Critical Tidings - Good & Bad - on India and our Biosphere
Historic 9/21/14 NYC Peoples Climate March PDF Print E-mail

Over 400,000 show up to tell world leaders "Reverse Course Now!"

 
350.org continues to blossom through its Messengers PDF Print E-mail

350 Messengers are leaders, thinkers, and doers at the cutting edge of change, prominent global figures who have are spreading the 350 movement in their work and life. Want to nominate a messenger? E-mail organizers [at] 350.org.


http://www.350.org/350-messengers

 
India's New Guiness Record: Med Pollution PDF Print E-mail

World's Highest Drug Levels Entering India stream

A man covers his nose to keep out the stench from the polluted Iska Vagu stream
AP – A man covers his nose to keep out the stench from the polluted Iska Vagu stream in Patancheru.

PATANCHERU, India – When researchers analyzed vials of treated wastewater taken from a plant where about 90 Indian drug factories dump their residues, they were shocked. Enough of a single, powerful antibiotic was being spewed into one stream each day to treat every person in a city of 90,000.

And it wasn't just ciprofloxacin being detected. The supposedly cleaned water was a floating medicine cabinet — a soup of 21 different active pharmaceutical ingredients, used in generics for treatment of hypertension, heart disease, chronic liver ailments, depression, gonorrhea, ulcers and other ailments. Half of the drugs measured at the highest levels of pharmaceuticals ever detected in the environment, researchers say.


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Beyond GDP: Bhutan's Index of Gross National Happiness PDF Print E-mail
 

Economists appraise Bhutan's happiness model

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thimphu, Bhutan -- In the thick of a global financial crisis, many economists have come to this Himalayan kingdom to study a unique economic policy called Gross National Happiness, based on Buddhist principles.

When considering economic development, policymakers here take into account respect for all living things, nature, community participation and the need for balance between work, sleep and reflection or meditation.

"Happiness is very serious business," Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thinley said. "The dogma of limitless productivity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable and unfair for future generations."

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India's Growing Water Crisis PDF Print E-mail

 by Nirupam Bajpai
The Hindu: Business Line
Jan 12, 2007


While the development of sustainable and safe drinking water supplies is a global challenge, it is particularly acute in India, given its high population density, space and time variability of rainfall, and increasing depletion and contamination of its surface and ground water resources. The wasteful subsidy system only worsens the crisis. Needed are urgent reforms in water resource management and tariffs, says NIRUPAM BAJPAI.
The UNDP's Human Development Report 2006 rightly focuses on one of the most serious problems facing humanity today — the global water crisis. Water supplies are under severe stress. More than a billion people have no access to safe drinking water and almost two million children die every year for want of clean water and sanitation facilities. As a result of poor water resource management, high population growth, rapid urbanisation and increasing demand from competing uses for drinking, agriculture, industry and energy, the pressure on this finite resource is mounting every day. Climate change is also affecting the hydrological cycle, significantly affecting freshwater production and its distribution.

The human development costs of the crisis are immense, with the poor being hit the hardest. They are the first to be affected by water-borne diseases; there has been little improvement in child mortality rates, and education is a low priority for the girls, who spend most of the day collecting and transporting water. Even if they do manage to get to the school, they are more than likely to drop out, as most schools do not have toilets for girls.

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Why Are the World's Lakes Disappearing? PDF Print E-mail

by Abigail Brown, Water For The Ages
Alternet
June 10, 2008

An estimated three hundred and four million of them across the globe, and yet still, researchers are noticing many inland lakes are beginning to dry.

In Siberia, Central Asia, East Africa, and North America -- the results are the same -- lakes simply cannot compete with man-made alterations to the environment.

And, these are not just small lakes, some of the lakes with dropping water levels are gigantic in size.

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Imminent Water Crisis in India PDF Print E-mail
by Nina Brooks
Arlington Institute
August 2007

"There will be constant competition over water, between farming families and urban dwellers, environmental conservationists and industrialists, minorities living off natural resources and entrepreneurs seeking to commodify the resources base for commercial gain."

 

UNICEF report on Indian water.[1]

Intro
More than two billion people worldwide live in regions facing water scarcity[2] and in India this is a particularly acute crisis. Millions of Indians currently lack access to clean drinking water, and the situation is only getting worse. India’s demand for water is growing at an alarming rate. India currently has the world’s second largest population, which is expected to overtake China’s by 2050 when it reaches a staggering 1.6 billion,[3] putting increase strain on water resources as the number of people grows. A rapidly growing economy and a large agricultural sector stretch India’s supply of water even thinner. Meanwhile, India’s supply of water is rapidly dwindling due primarily to mismanagement of water resources, although over-pumping and pollution are also significant contributors. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the problem by causing erratic and unpredictable weather, which could drastically diminish the supply of water coming from rainfall and glaciers. As demand for potable water starts to outstrip supply by increasing amounts in coming years, India will face a slew of subsequent problems, such as food shortages, intrastate, and international conflict.

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Organic Farming "Could Feed Africa" PDF Print E-mail

Traditional practices increase yield by 128 percent in east Africa, says UN.

by: Daniel Howden, The Independent UK

African organic farmers
New evidence suggests that organic practices - derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad - are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers

22 October 2008

    Nairobi - Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today.

    New evidence suggests that organic practices - derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad - are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN's Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report "indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed".

    The "green revolution" in agriculture in the 1960s - when the production of food caught and surpassed the needs of the global population for the first time - largely bypassed Africa. Whereas each person today has 25 percent more food on average than they did in 1960, in Africa they have 10 percent less.

    A combination of increasing population, decreasing rainfall and soil fertility and a surge in food prices has left Africa uniquely vulnerable to famine. Climate change is expected to make a bad situation worse by increasing the frequency of droughts and floods.

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Schumacher: An Economics of Peace PDF Print E-mail

[From EF Schumacher Society] It has been fifty years since Fritz Schumacher first published his now classic essay "Buddhist Economics," calling for an economic system informed by simplicity and non-violence.

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