The 2016 edition of BP’s authoritative Statistical Review of World Energy offers some startling revelations. According to the report, India’s share in global coal consumption exceeded 10% in 2015, for the first time ever, while its oil consumption too set an all-time record. India also registered the largest increase in carbon emissions from energy use.
Martin Parker writes: We live in an age of conspiracies about a world shaped by shadowy plots, secret organisations and deals behind closed doors. Since at least the mid-1960s, the Bilderberg meetings have been seen by commentators on the right and left as one of the places where the New World Order does its business.
This March, the central government set the ball rolling on a new set of rules intended, supposedly, to protect India’s wetlands. In this special feature, we present articles that look at the state of wetlands, and critically examine the new legislation, which many fear is a case of the cure being worse than the disease.
As India reels under a back-to-back drought, with 10 states declared affected and nearly 2,00,000 villages affected, it’s time to ask whether the present situation could’ve been avoided. And yet, here are examples from across India where, armed with little more than determination and imagination, ordinary people have turned things around to create little oases.
India’s environment minister Prakash Javadekar has been constantly in news, and not always for the right reasons. Under fire for diluting environmental protection mechanisms, critics have in the past labelled him ‘minister for environmental clearances’ for favouring industry over the environment. As the Narendra Modi government completes two years, here’s a look at Javadekar’s chequered record.
As India reels under a back-to-back drought, with 10 states declared affected and nearly 2,00,000 villages affected, it’s time to ask whether the present situation could’ve been avoided. As many expert voices presented here point out, it’s not the weather alone that creates a drought, but bad planning and an often corrupt and apathetic administration.
Peter Smetacek writes: The question, naturally, is: What are we hoping to achieve by the process of planting forests? Because we don’t have a clear answer, it is no surprise that there is not a single success story in all the “watershed management” and “afforestation” drives that the public has paid for throughout the country.
With the production of ‘conventional oil’ having reached a plateau and fossil fuels in general under attack for their impact on the climate and the environment, the global oil industry is undergoing an unprecedented upheaval. Oil being the very lifeblood of all industrial societies, the geopolitical and economic consequences of these changes are already being felt.
With the drought scorching the world and the rest of India refusing to let up, Agumbe in Shimoga district of Karnataka, known as the ‘Cherrapunji of the the South’ for the abundant rainfall it receives, is experiencing water scarcity this year. In nearby Kerala, perennial rivers like the Pamba and Kabini have gone dry, affecting thousands.
There are almost 400 fires in the Himalayan foothills currently, which have killed five people and finished off at least 19 square kilometres of forest. The timber mafia and ordinary folks are known to illegally set fire in the Himalayan foothills, to fell trees, but its uncontrollable nature this year also points to micro-climatic changes.
Over 54 crore people across 13 States are in the grip of drought, and it is a multi-dimensional crisis. Highlighting this at a national consultation in Delhi, Yogendra Yadav said that owing to the drought, people were battling for drinking water and food, domestic cattle were dying a nomadic death and farms had turned fallow.
Marathwada region has seen a rise in farmer suicides due to a combination of shrinking agricultural income and an inability to repay loans. Reported suicides in the eight districts comprising Marathwada jumped by 570 per cent between 2012 and 2015. In this probing multi-part series, Tushar Dhara takes a closer look at the never-ending crisis of Marathwada’s farmers.
The Indian Express reports: The Global Integrated Drought Monitoring and Prediction System (GIDMaPS) map shows large patches of dry areas in every continent, indicating droughts of varying severity. The GIDMaPS is a drought monitoring and prediction system that provides near real-time drought information based on multiple drought indicators and input data sets, mostly from NASA.
From the point of view of greens, the Left in general, and Marxism in particular, is often seen as being myopic about the looming environmental crisis. Here we present a selection of articles and essays by leading writers from the Left, who are among the most interesting and constructive voices to engage with the issue.
The Ringing Cedars of Russia series of books have sold over ten million copies in Russia, and has inspired a massive movement in earth consciousness there. Its part of a new, silent revolution in Russia, where more and more people are leaving the cities to live closer to nature. Interestingly, the Russian government actively supports it.
Charles Hugh Smith writes: If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power free of constraint (like taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power, but its only possible output.
Valiya Chirakula Pakshikal (Birds With Large Wings), directed by Dr. Biju, has been declared 2015’s Best Film on Environment. It explores the disastrous environmental and public health consequences of pesticide use, based on real-life events in Kasargode, Kerala. On this occasion, here’s a look back at the manmade disaster that continues to haunt Kasargode residents.
Much of the mainstream media, corporate lobbyists and politicians would like the public to think of climate change as something akin to a natural phenomenon. In this second part of our series on Capitalism and Climate Change, we present a selection of articles that examine the deep-seated connections between climate change and a rapacious global economic order.
This series on rural India’s water crisis won P. Sainath a World Media Summit award under the category of Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries. It zeroes in on the stark contrasts in the consumption and access to water between the rich and poor to illustrate the alarming trend of inequalities in India and abroad.
Over the past three decades, average income of the farmer has increased by only 19%, while that of the government employee has by 370% and that of the corporate sector by more than a thousand per cent… Hidden in the rhetoric of being “pro-farmer and pro-poor” are the continued logic of being “pro-investor and pro-business”.