How Much Carbon Dioxide Is Too Much?

Killing the propaganda that aiming for zero emissions is a fallacy

Caroline de Braganza
4 min readSep 15
Our burning planet (Image by Avtar Kamani from Pixabay)

I’m cautious about expressing my opinion in the public domain, but today I couldn’t stay silent — consequences be damned.

The trigger

My morning routine includes reading the latest local news articles in my emails. One such story by the Daily Maverick was reporting on the third annual Southern Africa Oil and Gas Conference, which got under way in Cape Town on Wednesday, 13 September.

Our minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe — whom we affectionately call the fossil fool — said,

“Those who advocate for climate change continue to pit fossil fuels against renewable energies, and as a result downplaying the role of fossil fuels in the energy mix, while they exaggerate the role of renewable energies.”

Activists from Extinction Rebellion, the Climate Justice Charter, the African Climate Alliance and Project 90 by 2030 as well as individuals protested outside the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) while delegates inside discussed coal and gas plans in the pipeline (pun intended) for South Africa.

The fossil fool said South Africa stood to benefit from the $15-billion investment projects, including:

  • TotalEnergies’ Brulpadda Project in the Western Cape.
  • Virginia Gas Project in the Free State.
  • Lephalale Coal Bed Project in Limpopo.
  • The Afro Energy Project in Amersfoort and Volksrust in Mpumalanga.

Only the fossil fuel industry reaps the benefits, not citizens or the environment.

Net zero by 2050

The journey from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions is crucially important. In May 2021 Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, told The Guardian:

“If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now — from this year.”

Little has changed in over two years.

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Caroline de Braganza

Wise Older Woman (WOW). Poetry, essays, humor. Passion for mental health, social justice, politics, diverse cultures, the world and environment.