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Showing posts from May, 2007

Biomass Burning to Combat Climate Change!

Recently I read the Report titled "Energy [r]evolution-A sustainable India Energy Outlook" that has been published by Greenpeace International and European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) in January 2007 with a foreword by Dr R K Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report ends up recommending incinerators for energy generation from biomass. In chapter 8 concerning energy technologies', on page no. 77 of this report, it talks about 'biomass energy'. On page 78, the report talks of 'biomass technology' wherein 'thermal systems' are mentioned and it goes on to recommend 'direct combustion', 'gasification', 'pyrolysis' (co-incineration processes) as ways of converting biomass into energy for heat as well as electricity.

Initially, I was saddened to note that the Greenpeace International & EREC Report has a foreword from Dr Pachauri whose The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has co…

Isolation of US on Cultural Diversity

Mediavigil endorses UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity adopted in October 2005. This UN Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CCD) was approved by 148 countries, while two countries -the United States and Israel- voted against it and four countries Australia, Honduras, Liberia and Nicaragua abstained.

All the 28-amendments to the agreement proposed by the US were rejected by the UNESCO. This came in spite of a letter from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warning governments that the accord would "sow conflict rather than cooperation." The Financial Times reported it as "US isolated over cultural diversity".

Unnoticed by Indian media, this new UN treaty entered into force on March 18, 2007 following its ratification by a sufficient number of countries. It equates cultural rights with human rights.

The role of communication in the protection of cultural diversity has been discussed at the World Summit on Informa…

Diverting Rivers in India and China

While media remains indulgent in jingoistic reporting of diversion of rivers in India and China and the civil society remains fragmented with its inherent historical amnesia and morality with regard to developments that are changing the natural course of rivers beyond repairs, Government of India has coopted some environmental NGOs in furtherance of its designs. These designs include equating national security with national security and public interest with national interest.

These NGOs publicly shy away from supporting Interlinking of Rivers in India or in China but they are within Government Committees whose terms of reference makes interlinking of rivers fait accompli. Even as such ecologically disastrous projects are under execution and there are only two ways of expressing one's ideological positions either by opposing them or by supporting them, there are those who prefer to be fence sitters. These entities must be identified because they are more lethal than the visible …

Farmers Suicide, Global Warming and Indian Parliament

Farmers Suicide, Global Warming and Indian Parliament

How media corporations globally are dictated by the way their proprietors perceive issues of concern has once again been revealed with Rupert Murdoch's shifting position on climate change. Murdoch who has long been a skeptic and has been sanitising coverage of global warming but now he has decided to advocate emission cuts to combat the problem and to make his own company Carbon neutral.

As the head of a $58 billion company that holds the reins the most cable broadcast networks and print publications in the US, Europe and Australia his change of heart means greater coverage of the adverse impacts of global change.

In the aftermath of the UN Security Council's first-ever discussion on climate change as a serious threat to security and future political stability on April 17, 2007 in New York at the UN headquarters, Indian Parliament too woke up to the issue with Lok Sabha holding a debate on the issue.

One of the newspapers ap…

Tryst with 1857

Why did Jawaharlal Nehru not refer to First War of Independence in his Tryst with Destiny speech? Did he get the speech approved or edited from Lord Mountbattan or the British Parliament?

Hundred years after the defeat battle of Plassey and later the battle of Buxer, the Indian independence movement spans 90 years from 1857 to 1947.

Gangadhar Nehru, father of Pandit Motilal Nehru and grand father of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was appointed Kotwal of Delhi by East India Company just before the eruption of the first war of independence in 1857 according to the official history of Delhi Police. Gangadhar Nehru was the last Kotwal of Delhi because after the British repression of 1857 the institution of Kotwal came to an end. There is dearth of information regarding his role in the British repression of the freedom fighters under the leadership of Bahadur Shah Zafar. A well-established army of 200,000 Indians officered by 40,000 British soldiers dominated India by 1857.

Vinayak Damodar Savar…

Forest land, non-froest use etc

All through the first quarter of 2007 media reported the conflict between the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Environment and Forests over the composition of the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) in the T N Godavarman case.The issue of Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) continues to make headlines. Effort to define the expertise needed to oversee conversion of forest land into non-forest use remains unresolved.

Any activity that requires the diversion of forest land for non-forest has to get clearance by the Ministry under the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980. In pursuance of the same the Ministry refers every proposal with complete documentation to the FAC prior to granting clearance. The committee takes a view on whether the forest land in question should be allowed to be diverted or not.

FAC is the highest Government-appointed advisory body that is responsible for all clearances related to any diversion of forest land for purposes like laying of roads, water/sewerage pipelines, pow…

युगवार्ता: बहुराष्ट्रीय कंपनियों का पैरोकार संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ