Blog Posts by author Sunita Narain | Centre for Science and Environment

Blog Posts by author Sunita Narain


Sunita Narain

Director General of CSE and publisher of Down To Earth, an environmentalist pushing for changes in policies and  practices and mindsets. More>>

31 December 2009

It is 25 years of the Bhopal gas disaster—the night when chemicals spewed out of the Union Carbide factory to kill and maim thousands over generations.

15 December 2009

Take a map of India. Now mark the districts with forest wealth, where the rich and dense tree cover is found. Then overlay on it the sources of streams and rivers that feed us, our water wealth.

30 November 2009

How will India supply drinking water in cities? Many argue the problem is not inadequate water. The problem is the lack of investment in building infrastructure in cities and the lack of managerial capacities to operate the systems, once created. This line of thought then leads logically to policy reform, to invite private investment and hand over public water utilities to private parties to operate.

15 November 2009

Let me be straight: As the clock ticks to Copenhagen, how low is the world prepared to prostrate to get climate-renegade US on board? Is a bad deal in Copenhagen better than no deal?

31 October 2009

Last fortnight, we began discussing ‘authorities’, and asked: Is this variant of governance reform working? This time, let’s consider the Food Safety and Standards Authority (fssa). It was created because of a recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee which investigated our report on pesticide content in soft drinks and the lack of standards to regulate contamination in food.

15 October 2009

If it’s broken, don’t fix it. That’s the new motto of the government: forget it and build another. Do not sort out details. I am talking of what the government believes will form the spine of regulation in future.

The flavour of the day is ‘authorities’: separate, independent institutions not bound by departmental morass, not tied down by procedures or personnel—the bane supposedly of any implementation or regulatory initiative. I think it is time to review this gelato of current governance.

30 September 2009

The 2009 Southwest monsoon has finally arrived in many parts of the country—with a vengeance in several places—leading to flash floods and loss of lives. With images of rain and news of reservoirs getting filled up pouring down TV sets, our macro-economists are seemingly clueless about the damage the delayed and deficient monsoon will cause. Agriculture plays a marginal role in the nation’s gdp numbers and so, even if the crops fail, it will not make a dent in the growth rate, they say.

15 September 2009

It was in early 2008 that my colleagues at the Centre for Science and Environment had tested household paints for lead content. The issue was not new. Lead in paints had been widely indicted across the world for being a silent poison—particularly when used on walls and items that children would lick or chew.

31 August 2009

The latest fuss about the 2°C global temperature target India apparently acceded to at the Major Economies Forum in L’Aquila, Italy, is important to unravel. The declaration by the world’s 20 biggest and most powerful countries recognized the scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels should not exceed 2°C. The statement was widely criticized in India as a sign we had ‘given in’ to pressure to take commitments, to cap our emissions.

29 August 2009

There has been a growing interest in the issue of black carbon -- light absorbing carbon particles, also called soot in our world.

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