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Wits University Press

Boiling point - People in a changing climate, by Leonie Joubert

Boiling point - People in a changing climate, by Leonie Joubert

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When you tug on a single thing in nature, said the conservationist John Muir, you find it is attached to the rest of the world. Nowhere is this more evident than in the climate crisis. Tugging on a thread of our shared atmosphere in China or the U.S., for example, by shunting pollution into the skies, causes the fabric of local weather patterns to unravel half a world away. Climate change is the biggest moral problem of our time, as people who have contributed little to the pollution responsible for global warming are increasingly understood to be most vulnerable to the shifting environment around them. In Boiling Point, Leonie Joubert embarks on a journey in which she explores the lives of some South Africans affected by this phenomenon: a rooibos tea farmer in the Northern Cape, a traditional fisherman in Lamberts Bay, a farmer in the center of the Free States maize belt, a political refugee in Pietermaritzburg and a sangoma in Limpopo mining country. Most of these communities live on a knife-edge because of poverty and their dependence on an already capricious natural environment. Boiling Point considers what might happen to them as normal weather trends are amplified in a hotter world.
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