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Sunita Narain

Breaking the impasse of 2013

Issue Date: Jan 31, 2014
When I look back at 2013, I hear a cacophony. There was huge dissent about the way we are mismanaging coal reserves; the Supreme Court shut down iron ore mining in Goa; there was outcry about rampant sand mining and the havoc it is wreaking on rivers. There were equally loud calls for the need for green clearance to all projects, from hydropower projects in the Himalayas to mines in dense forests of central India. One side wanted to shut everything; another wanted to open up everything.

Loud and unclear

Issue Date: Jan 15, 2014
Does the Indian government’s loud voice in international negotiations produce results? At the recent WTO meet in Bali, the Indian government went all guns blazing to defend the rights of its farmers and to ensure food security for millions of poor. It opposed the Agreement on Agriculture that limits government food procurement at 10 per cent of the value of total production, based on the prices of late 1980s. It said this clause would impinge on its right to offer farmers a supportive price and to procure food stocks for its food safety programme.

The climate and trade tango

Issue Date: Dec 31, 2013
India has emerged as a “voice” in climate change and trade negotiations. At the recently concluded trade talks in Bali, the Indian government was insistent that the rights of poor farmers should not be compromised; in climate change it has raised the matter of equity in sharing global atmospheric space. The already industrialised countries say India is obstinate, strident and unnecessarily obstructionist in crucial global debates. The problem is not that India is loud—that it must be.

India’s twin environmental challenges

Issue Date: Dec 15, 2013
In the past 10 years, India’s environmental movement has had a rebirth. It was first born in the 1970s, when the industrialised world was seeing the impact of growth on its environment. In that decade the air and rivers of London, Tokyo and New York were full of toxins. The world was learning the pain of pollution. The first major global conference on the environment, the Stockholm meet, was held to find ways to deal with this growing scourge.

Letters - November 1-15, 2013

Issue Date: Nov 30, 2013
The article, “Rain lash” (September 1-15, 2013), is a warning message to not only the Maharashtra government but also the farming community, agriculture scientists and irrigation engineers. Recent monsoon rains in the Vidarbha region wreaked havoc and caused irreparable damage to both crops and the soil in 5,000 hectares. Vidarbha is normally a semi-arid/dry pocket where recurring droughts can be seen every four-five years. The lacuna lies in the approach to solving the problem.

Come out and claim the road

Issue Date: Nov 30, 2013
I write this column from my bed, recovering from an accident that broke my bones. I was hit by a speeding car when cycling. The car fled the scene, leaving me bleeding on the road. This is what happens again and again, in every city of our country, on every road as we plan without care for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. These are the invisible users.

Designed for accidents

Posted on: 30 Oct, 2013
Building cities around only motor vehicles is fatal

Why our cities are becoming increasingly dangerous for cyclists & pedestrians

Intro:  Disdain of policy makers and neglect is responsible for injury and deaths of the zero pollution emitters who are part of the solution to the mobility crisis our cities face Homepage Teaser:  Disdain of policy makers and neglect is responsible for injury and deaths of the zero pollution emitters who are part of the solution to the mobility crisis our cities face 

Dangers of letting cars dictate city design

Issue Date: Oct 21, 2013
Sunita Narain—our colleague and friend—was seriously injured in an accident while cycling yesterday. A car hit her and fled. This cruel act of crime and heartlessness could have shattered our faith in humanity had it not been for the kind act of the stranger family who rushed her to hospital in time. Sometimes, something still holds in this brutal and cruel car-obsessed city of Delhi.

Climate science in real world

Issue Date: Oct 31, 2013
What we desperately shut our minds to is once again being pronounced ever more clearly: climate change is here; it is already bringing devastating extreme weather events; it will become worse in the years to come. In late September, part 1 of the fifth assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released in Stockholm.
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