Entries by Keith Schneider

South Africa Crocodile Farm, Hurt By Drought, Is Where Gucci Bags Start

Metcroc farm is full of slow moving product that doesn’t bite….hard. Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue Juvenile crocs rest by a large pool in a kind of hyper-alert somnolence. Metcroc is one of the dozen or so croc farms that produce the bulk of the 45,000 skins that the United Nations estimates […]

South Africa Drought Draws A Frustrated Nation Together

In rare instance of unity, people eye government’s blunders, not each other. Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue Karsten Hinze fills a 500-liter tank from spring-fed water tanks at his brother’s farm for delivery to the homes of his mother and sister in Paulpietersburg, South Africa. He makes the trip every two weeks […]

Drought Pushes South Africa To Water, Energy, and Food Reckoning

Cities run dry and harvests retreat in an already reeling nation. Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue South Africa’s power sector supplies 91 percent of the nation’s energy from coal-fired power plants, most of them operating in Mpumalanga province, east of Johannesburg.  By Keith Schneider Circle of Blue PONGOLA, South Africa — January […]

2015 Biggest Trends: Water Scarcity Rises to Top Global Concern

After a year of deep droughts, worsening pollution, rising sea levels, and floods, water was finally recognized as perilous to nations and the international economy. By Keith Schneider Circle of Blue JOHANNESBURG — In the last days of 2015, the Famine Early Warning System Network, a forecasting tool, reported that the deepest drought experienced by […]

South African Power Plants Roiled By Water Scarcity and Global Pivot Away From Carbon

Bankruptcies, project shutdowns, regulation, and emission limits curb enthusiasm for fossil fuels. By Keith Schneider, Circe of Blue Images from space of the Kusile and Medupi power stations, under construction in South Africa, show rows of partially completed turbine plants, a pick-up sticks jumble of big tower cranes, and an armada of trucks. The stunningly clear […]

Unearthing Water Risks of the Global Mining Industry

Keith SchneiderCircle of Blue’s senior editor and chief correspondent based in Traverse City, Michigan. He has reported on the contest for energy, food, and water in the era of climate change from six continents. Contact Keith Schneider http:/Circleofblue.org/about/staff/Keith

Shenzhen’s New Path to Sustainability Is Crowded With Obstacles

A new and huge city focuses on getting cleaner. Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue An apt message for a new office park in Shenzhen. In 2014, provincial and national economists valued Guangdong Province’s annual economy at $US 1.1 trillion, which is more than Indonesia’s gross domestic product, and accounts for 10.4 percent […]

Analysis: India Seen As Vital Player at Paris Climate Conference

Opportunity to shift from coal to cleaner energy is real and needed.

Paris Negotiators Expected to Reach First Global Climate Pact

Momentum for a deal is strong. Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org. ““Paris is the scoreboard more than the game,” he says. “The results will reflect how much movement pressure we’ve built since Copenhagen.” Click image to enlarge. By Keith Schneider Circle of Blue French authorities issued […]

Commentary: Drought Influenced Syrian Civil War; So What, Says U.S. Congress

U.S. Congress on an island of reflexive denial. Photo © Aaron Jaffe / Circle of Blue Australia, which suffered the severe consequences of a deep drought that ended in 2012, made big investments in coal production and export infrastructure. The question is, will that investment have substantial value over the 35-year design life of the […]

China’s Early Pivot Away From Carbon

World’s largest coal consumer’s big challenge to lower climate-changing emissions. Photo by Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue Though economic expansion is slowing in China, the country is still growing over $US 700 billion annually, almost twice the growth increase in the United States. Demand for energy to build and operate mammoth residential housing projects […]

Donghao Chung, Guangzhou’s Daylighted Water Refuge

A new urban park constructed from a polluted sewer is a message of new principles at work in China. Photo © Keith Schneider / Circle of Blue The 4.5-kilometer (2.8-mile) park along Donghao Chung, runs for a time beneath an elevated freeway. At other moments it pools in a plaza open to the light and […]