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Make (Or Break) In India: Down to Earth special issue ahead of the Union Budget

The Union Budget 2015-2016 will be presented in amid dwindling fortunes of the NDA government. Agriculture is already on a downswing while the economic slowdown is perceptible – all this when nine states are going to polls in 2016-17. Down to Earth presents a series of analyses of the  Union Budget from the environment and development perspectives.

Winds of change – A view from Nersa

Morvarid Fernandez writes: Our crops failed, cattle graze the dry paddy straw, and fields remain fallow because there is not enough water. Bore wells are deeper, the lines longer, and the black blister bug – usually a bane – simply did not appear last year. The monsoon of 2015, you ask. But there just wasn’t one.

Alert: Global financial crash ahead?

The Guardian reports: Investors face a “cataclysmic year” where stock markets could fall by up to 20% and oil could slump to $16 a barrel, the Royal Bank of Scotland have warned. In a note to clients, it said: “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital.”

A Farmer’s Life Crisis — And India’s Farming Predicament

IndiaSpend reports: Indian farms depend too much on increasingly uncertain rainfall: while there was not enough rain during the pre-monsoon kharif season (July-October) last year, there has been vastly excess rainfall during this rabi season (October-March). For instance, Eastern Rajasthan, the farm belt of the desert state, had more than 14 times the normal rainfall during this pre-monsoon season.

Paris Climate Accord: Interactive guide and post-mortem

This interactive graphic by Carbon Brief outlines and explaines all the fundamental components of the Paris climate deal. Among other issues, the graphic covers mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance and transparency. It looks at the elements of the so-called “ambition mechanism”, the inclusion of a 1.5C aspirational target, the long-term goal, and much more.

Special: Delhi’s alarming pollution problem

According to a recent survey, air pollution in Delhi is one-and-a-half times worse than in Beijing, which has always been among the world’s most polluted cities. This feature looks at Delhi’s unprecedented air pollution, which is endangering the health of its citizens, especially young children, and making the city a textbook example of urban dysfunction.

Series: Weathering the change – Part 1

(Note: The weather is changing, adding to the woes of the Indian farmer, who is already in a state of crisis. Even as the pundits split hairs over climate change, for the farmer, it seems the writing is on the wall. In Weathering the change, we present a short series presenting the farmer’s perspective on the impact of these changes.)

Special: Nuclear power wanes as solar rises worldwide

India drastically lowers nuclear energy target Deccan Herald With little progress on ground since the 2008 Indo-US nuclear agreement, the government has drastically cut the nuclear energy target from 63,000 Mwe by 2032 to just about 14,500 Mwe by 2024. Quiet Burial For India-US Nuclear Deal? Amit Bhandari, Gateway House Solar power developers have offered

Special: Questioning the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals: Can we pull them off? Catch News The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The new set has 169 targets. Critics believe these are well-intentioned, but range from grandiose (end hunger) to peripheral (promote sustainable tourism) to flat-out impossible (full and productive employment and decent work

Special: Financial crash alert!

(Note: As the world watches the unfolding crisis in Greece with bated breath, here’s a look at other, perhaps lesser known trends that indicate a global financial crash is in the offing. Here’s a collection of articles by prominent economists and analysts that  make that case. Some pieces are dated, but have been included here

Special: 2015: The bad news

“He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.” – Bertolt Brecht (Editor’s Note: As a necessary corrective to the unbridled optimism of the mainstream media, here’s a selection of forecasts for 2015 by some of the most insightful alternative voices on world politics, energy and the economy. For those in a hurry, here’s a one-line

Special: Peak Oil and India

Peak Oil and Implications for India While it is dicey to predict oil reserves and production rates, one can accurately compute and collate past figures. Experts have been predicting peaking since 1995 but because of energy-efficient machines, substitution and use of natural gas and electricity for heating and so on, the dates have been shifting.

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