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Frontline Updates - Cry, The Beloved Country

Frontline Updates - Cry, The Beloved Country
By Eco Medics • Issue #19 • View online
Hello again,
Long overdue, but nonetheless important. Today’s edition is written with a heavy heart. It’s personal.
As if the knee-jerk reaction against South Africa’s identification of the Omicron variant wasn’t bad enough, South Africans have had to urgently protest Shell’s planned oil and gas exploration project on the Wild Coast, from Morgans Bay to Port St John’s. The potential consequences of this are too dreadful to think about. Please read the science and comments from Dr Judy Mann, a conservation strategist at the South African Association for Marine Biological Research’s Oceanographic Research Institute, in this article in Daily Maverick.
I’m swum in that ocean, seen whales and dolphins from the shore, picked up shells on those beaches, watched the sunrise with friends and strangers, gazed at shorebirds through binoculars, and enjoyed the intensely fresh spoils provided by local subsistence fisherman. It is a beautiful and ecologically rich part of a beautiful and ecologically rich country.
Why, in late 2021, with all that has been said and done, are we letting this happen? As Dr Mann says:
The global market is moving away from fossil fuels, given the potentially catastrophic effects of human-induced climate change. Indeed, if South Africa and the world are to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to less than 1.5°C, it is reliably estimated that a third of oil reserves, half of all gas reserves and 80% of known coal reserves should remain unused.
7-minute documentary HERE.
We wait with baited breath on a court ruling.
A few petitions to add your name to, in the meantime.

Let’s chat electronics. Okay, maybe not a swap but hear me out. I’ve been in the process of choosing a new mobile phone for a few months now, but I just can’t bring myself to get a new one before my exceptionally reliable and ‘ancient’ Samsung S6 gives up the ghost.
A record 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated worldwide in 2019 — up by one-fifth in just five years, according to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020. That’s set to reach 74 million tons by 2030, making e-waste the world’s fastest-growing source of domestic waste fueled by higher demand for electronics, short life-cycles and few options for repair.
Fortunately, a few brands are trying to change the game in terms of sustainability by building electronics designed to last, with replaceable individual parts and at-home repairs. I’ll signpost you to Fairphone and Framework as examples.
Crux of the matter, think before you buy. Do you need the new phone/wireless headphones/laptop/kitchen gadget/etc or will the one you have do just fine? It’s an individual choice. Your work may mandate that you have the best webcam, but if not then I’m sure the built in one will suffice, even if it does make you look like a ghost (again, I’m talking from experience here).
A Few Things To Take In
Climate change is a medical emergency…Under such circumstances, no doctor would consider a series of annual case discussions and aspirations adequate, yet this is exactly how the global response to climate change is proceeding.” - Professor Hugh Montgomery
Social Media
A megapod of dolphins off the Wild Coast caught by @markroach_za.
A Quick Plug
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After taking the test, make a few pledges to reduce your carbon footprint, and then have the opportunity to carbon offset the rest in Gold Standard approved projects.
Also, start a conversation by wearing our reusable masks at work.
And that's all, folks!
If you have any thoughts, suggestions or questions, feel free to reach out on Instagram, or just hit reply to send us a direct email! In the mean time, we’d love you even more if you fancy buying us a coffee to help us pay the bills so we can keep Eco Medics running.
By for now,
Today’s issue was written by David Maasdorp, an EM specialty doctor and GP trainee in London and Eco Medics Director. Follow David on Instagram @thegeneraladventurer.
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We're Eco Medics, a small group of healthcare professionals from the UK on a mission to make healthcare sustainable. Every couple of weeks, we write a newsletter about what we've been up to along with some thoughts on how best to look after our planet, both at home and at work.

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