The recent and ongoing drought has been an alarming environmental concern in South Africa for the past two years. Big time Supermarkets like Pick & Pay apologizes for the quality of their fruit and vegtables by informing customers that the drought has taken it’s toll on South African farms. Not only does the farmers struggle, but we as consumers too- it is a vicious ferocious chain not looking great for the future. We can certainly feel it’s toll on our wallets-but this is only a small part of the consequences of the drought in South Africa.

I have selected three media articles to tabulate the main points of each article according to Holm’s (2015:985-986) criteria: 1)Who and what are the drivers of change, 2)What is happening ,3)What can be done, 4) How to get it done and 5)What are the means to do it.

Who and what are the drivers of change

What is happening

What can be done

How to get it done

What are the means to do it

Article 1

(Botha,2016)

Drought is the natural induced factor or driver that causes direct and indirect changes in the ecosystems of South Africa Small scale farmers in rural areas in Western Cape are struggling to maintain their animal stocks because they die due to lack of grazing Donations from organisations like Sage Foundation and Agri SA helps farmers and communities to give feed and water to the animals Encourage businesses to become part of projects concerning the drought, because businesses has the power to “engage and execute actions” (Holm 2015: ) Each year, the Sage group gives 2% of employee time (5 days paid volunteering per year), 2% of free cash flow and 2 donated software licences to eligible registered charities, social enterprises and non-profit organisations.
Article 2

(Animal Feed for Brandfort Farmers:2016)

Drought is the natural induced factor or driver that causes direct and indirect changes in the ecosystems of South Africa Jacaranda’s listeners and Gift of the Givers organisation stepped in and handed over 60 tons of animal feed to drought stricken farmers of Brandfort Feed and water donations as well as money donations Jacaranda and Gift of the Givers encouraged their listeners and South Africa to step in and donate whatever they can Collect donations and organize the transport and delivery of the  donations to the drought stricken communities
Article 3

(ANA:2016)

Drought is the natural induced factor or driver that causes direct and indirect changes in the ecosystems of South Africa (FEWSNET) has warned of severe food insecurity across South Africa after two years of consecutive drought which have limited crop production. Improvement of the food security program

conservation of water

Water restrictions implemented by municipalities in drought stricken communities

This blog will provide an EH analysis and critique of the three articles based on Holm’s arguments and statements in his article.

The driver of change in these three articles relates to the “Great Acceleration”of human technologies, powers and consumption ( Holm 2015:980). The “Great Acceleration” (Holms 2015:980) explains that human activities alterates the planet’s carbon and nitrogen cycles and this causes extinction of animals and plants, dangerous greenhouse gasses and adverse weather patterns such as the drought in South Africa.The drought in South Africa is mainly caused by not recieving rain over a long period of time. Changing weather patterns is visible in the whole of South Africa and when you look at the bigger picture , changing weather patterns is caused by Global warming ( Anup 2015: [sp]). We experienced the warmest year thus far in 2015 and the temperatures will continue to rise as it is an effect of Global Warming and Climate Change.

According to Anup(2015:[sp]) Global warming and climate change refers to
“an increase in average global temperatures”. Natural events and human activities are the main contributors to an increase in average global temperatures. This is caused primarily by increases in “greenhouse” gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Anup(2015:[sp]) states that the recent warm temperatures has been shown to be due to human industrialization processes.

Global Warming is largely caused by humans and relates to the societal factors that drive the change. According to Anup (2015:[sp]) these societal factors include deforestation for agriculture and infrastructure developments, mining of coal for electricity, extracting of oils and fossil fuel burning that is used for transportation, heating, cooking, electricity, and manufacturing.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (‘UNFCCC’) and the Kyoto Protocol require the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries.Considering political factors countries created laws that will reduce and control emissions that causes Global Warming,but although industrialized countries has reduced their emissions between 1996 – 2006, greenhouse gasses still remained increasing (Anup 2015:[sp]). Another political factor is the economy. Anup (2015:[sp]) states that because transition economies started to recover around 2000, emissions have started to rise, in other words, the better the economy and more developed the country the higher emission rate. To prove the point, the United States is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases ( Anup 2015:[sp]).

Kirsten Lackstorm states in her thesis that there is “… a need for additional research to improve understanding of how the broader system of institutional frameworks, social networks, and stakeholder values and beliefs affect society’s capacity to cope with and manage drought” (Lackstorm: 2015:iii). The more people understand what the causes and effects are, the better the control of the situation and people will be better prepared and will be able to manage the drought. When it comes to cultural factors countries have different perceptions of global warming and climate change as well as different rules and regulations regarding this situation (Van den Pol [sa]:[sp]). Therefore the attitudes of people from different countries won’t be the same towards global warming, other cultures will care less and some more.

The “New Human Condition” refers to how humans choose to identify, respond to and cope with the consequences and responsibilities of environmental issues (Holm 2015:983). The solutions such as restricting water usage, donating water and feed to the farmers affected by the drought as well as creating awareness of the causes and affects of drought caused people of South Africa to respond in alarmism and action. Organisations such as Gift of the Givers and Sage Foundation took action by gathering waterbottles and donating feed and water to drought stricken communities such as Brandfort in the Free State,with the help of schools, churches, various business companies, and the rest of South Africa (Animal Feed for Brandfort Farmers 2015:[sp]). This made massive storms on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter ,gathering more sponsors and donations for those in need and also created awareness.

The proposed solutions do engage with the business and corporate sector. Shoprite & Checkers , Vodacom, SABC, Jacaranda FM, Tiger Brands and Unilever are all the main “drought relief partners “ of the Gift of the Givers water project. The drought relief project would not have been possible if there were no public participation and stakeholders engagement. They provided the funds and water needed to achieve the goal of the drought relief project. Research is used to determine how many water they will need to make a difference and how they will be able to do it.

Although some solutions is far-fetched and a little bit out of our reach there is other solutions to manage and control the drought.The solutions to the drought situation in South Africa is translated into practical means that can be easily achieved by the public by donating either money, water or feed. It is easy to donate a bottle of water and to encourage people to donate because in the end the drought affects not only the farmers but also the rest of the people and the economy. Social Media was used to communicate information fast and effectively and encouraged all South Africans to step in and help. It also created a sense of proud in our nation helping ,working together and supporting those in need. We need to stand together and push through the drought because together we are stronger.

This blog  conducted an EH Analysis and critique of the three articles based on Holm’s arguments and statements in his article. It discussed the drivers for change related to the “Great Acceleration” and “New Human Condition” described by Holm(2015:977-992).

 SOURCES CONSULTED
Ana. 2016.SA to face severe food crisis, high staple food prices by September. [O]. Available:
http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/c4eaf0804c26189db559bf3277647e55/ SAundefinedtoundefinedfaceundefinedsevereundefinedfoodundefinedcrisis,undefinedhighundefine dstapleundefinedfoodundefinedpricesundefinedbyundefinedSeptember-20162403
Accessed on 1 April 2016
Animal Feed for Brandfort Farmers. 2016. [O]. Available:
http://www.giftofthegivers.org/disaster-relief/south-africa/1038-2016-disaster-relief- sa/sa-drought
Accessed on 3 April 2016

Anup, S. 2015. Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction. Global Issues. [O]. Available:
<http://www.globalissues.org/article/233/climate-change-and-global-warming-introduction&gt;.
Accessed on 1 April 2016

Botha, M. 2016.Agri SA urges govt to declare drought a national disaster. [O]. Available:
http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/673104804c13f03686f5a627c315d91e/Agriundefined SAundefinedurgesundefinedgovtundefinedtoundefineddeclareundefineddrou ghtundefinedaundefinednationalundefineddisaster-20161803
Accessed on 1 April 2016

Holm,P et al. 2015. Humanities for the Environment- A manifesto for research and action.Humanities 4:977-992.

Lackstrom,K. 2015. Institutional Adaptation and Drought Management in the Carolinas. [O].Available: http://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi? article=4149&context=etd
Accessed on 2 April 2016

Lekhafola, K. 2016. Gift of the Givers assists Bloemfontein farmers. [O]. Available:
http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/47d46c804c0dadc09cd29d86af38e8be/ GiftundefinedofundefinedtheundefinedGiversundefinedassistsundefinedBloemundefinedfarmers-20161603
Accessed on 1 April 2016

Sage Foundation steps in with disaster relief for drought-stricken community. 2016. [O]. Available:
http://www.agrisa.co.za/sage-foundation-steps-disaster-relief-drought-stricken- community/?lang=za
Accessed on 1 April 2016
Van den Pol, B. [Sa]. The connection between culture and climate change. [O].
http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/pdf/case-studies/cs-bernadet-van-den-pol.pdf
Accessed on 2 April 2016

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Environmental Humanities and the Media

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s