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FACE TO FACE WITH CLIVE HAMILTON EARTH, WE HAVE A PROBLEM - OMKAR SANE
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The November issue of Expression is great reading, it makes people aware of how much we need to do, to stop hurting our planet and other environmental issues. Look forward to the December issue. By: Phil Davis Via e-mail
The Nov issue of Expression made great reading .......Well articulated and crisp articles make it an interesting read . “Face to face” will surely motivate people around........I am impressed :-) Keep up the good work !!! By: Rashmi Karkania Vaid Via facebook
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Expressions is getting better and better by each edition. Kudos to the team for conceiving, conceptualizing and implementing such a step towards creating awareness about the environment. Keep going ....all the best.... By: Surbhi Arora via facebook
Amazing work team icare. Had my first look of the magazine today. Must say it is motivating and inspiring as it has been always and very successful in highlighting the most crucial danger being faced. By: Nupur Dobhal via faceobok
www.icarefordoon.org excerpts from “Big game hunting” by Stanley Jepson
This edition is really good. I think you should start prints also. The feeling to touch Photo story on paper is really awesome. My grand parents also seen that and appreciated your initiative. Good Luck
By: Himanshu Tomar via e-mail
Haseeb Shaikh is a wildlife enthusiast who works as a Graphic Designer in Baroda (Gujarat). He is a numismatist and pursues Arabic and Urdu calligraphy as serious hobbies.
expressions december 2010
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
founder & editor
Yudhishter Puran Singh
18 Need of the Hour Akhilesh Sahay
copy & desk editor
6 Climate Change and Youth Yudhishter Puran Singh
8 Earth, we have a problem Omkar Sane
10 Face to Face with Clive Hamilton
13 Geo-Engineering The Economist
25 (Ob)noxious Change Anshuman Dandriyal
Sandip Puran Singh
26 Climate Change Comments
27 Energy Conservation Seminar Doon International School 28 Effect of Climate Change on Animals Monisha 30 Tiger Conservation in India Phil Davis
Harshal Mirchandani, Lavish Bhatia marketing
Lotus Leaf Business Exhibitions
Tushar Goel (NCR Region)
22 Photo Story Shivang Mehta 32 In The News
Gaurav Gupta (Rest of India) firstname.lastname@example.org
cover design and photographs
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I’ve spent most of the last four years studying in Singapore. In between, I’ve had the good fortune of visiting Doon a number of times, mostly for extended periods during my summer and winter vacations. In these few years, palpable change has gripped Doon. Even though the seeds of “change” were planted in 2000, when Doon was anointed the capital of Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand), “real” change seems to have occurred only in the latter half of the decade. As such, recently, “change” and “development” have becomefrequently mentioned words. I am often distraught by the manner in which change has been characterised in the media, in drawing-room conversations and, most importantly, by the government. We, who have loved Doon in its splendid verdure, often struggle to find traces of the old Doon in the new one: Trees, once abundant, are now scarce. Pollution, once a bane of “the big cities”, sometimes reaches dangerous levels at the city centre. Leechi and mango orchards are nowhere to be found. Dust flies around insouciantly. Half the city seems to be dug up or is in various states of construction and repair. Definitely not the Doon we used to know and love! This ruinous change for development (an irony in itself), began, for most of us, with the nonchalance with which trees began to be cut down. It was a necessity and inevitability, we were informed. Sacrifices have to be made. Doon must be “developed”, hence roads need to be wider, malls need to constructed, apartments need to be erected. All this at the cost of Doon’s most precious treasures: its trees, its greenery, its pollution-free air. Orchards were sold and malls constructed. Trees were cut and wider roads were built. All the while, Doon, instead of becoming better, became worse. The air is more poisonous than ever, water-borne diseases are rampant, and dust allergies are common. I beg to disagree! Singapore is one of the most industrialised countries in the world, its per capita income rivals that of the United States, and it is widely considered to be one of the best places to do business in. However, contrary to the picture the word “industrialised” painted in your mind, Singapore is one of the cleanest, greenest and pollution-free countries in the world. The water is so clean that you can drink from the tap. If a tree has to be cut, it is immediately replanted nearby. Singapore prides itself on its green cover. Closer home, Delhi has managed to cultivate a considerable green cover despite constant “developmental” activities. We, in Doon, must take note that the choice between what we love and what is essential is a false one. Eventually, our environment and change are equally important. We must also ensure that we do not sit on the extremes of the argument. No change is probably as harmful as indiscriminate change without consideration for the environment. Most importantly, we must not give up hope. It is dangerous to passively watch change cripple us. We must mould change to our advantage, to our city’s advantage. Yes, Doon is in a bad state. But it is not beyond recovery. Many trees have been cut, but they can be replanted. It might be many miles before we get to our destination. But let us not be disheartened by the length of the journey. Let us not wait for “change” to change us. Let us instead change “change”!
ALL EDITORIAL QUERIES MUST BE DIRECTED TO The Editor, Expressions, 51-A Subhash Road, Dehradun 248140, Uttarakhand, India M: +919411114921, Fax: 011-66173614
Views and opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Expressions., its publisher and/or editors. We at Expressions do our best to verify the information published but do not take any responsibility for the absolute accuracy of the information.
expressions december 2010
Copy and Desk Editor, Expressions
GREEN WHEELS CLIMATE CHANGE
limate Change is one term that we all come across in our day to day lives. It will be unfair to say that we are not aware of the kind of damage that we are doing to the environment. The fact that so far we have not been affected in a major way prevents us from bothering much. I have no qualms in admitting that it is the educated people (who have tons of information at their disposal about the ill-effects of climate change) who are the real reason for creating such a situation in the first place and that the (uneducated) people who suffer the most are no way responsible. Climate change is a serious issue for developing countries (like India), which are much more susceptible to its impacts as compared to the developed
of the youth. Nearly 2.2 billion people are under the age of 18 and a staggering 85% of these people live in developing countries. The youth of today is concerned, as is evident through-out the world. They are capable of participating in climate change measures and of changing the planet that they are a part of, for the better. Let us not undermine the major role they ought to play in combating climate change and other such issues which threaten our existence. The youth has the enthusiasm, imagination and the energy to undertake mitigation actions. The level of commitment that I have seen in in my fellow team members at iCare and the volunteers from different schools and colleges makes me proud. Our country has the finest talents and the best probable change
When are we going to admit that CLIMATE CHANGE is a serious issue which threatens human existence? Who are we all waiting for? countries like USA, UK etc. We all would acknowledge the fact that a major portion of revenue generated in India is from Agriculture or allied sectors. 52% of India’s population is dependent mainly on agriculture. This sector is highly climate-sensitive. In other words, a slight change in the climate pattern will have a significant impact on the over-all production. An IPCC report says that a 40cm rise in sea-level by the 2080s could affect about 55 million people in South Asia, 21 million in South East Asia and 14 million in Africa due to flooding, as opposed to affecting only 3 million people in the rest of the world. Do we realize that it is only 25% of the global population that lives in the developed countries but that this 25% is responsible for more than 70% of the total CO2 emissions and consumes as high as 75-80% of most of the other resources of the world as well? Now let’s talk about climate change in the context
makers, but our education system will never allow the youth to do something constructive. It is hightime we let the youth come to the fore-front. It is their future which is at stake. They ought to be given a fair chance. Danny Boyle’s Oscar winning Slum-dog millionaire showcased the stark reality of how people live in Dharawi, Asia’s biggest slum. I remember a certain segment of people being highly offended. The thing I am trying to throw light on is that some of us lead a very artificial life. We wish to hide from all the shortcomings, choosing to live in an illusionary, problem free world. Who would work to bring about a change? Ladies and gentlemen, the earlier we admit that there’s a problem, the earlier are we likely to find a solution to the problem. When are we going to admit that CLIMATE CHANGE is a serious issue which threatens human existence? Who are we all waiting for?
“We all know the problems and we know the changes that are necessary. So what exactly are we waiting for? Are we waiting for the government to force us to change? For the oil companies to stop drilling? For the airlines to stop flying? For the power stations to stop burning coal? Or are we going to make changes that we know are needed? What will it take to make us work together to create a sustainable world?” A survey was conducted in Pune recently to assess the awareness about climate change among the college going students. From amongst 201 participants , about 98.5% agreed that the global climate is changing. 95.5% of them also commented that human activities contribute to climate change. Most importantly, 54.5% of the respondents believed that the youth could play a major role in combating climate change.
boy or a girl living in some part of the country may have the answers to the issues that you and I don’t have an answer to. I would also be happy if we don’t waste our time and resources in searching for water on the moon or life on some other planet when there are people in the world who don’t even have access to water. Preventing climate change should be on the top of our priority list and action should be taken right away. It’s never too late and if we all come together to bring about a change, there is nothing which can stop us from making our planet a better place to live in.
Demand for a better planet and the change will follow.
“Young people who are adept at spreading new habits and technologies are well placed to contribute to the fight against climate change.” - Ban Ki-moon At this point, I would like to quote Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-general of the United Nations. While addressing a conclave on International Youth day, 2008, he stated: “Young people who are adept at spreading new habits and technologies are well placed to contribute to the fight against climate change.” Mr. Ban stressed: “They ( the youth) are adaptable and can quickly make low-carbon lifestyles and career choices a part of their daily lives. The youth should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in decision-making at local, national and global levels. They can actively support initiatives that will cause far reaching legislation.” In the end I feel we should give the youth a clear defined role and ascertain the ways in which it can try to solve the crisis we are all headed towards. The govt. should take keen interest in funding such initiatives in all parts of the country. You never know when a
Yudhishter Puran Singh 21 year old graduate from Mumbai University, a young entrepreneur who loves to devote whatever time he can towards creating awareness about the need for preserving environment. Presently he leads the icare team and is also the editor of expressions © EXPRESSIONS 2010
expressions december 2010
WE HAVE A PROBLEM
he galaxy has many planets. They’re all calm, revolving around the sun, taking their own sweet time. The Earth seems to be going the fastest. It seems it’s in a hurry to get somewhere. However from a distance, it looks calm too and is definitely the most beautiful. It has a white pimple that comes, but goes, so nobody minds that, as it’s unlike Jupiter who has 16. So, our ancestors chose to make Earth their home. During that time, the climate seemed amazing. The beaches were virgin. The fruit tasted good. In short, life was good. Adam and Eve chose to live here. They decided to be just friends, but they were naked and it didn’t quite work out. Adam being Adam couldn’t keep it in and things got out of hand. This only crowded the earth, until one day, it got too crowded. Truth is the Earth has problems. If you do not believe it you probably haven’t left home in a really long time. Actually, the earth is in shambles, reasons-
Truth is the Earth has problems. If you do not believe it you probably haven’t left home in a really long time.
pollution, disappearing forests, climatic changes etc. The dinosaurs are probably secretly happy they don’t exist anymore; there just isn’t enough space for them to hang out anymore! They say it’s all going to come to an end very fast. But how can it? The Earth has taken millions of years to form. It can’t just go away like that! Of course the Earth shall survive much longer than any of us can imagine. Seriously, there is a “lot of hope” out there, surely much more than what news channels want us to believe in. Even though there is a “lot” of time before the planet crumbles, the situation has still definitely managed to attract some concern. As a result of the concern, the Earth being in shambles has its own advantages: • Jessica Alba considers it imperative to go nude to save animals. • Greenpeace volunteers paint bodies and lie on squares, which is good too. • Donating to any of these environment-saving “setups” saves tax. • It unites the world, there are very few things today that do. • Great musicians hold concerts to save the planet. Hope also arises from the fact that the world has already woken up to the impending disaster. The world, as a united family has realized that Earth isn’t doing too well. Now, if only they could all switch off their ACs too, but that’s too much comfort to give up. I go back to the phrase “there is a lot of hope” for the Earth. Here’s how:
Even though there is a “lot” of time before the planet crumbles, the situation has still definitely managed to attract some concern. • Technology has taken over. Paper won’t be in vogue in the near future, which means trees stand a chance. Literally. • Books, they say, shall be replaced completely by some gadget that allows you to read electronically. Trees, this is your lucky time. • All the information you don’t need (like this article) will be online, which doesn’t need paper. That saves a few more million trees. • People shall not be cremated in the good old-fashioned way. It’s all electric now. Less smoke, less pollution. Ozone, it’s your lucky time too! • Speaking of electricity, the electric car shall soon be in vogue too. • It has been raining an awful lot. So what if it is out of season? Water is water, right? • The hurricanes and typhoons are making sure things don’t get too hot. Nothing like a breezy day when your house flies off. Saves the rent too. • More and more kids are homeless, which means they aren’t using amenities that pollute. • Many people are out of jobs. So, they are using fewer luxuries to save electricity bills, which means lesser pollution. • More and more people think it is fashionable to have seen a tiger. This makes it imperative to save them. It’d be a disaster from the commercial point of view to not have a tiger. And since there’s money and tour-
ism involved, the government in every country will save its animals. After all these poor animals aren’t even asking for commission. All you have to do is leave a tiger in the wild and then go looking for it! • We’re already heading out in search of extraterrestrial life. It’s only a matter of time before a human on Earth sets up a chaat stall on one of the other planets and people start flocking there. The real estate prices have become unbearable on this planet anyway. Let’s go find another! • The nuclear missiles are always at hand if we ever feel doomsday is too far! We may never have to wait for the world to end. Why wait when you can do things yourself? (Not that the rest of it hasn’t been done by us anyway!) So, that’s that. The Earth has a lot of hope. No need to worry. Turn on that AC and let’s all sleep peacefully tonight. The Earth is not coming to an end in your lifetime at least. Who cares about the next, right? They say men are from Mars, women are from Venus. So, nobody is really bothered about the Earth anyhow! All said and done, it turns out the only place the Earth is in a hurry to reach is its end. (But then there are a couple of lifetimes to go still..!)
Omkar Sane a 24 year old budding writer covering writing brochures, scripts for promos, columns and more recently even books. In his own words, he is an author “Because there was nothing else better left to become. And nothing else he could be.” © EXPRESSIONS 2010
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It is worth noting the two opposed meanings of “enlightenment”. In the West it means severing our connection with the inner meaning of things and being guided by the laws of reason in the outside world. In the East it means finding the truth by going into the inner world, a journey into the darker reaches of consciousness in order to discover the true nature of the universe. Ultimately we need to find a way to reconcile these two paths.
live Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual. In June 2008 he was appointed Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, a joint centre of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne. For 14 years, until February 2008, he was the Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank he founded. He holds an arts degree from the Australian National University and an economics degree from the University of Sydney. He completed a doctorate at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex with a thesis titled ‘Capitalist Industrialisation in Korea’.
E: How do you react to the injustices occurring around you concerning the environment? CH: Sometimes the injustices are due to ignorance, in which case the answer is information. Sometimes they are due to thoughtlessness, in which case the answer is moral pressure. Sometimes they are due to greed and selfishness, in which case we need to organise collectively and use our governments to compel people and organisations to behave properly
Clive has held visiting academic positions at Yale University, the University of Sydney, the Australian National University, and the University of Cambridge. He has published on a wide range of subjects but is best known for his books, a number of which have been best-sellers. They include Growth Fetish (2003),Affluenza (with Richard Denniss, 2005), What’s Left: The death of social democracy (2006), Silencing Dissent (edited with Sarah Maddison, 2007) and Scorcher: The dirty politics of climate change (2007)
Expressions got in touch with him and received valuable insights, which we have shared with our readers in this exclusive interview.. EXPRESSIONS (E): What were your feelings when you were about to finish your book ‘Requiem for a Species’? CLIVE HAMILTON (CH): I was glad to finish the book as writing it had been a depressing and alarming experience. Writing the last chapter was the most difficult, as I did not want to leave readers in the slough of despond, so I invited readers to take a philosophical standpoint, to consider the meaning of climate change in the history of humanity. E: Do you feel that we are a part of the sleeping society? CH: We face a profound threat to our future yet in the face of overwhelming evidence and urgent warnings from scientists we do virtually nothing. It is as if we are sleep-walking into catastrophe. What does that tell us about our belief that we are the “rational animal”? I think the whole Enlightenment project is now in question.
expressions december 2010
E: What would you tell a novice writer who wants to make a difference in the degrading state of environmental affairs? CH: Combine passion and thorough knowledge with a professional writing style. E: When was it that you realised your love and concern for nature? CH: In 1990 I was standing on Coronation Hill, a hill in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. It was a sacred site to the traditional owners, the Jawoyn people, but a mining company wanted to dig it up to extract the gold. It was also in an environmentally sensitive area. I stood there and looked across the plain and could almost see the “spirit” rising from the land, like heat rising on a hot day. At that moment I realised it would be sacrilege to allow the hill to be destroyed. E: Is writing catharsis for you (of sorts)? CH: For writers, writing is “what we do”. It is our way of trying to change the world. Often it feels pointless, but occasionally someone publishes something – a book, an article – that strikes a chord and causes the world to change. Ideas are powerful. E: As in a speech at the launch of ‘Requiem for a Species’ you have mentioned about cyber-bullying, have you self- addressed it? CH: Enforcing Laws on EPR (extended producer responsibility) , promoting eco friendly products, banning plastic and other toxic materials E: In the same speech u have mentioned raging cyber-bloggers, do you think words speak louder than actions? CH: Words can have a big impact. The angry and abusive climate deniers want to shut down conversation. It is like a group of people sitting around a fire having a conversation when others arrive, stand behind them and shout.
E: According to you how the civil society’s irrational karma seemingly against nature would proportionate itself? CH: Our relationship with nature is severely out of balance because of our growing subjectivity, that is, the way we increasingly understand ourselves as isolated individuals with our own interests that over-ride nature’s. Our economic system is based on this intense individualism and arrogance. Now it seems that nature has become tired of our attempts to dominate her and, through global warming, is teaching us a lesson. It will be a very painful on for us.
E: In your view, what can we do right now to slow climate change and make a real difference? CH: Climate change is a collective problem that grows out of the nature of our economic and social systems. So the answers must be social and political, which means we must become politically engaged.
unintended consequences, to boot. It was the strength Research into the possibility of engineering a bet- of that opposition which drove the subject onto the ter climate is progressing at an impressive rate— agenda at Nagoya. But that strength is also a reflection of the fact that many scientists now take the idea and meeting strong opposition of geoengineering seriously. Over the past few years AS A way of saying you’ve arrived, being the subject research in the field has boomed. What is sometimes of some carefully contrived paragraphs in the proceed- called Plan B seems to be taking shape on the laboraings of a United Nations conference is not as dramatic tory bench—and seeking to escape outside. as playing Wembley or holding a million-man march. But for geoengineering, those paragraphs from the Stratospheric thinking recent conference of the parties to the Convention on The most widely discussed way of cooling the Earth is Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, marked a to imitate a volcano. Volcanoes inject sulphur dioxide definite coming of age. into the stratosphere, where it eventually forms small Geoengineering is shorthand for the idea of fixing the particles of sulphate that reflect sunlight back into problem of man-made climate change once the green- space. Volcanoes, though, do this on a one-off basis. house gases that cause it have already been emitted Geoengineers would need to leave the cloud up for a into the atmosphere, rather than trying to stop those long time, which could get tricky. If you put sulphur diemissions happening in the first place. Ideas for such oxide into air that already has a haze of particles in it, fixes include smogging up the air to reflect more sun- the gas will glom onto those particles, making them light back into space, sucking in excess carbon dioxide bigger, rather than forming new small particles of its using plants or chemistry, and locking up the glaciers own. Since what is needed for cooling is a lot of small of the world’s ice caps so that they cannot fall into the particles rather than a few big ones, this approach ocean and cause sea levels to rise. would face problems. Many people think such ideas immoral, or a distraction David Keith, of the University of Calgary, and his colfrom the business of haranguing people to produce leagues recently came up with a way of keeping the less carbon dioxide, or both—and certain to provoke particles small: use sulphuric acid rather than sulphur dioxide. Released as a vapour at high altitude it should produce a screen of properly sized particles, even in a sky that is already hazed. And the fleet of aircraft needed to keep that screen in being turns out to be surprisingly small. A study that Dr Keith commissioned from Aurora Flight Sciences, a Virginia-based company that makes high-altitude drones, concludes that it could be done by an operation smaller than an airline like Jet Blue, operating from a few bases around the world.
E: Which countries contribute the most to global warming and what is your advise to them? CH:The United States and China each account for around 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But the average US citizens is responsible for four times more than the average Chinese. In per capita terms, Australia’s emissions are even higher than those of the United States. Rich countries must lead the way, as they are mainly responsible for the problem (some 75 per cent of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been oput there by rich countries) and they can afford to cut their emissions by much more than developing countries. But poorer countries should start to take action now too. E: Could climate change ever “wipe us out”? CH: Some of the more extreme possible outcomes would make it difficult for humans to survive. There have been mass extinctions in the past due to rapid climate changes caused by other factors. E: According to you are the people doing enough as individuals to curb climate change? Consumerism must be an area of concern. CH: Yes, consumerism is a big concern. In rich countries most people buy far more than they need, and often buy things they never use. But it is the systems in which we live that the answers lie, rather than in trying to make individuals feel guilty. We need to change the social and economic systems that encourage people direct their life-energies into acquiring things. After all, all the evidence shows that, above a certain threshold level of income (a threshold exceeded by most people in rich countries), more money and more “stuff” does not make us any happier, and often makes us unhappy.
© EXPRESSIONS 2010
expressions december 2010
GEO-ENGINEERING That airline would, however, do best with a fleet of newly designed aircraft. The most straightforward option, according to the report, would be to develop a vehicle capable of flying at altitudes of 20-25km (about 65,000-80,000 feet), distributing ten tonnes of acid a flight. Such craft might look like slightly portly U-2 spy planes, or possibly like the White Knightmother ship developed to launch Virgin Galactic’s tourist spaceships. About 80 such planes would allow the delivery to the stratosphere of a million tonnes of acid every year at a cost of one or two billion dollars over an operational life of 20 years.
A more intriguing idea suggested in the study would be to use a sort of hybrid plane-blimp along the lines of Lockheed’s experimental P-791 (pictured above), which generates lift through both buoyancy and aerodynamics. Lift is a problem in the rarefied air of the stratosphere, and it seems such a design can help. The study dismisses another blimpish idea, though: that of pumping sulphurous chemicals up a long pipe held aloft by a large tethered balloon. It also rejects the use of rockets and guns, both of which have also been proposed as ways of getting sulphur into the stratosphere (see chart). On the face of it Aurora’s study is extraordinary. Given that a few million tonnes of sulphur a year might be enough to cool the Earth by a degree or two, the report seems to confirm what Scott Barrett, a politi-
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GEO-ENGINEERING cal scientist at Columbia University, has called the “incredible economics” of geoengineering. The thought that a couple of billion dollars a year spent on sulphur could offset warming as effectively as hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in low-carbon energy suggests there is a real bargain to be had here. Maybe. But opponents of the idea are inclined to insert the word “Faustian” first.
The smog of war One reason for rejecting sulphate hazing out of hand might be the damage it could do to the ozone layer. Ozone-destroying reactions happen faster on surfaces, such as those provided by sulphate particles, than they do in the open air. It is therefore likely that the addition of sulphate to the stratosphere would result in a loss of ozone, and thus in more ultraviolet radiation getting through. Indeed, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 led to just such a loss, even as it cooled the climate. Current research suggests, though, that any risk to the ozone layer is probably not sufficient reason to abandon the idea. The Montreal protocol, which banned various ozone-depleting chemicals, has left the ozone layer’s long-term prospects looking quite bonny. Sulphate-based geoengineering would certainly slow down its recovery, but would not send it into reverse. The climatic gains might thus be worth the ultraviolet losses. Might. But that, too, is an area that would bear investigation. For another risk lies in the subtle distinction between “global warming” and “climate change”. Double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the average global temperature will go up. Add the right amount of stratospheric sulphur and the temperature will come back down to where it began. There will, in other words, be no net global warming. But though the average temperature is unchanged, the climate is not. Modelling suggests that a world where additional greenhouse warming has been cancelled out this way will still be warmer at the poles and cooler at the tropics. Moreover—and more worryingly—it will have less rainfall. Every computer model of a stratospheric haze shows some decrease in rainfall, though the details vary. The more carbon dioxide that gets put into the atmosphere
and the more sunshine that is removed from the sky, the greater the drying becomes. And that drying is worse in some places than in others. One recent study, for example, suggested that engineered cooling of this sort would lead to a much bigger loss of rainfall in China than in India. That might have political ramifications—even though both countries come closer to their original climates with the other’s optimal level of geoengineering than with no geoengineering at all. Understanding the mechanism and implication of these effects is another crucial research step, and a difficult one to take at the moment because it is hard to assess the results from one paper on geoengineering in the light of another. That is because they all start from different assumptions, something that Alan Robock of Rutgers University hopes to overcome. Dr Robock, who carries out geoengineering research while taking an avowedly hostile approach to any suggestion of deploying the technology, has teamed up with climate modellers at other institutions to produce a set of options that could be run on a range of computer models. This grand intercomparison, which may involve ten or more modelling teams, should allow researchers to get a better grip on what is really happening, and to see which of their results might be dependent on the vagaries of a particular piece of software. Considering that, a few years ago, it was rare to get the computer time needed to do even a single geoengineering simulation with a state-of-the-art climate model, this investment of time and effort marks a big step forward. Whatever the models reveal about the pattern, impacts and nature of the loss of rainfall, it is hard to imagine that it will not be bad news of some sort. This is one of the reasons why most in the geoengineering field reject the notion that the “incredible economics” offer a real bargain. Hazy cooling and greenhouse warming cannot be traded one for the other; simply adding more and more sulphate to counterbalance more and more carbon dioxide would be dessicatory and dangerous. Cooling might take the edge off the peak of a planetary fever, or perhaps buy time as emissions cuts begin to have the desired effects. But
hazing is a complementary medicine, not an alternative one. Screening sunlight from the sky with sulphates is not, though, the only suggestion around. Various entrepreneurial researchers are looking at ways of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stashing it out of harm’s way. Suck it and see Nature already provides one method: photosynthesis. Using political and financial tools to encourage the growth of forests, and chemical ones to encourage the growth of photosynthetic plankton, are both possibilities—though both, especially the chemical approach, have their sceptics. Planet hackers of an industrial bent, however, propose proper bent-metal engineering: so-called “direct air capture” technology that would chemically scrub carbon dioxide out of the air, then release it from those scrubbers in a concentrated form that could be sequestered underground. Various companies, including one started by Dr Keith, are trying to produce demonstrators for such technologies. One way is to use arrays of fans to pass air in large volumes through cleverly contrived surfaces along which an absorbing fluid flows. An alternative approach is to use the ocean as your absorber. Among those investigating this possibility is Tim Kruger, fellow and currently sole employee of the newly founded Oxford Geoengineering Programme at the eponymous university. Mr Kruger proposes dumping quicklime—calcium oxide—into the sea. That change in ocean chemistry would encourage carbon dioxide dissolved in the water to turn into ions of carbonate and bicarbonate, freeing chemical “space” into which carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could flow. The chemically literate will spot a potential snag. Calcium oxide is made by heating up limestone (calcium carbonate). This drives off carbon dioxide. Generating the heat is also likely to involve the release of that gas. All this carbon dioxide will have to be squirrelled away in the same way carbon dioxide scrubbed from the air (or a power station’s chimney) would. But that might not be too hard. The gas will already be concentrated and pure if the kilns work the right way.
GEO-ENGINEERING will melt, but that enough meltwater will get under them to lubricate their journey from the land into the sea. At a meeting held at his university last month he outlined ideas he has been developing which might slow that process down, either by pumping the meltwater out, or by refreezing itin situ using liquid nitrogen. What makes this scheme merely ambitious, rather than totally crazy, is that you might need do it in only a few places. A large fraction of the ice coming off Greenland, for example, flows down just three glaciers. Work out how to slow or stop those glaciers and you may have dealt with a big problem.
An airscrubber, from an artist’s imagination
The Devil and the details
The idea of liming is a comparatively old one, first mooted by HaroonKheshgi, a researcher at ExxonMobil, in the mid-1990s. Dr Kruger’s work, meanwhile, was recently supported by a grant from another oil company, Shell, through what it calls its GameChanger programme. Cynics may smile at the oil companies’ involvement, and at the intellectual property and plans for profit that companies trying to pull carbon out of the atmosphere all rely on. But money is needed. Shell’s money, for instance, paid for a panel of researchers to look into Mr Kruger’s plans. They concluded that if put to use they might lock up carbon dioxide for $40 a tonne—which seems almost embarrassingly cheap, and which, as a preliminary figure, Mr Kruger is keen not to hype. Dr Keith thinks his air capture might, with luck, manage $100 a tonne. People further from the technology, but with less of a direct interest in its success, think prices will be higher. Nor is Mr Kruger’s esprit untypical. Other fields of research are being drawn, blinking, into the light by geoengineering’s new-found popularity. “Cloud whitening” provides a nice example. Until 2006 work on the idea of cooling the planet with the help of a fine mist of sea salt sprayed into low layers of maritime cloud, to make them whiter, was the province of two
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semi-retired British academics. A mere four years later John Latham, the cloud physicist who thought up the idea, and Stephen Salter, a marine engineer who designed systems that might embody it, have been joined by 23 other authors from seven different institutions on a paper outlining current work on the matter. This paper looks not only at the cooling effects such a scheme might have on the climate and the practicalities of creating such a spray from boats at sea, but also at the possibilities of a field trial and what might be learned from such a trial about the way clouds work—a problem that climate scientists, limited to observations and models without the help of direct intervention, have yet to answer. Whitening some clouds has a certain aesthetic appeal; it is certainly hard to see as an environmental threat in itself. Perhaps the most benign-sounding idea of all, though—and one that brings a Herculean sense of effort that messing around with the air and oceans cannot match—is SlawekTulaczyk’s nascent proposal to lock the world’s ice caps in place. Dr Tulaczyk, a specialist in glacial flow who works at the University of California, Santa Cruz, observes that one of the most catastrophic consequences of climate change could be a rise in sea level. The risk is not so much that the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica
Polluting the stratosphere.Liming the oceans.Locking Greenland’s glaciers to its icy mountains. It is easy to see why sceptics balk at geoengineering. And if viewed as a substitute for curbing greenhouse-gas emissions, a cover for business-as-usual into the indefinite future, then it might indeed prove a Faustian bargain. But that is probably the wrong way of looking at it. Better to use it as a means of smoothing the path to a low-carbon world. Most of the researchers working in the area of stratospheric hazing, for example, think that its best use might be reducing the peak temperatures the Earth would otherwise face at a time in the future when greenhouse-gas emissions have started falling but atmospheric levels are still going up.
altitude aircraft and studying the chemistry going on in its wake using another aircraft. NASA, America’s aerospace agency, is already equipped with a modified U-2 that would do the job well. Experiments of this sort would not be harmless. But they would do a lot less harm to the stratosphere than Concorde or the space shuttle, devices that were accepted by most people. The harm done by stopping geoengineering experiments is that the good which might come from them will never be known. Yet even some enthusiastic researchers worry about undue haste. Dr Keith, long an advocate of more research, says he unexpectedly finds himself thinking that things are moving, if anything, faster than he would want. “Taking a few years to have some of the debate happen is healthier than rushing ahead with an experiment. There are lots of experiments you might do which would tell you lots and would themselves have trivial environmental impact: but they have nontrivial implications.” Geoengineering’s growth spurt will need to be matched by some grown-up questioning. Who benefits? Who decides? Who faces the risk?
To see whether any form of geoengineering could work, though, small-scale experiments need to be carried out. Fertilising the ocean with iron has already been tried—admittedly without much success, but also without perceptible harm being done. Such experiments are, however, regulated by an international body, the London Convention on maritime dumping, which the CBD approves of. But what of other experiments? The CBD’s decision at Nagoya allows small-scale experimentation. But small by what standard?That of a laboratory or that of a planet?And small by whose?That of an enthusiast or that of an opponent? Take hazing experiments. Such experiments could Reprinted with permission from The Economist start fairly soon, were money available. One could This article can be found online at http://www.economist.com/node/17414216 easily imagine releasing sulphuric acid from a high-
NEED OF THE HOUR
here is no denying the fact that wildlife conservation has not been accorded the importance it deserves. One of our Prime Ministers had himself said and I quote “we shall end the relative neglect of wildlife conservation in recent years.”That was at one of the meeting of the Indian Board for Wildlife . He went on to say that”. All of us have many other tasks and concerns to attend to. And they too are important. However, wildlife conservation is too important a task to be treated lightly or ritualistically.” So the fact of relative neglect was accepted by none other than the then Prime Minister himself.
must identify the best officials and post them in the protected areas. By best officials I mean the officials who have passion for wildlife and are determined about conserving it. A determined officer immediately makes an impact. Reputation travels fast. Poachers and timber smugglers keep away from their areas of control. If we can have a system whereby motivated officers are put in protected areas, things would dramatically improve. There have been instances and several of them when officers after doing impressive work in wildlife are shifted to development corporations, administrative offices and even zoos. Officers who have proved themselves in the field must be given extended run at least for two or three terms in the wildlife wing preferably in the field or at the controlling offices so that field staffs would benefit from their guidance. There are cases where because of political interference capable officers are kept away from the wildlife .Industrialists and mine owners play a part there as they feel that officer would be obstructing their efforts of setting up mining and industries in forested areas. These things must be avoided at all costs. You look at the conservation history of our country particularly after Project Tiger, you would note that wherever a determined officer who had passion for conservation was in
Result has been devastating to say the least. Expanding human population, resultant encroachment in to the forests, clearing of forested areas for industries and mining have caused extensive damage to nature and wildlife in India. Hardened poachers, over the years, have stripped our forests of precious animals. Bird count has come down virtually everywhere. Tiger number has plummeted to an all time low of 1411. Today it is a crisis situation and we must do our best to conserve our wildlife and for that we have to protect the habitat, the forests, the wetlands. The question is whether it is possible to do so. I am of the considered view that we have a system in place and even if we protect our so called protected areas and put an end to the rampant poaching, we would be able to save much of our wildlife. We have clearly demarcated protected areas and we have officials to do the job. I have on several occasions through columns in The Statesman emphasized that dept
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charge, great results were achieved. Kailash Sankhala, the prime mover of Project Tiger or Fateh Singh Rathore, the architect of Ranthambore were forest officers and their contribution nobody can dispute. They did momentous job and I salute them for that. We must also ensure that all protected areas are sufficiently manned. Presently the trend is that in tiger reserves Field Directors are given sanctioned staff strength or at least about 90% of it. But there are some protected areas where officers have to work with depleted staff strength. In 2002 the DFO in charge of Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary had to be content with an abysmal 35% of the sanctioned staff strength. Another area of concern is the average age of guards. In Bandhavgarh the average age of 73 guards is 36 years. In Hazaribagh the average age was 50 years. We need young and energetic guards to do the job. Guarding forest is a tough job. There are two things that can be done. Govt should make an assessment to find out the vacancies to be filled. Second step could be to transfer the older staffs from protected areas to either the administrative wings or to the development corporations. Thirdly and more importantly, it is imperative to pay the field officials well, if not by salary then by hefty increase
NEED OF THE HOUR
I interact with all kinds of forest officials, from forest guards to senior officers like conservators and have found out that there is a need for encouraging and facilitating flow of information. Rangers feel very diffident while talking to conservators and it is same between conservators and their bosses. So even though the officials have their difficulties they are not able to tell their bosses about it. Faced with intractable situation the officials in the field do what the best they can do and then keep the prayers on for an early transfer. Support and motivation by our political masters, strengthening the system and effective utilization of IFS officers can bring about remarkable improvement. IFS officers are capable officers . May be, some of them lack the motivation and zeal of a conservationist but these areas can be improved upon by imparting training on motivational aspects. I have seen how officials become enthused and charged about wildlife after undergoing training at Wildlife Institute of India.
in incentives. Posting in these areas often force the of- were definitely sufficient for the area, if he did not ficials to keep the family in cities and that means in- have these sandalwood thieves to contend with. crease in expenses. Poaching is a serious menace. Poachers are causIn some cases because of certain reasons specific to ing extensive damage. Tigers and leopards are being the area the staff deployed is less than required, For killed regularly as they fetch huge amount in interexample in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary which is spread national market. This has led to drastic reduction in over 90 sq km the officer is given sixteen guards. If their numbers and in fact disappearance of tigers from you take the average area wise it sounds okay but the some areas. In some cases poachers are caught on officer says to me that it is not enough. And I believed the spot but because of the inept framing of charges or him when he told me the reason. Marayur range there lack of proper prosecution many are let off. Forest ofare patches of forest where there are sandal wood ficials, and many of them feel that our field staff should trees. This is a source of constant headache to the be given comprehensive training in the legal matters foresters because hordes of people enter the forests in also. This can be looked in to. Also there should be an small groups and chop the sandal and run away. The espionage system in place in all of our protected areas officer says that the area is free off animal poaching .This would have the effect of giving crucial leads to and his entire energy is expended on tackling these the dept and help nab the criminals before they cause sandal thieves. He told me frankly that sixteen guards the damage.
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writers. Currently hardly any space is given for articles on nature education as much of the space is occupied by items on films, things that are filmy, glamorous models and so on. I respect The Hindu, Deccan Herald and The Statesman as they do show some interest in nature education and carry articles on the subject very frequently. Schools and colleges would do well to invite wildlife experts and conservationists for interacting with their students. There are some remarkable speakers on the subject like Bittu Sahgal, J C Daniel, Asad Rahmani, A J T Johnsingh and Valmik Thapar. They make impact when they speak as they speak so well on the subject. That apart all schools and college libraries must subscribe to quality nature magazines like Hornbill and Sanctuary Asia. It would not suddenly bring about dramatic change but impact would be there for sure. When Khuswant Singh was the editor of Illustrated Weekly of India, he used to publish images by Late E Hanumanta Rao , the champion wildlife photographers, and it had its impact on people including me. Magazines like India Today and Outlook have a responsibility in this regard. Let them devote at least one page in each issue on an average. They can begin columns like Nature Watch that would contain some great images from our natural world. Let us make a beginning and see.
Exposure by way of field trips always would have impact. Last year I got a call from a senior IFS officer. He had just seen a pack of wild dogs in action and he narrated the incidence with palpable excitement. Next week once again he was calling, this time from Sundarban and now he is praying for a posting again in the wildlife wing. So training and exposure have their effect. If our officials can feel the way Salim Ali felt or J C Daniel, Assad Rahmani and A J T Johnsingh feel, much of our problems would be solved. May be excessive criticism over the years has had the effect of alienating some of our officials. We on our part should not indulge in unnecessary criticism for our personal glory. Remember wherever good work has happened it is the forest officials who Sri A. K. Sahay have done it. If officers are not given the chance to work in wildlife areas it is none of their fault. an eminent Indian naturalist, well-known for his wildlife colMedia also has a responsibility. Our people so far have shown little concern for conserving our forest and wildlife. Not that people are bad. It is just that they have not been educated about the importance of protecting our forest and media can play a great role there. Ignorance is the only reason behind our people being apathetic. Media should encourage wildlife photographers and
umns in The Statesman. He is also the author of recently published book” GLIMPSES FROM INDIA’S NATURAL WORLD.” The book has earned applause from experts and media alike. DR Rahmani, the Director of BNHS has hailed it as a wonderful book.
PHOTO PHOTO STORY
SH I V A N G ME H T A is a wildlife photographer, his camera having clicked the wilderness for 7 years now. His art and creativity has gained him a lot of respect from stalwarts in the field of wildlife. He writes travel columns for leading blogs and publications including Outlook Traveller, Discover India, Mail Today and Femina. In 2006/07 Shivangâ€™s work got multiple honorary mentions at the Nature Conservancy Awards organised by the Nature Conservancy magazine based in UK. Visit his online album at: www.flickr.com/photos/shivangmehta
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Years later, I walk The same old road. And I hear the trees talk. In dim twilight, I walk past crickets and frogs. Silent birds Weep in mid-flight. It is an evening of mourning. Lying on the soft grass, Gazing at the stars, I wonder now, Where’s the spot gone missing?
THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A FAMILY
For there is some concrete, I won’t lie On, so there is no spot. For there is some smog, which I can’t see through, so there is no sky.
I see the cicatrized trees, And the degenerated skyline. I hear the nature’s lament, I feel its dried tears.
Isn’t this genocide? Gradual Decay? We are trying to replace the irreplaceable. Perhaps it is too late. Perhaps it is irreversible. But what we can still Do is delay our inevitable fate. Perhaps.
Anshuman Dandriyall a nascent poet and social media buff. Anshuman Dandriyal is trying out every possible activity within reasonable bounds. He is currently studying in 10th grade at St. Joseph’s Academy, Dehradun. The 15-year-old geek is exploring it all with his imagination, while setting his entrepreneurial soul free. © EXPRESSIONS 2010
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24 photographs: SHIVANG MEHTA
ENERGY CONSERVATION SEMINAR A REPORT
“SHOW THEM THE MAKER’S NAME” : the motive behind all the activities around the earth for the conservation and preservation of the environment. At last man has realized that when nature induces prosperity, it’s a boon to us, but if it is disturbed, it can destroy the history of mankind in seconds.
‘I think global warming is a severe threat to our earth because everything and everyone from animals on the land and in the sea to the inanimate glaciers are affected by it. Quick steps needed to stop it in its tracks if we want a better future.’ Ishan Tyagi, IX-A, AMITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, VASUNDHRA (SECTOR-6)
A quest for a better place to live in is going on in our Doon Valley, a chapter of which was opened on November 14th when students like us were given a life time opportunity to interact and communicate with one of the world’s biggest political figures, environmentalist and educationalist, Dr Rakesh Shankar. iCARE which is Dehradun’s first pro-active youth based organization provided us with this wonderful opportunity. iCare, as the name suggests, is guided by the principle - I as an individual care for the betterment of the society, the environment being the organizations main area of concern.
‘Well, on the lighter side, I guess adolescents are the most affected by global warming because they are constantly pestered to write essays on it , understand it and study about it for exams. ’ Shubhi Singh, Grade 9, Princess Margaret Secondary School, Surrey, B.C, Canada
‘The worst part is the fact that people never stop talking about things but always seem to forget to put their words into action.!’ Harshit Singh, IX-A, AMITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, VASUNDHRA (SECTOR-6)
Before the seminar, we were given about an hour to discuss and debate on the various issues regarding the crisis in our homeland – Earth. The discussion was presided over by Dr Shankar himself along with some extremely talented environment -concerned intellectuals from the UPES.
‘Over the last 100 years, the average air temperature near the Earth’s surface has risen by a little less than 1 degree Celsius or 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Doesn’t seem that much, does it? Yet, it is responsible for the conspicuous increase in storms, floods and raging forest fires we have seen in recent years… ’
The seminar was organized in association with ISHRAE Dehradun Chapter in the Etlantis Club. Instead of interacting indoors in air conditioned rooms, we were moved out and onto the lawn, the deep blue of the sky, the green beneath and the cool breeze that wrapped us reflecting our intentions.
Sanchit Singhal, IX-B, AMITY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, VASUNDHRA (SECTOR-6)
‘There is no clear picture of how global warming affects us. It is sometimes presented as a slow process. At other times, it is said to be an immediate crisis. We need a clearer analysis before we proceed with action.’ Dipankar Jugran, IX, Indirapuram Public School
‘I don’t even know about it, except that I have heard about it once or twice when I went to Global Village and we were told to find out more about it. However, our teacher said there was no need to because it would take a long time to understand it.’
ashish dev gera
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© EXPRESSIONS 2010
Dr Rakesh Shankar is presently a part of a very important project, ‘Algal bio-fuel initiative’. The project talks really simple though its nature is very
complicated. In a layman’s word, the project deals with converting algae into a forever useful energy source thereby combating pollution and the aim is to make the source available at an affordable cost. The project has a tremendous scope for further research and growth. The seminar was attended by lot of dignitaries from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies namely Dr. Sri Hari, Dean College of Engineering studies, Dr. Hemand C. Trivedi Dean College of Management and economics studies, Dr. SK Banerjee Deptt. Of Mathematics, Dr. Ratna Banerjee Deptt. of Logistics and Supply Chain Management and Quantitative Technique along with Mrs. Surbhi Arora Deptt. of Economics and International business.
Contributed by Students of Doon International School
Syna Singh, III-M, Kindergarten Starters, Dubai, U.A.E.
When it all started, it was more like a ‘Lok Sabha’ session than a group discussion. Everyone questioned the guests with full vigor and enthusiasm and the guests did full justice to every student’s enquiry. The session was more of an informal gathering which included students from both the science and the commerce fields and therefore the current environmental crisis was addressed from both the scientific and economic aspects.
© EXPRESSIONS 2010
EFFECT ON ANIMALS
EFFECT ON ANIMALS
sion in migratory birds and animals, a new report
“Climate is an angry beast has warned. and we are poking at it with The report, Climate Change and Migratory Spesticks - cies, was commissioned by Defra and prepared by a group led by the British Trust for Ornithology, and Wallace Broecker, Lamont- draws together broad research on the effects of cli-
mate change migratory wildlife. It found that all-female turtle populations might emerge as the sex of turtle hatchlings is determined limatic change is a change in the statistical distri- by water temperature; a third of turtle nesting sites bution of weather over periods of time that range in the Caribbean could be lost to rising seas; there from decades to million of years. Climate change could be reduced birth rates in whales, and birds may be limited to a specific region or may occur facing the long flight across the Sahara would be afacross the whole earth. Our climate is changing both fecting by the spread of the desert. naturally and due to human exploitation. There are undeniable evidences that animals, birds and plants Mammals are being affected by climatic change and global Mammals, with the notable exceptions of whales and dolphins, are primarily terrestrial (land-dwellwarming in both distribution and behavior. ing) animals that inhabit diverse areas of the Earth. “Climate change is not only a massive threat to the Mammalian responses to rising temperatures and global environment, it is also perhaps the greatest other climate changes are also diverse. Many small economic challenge facing us in the twenty-first mammals are coming out of hibernation and breedcentury. It demands an urgent and radical response ing earlier in the year than they did several decades across the developed and developing world ago, while others are expanding their ranges to higher altitudes. Some show trends toward larger UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, body sizes, probably due to increasing food availability and higher temperatures. On the other hand, 2010” Climatic variability and changes affects animals in a reproductive success in polar bears has declined due to melting Arctic sea ice (IPCC, 2007). number of ways: 1. Distribution of animals is affected; with many spe- In 2004, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment cies moving closer to the poles as a response to the (ACIA) summarized some of the effects of warming temperatures on animals and their habitats in porise in Global temperature. 2. Damage in Shallow Coastal areas affects Whales lar regions, including parts of Alaska. Polar bears, and Dolphins because the use this shallow coastal seals, migratory birds, caribou and reindeer are all experiencing changes that could have dramatic efareas to rear their small claves. 3. Migratory journeys of Wildebeest in several Afri- fects on their species and the ecosystems they inhabit (ACIA, 2004). can countries are stopped by Fences.
Doherty Earth Observatory, New York (2003)”
4. Changing rainfall patterns are causing dams to be erected in some areas of our planet, which affects migratory fishes and mammals that annually migrate up rivers to breed and spawn. 5. Climate change could affect and disrupt breeding, hamper migrations, and increase disease transmis-
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Invertebrates and Insects Invertebrates represent 97 percent of all animal species. Though most invertebrates are very small, their influence on their surroundings can be enormous. Bees, moths, ants and other insects, for ex-
ample, perform a critical role in the life of seed plants by transferring pollen. Insect pollination is particularly important for production of certain fruits, nuts and vegetables. Climate change could have both positive and negative impacts on invertebrates and insects. Recent warming in Alaska, for example, has caused spruce budworms to reproduce further north. Butterflies’ habitat ranges in North America have shifted northward and in elevation as temperatures increased. In some cases, such as the Edith’s Checkerspot Butterfly, local populations have become extinct in the southern portion of their range. (IPCC, 2007).
turtle populations. Hurricane Emily in 2005 destroyed 1,500 sea turtle nests along the Mexican coast (IPCC, 2007). In North America, many amphibians, such as some species of frogs and salamanders, lay their eggs in temporary pools that form in early spring after snowmelt. If a warmer climate causes ponds to dry earlier in the season, amphibian populations could suffer (IPCC 2007)
Climatic change also affects Birds in certain ways: 1. Birds lay eggs earlier in the year than usual. 2. Birds are migratory and arriving at their nesting grounds earlier, and the nesting grounds they move are not as far away as they used to be and in some Reptiles and Amphibians The ability of reptiles and amphibians to adapt to chang- countries the birds don’t even leave anymore, as the es in climate depends in part on their ability to move climate is suitable all year round. to more suitable habitat. A European study found that 3. Water birds which rely on Wetland sites for migramost reptile and amphibian species could expand their tion are at threat from rising sea levels caused by huranges in a warmer climate if dispersal were unlimited, man effects. but if they were unable to disperse then the ranges of nearly all species (more than 97 percent) would be- We need to push ourselves to make as come smaller (IPCC, 2007). many reductions as possible in our own In the mountainous cloud forests of Costa Rica, the energy use first.. and that takes time. But base of the clouds has been climbing in altitude as the climate warms. Researchers have found a strong con- we must do this quickly.. the climate will nection between declines in the frequency of mist days not wait for us. and declines in amphibian populations (IPCC, 2007). Rupert Murdoch Impacts of climate change on coral reefs and mangroves may affect sea turtles and crocodiles. Increases in the severity of tropical storms could also affect sea
M. MONISHA is currently pursuing II M.Sc Zoology at Government Arts College Coimbatore. A project student of Prof. M. Sekar. Last year she submitted a poster on “Effect of Shigatoxin producing E.Coliin Dairy Industry” at 97th Indian Science Congress at Trivandrum. This year she has also been selected to present a poster on “EFFECTS OF ANDROGEN AND ESTROGEN ON THE PROLIFERATION OF HUMAN OSTEOSARCOMA CELLS” at 98th Indian Science Congress Chennai in January 2010 © EXPRESSIONS 2010
CONSERVATION IN INDIA
The Tiger and forests can be saved, though we have to move forward in many directions. There are many new and old that are and have made such differences in conservation of Tiger, such as Billy Arjan Singh in Dudhwa, Ullas Karanth and team in Western Ghats area, Satpuda Foundation in Madhya Pradesh. TIgerwatch in Ranthambhore area.There are also many other organisations and people to numerous to mention that make a difference.
, NATIONAL ANIMAL OF INDIA, the most charismatic animal on the planet, the apex predator, it protects our eco systems, U.S.A has nearly 10,000 in captivity,3200 Tiger left in the world, India has approx only 1000 left in the wild. We are losing one Tiger a day in the wild due to man-animal conflict, poaching and loss of habitat. Tiger is poached for its skin and body parts for use in traditional Chinese medicines. Tiger skin can fetch up to $16,000 dollars on the black market, these are highly sort after by people in China and Tibet, as they like to wear and show them off, as a sign of wealth. Tiger body parts are used in traditional Chinese medicines, using them for such things as Tiger bone wine, Tiger penis soup, people believe that eating Tiger parts will cure certain ailments, this has been passed down by past generations, this has never been proven medically and should not be happening.
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Tiger conservation in India, is fraught with many pitfalls, it lacks much political will, though much rhetoric from the parties in power to win votes, many promise much, through corruption and self worth, the funds that are being allocated to help protect Tiger and support villagers in Tiger range areas, get siphoned off, used for other projects, or plainly do not get there. There are many issues at ground level, people that live in Tiger range areas are offered funds to relocate though at present only 10% are taking the offer of this, if people will relocate to better facilities and lands, such as in Badra in the Western Ghats, then forest can revitalise, people will be better off and Tiger will have space, so to minimise conflict. The villagers in the Tiger range areas are generally not involved with Tiger conservation in the areas, therefore if a poaching gang come into the area, they will give advice or help to poach Tiger and other wildlife to help raise money for their families, as they live on
The forest department needs a complete overhaul, so that it can concentrate on patrolling and protecting the forests, rather than duties such as tourism. This should be left to the tourist department and National Tiger Conservation Authority should have responsibility for all matters Tiger, in all areas, including buffer zones. We need to give the forest department staff better packages for their pay / insurance policies, as many of the staff live away from the family for long periods of time, this will help to reduce the opportunity for helping poaching fraternity. Another major way forward, is for local people to have more input and involvement of conservation , they need to be employed as forest guards, guides, drivers, as their local knowledge can be invaluable for all areas of conservation, such as sightings, movements of people who are new to the area. This can be coordinated with other policing authorities. The local villagers who live on peripheries of Tiger range areas, they need to helped, such as conservation awareness, if we work with them and support them, then this again will get a network of information going forward
very low income, with one meal a day if they are lucky. The forest department is generally poorly staffed, with little or no recruitment over the last 10 years in many areas, insufficient equipment, such as uniforms or equipment in there fight against the poaching gangs, also their pay is low and paid late, which could lead them to turning a blind eye to certain movements in Tiger areas, or take bribes from poachers.
CONSERVATION IN INDIA
for local NGOs and forest department, to ensure better conservation of wildlife and forests. Collaboration and transparency is needed by organisations that work at ground level, so as to ensure that funds donated are maximised in the field and not wasted in administration. The hotels and organisation of tourism that benefit from wildlife, should look to be more actively involved also. TIGER IS THE PRIDE OF INDIA, people come from all over the world to see Tiger such as B2 of Bandhavgarh and Machali of Ranthambhore in their natural habitat. Their majestic colours and how they glide through the forests with so much grace. There have been crises before, there is a crisis now, if people across the nation do not act now, then it will be lost forever, it would be a sad day if
THE ONLY PLACE YOU COULD SEE TIGER IS IN THE ZOO.
Phil Davis is the founder of Tiger Awareness, a non-profit organisation based in the UK. He travels mainly to India and helps in supporting local communities in various ways such as reimbursing local farmers for losses from a tiger kill, or promoting tiger conservation ÂŠ EXPRESSIONS 2010
Honeymooning couple leaves behind a trail of woes for forest officials
A few days ago, chief minister Ashok Gehlot, on a visit to the Ranthambore national park received complaints against the inconvenience caused by the wedding to the locals and the wildlife. Following which, the CM had ordered an inquiry into the matter. The reports have been submitted to the district magistrate of Sawaimadhopur.
RANTHAMBHORE: The celeb couple Russell Brand and Katy Perry on Monday flew to Maldives for their honeymoon, but left behind a trail of tough questions for the state officials to answer over alleged disregard for wildlife, environment and civic laws during their wedding near the tiger reserve.
Source: Time of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Honeymooning-couple-leaves-behind-a-trail-of-woes-forforest-officials/articleshow/6817669.cms
An activist and a lawyer of Ranthamhore has lodged a criminal complaint against the couple and friends and a forest official of the tiger reserve for violating the Wildlife Protection Act. The petition was filed in the court of chief judicial magistrate of Sawaimadhopur on Monday. The hearing will take place on October 30. While Brand and Perry left the country in a chartered flight, their friends named in the complaint too have returned. The petition filed by advocate Akshay Sharma, who runs an organisation Ranthambhore Park Bachao Samiti, in his petition alleged that the Hollywood couple committed gross violation of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act by playing loud music and keeping the decorative lights on beyond the the stipulated limit of 10pm last Saturday. The petitioner said it was gross violation of the Section 29, 30, 31 and 32 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and therefore punishable under law. Apart from the couple, Brand’s friend Daniel Javed and his security guard John Conson are also named in the petition along with the manager of the luxury resort Aman-e- Khas at Ranthambhore. The petitioner charged the forest officer of Ranthambhore RS Shekhawat of negligence of duty under Section 166 of the IPC. Sharma said on October 22, when Brand along with his friends went on a safari inside the tiger reserve, some photographers tried clicking their pictures. On seeing this, Brand’s security person John Conson attacked a photographer. The complaint states that the security person took away the keys of the jeep, in which the photogrphers were tavelling, leaving the latter stranded in the jungle. The petitioner blamed the forest officer for allowing the security person and Brand to go scot-free.
expressions december 2010
Mega Coal Power Projects In Eco-Sensitive Areas Run Into Green Roadblock BY SAMIRAN SAHA Mega Coal Power Projects In Eco-Sensitive Areas Run Into Green Roadblock: BY SAMIRAN SAHA AFTER THE awarding of four ultra mega power plants (UMPPs) to private developers, the government’s flagship programme to boost power generation to 1,00,000 MW by 2012 has hit a major roadblock. Following a Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) directive, several sites that were near coal pitheads and ideally suited for UMPPs, which are to have a capacity of 4,000 MW each, have now been designated as “no-go” areas. This means coal mining will not be allowed at these sites, making them unsuitable for coal pithead power projects. “The very purpose of having pitheadlocated UMPPs will be defeated because, after the MoEF directive, no infrastructure projects can come up at sites that were earlier designated for UMPPs,” a retired bureaucrat, who helped draft the UMPP policy, said on condition of anonymity. However, Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, a pithead location that was awarded to Reliance Power Ltd, a part of the RelianceAnil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is expected to go ahead as per schedule, because the bid was approved before the MoEF edict. Each of these 4,000 MW power plants can meet the needs of a city the size of Delhi Although alternative sites are being sought, the Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), the nodal agency for awarding UMPPs, is finding the going tough, as these huge power projects need substantial chunks of land. “This is why the PFC has been unable to invite fresh bids for Akaltara (Chhattisgarh) and Bedabahal (Odisha). The Ministry of Power is in talks with the MoEF to find a middle ground,” said a PFC official who did not want to be identified. India plans to build 16 such power projects, at an estimated cost of Rs. .20,000 crore each. Four UMPPs
have already been awarded, of which the one in Mundra, Gujarat, has been bagged by Tata Power Ltd. Three others, awarded to Reliance Power, will be located at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tillaiya in Jharkhand. The Krishnapatnam UMPP is the largest power project in south India and will supply power to four states — Andhra Pradesh (1,600 MW), Maharashtra (800 MW), Tamil Nadu (800 MW) and Karnataka (800 MW), lighting up nearly 300 million households. Each of these 4,000 MW plants is capable of meeting the needs of a city the size of Delhi, which has a peak demand of nearly 4,300 MW a day. But at the moment the outlook seems as dark as a coal pit. Source: Tehelka Magazine Vol 7, Issue 42, Dated October 23, 2010 http://www.tehelka.com/story_main47.asp?filename=Bu231010MEGA_COAL.asp
Accepting Rajasthan standing counsel Manish Singhvi’s argument, the Bench dismissed Chand’s appeal against conviction and said the accused always remained behind the scene and it was difficult to procure direct evidence against him and the trial court was right in sentencing him on the basis of confessional statement of his accomplice. Before closing the case, the Bench requested the governments and their agencies “to make all efforts to preserve the wildlife of the country and take stringent action against those who are violating the provisions of the Act as this is necessary for maintaining the ecological balance in our country”. Source: Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/SC-blames-Chinese-demand-for-poaching-of-tigers-in-India/articleshow/6781860.cms
SC Blames Chinese Demand for Poaching of Tigers in India NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday blamed the huge demand for tiger parts in China as the major reason for the thriving poaching syndicates run by “very wealthy and influential people” in India leading to near extinction of the big cat. While upholding the conviction of notorious poacher Sansar Chand for two leopard skins seized from one of his accomplices, a Bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur expressed concern over the largely free run that poachers have had in India and requested the Centre and state governments to tighten their belts. Asking them to take stringent action against poachers and the illegal trade in wildlife items if they wanted to save the small number of tigers and other big cats in the country, the Bench went on to cite the “food chain” illustration given in school textbooks to drive home the importance of big cats to maintain balance in the ecology. Justice Katju, writing the judgment for the Bench, noted that areas which decades back were teeming with wildlife had become devoid of it. He said many sanctuaries and national parks were almost empty and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan and Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh had no tigers. “Poaching of tigers for traditional Chinese medicine industry has been going on in India for several decades... This illegal trade is organised and widespread and is in the hands of ruthless and sophisticated operators, some of whom have top level patronage,” the Bench said. Condemning Sansar Chand and his family for indulging in mindless killing of wild animals, including tigers, for profit and having a trail of cases under the Wildlife Protection Act, the Bench said Chand and his gang had set up a complex, interlinking smuggling network to satisfy the demand for tiger and leopard parts and skins outside India’s border, particularly in China.
expressions december 2010
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Since the inception of *our* magazine, EXPRESSIONS, in June 2010, we have come a long way. I say *our* magazine because this effort is fuelled as much by the efforts of those who work on it, as by those, such as yourself, who subscribe to it and wholeheartedly support it. To those who have been with us since the beginning, thanks! New members, welcome! Make yourself comfortable here. Weâ€™ve embarked on a rather enthusing journey of hope and change, and we shall not rest till our dreams come true! This magazine is our portal of hope. You, dear readers, are our beacon of change. Through this magazine, we seek to reach change-oriented individuals who will understand the problems facing our environment today, and subsequently step up to the task of damage control. We publish the expert opinions of naturalists, conservationists and nature/wildlife enthusiasts. Moreover, we also publish the opinions of students concerned at the plight of our environment. Essentially, we seek to connect with anyone who CARES about making the world a better, safer and more beautiful place to live in. Your thoughts, opinions and suggestions (as well as articles for the next issue) are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as weâ€™ve enjoyed writing (and designing) it!
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