Bonn climate change talks: Three challenges India will face

The pointless exercise continues.
Serious resources, political, and bureaucratic time is going into global environmental talks, where India puts in significant effort to tell the developed world that they have no business telling us to have low emissions when they have much higher per capita emission levels.  And Developed countries tell India that without it controlling pollution, global environmental improvement would not occur.


Climate change has enormous implications in Himalayas

Himalayan glacial melting will affect Indo-Pak relations.
About three-fourths of water among rivers flowing into Pakistan comes due to glacial melting in India.  With climate change, glaciers will melt faster and eventually there will be less water for all.  “As glaciers in the Western Himalayas continue to disappear, the runoff that supplies Pakistan’s rivers could drop by 40 to 50 percent”


CO2 level in atmosphere rises to what it was 3m to 5m years ago

CO2 levels now highest ever in 3 million years.
Global climate change is now irreversible.  With this much CO2 going around, and much more to come up in the coming 2-3 decades, this is but obvious. None of us can however truly predict what will happen with any degree of certainty.  A structural shift in global climate is occurring and will pick up speed.  And it is also apparent that the structural change will deeply impact local economies, and it may also annihilate some.  Agriculture in coastal India is one such example.  It is now time for governments to start devising climate change strategies.  This article, however, is more optimistic than this author.


Delhi: Stubble burning not sole reason for air pollution

A brief on how Delhi is dealing with its annual pollution festival.
Read about how flights are delayed, visibility is impacting road traffic, schools are being shut, inhalers and masks are being demanded, and a range of knee-jerk reactions that citizens take when the state is missing or unable to carry out its mandate.


In `model' Karnal, stubble fires rage on

Paddy stubble keeps the flame burning.
A thought-provoking story on why farmers burn the stubble, harming everyone and themselves as a well.  Read it if you truly want to understand the problem.


Delhi Pollution: Slow winds to keep Delhi choked for 3 days

Delhi’s new annual ritual.
Banning firecrackers, ordering farmers, graded action plan, and many other actions are unable to hold back the smoke from engulfing Delhi.   But this time of the year is only extremely worse, the rest of the year continues to be unbreathable as well.  What is true of Delhi is true of much of North India at this time, with varying degrees of intensity.  Why can the politicians, bureaucracy and the judiciary that run India, not find a solution to the problem?  After all other countries have cleaned up their act.  Why can this not happen in India?

Government Actions this week


In Rebuilding Kedarnath, a New Disaster in the Making

Why bureaucracy needs a technocracy – for God’s sake.
A story on how the need for getting the Kedarnath yatra functional led to an urban planning ruin.  A wonderful opportunity for redeveloping a religious-heritage site in sync with the environment has been wasted.  A political leader assigned the task of rebuilding to a mountaineering institute, as the technocracy and bureaucracy looked on.  Bureaucrats and technocrats need to give better-informed advice and stick to their views.


India is finally looking to develop its neglected waterways

How would India develop its waterways?
Using India’s great rivers for transport can help open a large part of the interior economies.  Greater employment and incomes are not the only benefits since river basins are correlated with high poverty, there is also the benefit of reduction in poverty and inequality.   At the same time, there is also the fear of environmental damage in sensitive river ecosystems.  A very interesting article on how India will need to grapple with this trade-off.  


To check e-waste, dealers in Delhi NCR told to take back old electronics

Producers and sellers told to take back e-waste.
This is an interesting initiative being undertaken in India and if successful can dramatically reduce the e-waste problem, and significantly improve air quality.   Where both producers and distributors are being asked to take back the used products under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) plan.  Companies such as Amazon have already signed up. This will not solve the whole e-waste problem but dramatically reduce it.  


Clean coal, not solar, is the silver bullet for India’s carbon emission red

How proponents are still trying to sell coal power.
Coal power continues to be much cheaper than solar or SPV power.  And if the government shifts from old dirty coal plants to large ultra-supercritical power plants, the pollution levels would fall.  But what about additional capacity required for a growing country like India?  How much more CO2 will India generate and add to the global atmosphere if coal of any technology type continues to be the predominant supplier of energy?  Why not shift to Natural Gas? Tough questions left unanswered by a flawed piece.


US?energy secy says fossil fuels can prevent sexual assault

Fossil fuels can prevent sexual assault.
Cheap fossil fuels enable us to keep the lights on, which in turn prevent the scum from coming out in the night.  This saves us from all kinds of nasty things that the scum indulge in, including violence against women.  The Energy Secretary of the US, Rick Perry, clearly knows things few others do.

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