Archive for the tag “Jairam Ramesh”

India’s Energy Crisis

Can India modernize its manufacturing economy and supply electricity to its growing population without relying heavily on coal—and quite possibly destroying the global climate?

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Richard Martin, Technology Review

An old man wakes on the floor of a hut in a village in southern India. He is wrapped in a thin cotton blanket. Beside him, music wails softly on a transistor radio. A small wood fire smolders on the floor, filling the space with a light haze; above it,the bamboo timbers of the hut’s roof are charred to a glossy black.

The man’s name is Mallaiah Tokala, and he is the headman of Appapur village, in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana state. On his forehead he wears the vibhuti, the sacred daub of white ash. He is uncertain of his exact age, but he is well into his 10th decade. He has lived in this village his whole life, a period that encompasses the tumultuous 20th-century history of India: the rise of Gandhi, the Salt March, the end of the Raj and the coming of independence, Partition and the bloodshed that followed, the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and the dawning of a new era of sectarian violence and terrorism. And now he has lived long enough to witness the coming of electricity to Appapur, in the form of solar-powered lights and TVs and radios. Read more…

India: Make-Or-Break Player For Climate Change

Sajai Jose

620poll

Earlier this month, the U.N.’s climate chief Christina Figueres told the media that an Indian pledge to voluntarily cut carbon emissions is “critically important” to any meaningful agreement at a crucial UN climate summit in Paris in December.

As IndiaSpend reported recently, India has bucked a global trend of declining CO2 emissions to emerge as the world’s fastest-growing major polluter and is the single most critical player when it comes to global climate change.

This was revealed in the latest edition of British Petroleum’s comprehensive Statistical Review of World Energy, which showed that for the first time in history, India’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which had increased by 8.1% in 2014, accounted for the largest share of global emissions growth. Read more…

News update

New coal plants most urgent threat to the planet, warns OECD head
The Guardian UK
Governments must rethink plans for new coal-fired power plants around the world, as these are now the “most urgent” threat to the future of the planet, the head of the OECD has warned. In unusually strong terms for the organisation – best known as a club of the world’s richest countries – its secretary general Angel Gurria, told governments to think “twice, or three, or four times” before allowing new coal-fired plants to go ahead.

Wars, Water Shortages & Heat Waves: Are You Prepared ?
Prachi Salve, IndiaSpend.com
Lives, properties and economies stand to be affected by climate change as we understand it. While debates on the significance and impact of climate change rage furiously, a new multi-nation study has argued that preparing for the risks of climate change is an imperative now. Particularly so for a country like India which is likely to have a greater economic impact as prosperity rises in the coming years.

Unnatural Disaster: How Global Warming Helped Cause India’s Catastrophic Flood
Daniel Grossman, Yale Environment 360
The flood that swept through the Indian state of Uttarakhand two years ago killed thousands of people and was one of the worst disasters in the nation’s recent history. Now researchers are saying that melting glaciers and shifting storm tracks played a major role in the catastrophe and should be a warning about how global warming could lead to more damaging floods in the future.

With One-Third of Largest Aquifers Highly Stressed, It’s Time to Explore and Assess the Planet’s Groundwater
National Geographic
One-third of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are highly stressed to over-stressed, according to a companion study published in the same issue of WRR. The eight most highly stressed aquifers receive almost no natural recharge to offset human use – including aquifers in Saudi Arabia, northwestern India and Pakistan.

Saudi Arabias solar-for-oil plan is a ray of hope
Damian Carrington, The Guardian UK
So what to make of the statement by Saudi Arabia’s oil minister that the world’s biggest oil exporter could stop using fossil fuels as soon as 2040 and become a “global power” in solar and wind energy? Ali Al-Naimi’s statement is striking as Saudi Arabia’s wealth and influence is entirely founded on its huge oil wealth and the nation has been one of the strongest voices against climate change action at UN summits.

Why a Leading Indian Politician Is Now an Environmental Hawk
Yale Environment 360
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh believes the “cult” of unfettered economic growth has been ruinous for India’s environment. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his vision of “green growth,” which he says is essential for his nation’s future.

The Limits to Growth and Greece: systemic or financial collapse?
Ugo Bardi
Could it be that all the financial circus that we are seeing dancing in and around Greece be just the effect of much deeper causes? The effect of something that gnaws at the very foundations not only of Greece, but of the whole Western World? Lets take a step back, and take a look at the 1972 study titled The Limits to Growth (LTG). Look at the base case scenario, the one which used as input the data that seemed to be the most reliable at the time. Here it is, in the 2004 version of the study, with updated data in input.

The Mystery of the Missing Carbon
Courtney White, A Carbon Pilgrim
It’s a whodunit with huge consequences for life on Earth. Somehow, a whole lot of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) has gone missing and it’s becoming a scientific detective story to figure out where it went and why. The Principle Investigator into this mystery is NASA, which launched a satellite called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) on July 2nd, 2014, into an orbit around the Earth in hopes of cracking the case.

The Multi-Trillion Dollar Oil Market Swindle
Leonard Brecken, Oilprice.com
In the past, I documented the overstatements by both the IEA and EIA in 2014 & 2015 in terms of supply, inventory and understatements of demand. Others also noticed these distortions and, whether intentional or not, they exist and they are very large in dollar terms. These distortions, which are affecting price through media hype and/or direct/indirect price manipulation, are quite possibly the largest in financial history.

If everyone lived in an ‘ecovillage’, the Earth would still be in trouble
Samuel Alexander, The Conversation
According to the most recent data from the Global Footprint Network, humanity as a whole is currently in ecological overshoot, demanding one and a half planet’s worth of Earth’s biocapacity. As the global population continues its trend toward 11 billion people, and while the growth fetish continues to shape the global economy, the extent of overshoot is only going to increase.

News update

Madhya Pradesh to get world’s largest solar power plant
Times of India
Next year on Independence Day, India will have the worlds largest 750MW solar power plant in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh, which will pip Americas much-vaunted 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight solar project in California, commissioned four days ago. The state government is setting up the plant in a joint venture with Solar Energy Corporation of India.

As coal auctions begin in Delhi, a splendid forest in Chhattisgarh awaits slow death
Raksha Kumar, Scroll.in
Hasdeo Arand, is spread over 1,200 square kilometres in north Chhattisgarh. It is one of India’s last remaining biodiversity rich forests with an unbroken canopy that acts as an important wildlife corridor. Ignoring its own categorisation, however, the UPA government gave clearances to three coal mines in Hasdeo Arand. The BJP government has put one of those blocks for auction in the first phase itself.

World’s public health leaders call for an end to coal
Noharm-asia.org
At the close of their international conference in Kolkata, as part of a broad “Call to Action for Public Health,” the world’s public health associations advocated “a rapid phase-out of coal” to limit further global warming and prevent illnesses and deaths associated with air pollution. The Call to Action points to the “contribution of fossil fuels and coal in particular to climate change as well as to detrimental impacts on the health and well being of local communities.”

The contested story of India’s green shoots (Review of Jairam Rameshs book)
Siddharth Singh, Livemint
Jairam Ramesh was one of independent India’s most successful heads of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF). Activists loved him (they still do) while those worried about economic growth considered him a Luddite. This member of the Manmohan Singh government has now penned his record of the 25 months when he was at the helm of the MoEF. Green Signals: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India (Oxford University Press) is the story of a contemporary conflict.

Climate change hampering world food production, say scientists
Yahoo News
The acceleration in climate change and its impact on agricultural production means that profound societal changes will be needed in coming decades to feed the worlds growing population, researchers at an annual science conference said. According to scientists, food production will have to be doubled over the next 35 years to feed a global population of nine billion people in 2050, compared with seven billion today.

Climate researcher says CIA fears hostile nations are manipulating the worlds weather
The Daily Mail, UK
CIA chiefs fear hostile nations are trying to manipulate the world’s weather. Professor Alan Robock, a climate researcher from Rutgers University in New Jersey, has told of mysterious phone call asking whether foreign countries could be triggering droughts or flooding. CIA is believed to have helped fund a major report into geoengineering.

Imagining the Future History of Climate Change
New York Times
Naomi Oreskes is a historian of science at Harvard, but she is attracting wide notice these days for a work of science fiction. The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future, written with Erik M. Conway, takes the point of view of a historian in 2393 explaining how “the Great Collapse of 2093” occurred. The 104-page book was listed last week as the No. 1 environmental best-seller on Amazon.

Trees as repositories of climate history 
Startribune.com
Most of us know that a tree’s age can be determined by counting its rings. But three scientists at the University of Minnesota say that’s just the beginning. Those rings also bear witness to floods, drought and other milestones, making it possible to track climate, weather and natural disaster trends spanning centuries.

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