Tag Archives: India

Can We Do it – A Cleaner & Safer Diwali?

Some intuitive ways of celebrating a “Cleaner, safer and Fun Diwali” – Prayers, Sweets, meeting family members and friends, holidays and…

  • Minimizing use of fire-crackers, especially those which produce lots of smoke and noise
  • Resisting the need to over-buy – better for pockets of ourselves and Mother Nature
  • Resist over-lighting – after all, power is precious…

Can we do it? This is the question to all of us Indians. Diwali, the big festival of India, has in recent history, been associated with massive bursting of crackers, and massive pollution of air, soil and water as an aftermath. It is something which we have seen through our own eyes, in most of our lifetime.

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Courtesy: Pumirror.com, The Hindu

However, if we pretend we do not know about it, here are some news reports of Diwali last year.

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath – http://www.thehindu.com/data/pollution-on-diwali-night/article7872344.ece, November 13, 2015

The level of pollution reaches ‘severe’ in several cities of India where healthy people also start getting affected, leave alone people with pre-existing conditions.

Diwali: Delhi pollution ‘hits hazardous levels’ – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34795305, November 12, 2015

Pollution in Delhi during Diwali: The harmful pollutants and their result on human lives – http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/pollution-during-diwali/1/518634.html, November 7, 2015

Is that the only and best way to celebrate – by choking ourselves & our fellow people? That too, when the environmental balance is getting more and more fragile by the day? Can we have a “cleaner  & safer  Diwali”, this time?

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Blog 5 – Climate Change Series – The ‘Waste’ Connection

Hello.

‘REduce, REuse, REcycle’, the 3 Rs, is the consensus mantra to reduce the effect of waste and waste management practices on Climate Change. How does Waste impact Climate Change?

“The climate benefits of waste practices result from avoided landfill emissions , reduced raw material extraction and manufacturing, recovered materials and energy replacing virgin materials and fossil-fuel energy sources, carbon bound in soil through compost application, and carbon storage due to recalcitrant materials in landfills. In particular, there is general global consensus that the climate benefits of waste avoidance and recycling far outweigh the benefits from any waste treatment technology, even where energy is recovered during the process. (UNEP)

As we know, Green House Gases (GHGs) are a major cause of Climate Change as they trap the heat radiating from the earth back to space, resulting in global warming. One such GHG is released from the breakdown of Organic waste in landfills – Methane. (GRID UNEP)

In 2016, Deonar Dumping Ground in the Indian metropolitan city of Mumbai caught fire recurrently. This is a 300 acre ground (largest in Asia) used since 1927 to dump at-least half of  garbage (untreated) of Mumbai.(NDTV) . Among other reasons for this is emission of methane, a flammable GHG.

(Pic: Courtesy, NDTV)

If less waste is generated, less spontaneous emission of methane would be there and therefore less warming due to its ‘greenhouse effect’.

Another dimension of the same is lowered GHG emissions as reduced need of production & distribution of goods due to greater application of 3Rs, result in lesser need of energy from burning of fossil fuels.  This point is well illustrated in the following diagram. (EPA)

Diagram: Life-cycle of a Product (EPA)

Further, even waste management practices like anaerobic decomposition result in GHG emissions. Traditional “waste” management represents 1 to 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.(EPA)

Conclusion – At our level, greater  application of 3Rs is a significant way to avoid waste and reduce emissions leading to Climate change.

Thanks for Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 1 – Climate Change – Myth fast changing to reality…!

Hello,

To me, and I am sure, to many others, every passing day is proving that ‘Climate Change’ is a ‘real thing’…Still, not all are convinced…and to change their view, I am writing this post! Because, I believe that as we, the World, take longer to be convinced, we are losing precious time to reverse the ‘Change’. Also through my posts leading up to June 5, th World Environment Day, I would be highlighting its different facets as well as steps that need to be taken to save ourselves and our future generations of its disastrous effects.

Only today, I heard the news of ‘Canada Wildfire’ covering 8oo square km of Alberta province of Canada. Wildfires occur, but not in this scale, both distance and time-wise, in this area. Increasing temperatures and dry winter, created the conditions for fire of this scale.

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Scene of devastation caused by Wildfire in Canada (Pic: Courtesy BBC.com)

Back home in India, a unseasonal and severe heat wave has claimed several lives as early as in April 2016. Worst hit is the southern state of Telangana. In several other parts, record high temperatures have been observed leading to early school vacations and changed office timings, caution statements for citizens being issued by State Governments and several other adjustments.

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Heat wave in India (Pic: Courtesy The Hindu)

In the coming posts, we will look further into such unseasonal occurrences across the World. Also in the next post, I would focus on how each one of us can become a part of the Solution to combat Climate Change. Do stay with me on that…!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Environment Day 2015 – Today, the 5th of June – Significance for India?

Well, June 5 may be taken as just another date in calendar. However, it may also be used to reflect on the current status of Environment and climatic conditions. For developing countries like India, this reflection is more relevant. On one hand, India with its burgeoning population, struggles to manage  current resource utilization and waste management ; on the other, it wants (& needs) to develop rapidly, unfortunately placing further demand on a fragile environment base. So what does India do? Ignore environment and go full-on on development? CAN INDIA REALLY DO THAT???

Seeing at the current climatic imbalance, I think answer should be NO.

Let me explain: In the previous posts, it was discussed that how un-seasonal rains in March caused a major loss to Indian Economy; and now it is the forecast of ‘deficient rainfall’ during the monsoon months of June to August.

Not that it is the first time monsoon is forecasted to be abnormal; but this is second year in a row and it can impact India majorly – How? A few ways listed…

  1. Fifty percent of its population is dependent on Agriculture (Economic Times, 2014); lower monsoon rains mean lower agricultural productivity and production; causing a direct impact on the income and purchasing power of this segment of population
  2. Farmers are already under great stress due to recent unseasonal rains and existing lacunae in Indian agricultural sector; and for smaller, indebted farmers, lower monsoon rains spell DISASTER and DOOM – a social tragedy for India
  3. Industries like fertilizers; agri-banking; food-processing; textiles etc. would face a direct hit due to lower agricultural input and output – another way how Indian economy will be adversely impacted.
  4. Inflation can face a major spike through two ways – lesser power generation as hydro-electric power generation will go down; diesel demand to go up; and increase in price of food and other supplies due to decreased supply.

While growth will be adversely impacted, inflation can see a surge for all segments of population – an almost ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIO’ for India. Stock markets have already started displaying this sentiment. (Economic Times, 2015)

So India needs to be concerned about climate change; and hence needs to put Environment concerns on equal footing as Development.

To me, this is the “Only Way Going Forward…!”

Happy World Environment Day Everyone!

References:

Economic Times (2014) http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-27/news/47739698_1_population-china-and-india-mechanisation

Economic Times (2015) http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/monsoon-may-slow-down-fmcgs-run-in-stock-market/articleshow/47547272.cms

Impact on Agriculture of Unseasonal rains ( in March 2015) in India – Is it not climate change?

As the Earth Hour for 2015 approaches this March 28, another unseasonal, unexpected climatic phenomenon hits us…this time India…read on!

It is no mystery that Agriculture as a profession and means of livelihood is most vulnerable to the vagaries of nature. Rain, sunshine, winds, high and low temperature, and even snow…all are required for the proper growth of different crops. But the important factor is the timeliness and predictability of climatic patterns. Requirement of each of the above varies with the stages of crop growth.

So if rains and storm are hitting the crop around the the time of harvest, it is no surprise that there will be destruction. And there are socio-economic repercussions…!

A dozen people died and around 90 were injured on Sunday in unseasonal rain and hailstorms in Rajasthan as severe weather triggered by a western disturbance across vast swathes of north and west India caused extensive damage to winter crops ripe for harvest.Officials said heavy rain and hailstones the size of golf balls damaged standing Rabi crops of cumin, mustard, wheat, barley, gram and potato as well as vegetable farms in the countryside which feed all major urban centres in the western and northern states, especially Delhi.” (HT, March 16, 2015)

Other related reports:

Heavy unseasonal rain destroys farmers’ spirits” (ToI, March 16, 2015)

Unseasonal rain damages 80% oilseed, pulse crops in UP” (ToI, March 05, 2015)

Unseasonal rain causes crop loss worth Rs 1,000 crore in Maharashtra” (ToI, March 03, 2015)

Unseasonal Rain Lashes North India” (NDTV, March 02,2015)

References

HT, March 16, 2015 http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/freak-rain-and-hail-kill-dozen-people-flatten-ripe-crops-in-north-and-west-india/article1-1326674.aspx

ToI, March 16, 2015 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Heavy-unseasonal-rain-destroys-farmers-spirits/articleshow/46578267.cms

ToI, March 05, 2015  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/Unseasonal-rain-damages-80-oilseed-pulse-crops/articleshow/46470786.cms

ToI, March 03, 2015 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Unseasonal-rain-causes-crop-loss-worth-Rs-1000-crore-in-Maharashtra/articleshow/46436122.cms

NDTV, March 02,2015 http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/unseasonal-rain-lashes-north-india/358444

Happy Sparkling and Clean Diwali to fellow Indians who celebrate it!!!

Diwali is a festival of lights – of recalling virtues and being religious…of having a great time with family and friends…of having and sharing sweets…of exchanging gifts…so far, so good!

But today, Diwali is synonymous with crackers and fireworks…And further, to the ‘pomp and show’ factor…No real harm if it is done in an environmentally and socially responsible way…but unfortunately, Diwali night has become a mark of enjoyment of a few, and plight of many!

Just to specify, the noise, the smoke, the filth on the ground after the crackers burst, the unsafe outdoors on that Night, is that what we call ‘celebration’ or ‘Festival’??? This negative side-effects persists for at-least the next few days of the Diwali Night…!

Are we so insensitive to what we are doing to the air we breathe, ground we walk on, and people we live with?

While can’t we celebrate Diwali the way it is enjoyable to us (we as a social group) at this moment and next moment?

Lets start a new trend – Compensate crackers with Lights…pollution with purity, within and without!

Towards a ‘Sparkling Diwali and Swachh India”…Happy DEEPAWALI!

Modi’s Speech to the Indian Diaspora in US Madison Square – Takeaways

In his inimitable style, Modi in his speech, succeeded in calling on NRIs based in US to have pride on India Brand; and work with him to make India a skill-ful, clean and prosperous nation.
His high points:
1. India is rich in talent, example being Cost-effective, successful on debut Mars Mission
2. India can be clean by year 2019, 150th anniversary of M.K.Gandhi (Father of the Nation); Ganga river clean-up a priority for holistic development of areas around Ganga
3. India can be a leader – Make in India, invitation to NRIs to invest talent and resources to make India better
4. His government working tirelessly to provide better governance, sans outdated laws and their shoddy implementation

He knows the art to pull crowd and deliver heart-warming, inspiratioanl speeches…
We hope we see his vision transformed into reality in coming few years!