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Patrick Bond Discusses the Implications of Storms Like Sandy in South Africa

Politics of Climate JusticePatrick Bond, author of Politics of Climate Justice, has written an article for Climate Connections about coastal sprawl and the dangers of leaving large urban developments in the clutches of an unpredictable weather pattern.

Bond also states that it is getting harder to convince both government and big business to care about the implications of their decisions, despite them having far-reaching effects.

What did Hurricane Sandy teach us a week ago, here in South Africa, just as $30 billion of state funds is being committed to the dig out of vast new Durban port capacity over the next three decades, plus billions more nearby for petro-chemical industry expansion in Africa’s largest oil-refining complex?

Not much, judging by the dunces I’ve met during the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, which last Wednesday included an Open Day for discussion sponsored by the biggest investor, the state-owned Transnet port and railroad operator. Africa’s largest harbour, Durban is facing stiff competition: from Maputo in Mozambique for shipments to the huge Johannesburg market; and from other ports along the coast attempting to set up regional freight hubs and export processing zones. Transnet and Durban municipal officials are reacting like clumsy dinosaurs.

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