Sunita Narain | Centre for Science and Environment

Sunita Narain


Not learning from Bhopal

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.

Time a resource curse got lifted

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.

Publications

Numerous articles in newspapers, magazines including a weekly/fortnightly/column on environment and development, Green Politics and Down To Earth for leading dailies. Also co-authored, co-edited the following publications:

Sunita Narain

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Sunita Narain has been with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) since 1982. She is currently the director general of the Centre and the director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth.

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?

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