Climate change and Global Warming

From the equator towards the poles

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 12, 2007

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Scientists say it has become increasingly clear that worldwide precipitation is shiftng away from the equator and toward the poles.

While rich countries are hardly immune from drought and flooding, their wealth will largely insulate them from harm, at least for the next generation or two, many experts say.

Cities in Texas, California and Australia are already building or planning desalination plants, for example. And federal studies have shown that desalination can work far from the sea, purifying water from brackish aqifiers deep in the ground in places like New Mexico.

Source: Times International, 3/4/07

Captive Elephants

Festival elephants in Kerala

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 02, 2007

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March /April is the time for temple festivals in Kerala where hundreds of elephants are displayed as part of the festivities.

Increasing competition among festival committe owners to showcase the majestic elephants and the clashing of festival dates cause the bid for majestic elephants to go up from Rs 25,000 per day to Rs 50,000.

Despite the soaring demand for elephants, private owners refuse to accept that they are making huge profits. The special feeding and medicare sessions prior to festival time cost upto Rs 2 lac.

Is it time we started looking at some of our traditions more critically?

( economic figures source: The Hindu 1st April)

Environment Awareness

Plant pesticides in Kerala

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 26, 2007

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It all began two years ago when hundreds of butterflies perished at Muthalamada in Palakkad district of Kerala. The butterflies’ holocaust was followed by the unusual death of cattle in the area. Then came reports that several children were mentally retarded or crtically ill. The situation was somewhat akin to Swarga in Kasargod where similar cases were recorded after indiscriminate spraying of endosulfan on cashew plantations.

WPSI was the first to raise alarm following the death of butterflies. A health survey of residents within a five-km radius of Muthalamada, found that genetic disorders were prevalent in children born in the past five years and they were susceptible to cancer, kidney trouble and respiratory ailments. All of them were living close to plantations that had been sprayed with endosulfan.

Though endosulfan is banned in Palakkad, it is clandestinely obtained from neighbouring towns in Tamil Nadu. To stop such clandestine sprayings, environmental groups are demanding a complete ban on endosulfan all over India. All the same, there is no conclusive medical evidence that endosulfan is behind the maladies of the residents.

When it comes to environment and health of people, isn’t it time we acted on possible causes of harm rather than wait for conclusive evidence?

(Source: The Week, April 2, 2007)

Wildlife

Migrating butterflies protected in Taiwan

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 26, 2007

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The milkweed butterflies, indigenous to Taiwan, migrate in late March from Southern Taiwan to the north, where they lay eggs and die. The young butterflies then fly south every November to a warm mountain valley near the Southern part of Taiwan. Conservationists say Taiwan has about 2 million milkweed butterflies.

To protect the migrating butterflies, a 600 meter stretch of highway in Southern Taiwan’s Yunlin County will be sealed off in the coming days as the migration peaks. Authorities set up nets to make the butterflies fly higher and avoid passing cars. They will also install ultraviolet lights to guide the insects across a highway overpass.

( Source: The Economic Times, Delhi dated 25 March 2007)

Climate change and Global Warming

Clean Energy

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 11, 2007

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Clean energy, ................is 2.3% of the US electricity market.

The 2.3% breaks down the following way:
1.5% from bio-mass
0.44% from wind
0.36% for geothermal
0.01% for solar power.

The other 97.7%?
49.7% coal-fired
19.3% nuclear
19.1% natural gas
6.5% hydro
3% oil-fired

Wow. 97.7% is non-renewable, with 50% carbon spewing coal.

Source:  http://tinyurl.com/32zb2k

 

Asiatic Lion

Will it go Extinct?

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 11, 2007

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Will the Asiatic lion go extinct in the wild during our lifetime? Read what experts and concerned individuals have to say on the ground realities by clicking HERE.

Tribal Bill-How it will affect our forests

Reactions from Assam

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 09, 2007

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Reactions from ASSAM

.....The tribal bodies are doubtful about the efficacy of the new Act in protecting fully the interests of the tribal people as successive governments in Dispur have failed in the past to protect the tribal belt and blocks, leading to the alienation of the tribal people from their ancestral land. Secondly, they fear that non-traditional forest dwellers, such as immigrant settlers, might take advantage of the ambiguity in the nomenclature "other forest dwellers" in the new Act to claim occupancy rights. Thirdly, they say that the new Act has not taken into account tribal customary laws, which are essential to protect both forest and tribal rights. ........

........Environment protection groups, on the other hand, fear that if the rights enshrined in the new Act are granted without responsibility, they will prove to be detrimental to the existence of the forest cover and result in increasing human pressure on the remaining forest land. They point out that encroachment of forest land in many areas of the State received political patronage, and express the apprehension that some politicians may now take advantage of the provisions of the new Act to encourage more organised encroachment. "The tribal organisations should come forward to shoulder the responsibility to ensure that the rights provided in the new Act are not misused to degrade forest land," said Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, secretary-general of Aranyak, a leading organisation in the field of biodiversity conservation in northeastern India. ..................

Source: http://tinyurl.com/3br2ol

Interlinking of Rivers

Comments on interlinking rivers

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 09, 2007

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Ezine

Comments on ezine

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 09, 2007

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nature/wildlife films

Discovering nature without the Discovery Channel

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 07, 2007

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"My parents have always been opposed to buying a TV and they were trying to explain to us the reasons why they were not falling in line with the TV-buying public.


We couldn’t understand all their arguments until they finally put it to us this way: TV is for those who will never get to experience the real thing. Do you want to actually visit, some day, all those beautiful places they show on TV, or would you rather be happy with just seeing them on the screen? The choice simply put was: Buy a TV, or travel around instead. We chose travel. And I am proud to say that till today we have never allowed the idiot box space in our house. We have travelled instead to almost all parts of India. I learnt snake catching in Pune, handled crocodiles in Mamallapuram, studied spiders and earthworms in Chennai and even travelled to Thailand and Malaysia in my quest to learn more about reptiles. All of which I managed to do because I never sat in front of a TV."

Read the full article by Rahul Alvares, a  young snake rescuer from Goa, who has recently won the ’Young Naturalist Award’ given from Sanctuary Magazine by clicking here.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/yum5ty

 




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