11 May 2009

Making UCT green

Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price has suggested that UCT should be involved in five areas where cross-campus expertise could be harnessed to make a difference" (MP, 20 Feb 09). One of these areas is climate change and sustainability. I would like to make the following suggestions to assist UCT in its fight against climate change:

  • UCT management must insist that all food vendors on campus, and all catering companies used by UCT, refrain from serving meat. The meat industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, contributing not only to the emission of greenhouse gases, but to deforestation, as trees (including those in the Amazon rain forests) are destroyed to provide grazing or to grow food for livestock. The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, urged people around the world to cut back on meat in order to combat climate change. The production of meat is also water intensive - a kilo of beef requires about 6-10 times more water than a kilo of wheat. It's time UCT took a firm stand on this and made UCT a meat-free campus.

  • UCT should rid itself of bottled water, which also "leaves a huge carbon footprint" (M&G, 9 Nov 07). The M&G article also claims that "Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil a year - enough fuel for more than a million US cars for a year - and generates more than 2.5-million tonnes of carbon dioxide".

  • The Monday Paper and other UCT publications (including student publications) should be distributed electronically. Print copies are wasteful and unnecessary.

Dr Elisa Galgut

I would like to enquire about the 30th April [online] article titled UCT starts debate on admissions policy, which is meant to report on the admissions policy debate of Tuesday, 28 April.

After my colleagues and I read the article several times to convince ourselves that we were not misreading the article, we couldn't believe how biased it was.

Another interesting point to note is that the article lacks the signature of the person who wrote it.

In that case I am not able to blame the writer but the whole publication for bias. Interestingly, this article in question has conveniently ignored the arguments delivered by all the Black people who spoke at the debate.

I would like to think that this is deliberate, and not due to some circumstance outside the reporter's control, such as the possibility that all the Black people who spoke were incoherent or not audible.

In that case I beg to ask whether the Monday Paper publication still subscribes to principles of objective reporting? As we were asked to participate in the process of the admissions review, it will be very important for us to know whether we can still expect to send our comments to an objective publication, or whether we shouldn't bother.

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Monday Monthly

Volume 28 Edition 07

11 May 2009

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