Browsing articles in " Blog "

Climate Change: Environmentalism and Religion

Jan 15, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Climate Change , Environment // No Comments

I had a few minutes trouble, some hesitation about that ‘and’ in the heading of my article. There was a confusion of mixed feelings about the use of it – may be an ‘or’ could be more appropriate. Appropriate because Environmentalism with its current central focus on Global Warming and Climate Change arguably draws its credibility from science; facts, data and interpretation – we say Global Warming and Climate Change are real not because we just feel that way in our hearts but because it is supported by a huge body of evidence and cold hard science to back it up. Religion is mostly faith, a deep sense of spirituality that is central to our psyche and removed from observation, measurement and proof. So Environmentalism is at loggerheads with Religion and an ‘or’ looks more appropriate, may be a question mark at the end, better. Read more >>

A city on renal failure

Jan 15, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Climate Change , Environment // 2 Comments

Calcutta, now known as Kolkata, has a history of nearly 350 years and a strong colonial past. Job Charnock, the British administrator of East India Company who is traditionally regarded as the city’s founder dates as far back as 1690. Starting from a humble beginning of three connected villages off river Hooghly, a swampy, marshy and malaria-ridden British trade post in Bengal, it rose to prominence of a city fashioned by the British much after London and then a metropolis, 13th most populous in the world with a queer mix of seemingly opposites – poor and rich, shanties and mansions, old and new. This also happens to be the place where I lived my entire life, which is hardly historical. Read more >>

Anonymity in the Internet

Jan 15, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Science And Technology // No Comments

In this age of the internet, almost everyday we spend time surfing the internet in whatever way. Most of us do this oblivious to the fact that we are sending lots of information to the world by doing this. When we visit websites, those websites can pick up our ip-address. With this ip-address, those who mean harm, can access a bunch of information about us, including where we live.

There are ways to protect yourself from this, though. There are tons of websites that offer you tools to browse the internet anonymously . Most of these sites use so-called proxy-servers. So how do these work? Read more >>

Metro Rail – Kolkata’s suicide corridor

Jan 15, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Local Issues // 2 Comments

This is an old post dated January 16 2010. The issue is still contemporary.

Rekha Haldar’s address is Ishwarinagar Road, Kona Colony, Halisahar but she works as a caregiver to an old man in Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Kolkata for last 18 years. Presently she is in the twilight zone in a free bed in Calcutta Medical College. She is the last and this year’s 2nd suicide victim in Kolkata’s under ground Metro Railways. On 9 January this year, a 33 year old woman named Tanusree Datta jumped on the track and did not need any hospital care. Read more >>

Is the need of water only physical?

Jan 15, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Water // 2 Comments

I guess not.

I come from a country and a culture deeply rooted in water. As I research on ‘Water’ as a global resource, a life link and the crisis about it, I pass by facts, stats, stories of untold misery. I come across issues and positions and the anxiety over it by people who care and amidst my preparation of finding my voice about it, I continue to be haunted by subliminal ripples somewhere deep down inside me that make me feel if we lose water, we will lose more than sustenance. At least here in my country. Read more >>

Shore Protection Works – The Bigger Picture Part III

Jan 14, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Science And Technology // 2 Comments

How to protect the shores?

The term shore protection is often misconceived as few Civil Engineering measures along shores of river or sea in the form of boulder or concrete-block riprap, groynes, breakwaters or levees. While these are resource and energy intensive ‘last ditch’ efforts to secure and protect infrastructure or life in strategic areas in a scaled down version of the problem, these are by no means long term, environment friendly or economically viable solutions for protection of shores. Recently Kolkata Port spent roughly Rs 40 Crores to secure 6 Km shore line in Kulpi Nischintapur reach of Hooghly and partially western shore of Ghoramara Island. Apart from high cost involvement with practically no guarantee of success, there are obvious environmental costs linked with such work: the laterite boulder used as the riprap material is brought from adjacent district of Midnapore. This stone, the only available construction material at competitive cost is part of the most conspicuous lithounit of Midnapore and is geologically ancient (from early Pleistocene Kasai Formation) compared to recent alluvium in Sunderban Delta. Being geologically incompatible, the long term permeability and mechanical properties of the laterite riprap remain questionable. Read more >>

Shore Protection Works – The Bigger Picture Part II

Jan 14, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Science And Technology // No Comments

When the idea of shore starts to encompass highly populated cities and very important economic activity zones, the vulnerability issues of shores become intricately linked with social, economic and political issues as well. A threatened shore containing high demographic distribution, trade and commerce and strategic administrative/political location is more than a geo-morphological vulnerability; it is a direct threat to growth and prosperity of the country. Read more >>

Shore Protection Works – The Bigger Picture Part I

Jan 12, 2011   //   by Pabitra // Science And Technology // No Comments

In many popular sources the total length of Indian coastline including Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea is given as 7517 km of which length of coastline of Indian Mainland is 6100 Km [i] . The geometrical nature of coast line is fractal [ii] , i.e., the accuracy of determination of this length is a direct function of the resolution of the map; greater the resolution, higher the detail and longer the coast. In 2003, World Vector Shoreline database of the United States Mapping Agency determined the total length of Indian coastline including Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshwadweep Islands as 17,181 Km. The estimates presented were calculated using a Geographic Information System (GIS)  with a resolution of  1:250,000 kilometers and an underlying database consistent for the entire world. This is a very important starting point of this article because ‘shore’, by definition, is the zone between the lowest and the highest watermarks reached by storm waves. For the seventh largest country in the world with half of its boundary being coast that is a lot of shore (if we hypothetically assume the average width of the stretch of shore between lowest and highest water marks as 1000 meters, we are taking about 17181 square kilometers) and when we talk about shore protection in the context of such a vast geographical area that is a daunting task by any standard of technology. Read more >>


Visits till now

Book Review

Check Books page for review.

Co-author In:

Friendly Websites

J.C. Moore Online - Current events from a science perspective
Quest That Change - On Veracity Of Development And Himalayan Mountains

Recommended Video

Click here to watch Something From Nothing?




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
Skysa App Bar