Climate change and Global Warmimg

Global Warming and Biodiversity

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 06, 2007

Blog

As global warming continues, natural habitats will change. In theory, animals would move as their habitats became too warm, but due to the pace of global warming, experts worry that some animals won’t have time to adjust and could go extinct.

Conservationists therefore propose building biological corridors, natural spaces connecting habitats, that would allow wildlife to relocate. But people and development block some of the most logical routes. Most wildlife-assistance organizations don’t have the money to buy land, and displaced people would add to environmental destruction.

In Costa Rica, wildlife organizations encourage local residents living along the national park La Amistad to grow organic coffee. The arrangement is environmentally friendly and attracts tourists, bolstering local income. Such local and private efforts are small in scale – and slowing the pace of global warming, protecting biodiversity and a way of life for many communities in any lasting way, requires government action and international cooperation.

Source:  http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=9400

 

Engineers and Environment

Two wheeler pollution

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 06, 2007

Blog

Motorcycles typically get about double the gas mileage of even the most fuel-efficient cars—but that doesn’t mean they are green. They spew up to 15 times more pollution per mile, mostly in the form of smog-causing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

CSE Findings

The Green Rating of Indian Industry project was started by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 1996.  According to CSE, among the two and three wheelers,  models of Hero Honda (Splendor and CD 100) are the most eco friendly two wheelers. They have scored above average in vehicle and engine design and are one of the very few four-stroke two wheeler fitted with any kind of pollution control equipment.
Bajaj boxer,  has scored well in vehicle and engine design but lacks in emission control equipment and comparatively poorer emission.
The best performing two-stroke model ranks fourth amongst the two wheelers. The lowest score has been obtained by Kinetic Safari moped, which obtained average scores in design and emissions and very poor scores in pollution control equipment and emissions.


Battery powered?
In the meantime, Evera Auto India is set to launch a battery powered motorcycle in the northern states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in July.
The company based in Firozabad (Uttar Pradesh)is hoping to corner a niche segment in the expanding two-wheeler market with the launch of the eco-friendly vehicle. The motorcycle has been built indigenously and will be launched in the third week of July according to  Mukesh Bansal, promoter of Evera Auto India.

A battery that runs a 250-watt motor powers the motorcycle, making it a non-polluting vehicle. After being charged for six hours, the motorcycle can run for 80 km at a maximum speed of 25 km per hour.

"Till now, the electric powered motorcycles that were available in India were imported from China. We have worked over the technology of this motorcycle for the last two years," Bansal said.

"We are targeting a specific class who have to travel 10-15 kilometres everyday. The running cost of the vehicle is extremely low. The only price that the owner has to pay is the charging cost of the battery."

The motorcycle will be priced somewhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 32,000 ($600-780) and the company expects a good sale in the first year of its launch.

( Source: Various Media reports )

Film Reviews- Wildlife, Nature and Environment

"The Great Indian Tiger Crisis " wins award

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 05, 2007

Blog

"The Great Indian Tiger Crisis" won the award for Best Point of View  at the International Wildlife Film Festival 2007 at Montana, USA

Synopsis

The Great Indian Tiger Crisis

Mirror Films Private Limited

Producer: Arindam Mitra

India was shocked to learn, in early 2005 that some of her Tiger Reserve Forests had actually no tigers left. The Prime Minister set up a task force with eminent conservationists and sent them out on a fact finding mission across the length and breadth of the vast number of Reserve Forests. This film stalks the task force to unearth shocking facts and becomes an important critique of the conservation policies in India. Part road movie, part fact finding, part political discourse and part philosophy this is a fascinating piece of film too. (77 min)

 

Tiger Task Force Report

"The Great Indian Tiger Crisis" Film has won an award

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 05, 2007

Blog

"The Great Indian Tiger Crisis" won the award for Best Point of View  at the International Wildlife Film Festival 2007 at Montana, USA

Synopsis

The Great Indian Tiger Crisis

Mirror Films Private Limited

Producer: Arindam Mitra

India was shocked to learn, in early 2005 that some of her Tiger Reserve Forests had actually no tigers left. The Prime Minister set up a task force with eminent conservationists and sent them out on a fact finding mission across the length and breadth of the vast number of Reserve Forests. This film stalks the task force to unearth shocking facts and becomes an important critique of the conservation policies in India. Part road movie, part fact finding, part political discourse and part philosophy this is a fascinating piece of film too. (77 min)

Anthropomorphism

House Sparrows attack

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 29, 2007

Blog

Here is an amusing story from Ahmedabad. A flock of sparrows has been pecking at three friends living in Ahmedabad since three days. The pecking is so severe that the men cannot go out of their homes and one day the birds even chased the men nearly a kilometer away.

It all started from an effort by Shastri and his friends to help two fledglings, which fell from their nest after being attacked by a cat in his frontyard. "The sparrows thought we had killed her babies and started pecking us on the head." said Shastri. The friends thought that was the end, but in the evening, they were attacked again by the sparrows near a pan shop. The next day too, the sparrows had not forgotten them. The men are now planning ways to sneak out of their homes.

Source Times of India June 29, 2007

Tribal Bill-How it will affect our forests

Send your comments in 45 days

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 22, 2007

Blog

 

Comments, objections and suggestions on the draft Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007, are being invited by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi to reach by the 6th of August 2007.

Comments can be sent by email too.

 A copy of the Act as well as the draft rules can be viewed in the website

http://www.tribal.gov.in

 

General

Bicycle rally in Delhi

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 22, 2007

Blog

Delhi Cycling Club is organizing a bicycle rally  India Gate-Red Fort at 7.AM 0n 24th June 2007

to create awareness about various benefits of cycling;  Promote road safety  amongst cyclists;and demand from the Government the much needed cycle tracks on all main roads of Delhi. 

About DELHI CYCLING CLUB:

Formed by ITDP India in April 2007, Delhi Cycling Club is a forum of bicycle enthusiasts, health and environmental conscious citizens in New Delhi.

The club has been engaged in carrying out the following activities:

  1. Creating public awareness and sensitization about the environmental, health, economic, energy and other benefits of bicycling. 
  2. Educating various decision makers and stakeholders about the need and advantages of promoting cycling and NMT in our cities and integrating them with other modes of transportation. 
  3. Demanding fast implementation of better and safe cycling infrastructure in Delhi from the Government. 
  4. Planning regular traffic safety programmes for bicycle users in association with other NGOs and Traffic Police especially amongst the students and factory workers who are more vulnerable to accidents. 
  5. Planning and organizing regular bike trips on various themes such as Heritage Biking, Excursion trip, adventure trips, and bike rallies etc.

About ITDP INDIA:

The Initiative for Transportation and Development Programmes (ITDP India) is a Delhi based NGO involved in the research and advocacy of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) cities and non motorized transportation. The organization is the India chapter of New York based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). ITDP is dedicated to the promotion of transportation policies and projects which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable as well as equitable.

Wildlife Poaching

Bear Conservation

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 19, 2007

Blog

Bear Conservation and Protection

Online chat on IWC.com

6/18/2007 Moderator: Kartick Satyanarayan

 

Excerpts:

 

Sloth Bear  The Sloth Bear is used by Kalandar Communities in India for bear dancing, However the Kalandar communities in Pakistan also use the

Himalayan Black Bear for Dancing as well as Bear Baiting practices 

……………………………

Sloth Bear  Yes - it is possible that there could have been such brutal sports in Europe as well. Eastern Europe to this day has Dancing Bears. …..

………………..

Esskay  But then Europe is far more aware. The last issue of RD in fact carried an article on how a whole town got together to bid good bye when two of its last dancing bears were being released into wilderness  ….

……………………

Vasudha  Esskay, releasing animals back into the wild is I think a scientific process that is to be done with careful thought and planning  ………….

…………………..

Susan  The line between animal conservation and animal rights is blurred  ………………

…………………………

 

Sloth Bear  Also we could make a copy of the Video "The Last Dance" available for your members if they would be interested. ……………

…………………………..

Read on at the link

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/mainsite/ChatTranscript.asp

 

 

 

Climate change and Global Warmimg

Urban contribution to offset global warming

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 17, 2007

Blog

A modest increase in the number of urban parks and street trees in our major cities could offset decades of predicted temperature rise, a new study by researchers from the University of Manchester has revealed.

According to the team, a mere 10 per cent increase in the amount of green space in built-up centres would reduce urban surface temperatures by as much as four degrees Centigrade.

This 4°C drop in temperature is equivalent to the average predicted rise through global warming by the 2080s, and is caused by the cooling effect of water as it evaporates into the air from leaves and vegetation through a process called transpiration, said Dr Roland Ennos, the lead researcher in the team.

"Green space collects and retains water much better than the built environment. As this water evaporates from the leaves of plants and trees it cools the surrounding air in a similar way to the cooling effect of perspiration as it evaporates from our skin. Urban areas can be up to 12°C warmer than more rural surroundings due to the heat given off by buildings, roads and traffic, as well as reduced evaporative cooling, in what is commonly referred to as an ‘urban heat island’," said Dr Ennos.

For their study, the team took Greater Manchester as their model, and used Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping to build up a picture of the conurbation’s land use.

The team then worked out the impact of an increase in the amount of green space on the urban climate as well as on water retention.

The research also examined the effect an increased green space has on the amount of rainwater urban areas capture and retain; towns and cities lose a large proportion of rainwater through what is termed ‘run-off’ where precipitation quickly leaves the surface and drains away into streams and rivers, eventually returning to the sea.

"We discovered that a modest increase of 10% green space reduced surface temperatures in the urban environment by 4°C, which would overcome temperature rises caused by global warming over the next 75 years, effectively ‘climate proofing’ our cities,” said Dr Ennos.

Source:

Dr Roland Ennos ,Prof. John Handley and Dr Susannah Gill

Built Environment

Climate change and Global Warmimg

New assaults on nature to combat global warming

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 17, 2007

Blog

 

Capitalism, faced by natural obstacles, sees no alternative to a new assault on nature, employing new, high-tech armaments.


  The ecological irrationality of this response is evident in the tendency to
dissociate global warming from the global environmental crisis as a whole, which includes such problems as species extinction, destruction of the oceans, tropical deforestation, desertification, toxic wastes, etc.


It is then possible, from this narrow perspective, to promote biofuels as a
partial solution to global warming — without acknowledging that this will
accelerate world hunger. Or it is thought pragmatic to dump iron filings in the
ocean (the so-called Geritol solution to global warming) in order to grow
phytoplankton and increase the carbon absorbing capacity of the ocean — without connecting this at all to the current oceanic catastrophe. The fact that the biosphere is one interconnected whole is downplayed in favor of mere economic expediency.


 What all of this suggests is that a real solution to the planetary
environmental crisis cannot be accomplished simply through new technologies or through turning nature into a market. It is necessary to go to the root of the problem by addressing the social relations of production.

We must recognize that today’s ecological problems are related to a system of global inequality that demands ecological destruction as a necessary condition of its existence. New social and democratic solutions need to be developed and rooted in human community and sustainability, embodying principles of conservation that are essential to life. But this means stepping outside the capitalist box and making peace with the planet — and with other human beings.
   
-John Bellamy Foster

Professor of sociology at the University of Oregon in
Eugene, and editor of Monthly Review.   




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