Environmental justice NGO Friends of the Earth South Africa/ groundWork is celebrating Earth Day today by launching its latest publication ‘Unpacking Climate Change: Background notes to the catastrophe’ in an e-book version online. This year’s Earth Day theme is “The face of climate change”, looking at how climate change is affecting real people and environments throughout the world, and how people are stepping up to take action to stop it.
Written by groundWork associate researcher David Hallowes, the guide aims to help readers work through the jargon and engage with the global debate on an issue that is already majorly impacting upon people today.
Climate change is just one dimension of global ecological change forced by the massive scale of industrialisation powered by the fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. The scale of change is such that scientists are calling this the beginning of a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. Almost as scary as climate change is the jargon that comes with it. This short guide is intended to let people know what is happening and to make the debate more accessible.
 groundWork is an environmental justice organisation working with community people from around South Africa, and increasingly Southern Africa, on environmental justice and human rights issues focusing on Air Quality, Climate and Energy Justice, Waste and Environmental Health. groundWork is the South African member of Friends of the Earth International www.groundwork.org.za
 For more information on the Earth Day Network and what they have planned this year, visit the website at http://www.earthday.org/2013/
 David Hallowes is a Durban-based researcher focusing on climate and energy. His most recent publication Toxic Futures: South Africa in the Crises of Energy, Environment and Capital was published in 2011 by UKZN Press.