Centre for Science and Environment



Sunita Narain's picture
30 September 2007
Sunita Narain

I smelled the air of Bangalore last week. It was foul. I remembered how in the late 1990s, when Delhi’s air was dark and dirty, we had run an advertisement in the newspapers: “Roll down the window of your bullet-proof car, Mr Prime Minister, the security threat is not the gun it is the air of Delhi.” Since then Delhi introduced compressed natural gas, it increased the number of buses, it got better quality fuel. With all this, the air got less dirty and less toxic.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 September 2007
Sunita Narain

A journalist recently called me to check if I thought that India had the same food-consumer product record as China. He wanted to know if we face the problems that are plaguing Chinese exports of late: tainted pet food, toxic toothpaste, lead-paint in toys, chemicals in textiles.

It got me thinking: of China and of India and more importantly, about the phenomena we call the market.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 August 2007
Sunita Narain

The botted water industry is global in nature. But it is designed to sell the same product to two completely different markets: one water rich and the other water scarce. The question is whether this industry will have different outcomes in these two worlds. Or will we, for two opposite reasons, agree that their business costs us the earth and that it is not good for us?

Sunita Narain's picture
15 August 2007
Sunita Narain

Will Indian scientists measure up to the challenge of climate change? I ask this question because of the nature of the science as well as the nature of our scientists.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 July 2007
Sunita Narain

The government is being severely criticised for the wheat it is now planning to import. Rightly so. India’s season for wheat ended a few months ago. When the crop was being harvested the government dithered on the price it would pay farmers; it floated tenders for import of wheat; it insisted on taxing the purchased wheat. At the end, farmers were paid Rs 850 per quintal, a price which included a ‘bonus’ of Rs 100.

Sunita Narain's picture
30 June 2007
Sunita Narain

Industrialist Ratan Tata has reportedly written to the prime minister cribbing about delays in implementing big buck projects. In his capacity as the chair of the government’s investment commission he says over us $50 billion is tied up because of delays in allocating land and resources.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 June 2007
Sunita Narain

Some innovations change lives. A favourite of mine is the village milk collection system, a cooperative model. There’s a dairy in the village, people bring in milk, the dairy in-charge places a sample on an instrument, checks the fat content, prints a receipt that tells the seller the fat content and the price.

Sunita Narain's picture
31 May 2007
Sunita Narain

My worst fears are coming true; and that has more to do with the politics of climate change than its reality. While concern on global warming reaches a crescendo, the world, instead of finding resolutions, is hurtling towards discord and dispute. Let us be clear: we do not have time to waste on bad politics and bad politicians.

Sunita Narain's picture
15 May 2007
Sunita Narain

Now that the reality of climate change has been accepted even by its strongest sceptics, there is a rush to find answers. The latest buzz is to substitute the use of greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels with biofuels—fuel processed from plants. Unfortunately, the way we are going about implementing this “good” idea could mean we are headed from the frying pan to the fire.

Sunita Narain's picture
30 April 2007
Sunita Narain

I wrote last fortnight about how mining in Goa for iron ore was ripping its forests and devastating its people. I wrote of the violence and protests I saw in its villages, where miners were pitted against people angry at the loss of their cultivable lands and their water bodies. I had asked then: what are we doing? I ask this again.

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