On December 16, 2016 Centre for Science and Environment organized Food Talk; a media briefing workshop and public meeting, at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Let’s share cars; take a bus or metro; cycle or walk Early this month, I was in the Delhi High Court, where a battery of lawyers had filed separate petitions against the odd-even scheme of the Delhi government. This is a scheme to ration car usage so that in the critically polluted winter months only half the vehicles are on the road. Their arguments were that the scheme had led to enormous inconvenience and worse, daily pollution data showed no impact on air quality. Cars, they said, were not responsible for pollution.
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What societies eat reflects their position on the modernity trajectory. Poorer countries have health problems because of lack of food. Then as people get rich, they end up losing the health advantage of food availability. They eat processed food that is high in salt, sugar and fat, which make them obese and ill. It is only when societies get very rich that they rediscover the benefits of eating real food and value sustainability.
Today, in India, forest protection happens against all odds. There is no economic value seen in forests, but there is value seen in the development project for which forestland is required. Clearly, this is not the way to go. We need a value to be paid for standing forests; it needs to be shared with people who inhabit these lands; we need to grow trees in ways which bring money to the poor; and we need to learn how to protect, regenerate and grow trees, all at the same time.
Down To Earth is a product of our passion for change. But it would not have made it to its 23rd anniversary without your continued commitment. Our desire is to bring you news and perspectives on the state of the environment and explain why it needs attention. It is clear to us that as we produce each issue—this is 552nd edition—the struggle for a green, but prosperous, world is getting more intense, contested and difficult. It is also clear that if we do not have independent and credible sources of information, we cannot even begin to move towards resolution.