Browsing articles in " Pollution "

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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Limits To Growth And Beyond – Part 1

In my post ‘ Darker side of growth ’ in European Journalism Centre I asked a question: In a pond if lotuses grow such that every next minute they double and if this minute the pond is half full, how long will it take for the lotuses to fill the pond?

While it sounded like a quiz to some, I intended to impress my readers about the scary aspect of exponential growth in any finite system. Such growth is certainly runaway and anything designed to grow in that manner is easily unsustainable. I cannot take Kenneth Boulding lightly. Meanwhile I found a more impressive audio visual way to carry the message home.

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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?

Preventable Death*

Water is the commonest vector of diseases and most of these diseases are infectious. Health, hygiene and life expectancy are critically dependent on water; hence the necessity of ‘safe’ water is most talked about issue of the present time. If we do not live a healthy life, perhaps, all amenities of life that the modern growth obsessed world create for us will be left for a vast graveyard of future.

I am content to use the word ‘safe’ as this seems to be a collective metaphor for clean, accessible, drinkable, potable and possibly free water (at least for those who cannot pay for it). Read more >>

Calcutta Cacophony

A couple of years ago, my mother, then aged 74, was recuperating from an attack of hyper-tension, which was diagnosed as having some neurotic condition. She was frail, with an ischemic heart and even a loud sound would set her heart pounding. One morning, at about 9.30, a loud and screeching sound started to tear apart the relative tranquil of our neighborhood. The sound was painful to normal ears and for my mother it was harmful to say the least. As I went out to check the source, it revealed that some telephone company was digging a trench for a cable on the sidewalk close to my residence. Up close, the noise was tremendous and I saw the technicians using ear mufflers for protection. When I asked them what they thought the local residents would to get relief from such atrocity, typical indifferent replies followed. Typical because Kolkata is an indifferent city where creating noise is the order of the day. Read more >>

Terracotta Cups of India losing to plastic cups

In India, tea is one great sip of refreshment at home or when on move. If you visit any Indian city, suburb or even village the second shanty shop by the road is a tea stall that caters to thirsty passers-by serving steaming cups of tea. In a railway journey, on each station where the train halts, your window will be adorned by the eager face of a tea vendor at any time of the day. For such a populous country and such tea fetish, tea is big business in India. Read more >>

Doubling Time: Interest and Population Growth

This post is republished from J.C. Moore Online with permission from the author. I am happy to introduce to my readers Dr. J.C. Moore as a Guest Author for Pabitraspeaks. Thank you so much Jesse.

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It is easy to calculate the approximate doubling time for compound interest, credit card debt, or population growth. A simple rule of thumb to get doubling time is to divide the growth rate into 70. For example, an investment at 7% compound interest would double in 70/7 = 10 years. After 10 years, a $100 investment would double to $200, in another 10 years it would double again to $400, and in 10 more years to $800. Not bad. This will also work for credit card debt. If your interest rate is 20% and you only make the minimum payment, your debt will double after 70/20 = 3½ years. You might think again about buying an expensive item on your credit card if you realize that a $1000 purchase, unless paid off, will cost you $2000 after 3 ½ years and $4000 after 7 seven years. Everyone with a credit card should know this simple rule of thumb. Read more >>

Loktak – A threatened ecology at gunpoint

Loktak Lake is God’s own country. Measuring around 287 sq. Km, it is the largest freshwater lake in the North Eastern India, situated in the Manipur state. Loktak means end of stream ( Lok = stream, Tak = end), which it literally is since it is where all local rivulets end. On the south-eastern shores of the lake is situated Keibul Lamjao National Park that houses the 100 odd last Sangai -s (Manipur brow-antlered deer – Rucervus eldi eldi ) an endangered species. Read more >>

From Africa With Love

He rushed through the crowd clutching the cellophane jacketed single cut rose. The bill at the florist burnt a little hole in his pocket, Gosh, a flower costs so damn high, he thought, his mind oscillating between his purse and the face of the lady friend, he was going to meet. They have been working for a year now and it was a pleasant surprise when he received this small note stuck on his work-station. Read more >>

New Landfill That Can Kill Us

Much of the water crisis that we normally talk about and argue on is centered around freshwater or the blue water and most aspects of global threats about water are linked with irrigation, food production, ground water abstraction, water intensive production of consumer durables, urban demands, health and diseases, lack of drinking water and water for sanitation and all these are further worsened by two elephants in the room (as my fellow blogger Kevin Rennie puts it) – population and poverty. 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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