South Africa Locks Onto Coal Despite Water Risks, Grim Market Trends FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Keith Schneider for Circle of Blue:South Africa’s allegiance to coal mining and coal-fired power generation in an era of rising concern about water supply and quality, and weakening national and global demand is causing a furor in the country’s mining sector, affecting the financial community, and tearing holes in President Jacob Zuma’s veil of privilege and scandal.The national turmoil and a number of distinct regional conditions are tilting the balance of benefits and risks against new coal development in this area, say many residents. A deep two-year drought, the worst ever experienced in northern KwaZulu-Natal, emptied the drinking water reservoirs of Vryheid and nearby Paulpietersburg late last year. Thousands of town residents line up every morning to fill buckets with fresh water transported by tanker trucks from sources as far away as Pongola, a farm town set by the river of the same name that is 132 kilometers (82 miles) east of here.Outside the hill towns, where springs and deep wells are still active, one coal company is drawing nearer to gaining a license to mine a new coal seam near Paulpietersburg. At least nine other companies have been quietly nosing around the steep slopes of the area’s tabletop mountains for unmined reserves.Markets for new reserves are thought to include coal-fired power stations in neighboring Mpumalanga province, and for export. Richards Bay, South Africa’s primary export shipping terminal, is 214 kilometers east (133 miles).Senior managers of the South Africa Department of Mineral Resources declined to be interviewed for this article. The department’s weak public involvement mechanisms and Web site make it difficult for citizens to follow new licensing applications. Farmers, acutely anxious that pollution from new coal mines could contaminate their water, have responded by establishing a new advocacy group, the Pongola River Catchment Protection Association, to keep abreast of mining activity on the ground, and to oppose new mineral development.Full article: South Africa Locks Onto Coal Despite Water Risks, Grim Market Trends More here.
Spring Break is right around the corner, and if you have kids – or you’re a kid at heart – you might be making plans to visit a theme park. But a day riding roller coasters and eating funnel cakes can be very expensive. Here are some tips to save on your next theme park trip.Go Two Days or MoreMost theme park price-per-day rates drop significantly when you buy two days or more. For example, according to an article earlier this year in The New York Times, it costs $89.99 to go to Busch Gardens once, but only $10 more to buy an annual pass that lets you visit unlimited times.Buy tickets onlineMost parks offer a discount if you purchase tickets ahead of time on their website instead of showing up to buy tickets at the gate. At Six Flags Magic Mountain, a daily ticket costs $84.99 at the gate. But if you buy it online and pick your date, rates start at just $59.99.Be flexible about your datesSure, everybody wants to visit Disneyland on Christmas Day, but most parks hike up the price of tickets on their most popular days to avoid overcrowding. If you are willing to visit early in the season when school is still in session – especially on a weekday – you can save quite a bit. At Sesame Place theme park in Pennsylvania, between April 28 and May 25, daily tickets are only $45, much less than the regular $75 price.Ask your credit unionMost sites that claim to offer discount codes usually don’t work, but if you’re a credit union member, you might qualify for a good deal. And, if you use a credit card that offers cash back on all purchases or rewards, you can save even more.Use social mediaFollow your favorite theme park on social media and you may be lucky enough to snag tickets during flash sales. At the very least, you’ll be notified of special promotions and discounts.Spring for Fast PassesAny deal that keeps you from waiting in line means you’ll spend more time enjoying the rides and less time standing in line. As much as theme park tickets cost these days, that’s important. Usually, the cost to upgrade is well worth the extra fun you get in return. 38SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Heather Anderson Heather Anderson covers consumer financial news for CUInsight.com, offering readers tips on budgeting, setting and achieving financial goals, and developing a healthy relationship with money. She is co-founder of … Web: www.financialfeed.com Details