Category Archives: Environment

The Environmental Concerns and the naysayers

I just stumbled upon (not through StumbleUpon) this post on Cafe Hayek where the author comments, referring to a movie he has just watched,

One of these activists insisted that poor people really don’t want better housing, better nutrition, and better education.  Instead, says the well-housed, well-fed, highly educated “environmentalist,” poor people really prefer their quaint, traditional ways of life.

The author is referring to the documentary Mine Your Business in which they have, sort of, “exposed” the environmentalists. I haven’t seen the documentary, and I’m not even interested in seeing it, but I wonder why it surprises people if they are told that not everybody seeks the so-called development; quaint, traditional ways of life ARE healthy and feasible, given we have the required will and enough sense.

Continue reading

America sets global greenhouse gases emission goals for 2008

Nobody believes George Bush when he urges the various nations to set goals to tap the greenhouse gasses emission by 2008 but I think it is a good development. At least he is acknowledging that there is a problem with the globe and the temperatures are rising. Whether you like it or not, he heads one of the strongest nations of the world and again, whether you like it or not, his opinions do matter.

The USA still refuses to sign the Kyoto Protocol though, and this issue raises legitimate doubts amidst those who are really concerned about global warming and are not satisfied by political rhetoric. Understandably, people are skeptical:

National Environmental Trust president Philip Clapp said, “This is a transparent effort to divert attention from the president’s refusal to accept any emissions reductions proposals at next week’s G-8 summit. After sitting out talks on global warming for years, the Bush administration doesn’t have very much credibility with other governments on the issue.”

Bush said:

“The United States takes this issue seriously,” Bush said in a speech on his agenda for the summit. “My proposal is this: By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gases.”

“To help develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce most greenhouse gas emissions, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China,” he added.

Well, everybody knows how seriously the United States takes global warming. They are more concerned with their GDP and how many cokes and pizzas they can consume and how many gas-guzzling automobiles they can drive. Global warming? Duh!

[tags]g8 summit, global warming, greenhouse gas goals, greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, george bush, usa, america[/tags]

Do They Really Care for the country, or for the world

Like the USA, India too has decided to reject the upper limit on the greenhouse gases emission at a summit meeting of the world’s leading economies next month because stricter limits would affect its GDP. I wonder who comes up with such arguments. Global warming is a serious issue and no vote bank politics is going to shoo it away. It is not something we can sweep under the carpet. For instance, Mumbai is India is financial capital. Where will our GDP goes if Mumbai goes under water in the next 30 years.

I think the best way to tackle this problem is that people living in the areas prone to submergence should put immense pressure upon their respective governments. For instance, the citizens of Mumbai should make it a priority that no economic activity takes place at the cost of their city.

[tags]greenhouse gases, global warming, pollution, india, mumbai[/tags]

Limbless Lizard found in Orissa

A group of zoologists have have spotted a new species of limbless lizard in Orissa. The zoologists claim that such a lizard is not found anywhere else in the world. Although both lizards and snakes are reptiles and somehow snakes got rid of their limbs and learned to maneuver without them, these limbless lizards are not snake although they look like snakes and prefer cool places with soft soil.

I wonder when they stopped using their limbs despite living on rocks. It must have taken them hundreds of thousands of years of disusage to evolve limbless. With technology helping us do all the things, may be in a few thousand years we too will lose our arms and legs and will just exist as a thinking mass. And if we don’t destroy the earth and eliminate our race, some day may be we’ll just exist as an intelligence, without even requiring a body. Now that will true existentialism.

[tags]limbless lizards, lizards, reptiles, science, zoology, india, orissa[/tags]

Hindutva, Ram Setu, and Marine Ecology

It has to be nasty when “Hindu” organizations get involved. These bloody fascists need to be taught a lesson, even if for that you have to cut your own arm. Our progressive central and state governments are planning to demolish the Ram Setu to make way for the ambitious Sethusamudram project that is going to connect the Bay of Bengal with the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay). A ship canal will be dug, I think somewhat similar to what they did when they created the Suez Canal. This will significantly reduce the shipping time, as right now all the ships have to come round Sri Lanka.

It’s irrelevant how much money the canal is going to save. It is also irrelevant that the vanar sena (the monkey army of Lord Ram) laid the millions of stones so that they could reach Lanka and rescue Sita from the demon king Rawan. What’s relevant is the ecological, geographic and oceanic effect the project is going to unleash. This is what some of the experts say:

Retired marine scientists and experts claim that if the Government persists with the project in its present form, India could be inviting an ecological disaster. They cite the 2004 experience of the coastline protected by Ram Setu escaping the fury of the Boxing Day tsunami.

Destroying the setu, they point out, citing tsunami expert Tad S Murthy, “Opens up serious potential damage to the entire Kerala and Tamil Nadu coast when the next tsunami occurs.” The project does not factor in measures to protect the coastline from tsunamis after the existing barrier is destroyed.

Experts have pointed out that as a consequence of dredging and opening of Ram Setu, fragile coral islands will be “destroyed by sediments and turbulent tides of Bay of Bengal entering the tranquil Gulf of Mannar.” They have suggested that the channel should be realigned towards Pamban and, like the Panama Canal, locks could be provided at the Palk Bay end and the Gulf of Mannar end to prevent disasters like tsunamis.

And this is where religion gets involved:

It is ironical that a government which changes the metro rail route to protect the Qutub Minar, built with the material of destroyed temples, stops a corridor to protect the Taj Mahal’s surroundings and spends crores of rupees to showcase ancient potteries and jewellery in heavily guarded museums, is destroying a unique symbol of national identity and an icon well preserved in our minds since ages. Even a child knows that a bridge was built by the friends of Lord Rama using floating stones and Rama’s army marched over it to Lanka to rescue Sita and destroy the evil regime of Ravana. [link]

This is sad. I’m not saying the monuments and historical artifacts belonging to the “great Mughal period” shouldn’t be protected — of course they should be protected because they are a part of our heritage — but then why be so callous about the Ram Setu, which officially the government calls the “Adam’s bridge”? Just because the bridge bears Hindu connotations, it doesn’t mean it deserves no protection. So I fully support the VHP campaign to save the bridge — sometimes the end does justify the means. It’s disastrous that destructive organizations like the VHP is doing something that the civil society should do.

Here you can find more information on Ram Setu, or Ram Sethu.

[tags]sethusamudram project, ram setu, ram sethu, vhp, hindutva, hindu[/tags]