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Crosscurrents

Investment trick

Issue Date: May 31, 2014
The past few months have witnessed several key moments in the debate over environment and justice. These include resignation of Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, cancellation of Vedanta’s environmental clearance for mining in Niyamgiri and the go-ahead to POSCO for mining in the Kandadhar hills. One such development was a statement by the Supreme Court regarding the allocation of coal mines.

It’s all greenwash

Issue Date: May 31, 2014
Contemporary media is awash with messages on “intelligent buying” and how it can save the planet. Buried in these messages are nuggets of environmental wisdom—ideas on energy efficiency and organic materials and concerns about rainforest depletion and chemical toxicity.

A window for forest people

Author(s): Madhu Ramnath
Issue Date: May 15, 2014
When we shift the focus from the timber a forest is usually valued for to the non-timber products it offers, a very different world opens up.

It’s about the poor

Author(s): P P Sangal
Issue Date: May 15, 2014
There are lies, damn lies and statistics, American author Mark Twain once wrote echoing a similar statement by the British statesman Benjamin Disraeli. Statistics aim to reveal a lot, but they conceal vital information.

Whose flat is it anyway

Issue Date: Apr 30, 2014
In their manifestos for the last Delhi Assembly elections, the three political parties, the Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party, promised flats to those living in jhuggi jhopdi clusters (JJCs). The idea is not new. Delhi’s Congress government had prepared an action plan to make Delhi “slum free” by 2015.

Gory conservation

Author(s): Rakesh Soud 
Issue Date: Apr 30, 2014

Centre-state collusion

Author(s): B K Manish 
Issue Date: Apr 15, 2014
On March 12, Chhattisgarh was on the front page of all leading national dailies, thanks to yet another Naxal attack. The attack claimed the lives of 16 CRPF jawans the previous day in Sukma. The Union home minister virtually repeated the statements he made last year after a Congress party convoy was ambushed in Darbha Valley: he announced a probe by the National Investigation Agency and threatened retaliation.

Shutter bugs

Issue Date: Mar 31, 2014
Whether it is the regal looks of a lion or a baby elephant being cuddled by its parent, wildlife photographs play a crucial role in winning over the general public and spreading the message of conservation. Photography is also invaluable for documentation. For instance, in 2013, photographer Jeff Cremer took a picture of a peculiar picket-fence-like structure on tree barks in the Amazon which piqued the interest of scientists.

Who needs ultra mega solar power plants?

Issue Date: Mar 15, 2014
The bigger the better seems to be the mantra of Central government ministries these days. If the Union Ministry of Power can promote ultra mega thermal power projects, each with a capacity of 4,000 MW or more, why should the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) be left behind? MNRE too wants to set up four ultra mega solar power plants (UMSPP) of 4,000 MW using solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.

At home with nature

Issue Date: Mar 15, 2014
Towns and cities are expanding, and so are fragmented habitats, accumulation of chemicals in the atmosphere, scarcity of natural food and light and sound pollution. This affects insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds as well as mammals. Many people and organisations want to do something about it, but fail to take a concrete and coordinated step.
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