Browsing articles tagged with " Climate Change "

The Purple Frog and Development

The rain stopped a while ago. It sat inconspicuous on the mulch and turned its small head towards the distant haze, sensing for the direction of the sea with its ancient amphibian wisdom. It is the sea that came up 150 million years ago separating the great Sahyadri from Madagascar and Seychelles – a time far in the past ruled by the dinosaurs.

It sat confused, its frog brain registering the melancholy of losing out to time and survival. Time spent futilely searching for a female to pass on its genes. The earth beneath its short limbs is shaking as the coffee plantations approach nearer and it is slowly losing its will to look for a new place to hide, a safer home under the warm folds of the soil. It is confused because the rain comes now and then with no certainty that its million year old adaptation is failing to read these days.

Times are changing but its time is up. Dams are coming up, forests are vanishing and the great wheel of destiny is demanding more coffee, more cardamom, more ginger, more crops – development is here.

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‘The authorities in New York are discovering what Egypt also learned — that it’s not as easy to regulate or arrest journalists when everyone is a journalist. But while that may make our lives a little more complicated, it is fundamentally a good thing for society,’ writes Mathew Ingram in his post ‘ What happens when journalism is everywhere.

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The Uncomfortable Truth

The time has come for you to see
That love is something else you practise it to be
The line is long
For you and me
That leads us to the very debt of our hearts
We’re still on the surface deceiving ourselves…

The Uncomfortable Truth  by NNEKA

This is a reworked old post. I hope that it did not lose it’s ‘punch’ in 15 months while it gathered 2657 page views in Think About It Water . I am inspired by Somnath’s comment in my last post ‘ Eradicate Excess Wealth alongside Poverty ‘ where he suspected my content as hard core communism, almost Pol Potish.

Any suggestion about examining limits of personal wealth is decidedly unlikable. Pol Pot is a fair measure of such distaste. Possibly communism as well. Read more >>

Why a Doughnut Now?

Kate Raworth Photo : IISD http://www.iisd.ca/

Kate Raworth is a Senior Researcher of Oxfam Great Britain. In a recent discussion paper she has proposed a metaphorical doughnut as a safe and just space for humanity to thrive (Full discussion paper can be downloaded here ). ‘Can we live within the doughnut?’ Kate asks, presenting a visual framework – shaped like a doughnut – which brings the concept of planetary boundaries together with the complementary concept of social boundaries, creating a safe and just space between the two, in which humanity can thrive.

​Kate argues primarily from the perspective of social equity and the foreword of her discussion paper says, ‘ Humanity’s challenge in the 21st century is to eradicate poverty and achieve a prosperity for all within the means of the planet’s limited natural resources. In the run-up to Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, this Discussion Paper is an exploration of what such a model of prosperity might look like.’ It also says, ‘ Moving into this safe and just space demands far greater equity – within and between countries – in the use of natural resources, and far greater efficiency in transforming those resources to meet human needs.’ Read more >>

Limits To Growth And Beyond – Part II

Affluence is a relative term in societal contexts because in each society standards there are rich and poor. But there are few in the world, as many from North as from South, who are rich by any standard. Similarly, despite raised standard of living, there are under-privileged people in both the developed and developing nations, people who lack jobs, health security, education, food and home. And there are a large number of people under famine, malnutrition, water and sanitation stress and vulnerable to diseases and death. When world economy collapses and industrial output plummets down the curve, it is the most vulnerable section of humanity that receives the mortal blow first. But for now, the Limits to Growth are felt by the affluent societies of the developed world more than the developing world.

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Climate Literacy

It was a rainy afternoon when my friend Anupama Sen and I were stuck in the small coffee-shop in south Calcutta. Anupama is my childhood friend, now a renowned physician in the city with a neat six figure private practice – I recalled her super sharp mind and fierce debating skills from the high school days. We seemed to meet each other couple of years by jolly coincidence in all unlikely places and the current being in the boring office of Motor Vehicles department where we both turned up for renewal of our driving licenses. As old friends we fell prey to the temptations of catching up with one another in a CCD shop and an unexpected November shower stranded us up.

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Will James Inhofe Have The Last Laugh?

So what did the world get out of COP 17 at Durban? And more specifically what did the developing countries, which are just about appearing over the horizon of the greenhouse emissions historically created by the developed and rich nations already? It will be hard not to speculate how exactly the ravages of global warming and climate change will be dealt at our own doorsteps, be it mountainous states of Himalayas or the coastal provinces of the subcontinent. Hard, because, at the end of the day nobody will be truly interested in the political byplay of words, ricocheting statistics of carbon in the air, increase in the average temperature of earth. And everybody is interested to see positive changes towards an old and wasteful business as usual scenario. Everybody wants to see the arrest of increasing livelihood stresses, growing periodicity of extreme weather, nagging poverty, lack of health, food, water and everybody looks up to the leaders to find ways and means for those. Where does COP 17 stand in light of those expectations?

Can Water Dissolve Geo-Political Boundaries? Part 2

Transboundary Water Conflicts

Transboundary Water Conflicts are different from Water Conflicts. Water Conflicts are commonest of social and territorial disputes between ‘users’ of water in history. You can imagine the definition of ‘users’ as extensive as you want. Water is required for consumptive use (drinking, sanitation, washing, agriculture etc.) but it is also required for fishing, drainage, navigation, industry and ecology. The list of beneficiaries can be massive and for rivers at least the context of river basin can extend far from the flowing rivers. It is easy to understand that for such a valuable resource, different groups of people on account of their strategic locations of varying degrees of benefits will have differing interests which may conflict. Read more >>

Climate Change – A New Narrative

The world is yet again looking at Durban, a coastal city in South Africa as UNFCCC is meeting for COP17. Looking, yet not expecting much. The world is expecting things to change and doubting it too.

Climate Change and how we deal with it is an ongoing story. It started with a doubt and continuing with doubts.

Doubt 1. Climate Change? Is it happening really? We cannot look outside our windows and see it. We moved on. I guess nobody seriously doubts Climate Change and our responsibility in its causes. Read more >>

My Crazy Idea

In a few days from now world is going to witness yet another attempt to address to reduce, mitigate and thwart the impending vagaries of Climate Change in the form of a summit meeting, COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. There is a great interest and speculation about whether the meeting is going to deliver us some kind of solution or if it is fated to fail like Cancun.

The more I follow Climate Change Movement of the world and come to be aware of the emerging new order of scientific philosophies, the more it appears to me that a strange coincidence is taking place slowly, possibly still too subtle for mass acceptance and belief, and I increasingly feel that we are in a state of transition of a paradigm shift of our collective world view. Read more >>

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All opinions are solely those of the author. Reader's discretion necessary for using any of the contents of this website. (c) Pabitra Mukhopadhyay 2011
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