Blog Posts by author Sunita Narain | Centre for Science and Environment

Blog Posts by author Sunita Narain


Sunita Narain

Director General of CSE and publisher of Down To Earth, an environmentalist pushing for changes in policies and  practices and mindsets. More>>

4 February 2010

Visiting the US, one thing came home to me: the country has very little political will to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Policy makers and media professionals talk about the climate change crisis. But any opinion on cutting emissions, based on historical or even current responsibility, is just dismissed. The public perception, seemingly carefully nurtured, is it is runaway pollution in China and India that will devastate the world. Indeed, talk about serious action by the US is hushed up, for it will play into the hands of the Republicans.

29 January 2010

A new decade. For me, three decades of work in environment. I wonder: have matters improved since the early 1980s, when I began? Or, are things worse off? Where do we go from here?

12 January 2010

Somebody recently asked me why India supported the Copenhagen Accord. It is correct to say that the proposed accord has no meaningful targets for emission reduction from Annex 1 (industrialized countries). Global emissions will increase or reduce at best marginally.

31 December 2009

It is 25 years of the Bhopal gas disaster—the night when chemicals spewed out of the Union Carbide factory to kill and maim thousands over generations.

15 December 2009

Take a map of India. Now mark the districts with forest wealth, where the rich and dense tree cover is found. Then overlay on it the sources of streams and rivers that feed us, our water wealth.

30 November 2009

How will India supply drinking water in cities? Many argue the problem is not inadequate water. The problem is the lack of investment in building infrastructure in cities and the lack of managerial capacities to operate the systems, once created. This line of thought then leads logically to policy reform, to invite private investment and hand over public water utilities to private parties to operate.

15 November 2009

Let me be straight: As the clock ticks to Copenhagen, how low is the world prepared to prostrate to get climate-renegade US on board? Is a bad deal in Copenhagen better than no deal?

31 October 2009

Last fortnight, we began discussing ‘authorities’, and asked: Is this variant of governance reform working? This time, let’s consider the Food Safety and Standards Authority (fssa). It was created because of a recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee which investigated our report on pesticide content in soft drinks and the lack of standards to regulate contamination in food.

15 October 2009

If it’s broken, don’t fix it. That’s the new motto of the government: forget it and build another. Do not sort out details. I am talking of what the government believes will form the spine of regulation in future.

The flavour of the day is ‘authorities’: separate, independent institutions not bound by departmental morass, not tied down by procedures or personnel—the bane supposedly of any implementation or regulatory initiative. I think it is time to review this gelato of current governance.

30 September 2009

The 2009 Southwest monsoon has finally arrived in many parts of the country—with a vengeance in several places—leading to flash floods and loss of lives. With images of rain and news of reservoirs getting filled up pouring down TV sets, our macro-economists are seemingly clueless about the damage the delayed and deficient monsoon will cause. Agriculture plays a marginal role in the nation’s gdp numbers and so, even if the crops fail, it will not make a dent in the growth rate, they say.

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