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A race towards climate catastrophe

Posted by vikasjaiswal on June 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

When Brian Lara scored a scintillating 400 not out in Antigua in April 2004, it seemed his score would remain unchallenged for the foreseeable future. But we now have another player on the scene who has scored 400, and threatens to go past that number effortlessly — carbon dioxide (CO2); CO2 levels in the atmosphere touched 400 parts per million (ppm) on May 9. Its symbolic significance is huge, its actual import is even bigger, for three reasons.


Impact on life cycl...

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An ecosystem to save, or squander

Posted by vikasjaiswal on May 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM

This is a challenging time in India’s development history where a number of tenets of environmental governance are being questioned by the imperative of growth. Environmental governance in India is under assault, and is thus in need of both fresh thinking, and a new focus, based on outcome and results.


The Western Ghats are no ordinary ecosystem. They constitute the water tower of peninsular India, providing water to 245 million people and draining a large part of the...

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The past & present of Indian environmentalism

Posted by vikasjaiswal on March 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM

On the 27th of March 1973 — exactly 40 years ago — a group of peasants in a remote Himalayan village stopped a group of loggers from felling a patch of trees. Thus was born the Chipko movement, and through it the modern Indian environmental movement itself.


The first thing to remember about Chipko is that it was not unique. It was representative of a wide spectrum of natural resource conflicts in the 1970s and 1980s — conflicts over forests, fish, and past...

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Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Bioremediation is the use of microorganisms for the degradation of hazardous chemicals in soil, sediments, water, or other contaminated materials. It uses naturally occurring bacteria and fungi or plants to degrade or detoxify substances hazardous to human health and/or the environment. Microorganisms destroy organic contaminants in the course of using the chemicals for their own growth and reproduction.


There are three classifications of bioremediation:


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The next Oil? Rare earth metels

Posted by vikasjaiswal on January 16, 2013 at 2:10 AM Comments comments ()

Rare earth metals (REM) are increasingly becoming a critical strategic resource. The 17 elements can be found in most high-tech gadgets, from advanced military technology to mobile phones. China currently holds claim to over 90 percent of the world’s production. As global demand increases, Beijing’s export reductions in recent years have forced high-tech firms to relocate to China and forced other governments to pour money into their exploration and production. An emergent India i...

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Japan's 30-year plan to be nuclear-free

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 15, 2012 at 5:35 AM Comments comments ()

Japan has announced plans to end its reliance on nuclear power within 30 years, in a historic policy shift prompted by the triple meltdown at the Fukushima power plant.

The move to close all 50 of the country’s functioning reactors by around 2040 marks a dramatic change of course by a country that had previously championed atomic energy, putting Japan alongside Germany and Switzerland, which also turned away from nuclear power following the disaster.

Japan, the world’s...

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Global Issue-Environment

Posted by vikasjaiswal on September 7, 2012 at 7:00 AM Comments comments ()

The environmental movement might be said to have begun centuries ago as a response to industrialization. In the nineteenth century, the British Romantic Poets extolled the beauties of nature, while American writer Henry David Thoreau praised the return to a simpler life, guided by the values implicit in nature.  It was a dichotomy that continued well into the twentieth century.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the rise of the nuclear age introduced fears of a new k...

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