Centre for Science and Environment



Sunita Narain's picture
29 August 2009
Sunita Narain

The latest fuss about the 2°C global temperature target India apparently acceded to at the Major Economies Forum in L’Aquil, Italy, is important to unravel.

pradip's picture
29 August 2009
Pradip Saha

At l’aquila in Italy, during a meeting of the world’s major boys and girls, India agreed to cap its carbon emissions.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 August 2009
Sunita Narain

Last fortnight a dominant image on TV screens was drought. This fortnight, vast parts of the country drowned in water. An uncertain, unpredictable and variable monsoon is still impacting us. Late rain has delayed or jeopardized sowing; or intense rain has thrown life asunder and flowed away rapidly, creating months of (future) scarcity. Regional variations are huge, too. So there is drought in otherwise moist northeast and in paddy-growing Punjab and Haryana. A different monsoon, perhaps signalling the climate-changing times ahead.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 July 2009
Sunita Narain

This is the fortnight of India’s budget. Pink and white papers scurry around for comments on what the finance minister will do for India’s economy, completely missing the bigger questions. What will happen if the Indian monsoon fails—or fails in the critical period when farmers sow the kharif crop? What will happen if reservoirs—holding water for drinking or electricity—do not get their supply from the sky? Will we have water to drink in cities? Will we have water and power to operate industries?

Sunita Narain's picture
15 July 2009
Sunita Narain

The to-be-or-not-to-be question of our age. Given the crisis that confronts us—inequality and poverty in our immediate midst and growing climate insecurity in our world—we have no choice but to change. But how will this change be afforded? If we cannot find an answer to this one, what we will get is a lot of talk and little action. In fact, we will regress, literally and deliberately.

Sunita Narain's picture
30 June 2009
Sunita Narain

It was the biannual gathering of over 100,000 Protestants in Bremen, a small town in Germany. As the articulate minister for environment, Sigmar Gabriel, came to participate in a discussion on energy security for a climate-secure world, many stood up. Soon the hall was full of blue placards, held high, all saying: “No to coal.” The minister, I could see, was riled. He believed he was the environmentalist in the crowd. He said he would build coal power stations, because the country was phasing out nuclear power.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 June 2009
Sunita Narain

The new (old) government is back. The question is if it has learnt its most important lesson: how to enjoin its political agenda to the agenda of government.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 May 2009
Sunita Narain

The influenza A(H1N1) virus is not transmitted to humans by eating pork, that much is now known and said. But what are the origins of this virus, winging across our air-travel interdependent world? Why is this question never asked? Why are the big doctors of our world looking for a vaccine for all kinds of influenza without checking on what makes us so susceptible to pandemics, year after year? Is there something more to the current contagion?

Sunita Narain's picture
15 May 2009
Sunita Narain

About 24 years ago, I was in a house in a small village some distance from Udaipur town in Rajasthan. A government functionary was explaining how an improved chulha (cookstove) worked— they had installed it in the kitchen. At that time, India was waking up to forests being devastated. It was believed then (wrongly, as it turned out) the key reason was poor people cutting trees to cook food. It was also being understood smoke from chulhas was carcinogenic and that women were worst hit by this pollution.

Sunita Narain's picture
30 April 2009
Sunita Narain

Whenever election to India’s Lok Sabha approaches, two questions tend to emerge: When will India get a green party? Are environmental issues important in our elections? The answers are interlinked; they relate to the nature of the Indian electoral system as well as the nature of India’s environmental concerns.

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