small lemon
  •  3 tablespoons tahini — or swap natural almond butter
  •  1 clove garlic — minced
  •  1/2-1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  4 hard-boiled eggs — or soft-boiled, see recipe notes

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  2. Place the onions and sweet potatoes on the baking sheet, turning the sweet potatoes cut sides up. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes is well coated. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Rub and toss to coat, and then arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the sweet potatoes cook, chop the broccoli or cauliflower into florets (you should have about 5 cups total). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the sweet potatoes so that they are
  4.  cut sides down. Push the sweet potatoes and onions to one side and add the cauliflower or broccoli to the open side of the pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder. Carefully toss to coat, and then return the baking sheet to the oven. The pan will be very crowded, and the veggies will overlap somewhat. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft and the other vegetables are crisp-tender.
  5. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and place the kale on top of the vegetables. Drizzle the kale with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lightly rub the kale to coat, and then arrange the kale in a single layer over the whole pan. Return the pan to oven and bake for 5 additional minutes, until the kale is very lightly crisp and softened. Remove the whole pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.
  6. While vegetables finish roasting, prepare the dressing: Add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons hot water. Whisk to combine. Taste and add additional salt and up to 1/2 teaspoon additional cumin as desired.
  7. To serve: Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut the sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces. Roughly chop the kale. Divide the vegetables among serving bowls. Slice the hard-boiled eggs in half and place 2 halves on top of each bowl. Drizzle with tahini dressing and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • To cook hardboiled eggs: you can make these in your Instant Pot (this is a great tutorial) or on your stove by following the directions in step 3 of this post.
  • Leftovers: Store roasted vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store dressing in a jar in the refrigerator and eggs in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat the vegetables gently in the microwave, and then top with the egg and dressing just before serving.
  • This recipe is ultra flexible. Feel free to swap out any of the roasted veggies for others you like. Brussels sprouts are another of my favorite additions.

Recipe from wellplated.com

 

What is Whole30?

5 Things To Know Before Starting Whole30

Whole30 Recipe Inspiration

Billie Eilish Eco-Friendly World Music Tour

Billie Eilish Eco-Friendly World Music Tour

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Millenials and Gen Z’s are going to save the world. Though, in all fairness, they’ve been forced to take the helm of a sinking ship, these respective generations are doing an eco-friendliness like society has never seen before. 

And it’s making some big waves.

The Hollywood Foreign Press made history on 5 January 2020, by serving the first plant-based menu at the Golden Globes. They announced that it formed part of their sustainability efforts, and that they were planning to go vegan for all five of their major award ceremonies.

This is proof that any brand, company or conglomeration can be earth-conscious on a macro scale.

I’ve attended my fair share of music festival that have recycling bins, utilise water-wise bathrooms and have cashless bar systems. What Billie Eilish is committing to do incorporates all of these elements and elevate them.  Though she won’t be making a turn in South Africa, Eilish’s ‘Where Do We Go’ tour that kicks off in March will bring eco-awareness to 40 different cities across 17 countries

“Our Earth is warming up and our oceans are rising. Extreme weather is wrecking millions of lives,” the 18-year-old eco-warrior shared in a video released last year. It’s going to take a great amount of effort to treat our current climate emergency, and Eilish is collaborating with non-profit organisation Reverb to create a concert model that best honours the planet. 

Plastic straws have been banned and concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles. Each venue will have a dedicated eco-village where fans can attend seminars and demonstrations that cover the subject of conservation and going green.

The first international performing artist to make a statement about eco-awareness on such a grand scale, Billie Eilish is certainly setting trends that fellow musicians will follow. Most of the concert venues she will be performing at have a capacity of 20 000+. By simultaneously proving that many people can be catered for in an earth-friendly way while using the opportunity to educate her audience about the urgent need to practise conservation, Eilish is using her influence in a way no one has before. Glastonbury, Burning Man, Coachella, Rocking the Daisies etc, have all made their own efforts to be eco-friendly, but individual acts haven’t been so bold.

Billie Eilish is proof that it doesn’t take a hero to save the world, just a few brave souls willing to do the work.

JanuWORRY Outdoor Activities in Cape Town

JanuWORRY Outdoor Activities

Even the most disciplined budgeters give themselves a little leeway during the festive season. When we’re with friends and family, it’s okay to get swept up in the excitement and spend a little more on a good bottle of wine, splurge on a special gift or spring on an upgrade for the hotel rooms. While we let the good times roll, during December, January and all its financial commitments waits patiently for us to get all the fun out of our system.

Some of us have returned to work, but the school year hasn’t started yet. If you’re looking for things to do so the little ones don’t get restless, here are a few free outdoor activities to keep you all entertained.

HIKE

The wonderful thing about enjoying the great outdoors is that it costs you nothing. Strap into your hiking shoes and get uninterrupted facetime with Mother Nature along any of the 10 main routes and trails within the city. 

Lion’s Head and Table Mountain are arguably the most popular hikes, mainly because the views each summit offer are second to none. They are quite tricky to navigate if you have little ones with you. I’d suggest packing a picnic and exploring the Newlands Forest.  If you’re willing to take a trip a little out of town, Kogelberg Biosphere is bursting with fragrant flora and enthusiastic fauna your kids will love frolicking in.

As always, pack enough water to keep yourselves hydrated and a few snacks to carry you through the leisurely cardio.

BEACH

Cape Town offers a brag of blue flag beaches for you and your family to enjoy. I’ll always recommend Clifton 4th because it is one of the smaller, less frequented locations that will offer you and your party some privacy. Camps Bay is equally beautiful and is always full of enough families that your kids will be able to make a few new friends if you want to catch up on some reading.

If you forget your beach umbrella at home, fret not, there are a whole manner of rentable beach gear at most of the beaches. Don’t forget your sunscreen. If you’re going to brave the Atlantic Ocean water, you’ll definitely be laying in the direct sun to warm yourself back up. Protect your skin against those harsh rays.

COMPANY GARDENS

I’ve heard tales of a mythical squirrel that wanders within the inner city public gardens. This elusive rodent doesn’t look like other rodents, if you want to solve the mystery of the squirrel, you’ll have to go and see for yourself. 

Company Gardens is a great place to spend the afternoon playing frisbee or having fun with the other animals that call this slice of bliss home.  You can get into some bird watching, marvel at the bouquet of flowers and trees that grow unbounded.

ART CRAWL

No one can accuse the Mother City of being boring because there’s a little bit for everyone within her walls. Surfers can drive out to Muizenburg to catch a few waves, shoppers have a number of malls and high streets to choose from, and those looking for a little culture can enjoy some of the best art galleries that all sit a few meters away from each other.

Loop Street and Bree Street are awash with charming galleries where you can appreciate art, buy a few pieces for yourself, or even commission original works from the artists themselves. You will have to purchase a ticket to see a show, if you’re partial to art of the theatrical kind. Between the Fugard Theatre, Artscape, District Theatre, Baxter Theatre, Alexander Bar and Theatre on The Bay – to name a few –  you’ll have countless options to choose from.

10 Reasons I Fell in Love with Hiking (and so Could You)

The Adventurer’s Guide to Eco-friendly Camping

UnbeLEAFable Outdoor Spots in Jozi

5 Facts to Know About The Australian Fires + How to Donate 

For almost 10 months in 2019, the world watched in bated breath as the planet’s lungs burned in a raging fire. The Amazonian fires were devastating and caused irreparable harm to vegetation and animal life in the area. 

It was a huge wake-up call for climate change denialists. 

As the flames in Brazil were beginning to calm, Australia was hit with a series of wild bush fires, and the country has been working tirelessly to extinguish the inferno ever since. Here is some information to clue you up on the current natural disaster that has the potential to affect all our lives.

WHERE ARE THE FIRES

The Australian bush fires have hit every single state across the country, but New South Wales is receiving the brunt of the burn. 

You might have seen a number of doctored images making the rounds, misinforming people about the state of Australia. Some might call it artistic expression, while others argue that its purpose lays in the shock value – if people think the entire continent is up in flames, they’ll spring to action. Either way, we can all agree that it is deeply concerning to find a few opportunists using the fires to create fake news. 

WHEN DID THE FIRES BEGIN

Similar to places like Cape Town and Los Angeles, Australia has a fire season. When the climate is hot and dry, fires start easier. On particularly windy days, they can quickly grow out of control. Having said that, Australia was coming out of an intense drought when a supposed lightning storm sparked the first of the fires.

To give you some context of the natural conditions, it was reported that a fire which began in the Victoria’s East Gippsland region travelled 20 kilometres in 5 hours in December. The flames are consuming land at a horrifying rate.

WHAT IS THE CURRENT DEATH TOLL

Australia has developed an incredible fire fighting system. In 2009, Black Saturday fires claimed the lives of 173 people, making it the most lethal case on record. As of 5 January 2020, 25 people have died including a few brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to help quash this natural disaster. 

Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and over 4000 civilians fled to the coast of Mallacoota to escape the heat, only to be stranded when the fires crept closer towards the shoreline. Thankfully, they have been evacuated by the National Navy.

Naturally, human lives have been prioritised, but close to half a billion animals have died in the fires. There have been heartbreaking images of kangaroos embracing each other with fear in their eyes and koala bears clutching desperately to volunteers who have rescued them. Together with the Amazonian fires, these two events have been calamitous for the animal kingdom.

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT THE LOCAL CLIMATE

“For Australia, dangerous climate change is already here,” Penn State University professor Michael Mann believes.

It has been reported that, because of global warming, the conditions Down Under will only intensify. With the rising temperature of the planet, we’re set to see hotter summers, which will certainly result in fires greater than the ones we are seeing at the moment.

30% of the koala species has been wiped out, and other endangered species in the area are at risk of being exterminated completely – this will drastically change the natural order of the ecosystem. 

7.3 million hectares of land, larger than Denmark and Belgium combined, have been decimated (a little over what burned in the Amazon over months), entire towns have been levelled. Australia will never look the same again.

WHAT IS BEING DONE

Over 2 000 firefighters, hundreds of navy personnel and countless local volunteers continue to work around the clock to offer relief to those affected as well as to suffocate the flames that have engulfed Australia. 

“We need to fundamentally rethink how we prepared for, finance, and respond to disasters like this,” Nicholas Aberle, Campaigns Manager for Environment Victoria, said. Though their disaster management has improved over the years, a revised contingency plan that takes climate change into consideration would be strategically sound.

HOW CAN YOU HELP

There’s not much hands-on assistance anyone can offer from an ocean away, but you can donate to the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army Australia, the NSW Rural Fire Service who continue to fund the relief efforts. 

If you’d like to extend a hand to help the devastated animal population the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital are also accepting financial aid.

REFERENCES:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/01/australia/australia-fires-explainer-intl-hnk-scli/index.html
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/476595-five-things-to-know-about-australias-devastating-wildfires

Sniffer Rats and Muthi markets: 9 Innovative Ways Conservationists are Tackling Poaching

New Year = New Me: (ECO)nstructive Resolutions for 2020

Climate Change is Real: 7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Whole30 Recipe Inspiration

We’ve put together some of our favourite recipes that meet the requirements for the Whole30 programme!

Whole30 Vegetarian Power Bowl

Vegetarian Paleo Chilli Bowl

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai (Paleo + Whole30)

Our Green Version of Shakshuka

Greek Veggie Bowls (Whole30 Approved)

Chocolate Coconut Date Balls

Mini Heart-Shaped Sweet Potato Pizza

Creamy Vegan Parmesan & Pine Nut Kale

Tumeric Spiced Collagen Latte

Immune-Boosting Adaptogen Soup

 

 

What is Whole30?

5 Things To Know Before Starting Whole30