The environment is holding up growth and economic development. This is the common refrain in circles that matter. So when the Group of Ministers tasked to resolve the issue of coal mining in forests asked for a report on what needs to be done, it was told that the best would be to dismantle green conditions, almost completely.
My article last fortnight about people’s fight against POSCO has brought me interesting responses. They call for clarifications and further discussion. The question is about the value of current livelihoods of the people of coastal Odisha. Is earning from betel nut farming being exaggerated to reinforce the romantic and misinformed view that people are fighting projects because they are better off today? The equally valid question, then, is: why are the people so apparently poor if they are earning Rs 10-17 lakh per hectare (ha) each year as I had said?
Though they were not very much in the spotlight, many scientists were present in Rio to stress that while the development of science and technology has been held responsible for the present ecological crisis, the solutions too lie in harnessing of science to meet the ecological needs of today.
The Union ministry of environment and forests has reiterated its stand against mining in coal fields demarcated 'no-go' zones. In response to the coal ministry's advice to allow mining in all coal-bearing areas, the environment ministry said it will be against the letter and spirit of the Forest Conservation Act.
There is no doubt US President Barack Obama was in India on a business trip. His recent electoral losses weighed heavily with him when he stitched up deals, reportedly worth US $10 billion, that would create about 50,000 jobs back home.