Published: Wednesday 31 January 2007

Kyoto compliance

Our Kyoto compliant waste-to-energy programme coupled with super-green buildings and other Kyoto compliant technologies offer a complete technical answer to climate change. As per our studies, the technology, if applied throughout the world, will eliminate the need of existing power plants.

We have Kyoto compliant designs for pulp and paper plants, sugar cane mills and palm oil plantations. Currently we have around 50 waste-to-energy projects underway in Latin America. We also want a collaborative venture in India. The country is our first choice for development of Kyoto compliant technology due to its pressing needs.

uk's report on climate change has already shaken up the world's major powers--including the us. About six months ago, nasa did a study on the rising-level of the oceans but could not account for 98 per cent of the increase. But we have an answer for it: the missing 98 per cent comes from human and animal breathing along with moisture emissions from power plants, cars and ships.

One can access many such technical information related to climate change and waste-to-energy technologies from our website www.watersmart.com.

C G (Chuck) Steiner

A pat on crocodile's back

This is in response to your cover story 'Tears for the crocodile' (Down To Earth , November 30, 2006). The write-up offers a fantastic coverage of gharials. I never knew that there is so much to the issue. Keep it up.

Mamta Pradhan

I appreciate the efforts put in by your team to cover environmental issues. The recent cover feature on gharials was, no-doubt, thought-provoking for all those who work on issues related to wildlife. The lucid writing style makes it a precious feature.

Manish Kumar

Conservation of gharials is an issue close to my heart and I have often criticised current conservation practices. But I could not stomach the way the gharial story has been twisted. For instance, take the title on the cover page ' Too well heeled: Thanks to conservation, gharials can't survive in the wild anymore'. I am not sure what "too well heeled" refers to.

Conservation strategies in the past have not been successful. But this does not mean that conservationists are wilfully working towards the detriment of gharials.

I would rather suggest that all the resident of Delhi, Agra and other neighbouring cities, living in houses built with the sand mined in the Chambal, pay a 'gharial tax'. This will not only help the local people improve their lives, the gharials too won't have to pay for their existence.

Janaki Lenin

Whose fault is it?

This is in response to your cover story , Polio 'Programmed to fail'(Down To Earth, December 31, 2006). It is strange that even programmes that are aimed to eradicate diseases have to survive countless dubious challenges. For instance, the minority community in Uttar Pradesh failed to participate in the polio drive following resistances from their clerics. It is unfortunate that measures to tackle polio virus got marred due to lack of adequate knowledge and right approach.

Arvind K Pandey
Bhavapur, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Recently, an Indian television channel revealed the extent of the damage wrought by the oral polio vaccination (opv) in India. The reporters went to Uttar Pradesh in the north to Kerala in the south, and the reportage showed wailing mothers and grim fathers recounting how opv has paralysed their children.

The reporters narrated how the vaccine vials revealed contamination due to lax quality controls. What they did not reveal is that opv has been the prime cause of acute flaccid paralysis all over the world. In fact, this is why it has been pulled out of the vaccination schedule of all developed countries.

It is difficult to remain sane while watching a paralysed girl child from Kerala trying bravely to regain strength in her legs through physiotherapy. Her mother, pregnant with another child, had no words. She could barely say that she will not repeat the mistake of vaccinating her second child. The reportage showed a father, also a health worker, recounting his visits asking parents to vaccinate their children while the vaccine has paralysed his daughter. Many villagers interviewed by the channel said that they would no longer risk the polio vaccines.

The reportage worries me. While talking about the polio eradication initiatives, we fail to note that there are immunisation committee members wary of the vaccines. We also do not know about doctors who are constantly against the drive. Who is to blame? Is it who or our own government?

I have been expressing my concerns at other fora. I have written several letters to our ministers, doctors' associations and scientific bodies, but all in vain. Can we afford to sit silently with the fact that 3,00,000 of the autistic children in our country are victims of opv?

Jagannath Chatterjee

Canadian efforts

Apropos to your editorial 'Climate: the market's Achilles heel' (Down To Earth , November 30, 2006), I am not very proud of Canada's efforts to reduce emissions. Of late, the Liberal Party of Canada held its elections and after three ballots, chose Stephen Dion, the minister of environment under the former liberal government, as its head.

His speech focused largely on Canada's obligations to reduce emissions. Experts thus anticipate that issues like climate change and environment will definitely dominate the federal elections, scheduled for early 2007.

Jag Maini

One of my colleagues Peter Salonius, and other economists have written about how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by introducing carbon tax in a stepwise manner.

During the initial phase, the rich nations should bear a higher proportion of the carbon tax, they say.

Taumey Mahendrappa

A proxy stand

This is in response to your leader 'A sick media' (Down To Earth, November 15, 2006). It is sickening that the us and its allies succeeded in creating a global crisis, despite the contentious presidential election. The way they ignored the death toll from Iraq invasion and the way the us media rallied behind president George Bush's hawkish agenda to spread falsehood in the name of war-related surveys and studies is deplorable. The British medical journal The Lancet, as you have rightly observed, pinned the blame on Washington for causing at least 31 per cent of the violent deaths in Iraq. But the us media overlooked The Lancet study. Is this what the us- led invasion meant by liberating Iraqis from a tyrannical regime?

R R Sami
Sriramanasram, Tiruvannamalai
Tamil Nadu

Emission's logic

This is in response to the editorial 'Making space for emissions' (Down To Earth, November 15, 2006). Diesel cars are not as good for the environment as people think.

According to my understanding, no x emissions from a diesel-run vehicle, contributes more to global warming as compared to carbon dioxide, emitted from petrol-run vehicles. According to some calculations no x is 310 times stronger than co2 when it comes to emissions of greenhouse gases

John Harrows

Vigilant approach
This is in response to the article 'Digging one's own grave'(Down To Earth, December 31, 2006). The write-up is for those who are unaware of the hazardous impact of toxic wastes.

What the Berger Pakistan Ltd did is just the tip of an iceberg. But it speaks about our irresponsible attitude towards environment. As the article rightly notes, "Dumping is happening, and most of the time, is not recorded". And this is not just in Pakistan. Such incidents are also common in India. What we need is a more vigilant approach.

Manoj K Sharma
Kurukshetra University, Haryana

Plastic ban

The government must take steps to ban the plastic bags completely, irrespective of their thickness. These poly bags are not only a serious environmental hazard, but they also choke our drainage systems. Last year, plastic bags were one of the major reasons for floods in Mumbai.

Mahesh Kapasi
B-49, Gulmohar, New Delhi

In the name of Naxalites

I returned to Delhi in the first week of December, after a long and terrible time in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district. I was there to support 16 activists and grassroots-leaders, who were arrested by the police on November 14-15 on charges of running a Naxal organisation. After 12-day-long legal and administrative tribulation, they were freed from the jail.

This is not one-time ocurrence. Organisations, which keep a tight vigil on illegal activities of the police and forest officials, and sometimes even drag them to court, have always been an eyesore for the administration. The police regularly blame such activists for being involved in ground preparations for Naxalism. It is unfortunate that though such grassroot organisations play a vital role in deterring Naxalite-penetration into remote tribal zones of central India, their effort hardly receives any recogntion.

Ramesh Chandra Sharma

Jinxed conservation

Apropos to your cover story 'Pyrrhic victory' (Down To Earth, December 15, 2006), it is ironic that most of the parties at the un Climate Convention at Nairobi were not committed towards concrete measures to tackle climate change. They were just busy in their immmediate problems. But I feel our present generation is well aware of the ramifications of climate change.

B M T Rajeev

Regulating health care

This is in response to the article 'Healthy move'(Down To Earth, October 31, 2006). I feel that the Maharashtra government's initiative to notify standards for private healthcare units is timely. However, it is shocking to know that the government has kept pathological labs and blood banks out of the proposed regulation's ambit. The quality of pathological tests is one of the basic requirements for a successful healthcare system. With hiv/aids on the rise (particularly in Mumbai), blood banks in the country should be kept under tight government vigil.


Bad department

This is in response to the article, 'Total Closure' (Down To Earth, December 15, 2006). I fear that the wildlife department will one day drive out the local public in the name of preserving wildlife. That will surely be a black day for thousands of people in Mount Abu.

I have lived in Mount Abu for some time, and have seen that people in the surrounding areas live happily with wildlife. The local people are true preservers of the area's ecology. Of course, one can blame the traders and hoteliers for misuse of resources. But employees of the wildlife department are themselves corrupt. They will use the recent notification to exploit local people.

The notification would have helped if it had secured the interest of the area's tribals--they in fact constitute 80 per cent of Abu's population.

Senior sub editor, Dainik Jagran
Muzaffarpur, Bihar

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