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Story


Single drops of water make the mighty economy

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.

Inaction discourages positive change in industry

It was in early 2008 that my colleagues at the Centre for Science and Environment had tested household paints for lead content. The issue was not new. Lead in paints had been widely indicted across the world for being a silent poison—particularly when used on walls and items that children would lick or chew.

South Asian Media Briefing Workshop on Climate Change

New Delhi, 2009
Over 120 journalists, representing seven South Asian countries, recently came together at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre to receive a briefing on climate change: its science, impacts, mitigation strategies, politics and global negotiations.

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Front Page Teaser: 

Over 120 journalists, representing seven South Asian countries, recently came together at New Delhi’s India Habitat Centre to receive a briefing on climate change: its science, impacts, mitigation strategies, politics and global negotiations.

Review of the interceptor plan for the Yamuna

CSE has closely scrutinised the detailed project report of the interceptor plan prepared by the consultants appointed by the Delhi Jal Board and found this hardware plan to be a complete waste of money.

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Front Page Teaser: 

CSE has closely scrutinised the detailed project report of the interceptor plan prepared by the consultants appointed by the Delhi Jal Board and found this hardware plan to be a complete waste of money.

Who’s afraid of 2°C?

The latest fuss about the 2°C global temperature target India apparently acceded to at the Major Economies Forum in L’Aquila, Italy, is important to unravel. The declaration by the world’s 20 biggest and most powerful countries recognized the scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels should not exceed 2°C. The statement was widely criticized in India as a sign we had ‘given in’ to pressure to take commitments, to cap our emissions.

Rain or no rain

Last fortnight a dominant image on TV screens was drought. This fortnight, vast parts of the country drowned in water. An uncertain, unpredictable and variable monsoon is still impacting us. Late rain has delayed or jeopardized sowing; or intense rain has thrown life asunder and flowed away rapidly, creating months of (future) scarcity. Regional variations are huge, too. So there is drought in otherwise moist northeast and in paddy-growing Punjab and Haryana. A different monsoon, perhaps signalling the climate-changing times ahead.

It’s raining GDP

This is the fortnight of India’s budget. Pink and white papers scurry around for comments on what the finance minister will do for India’s economy, completely missing the bigger questions. What will happen if the Indian monsoon fails—or fails in the critical period when farmers sow the kharif crop? What will happen if reservoirs—holding water for drinking or electricity—do not get their supply from the sky? Will we have water to drink in cities? Will we have water and power to operate industries?

Can we afford not to change? Can we afford the change?

The to-be-or-not-to-be question of our age. Given the crisis that confronts us—inequality and poverty in our immediate midst and growing climate insecurity in our world—we have no choice but to change. But how will this change be afforded? If we cannot find an answer to this one, what we will get is a lot of talk and little action. In fact, we will regress, literally and deliberately.

Rich lands poor people: Is 'sustainable' mining possible?

 
Outlines the immense challenges facing the mining sector in India: how to ensure ecological security together with inclusive development. Includes detailed maps, data tables and in-depth case studies of mineral-rich states.

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