This article has been moved to
The mystic equation of Nature=God Monday, Aug 13 2007
China – A Tragedy called Development Saturday, Aug 4 2007
Planet Earth – Alien Invasion Tuesday, Jul 10 2007
Global Warming – Boon or Bane? Wednesday, Jun 13 2007
As we all know, most of the continental land lies in the northern hemisphere of our planet.
Northern hemisphere of earth has been undergoing periodic glacial ice ages. In every 100,000 years 90,000 years have been a glacial ice age followed by a intermediate shorter 10,000 years of moderate temperature.
The reasons for these repeated ice ages are not known. One reason might be the wobbling of earth’s axis. Or may be that Sun passes through some galactic dust cloud periodically there by blocking sunlight to earth which triggers an ice age! Ice age can also occur if some comet/asteroid explodes near sun, where its debris blocks sunlight to earth! Super Volcano, Nuclear wars etc might also cause shorter ice ages.
We have been without an ice age for more than 13000 years!! So we are already overdue for a new ice age in this cycle!! It may have started any time. Or has it already?
Ice age starts when the average atmospheric temperature goes down. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of earth, like CO2 ensure that night side earth does not cool down suddenly to temperatures below zero! These gases maintain a minimum warmth on the earth there by making life possible.
Due to the man made pollution on earth the green house gases have been steadily increasing in this planet’s atmosphere. Environmentalists are absolutely right in saying that these green house gases have been causing an increase in earth’s temperature, which is definitely a cause of concern.
But then, is it possible that it is these very green house gases that have saved us from an ice age this time? The CO2 dumped into air by man made pollution has prevented the ice age this time? Is Global warming a boon which is preventing a global cooling?
Sometime back, I had read an interesting article somewhere on the internet related to this. CO2 in air is good to the growth of plant life. Ever since we have started polluting this planet by more and more CO2, algae growth has increased heavily in the oceans of the earth. As we all know, it is these algae which had once upon a time cleaned much of earth’s CO2 when life started evolving. Now that there is abundant CO2 in atmosphere, algae are thriving again to consume this CO2.
Imagine a scenario where in, in the next 50 years we come up with cleaner fuels, say from nuclear fuels or solar energy. Then we stop using petroleum related fuels in order to reduce pollution. Since we will be using environmental friendly cleaner fuels, the CO2 emission by industries and automobiles will go down to almost zero. Only CO2 emission in the atmosphere will be what life on earth breathes out.The existing chunk of CO2 by earlier man made pollution will be cleaned out over a period of time by the ocean’s algae.
But what after that? The excess algae created by pollution are still there in vast amounts in the oceans and now there is no CO2 by pollution for them to consume!!! They start consuming even the normal CO2 level in atmosphere which maintains a normal temperature on earth. In other words even the required green house gases will be gone!!! This would simply mean that we would have been accelerating towards a new ice age, just in a matter of one or two decades once we start using clean fuel!! In this case, even the ‘ice age’ would be man made!! Then this ice age would also be supported by the natural ice age which was suppressed by global warming earlier!! Will this new ice age ever end then???
So what am I trying to say here? Well, once we come up with cleaner fuels, we need to take global cleaning of man made pollution as a gigantic project and analyze all the angles and repercussions of global cooling. In this case, we need to ensure that the excess algae created in the oceans by global warming are wiped out first. We need to have a controlled reducing of CO2 level in atmosphere so that the natural CO2 level is always maintained, which would prevent a permanent ice age on earth.
Cleaning out pollution on earth would be a huge task indeed and I think those nations which contributed most to the earth’s pollution should share an equivalent cost in cleaning earth too. Obviously USA will have to share atleast 50% of this cost. But looking at the impending collapse of US dollar, given that every American citizen already has a debt of over 28000$ on his/her head, I dont think US can pay for that
Indians on the wrong side Sunday, May 20 2007
Two Indian workers were killed by the natives in a violence in the african country of Uganda a month bank.
I do protest these killings, so do all other Indians. But I stop there. As for the cause goes, I am with the Ugandan people and not on the side of those who are opposing the native Ugandans there. The cause for which the Ugandans are fighting for is a true and a just cause, the violent means they used to support their cause is wrong.
Let me explain why I support the Ugandan cause. The crisis is that an Indian owned company (owned partly by the Mehta group) is trying to expand its sugar estates in Uganda by cutting down the Mabira rain forest. This is the one of the largest remaining patches of natural forest in Uganda. And the sugar company is trying to cut down more than a third of it and has approached the Ugandan govt for this, and the foolish govt has ordered a study for the feasibilty(?) of this cut down.
Such a foolish proposal of cutting down a forest has to be rejected outright anywhere on this planet. We are causing not just humans but entire life on earth to become extinct by our destructive actions on nature. We have no right to do this. Nature is not human’s great grandfather’s property. The Mabira rain forest has been a reserve forest area.
I strongly urge all Indians in Uganda to join the locals in protesting against this cutdown of rain forests. No Indian should work for that sugar company. It is complete nonsense and stupid to claim that sugar estates can compensate for rain forests.
The same applies to recent kidnappings of Indians in Nigeria. I urge all Indians living in the african countries to join the natives in fighting against the destruction of nature. Mere protests will not work. They should chalk out a strategy to ensure that these companies which are hell bent to make money at the cost of nature can in no way achieve their goals. Shame shame Mehta group.
Not only Africa. This is the same story worldwide and even in India. Forests of the western ghats, Kalahandi in Orissa, the naxals issue, nandigram in west bengal, etc
Mindless desrtuction of nature, taking over agricultural lands, where is the end? People need to organize into a pressure group which reflects their views in the democratic elections, remember the govt is just our representative, it has to do what the majority wants, stop voting based on your caste, religion. Vote for a better planet, vote for a true civilized nation which cares not only for its human population, but also for nature and all life forms. Lets Indians be the protectors of nature world wide and lets start the same at home. DO NOT PRINT UNNECESSARY PRINT OUTS. SAVE TREES. SUBSCRIBE TO ONLINE NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES. STOP BUYING NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINES IF YOU CAN.
For a developed world Wednesday, Apr 25 2007
In one of my earlier blogs, I had mentioned that India alone needs one and a half times the energy currently consumed by entire world, if India were to be a nation as developed as USA.
The living standards of a developed nation like USA is completely dependent on the availability of energy for all the necessities and luxuries that a developed society offers.
Now how on earth can we get such a huge amount of energy ? Already we are running out of resources like petroleum, nuclear options are dangerous and also very soon we will run out of nuclear fuels, nuclear materials are controlled by a few countries of the world, if we dont create fast breeder reactors using thorium then we have little nuclear fuel left, what about pollution? nuclear wastes?
For the whole world to live like a developed nation the amount of energy required is about 8 times the energy that the world produces currently. But how?
Only feasible non polluting long term solution seems to be our true energy provider, SUN
To harness energy from Sun, we need to install solar panels, but how on earth?
Problem #1 is Land for solar panels: Dedicated land for solar panels is not feasible. There might be cloudy days. Land will be wasted and not available for other purpose.
Problem #2 is Storage: Suppose we distribute solar panels across the globe. On top of all buildings, vehicles and what not. We cant touch the forests though. Now how do we collect the power generated from all these places and store ? It will become a infrastructure problem. Again not really feasible. Say suppose we want to store power enough for the entire world for next 6 months.
Problem #3 Weather: All days are not sunny days. There are cloudy days, there are rainy days, and there are days which are not either and still not sunny.
Problem #4, Night: Only half of earth will be working at a time. Part of earth on the night side cannot harness solar energy.
More than anything else, when the entire world becomes a developed society, power requirements will be so dynamic and high that most of the stored power will be consumed almost immediately, and we cannot afford more storage space too as world population increases. Also we dont want to risk lives by having massive power storage grids.
Then the solution ? I always love to look at outer space There lies the solution
Millions of solar panels and power storage units floating in outer space. . Solar energy is captured from the sun to generate power and the power is transmitted to local storage units spread all over the earth on demand in the form of direct contact lightning strikes to ground based storage units for immediate consumption. Of course normal clouds on earth which cause lightening are at a quite lower altitude on earth compared to sending electricity from space, so we need to have intermediary receivers at different levels. Probably we may have a local backup of few days for the entire planet in case the space infrastructure fails.
Fault tolerance is required for these space based solar panels. There will be constant wear and tear. Meteorites might break down the panels and grids. Asteroids might hit. Comets might interfere. So we need to have propulsion based computer guided systems in all these free floating power generators in space which move around in a flexible manner in response to projectile threats in the space.
There should be on site robots which constantly repair all those worn and torn panels and grids. All the storage will be in space and energy as required is pumped down to earth. No wastage of space as long as we rely on outer space. In fact in the future we can move out all the manufacturing industries and factories to outer space. Use locally available resources as much as possible in outer space like solar energy, hydrogen, mineral ores from asteroids, etc and have the entire setup run by robots.
Well we might have the contemporary science fiction movies then which would have a plot where aliens try to steal power from our grids ! or say they install their own robots in our space based power generation units to take over the entire system !
Also since power is available in space, our future interplanetary, interstellar or intergalactic missions which take off from earth need not carry the complete power payload from earth itself, instead they can carry the bear minimum energy required for a take off to get out of earth’s gravity and then recharge themselves later with enough power at these space based power grids OR we can have all take offs for space travel from the space stations built somewhere near these power grids!
We can even have these solar panels and power grids at all the planets in our solar system and on prominent asteroids for consumptions by human/robotic missions which arrive to these places.
These were my thoughts that started with a requirement for a reliable energy resource for a developed world and later increased to scope to include space based factories, industries, space travel…….
Always use the word ‘impossible’ with great caution
Intelligent? Yes. Wise? No Monday, Apr 23 2007
We cannot deny the fact that humans are intelligent. If not for the human intelligence you would not have been reading possibly even within seconds of my writing this blog, given the fact that we both may be on opposite parts of this globe!
Thanks to technology, we can communicate with each other at lightning speed, we have mapped the universe, we have dived into the pacific depths, climbed everests, automated every possible activity including having a piece of software play chess with us, created clones, mapped the DNA, cured numerous diseases or have alternates to them, walked on moon, sent messengers deep into the space, enquired into the beginning and end of the universe and what not….
But lo behold, we have caused holes in the ozone, caused the ice in antarctica to melt, wiped out entire species of life types on this planet, spilled petroleum oil into the oceans, have butchered and mass murdered our own species, increased the planet’s temperature, have invented WMD which can destroy this planet more than a thousand times, made air unbreathable, water undrinkable, food uneatable, planet uninhabitable.
This proves the fact that while we are definitely intelligent to understand nature, to discover scientific details, to invent new things, we humans as a species are definitely not wise in terms of using this intelligence to achieve sustainable goals which do not have negative effects on the life of this planet or on the planet itself.
Reason? GREED GREED GREED
Want to make quick bucks, no care or concern for others, (this others might belong to our own species or to other species), want quicker not cleaner options, the term I is given importance over WE, where I stands to humans and WE refers all life form on this planet.
There is a saying in Kannada, where a cow asks a man ‘Neenaarigaadeyo ele maanava?’ which translates to ‘Oh Human, What is your worth to others, alive or dead?’ The cow says, ‘When I am alive people milk me and this milk is used by you humans to satisfy your hunger. People make living by selling my milk. They dont give me money. They just look after me, which I am anytime capable of doing by going out in the woods and grazing on my own. The food you provide to me is given to you freely by nature. When a mother who just gave birth to a baby is not able to feed her child due to lack of milk in her mammary glands, cow’s milk is used as an alternative. Then when a cow is dead, the skin is used to manufacture all your clothing.’ What about a human being? Dead or alive, is he ever worth as much as a cow?
We say we are intelligent, we invented vechiles that run on petroleum. Today the whole earth is polluted because of this and we are searching for less polluting alternate energy resources. If humans were wise enough to know that petroleum causes pollution, wouldn’t they have invented non polluting technology in the beginning itself, instead of waiting till the whole planet is polluted and their own existence is threatened now due to global warming??? Well, earlier the humans did not bother because it was not a threat to them, they didnt bother as long as the technology didn’t affect them negatively even if it meant wiping out other species. Only when it comes to our own existence, we are having global conferences, statistics collection, alternate technology research and what not ??
Only if there were a court of law where law was same for all species, all humans would have been hanged till death over a thousand times for mass murdering of millions of lives of other species.
Consider a situation where we bring in a new refrigerator to our house, which uses less power but gives out some kind of polluting gas which causes suffocation while breathing. Would we keep that refrigerator in our house?? NO. Because we dont want us or our family members to suffocate. Why dont we think so when we build a factory which pollutes the entire planet ?? Narrow mindedness?? A limited definition of WE?
Arent we aware of the fact that we all will die of starvation if say for ex: ants are wiped out of this planet?
I like the vedic education system of ancient India for this very reason. It creates a ‘Vishwa Manava’ (which means citizen of the world, not of any particular country, species or religion). The concept of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ (whole world is a family) is embedded in this educational system. It aims at creating a human who has social and moral responsibility towards his fellow humans, nature, other species, air, water and what not.
In sharp contrast, the westernised education system of the day embeds a concept of ‘I’ in the child, teaching the child that ‘I’ comes first and everything else is after that. The child should get a first rank, mug up more things whether it understands the subject or not, is made egoistic and self centric concentrating only on an individual’s achievements.
As opposed to this kind of education, travel to some remote village in India, (where ancient Indian morals and social responsibility prevails, say for ex: to villages in the western ghats of south India), and you will find people there are more well educated than any of the urban class in any part of the world. They may not have a graduate degree certificate or a gold medal or a first class. Yet they treat you and the nature around them on equal scales.
For them cutting down a tree is a sin equivalent to violating all the ten commandments. When a family is in trouble or an indivual is in trouble, the entire village comes to their rescue. When a baby elephant falls in a well, the entire village carries out a rescue operation to save the baby with least harm, and then will try to unite it with its mother. They dont worry that they wont get the day’s pay or that their earnings will be hit if they dont go on their job.
In urban society we dont even know our neighbours properly, where as in these villages the entire village knows each other. I have heard stories from my mother about how they used to leave their doors unlocked while going out to the market. Trust was the factor there. Crime rate is high in the so called educated cities, not in the so called uneducated villages.
To summarize, literacy is not education, nor is westernised education system. I feel these villagers are more educated than a harvard or stanford MBA graduate. Education is not knowing more information and bringing down your values. True education improves on your values, makes you equally responsible to your society, to the naturem as you are to your family.
If the urban education was really better or atleast equal to the mindsets of these rural people, then people in cities should have been more friendly with their neighbours, should be ready to give a break to their fast life and help those in need when the need arises, have respect to vehicles travelling in the opposite direction by not using high beams all the time, not to treat social service as a fashion or a hobby but as their whole hearted duty. Not to waste water, electricity. Not to throw plastics and other non biodegradables in natural places, not to let sewage lines or toxic waste into the rivers. Which is definitely not the case.
Another proof that urban education spoils a kid. Let therebe two kids in a village. Bring one of the kids from the village and give him/her a urban education till graduation and then take the kid back to his/her village. See the difference. Superiority complex/Ego/lack of humbleness/lack of politeness/disrespect to elders – all these qualities would have developed in that educated graduate, in stark contrast to that rural counterpart.
Probably earth would have been a better place to live in if instead of humans some other species, say for ex dolphins had been gifted with our intelligence.
Now that we cant undo history, let us concentrate on educating the younger generation towards a social centric broad minded human instead of a self centric narrow minded genius.
Thanks a lot SCMC!!!! Saturday, Jan 7 2006
My first blog talked about Clemenceau, the toxic french battleship battling to be scrapped in Indian Soil.
Thanks to the Suprement Court Monitoring Committee headed by Mr.Thayagarajan (which was appointed by the honourable Supreme Court of India to get the facts right on the toxins in the ship and its impact on Indian environment/workers before the Supreme Court takes a decision on the same), the committee has said that “the ship is not welcome to enter Indian waters” (Forget entering Alang and being scrapped there).
The monitoring committee has said that “there has been NO TRANSPARENCY on the part of the french authorities on the amount of toxic material on board the ship and hence it is not desirable to allow the ship into the Indian waters”.
Sending toxic material into India is a clear violation of the Basel convention to which both India and France are signatories.
It has also been found that the ship now contains loads of mercury in it. Mercury is a dangerous toxic metal which easily enters our bodies (and can also easily contaminate soil and other animal life) and adversely affects the CNS Central Nervous System and also the Immune system.
I sincerely wish that no more ships arrive to Indian shores for being scrapped and their toxins and other waste being dumped here.
As I said earlier, we dont need ship breaking yards, instead we need ship building yards. We need innovative industries to be built in India, not doing cheap life threatening low grade, risky labor to serve the western luxuries and become background dumping ground for their wastes..
YOUNG INDIAN FACTChess, Zero and Place Value system were invented in India
YOUNG INDIAN QUOTE“So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”- Mark Twain
India – Backdoor dumping ground for toxic waste? Sunday, Jan 1 2006
Clemenceau is a french warship built between 1955 and 1961 which served France for 40 years. It also took part in 1991 Gulf war. But now it’s become old and has been replaced by french nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. So the french government has decides to decommission it.
You might wonder as to what this has to do with the Great Indian Dream??!!
Well, the problem lies in the fact that the warship will be scrapped on the coasts of Gujarat in India with the massive amount toxic waste of the scrapped ship ending up partially on Indian soil and partially inside the bodies of the Indian workers who scrap the ship.
Does India really need such business opportunities which not only contaminate its environment but also prove hazardous to its people. Doesn’t it look like India being a dumpyard for the waste of the west?
Well, first of all why is France not having the ship scrapped in its own country or at some other nearby european country? Well, for the simple reason that unlike India, the european environmental laws are quite stringent. So third world countries, especially in the subcontinent of India are easy targets for such junk.
To let you know the facts, Alang naval yard in Gujarat in India is the world’s largest ship breaking yard.
Now, do you think this is a fact which we need to be proud of? Certainly not. Note that it is the largest ship breaking yard in the world, not Ship Building one. This simply means that it is a welcome point to largest amount of toxic waste in the world.
Having said all this, whatz so dangerous about ship breaking in India. Well, all these ships which have become old and are being scrapped are those which were built during 1940s to 1960s and during that period using asbestos as an insulating material was pretty common. Asbestos is a wonderful insulator and is used around hot parts of ships like boilers, etc to prevent heat radiating to other parts of the ship. At the same time it is a deadly carcinogenic substance and is banned in the modern world. The French ship alone is said to be containing over 100 tons of deadly asbestos still left in it!!
Earlier to this the ship had been sent to Greece and Turkey for being scrapped there and both the countries had returned the ship back saying they cannot handle the waste!! Can India???
Under European law France should remove most asbestos from the ship and dump it on french soil before having it scrapped at a third country. French government claims that it has removed 115 tonnes of asbestos from the ship already. Ironically, an year back the same French government had said that the ship contained only 22 tonnes of asbestos!! At the same time, Technopure, the company which had earlier removed some of the asbestos from the ship says that the ship could still contain 500 to 1000 tonnes of asbestos in it!!!
The end result being that all the toxic material ends up into the environment of India causing health hazards, deaths, pollution and calamities in the disguise of business opportunities and employment. Every year this has been claiming the lives of thousands who are exposed to the hazardous chemical substances during their work. Greenpeace has already prepared a report about 110 workers who had been killed in ship breaking yards of India and Bangladesh. This is just the tip of the iceberg and accounts only for KNOWN deaths that too in the yards itself. This number does not even include those died of diseases caused by toxic substances.
Ban Asbestos and Greenpeace had lodged a suit with the Paris administrative court on the grounds that procedures at the Alang naval yard are inadequate to allow the asbestos to be removed without endangering the workers and that Indian laws are not strong enough to protect the workers.
Ironically both India and France are bound by the Bale convention signed in 1989 which bans countries from exporting toxic waste. French government has said that Bale convention does not apply for warships!! The International Maritime Organisation IMO is trying with all its might to keep toxic single-hulled tankers that will be phased out in the next 5 years out of any new international regulations that ban export of toxic waste!!! As a green peace activist puts it, “They are happy to continue to send contaminated end of life ships with all toxic substances to places where workers and environemt are not protected”. Unfortunately, India being one such place.
There is no known safe exposure to asbestos as the mineral particles are microsopic and air borne and can be inhaned easily. Asbestos can result in lung cancer, asbestosis (scarring of lungs), mesothelioma (a rare cancer of the lining of the chest and abdomen lining)
In the United States the production of all asbestos-containing materials for home construction and use was banned, in three stages over seven years, beginning in 1990.
Ans it not just Asbestos, there are many more toxic substances that will be scrapped off at these so called world’s largest ship breaking yards.
The ship has been bought by Shree Ram Vessels and Luthra Group which hope to scrap it in the shores of Gujarat and earn about 40 crore Indian rupees from the scrap metal!! Are the lives of the workers involved in this scrapping less worth than this??
However, a hope on Clemenceau is that the honourable Supreme Court of India has set up a monitoring committe which will meet on 6th of January to decide on whether the ship can be scrapped in India or not depending upon the report submitted to it by Gujarat environment board. Let us hope that the ship will be sent back..
YOUNG INDIAN FACTSushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anesthesia was well known in ancient India
YOUNG INDIAN QUOTE“If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.”- French Scholar Romain Rolland