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  • Four critical voices on India’s perennial drought problem – Ecologise
    combat Hyderabad s water problems through rain water harvesting Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 15th May 2016 15th May 2016 Thought for Food at Palampur Himachal Pradesh Workshop on eating responsibly sharing strategies and tools for doing so Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 18th May 2016 22nd May 2016 Two short courses on Development at Azim Premji University Bangalore Designed for professionals working in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features Four critical voices on India s perennial drought problem Written by Contributor Apr 29 2016 0 Comments Many parts of India is in the grip of severe drought some for the third consecutive year leading to growing hunger mass migration water conflicts and farmer suicides We present four well known voices Yogendra Yadav Jean Dreze Sunita Narain and the late Anil Agarwal on India s perennial drought problem its causes and possible solutions Maharashtra ignored my warnings on drought Yogendra Yadav The Hindu Accusing Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of ignoring his warnings on the severity of the drought impacting Marathawada where the local police had to invoke Section 144 to prevent violence over water Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav on Saturday said 31 per cent of the gram panchayats in drought affected districts had not shown any expenditure under MGNREGS according to official data till March 31 Mr Yadav said his organisation had taken out the Samvedna Yatra across drought affected regions in Karnataka Telangana Maharashtra Madhya Pradesh Uttar Pradesh and Haryana from October 2 to examine the impact of the drought On October 8 he had written to the Chief Ministers of all States including Maharashtra specifying the immediate measures needed to be taken to alleviate the sufferings of the rural population A drought of action Jean Dreze The Hindu Droughts in India used to be times of frantic relief activity Large scale public works were organised often employing more than 1 00 000 workers in a single district Food distribution was arranged for destitute persons who were unable to work Arrangements were also made for debt relief cattle camps water supply and more The drought relief system was best developed in the western States of Maharashtra Gujarat and Rajasthan but the basic framework was much the same elsewhere even if its implementation often fell short This year nothing like the same sense of urgency can be observed despite 256 districts being declared drought affected Permanently fighting drought Sunita Narain Business Standard I write this as the country once again reels under

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/29/one-missed-opportunity-330-million-drought-stricken-indians/ (2016-05-02)
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  • NEWS UPDATE #93 – Ecologise
    recent efforts of the Ministry of Water Resources for restructuring the Central Water Commission and the Central Ground Water Board significant This article argues that the effort should be backed by interdisciplinary studies that see surface water and groundwater as ecologically connected Guess who made our green panel stall an Arunachal hydel project Nihar Gokhale Catch News On 7 April the National Green Tribunal suspended environment clearance to a 780 MW hydroelectric plant because of the black necked crane which winters in a 3 km stretch of the Nyamjang Chhu river in Arunachal Pradesh s Tawang district The presence of the bird in the project area was debated before the NGT for over four years A recent sighting of the bird led the NGT to pass a final judgement on the matter Lawyers say this is the first time a single species has led to the entire clearance being suspended Making a hollow in the Forest Rights Act Chitrangada Choudhury The Hindu Gram sabhas mandated by the landmark Forest Rights Act 2006 FRA are the only officially recognised space for Adivasi and forest dwelling communities to participate in State decision making around the enclosure and destruction of forests for mining This when such communities not just depend on but proactively protect such forests Forging gram sabha resolutions clears the path to lucrative mining For example OMC valued the ore it would sell from this proposed mine at Rs 79 000 crore Such fictions manufacture on file the legal requirement of villagers participation and consent A senior forester serving in another Adivasi populated mineral rich State wrote to me after reading my account http bit ly 22J6fHZ of the forgery saying I have seen this many times in many files NITI Aayog proposes model land leasing law Live Mint The NITI Aayog is considering a proposal for model law that will help increase farm productivity by reviving lease farming through securing the rights of the agricultural land owners and helping them lease their land to tenant farmers who can then access credit and insurance from the government Tenant farmers will also be able to avail compensation for crop damage under the act a facility they do not have now The law has been mooted by an expert committee led by T Haque former head of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices that was formed in September 2015 to look into ways to liberalise land leasing India says the cost of solar power is now cheaper than coal Science Alert One of the consequences of the ongoing investment in solar infrastructure is that the cost of providing solar power in India is becoming increasingly affordable to the point where the country s energy minister Piyush Goyal now says that solar power is a more cost effective option than the old fossil fuel staple coal I think a new coal plant would give you costlier power than a solar plant Goyal told the media at a press conference in India on Monday Of course there are challenges of 24 7 power We accept all of that but we have been able to come up with a solar based long term vision that is not subsidy based That vision is part a national plan for to generate more than 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 an ambitious target that s about 20 times beyond the current level solar provides in India Also read Haryana makes solar plants mandatory for housing societies India to become 10 trillion economy with 10 growth Kant The Hindu India will become 10 trillion economy and achieve growth rate of 10 per cent by 2032 Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant said on Thursday The country s growth rate was 7 6 per cent in 2015 16 and its economy worth 1 7 trillion In a presentation made during Civil Services Day function attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and large number of civil servants he projected creation of 175 millions jobs and zero per cent of Below Poverty Line BPL population by 2032 First BRICS bank loans spark debate over environmental protection Robert Soutar India Climate Dialogue Instead of funding coal plants oil refineries or roads that cut through pristine forests as some observers had feared new southern led infrastructure lender the New Development Bank NDB or BRICS bank has earmarked its first US 811 million batch of loans for renewable energy projects NDB project funding has been the subject of intrigue and concern among civil society organizations CSOs since the bank s formal launch in Fortaleza Brazil in 2014 Yet news of these first green loans has done little to ease their fears The problem CSOs say is that since the NDB still lacks a proper social and environmental policy framework it cannot safeguard against the adverse impacts of its projects no matter how green they claim to be World heading for catastrophe over natural disasters U N risk expert warns The Guardian The world s failure to prepare for natural disasters will have inconceivably bad consequences as climate change fuels a huge increase in catastrophic droughts and floods and the humanitarian crises that follow the UN s head of disaster planning has warned Robert Glasser the special representative of the secretary general for disaster risk reduction said that with the world already falling short in its response to humanitarian emergencies things would only get worse as climate change adds to the pressure Scientists resort to advertising to get Great Barrier Reef crisis in Queensland paper The Guardian Scientists say they are fed up with Queensland s biggest newspaper not covering the worst bleaching event to hit the Great Barrier Reef so have taken out a full page ad to get the message out The ad comes as a survey revealed 93 of the Great Barrier Reef was affected by the bleaching That finding motivated the Queensland government to call on the federal government to convene an urgent meeting of the nation s environment ministers

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/28/news-update-93/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Ecologise – Ecologise
    by leading writers from the Left who are among the most interesting and constructive voices to engage with the issue Continue Reading Special Ringing Cedars and the new silent revolution in Russia Written by Ecologise Apr 10 2016 0 Comments Alternatives Bookshelf Digests Special Features Ideas Inspiration Sustainability Transition VIDEOS The Ringing Cedars of Russia series of books have sold over ten million copies in Russia and has inspired a massive movement in earth consciousness there Its part of a new silent revolution in Russia where more and more people are leaving the cities to live closer to nature Interestingly the Russian government actively supports it Continue Reading NEWS UPDATE 90 Written by Ecologise Apr 6 2016 0 Comments NEWS UPDATE ARCHIVE Nikhil Dey Aruna Roy writes The cynical attitude towards the MGNREGA is an example of how policymakers are deliberately by squeezing funds and subverting the legal mandate of the law causing immeasurable misery and suffering Through the fund squeeze the government has consciously crippled the MGNREGA s ability to help people facing drought Continue Reading Special A look back at Kerala s endosulphan disaster Written by Ecologise Apr 2 2016 0 Comments Digests Special Features Food Farming Health Safety Pollution Toxicity Rural India VIDEOS Valiya Chirakula Pakshikal Birds With Large Wings directed by Dr Biju has been declared 2015 s Best Film on Environment It explores the disastrous environmental and public health consequences of pesticide use based on real life events in Kasargode Kerala On this occasion here s a look back at the manmade disaster that continues to haunt Kasargode residents Continue Reading NEWS UPDATE 89 Written by Ecologise Mar 31 2016 0 Comments NEWS UPDATE ARCHIVE The Centre has proposed modification of green laws to impose a fine up to Rs 20 crore on major environment violators who would also have to pay a daily fine of Rs 1 crore if the damage continues Another green law will prevent violators from taking shelter under a legal cover for non payment of fines Continue Reading Digest Climate crisis and the myth of green capitalism Written by Ecologise Mar 29 2016 0 Comments CLIMATE CHANGE Digests Special Features ECONOMY Education Awareness GREEN POLITICS Resource Use Sustainability Much of the mainstream media corporate lobbyists and politicians would like the public to think of climate change as something akin to a natural phenomenon In this second part of our series on Capitalism and Climate Change we present a selection of articles that examine the deep seated connections between climate change and a rapacious global economic order Continue Reading NEWS UPDATE 88 Written by Ecologise Mar 24 2016 0 Comments NEWS UPDATE ARCHIVE Nihar Gokhale reports Rainfall across India in March has been 300 500 higher and often were accompanied by hailstorms As a result winter crops across six Indian states Punjab Haryana Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra stand destroyed Rain and the accompanying hail has damaged upto 60 standing winter crops across the country Continue Reading NEWS UPDATE

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/author/ecologiseindia/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Drought Digest: Dry planet: In every continent, flashing red – Ecologise
    time drought information based on multiple drought indicators and input data sets mostly from NASA Jamie Mullick The Indian Express The Dry Planet 2015 was the hottest year on record and March 2016 was the hottest March ever and the 11th month in a row that set its own heat record a record in itself Scientists agree the unusually strong and prolonged El Niño the surface warming of equatorial Pacific waters that releases heat into the atmosphere is to blame along with global warming The drought in India affecting 33 crore people in 256 districts as per figures provided to the Supreme Court by the government is part of a global spell of dry weather by which the Mekong basin Horn of Africa southern Africa Australia Central America have been worst hit Reading the map GIDMaPS is a drought monitoring and prediction system that provides near real time drought information based on multiple drought indicators and input data sets mostly from NASA The system was developed by researchers at the University of California Irvine who published their work in the Nature publication Scientific Data in March 2014 The GIDMaPS online interface is popular with users around the world INDICATOR used is Standardized Precipitation Index or SPI which is used by Indian meteorologists and is recommended by the World Meteorological Organisation to monitor the severity of drought events SPI represents the probability of a certain amount of rainfall occurring when compared with long term rainfall data at a particular location Negative SPI values indicate rainfall deficit positive values show surplus Larger the negative SPI value the more severe the drought A negative SPI value greater than 2 indicates extremely dry conditions INPUT DATA SET is MERRA Modern Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications Land which was developed by NASA in 2011 as a tool for improved study of spatial rainfall patterns especially over small areas The drought in India is part of a global spell of dry weather by which the Mekong basin Horn of Africa southern Africa Australia Central America have been worst hit AMERICAS Usually humid northeastern Brazil is witnessing its worst drought in 35 years and has lost 49 trillion litres of water more than normal every year over the last three years according to NASA In Honduras and Guatemala over 3 million have been hit drastically according to the UN 2015 too was a drought year for this dry corridor of Central America In Haiti Nicaragua and El Salvador 6 million people face malnutrition Parts of the US have been hit too AFRICA Some 40 million face food shortages as a result of crop failures as Africa reels under one of its worst droughts ever according to the UN and Red Cross Malawi Mozambique Zimbabwe Lesotho and Zambia have been badly hit South Africa says the drought in its north and west is the worst in a century 10 million are on the verge of acute malnutrition in Ethiopia Eritrea Djibouti and Somalia Ethiopia is seeing

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/27/dry-planet-in-every-continent-flashing-red/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Video: Disobedience – The rise of the global fossil fuel resistance – Ecologise
    climate talks peak oil Renewable energy resource depletion resource extraction Richard Heinberg rural India Sagar Dhara Sustainability Transition videos water crisis weather patterns Archives Archives Select Month May 2016 3 April 2016 51 March 2016 46 February 2016 31 January 2016 27 December 2015 31 November 2015 29 October 2015 19 September 2015 12 August 2015 13 July 2015 9 June 2015 11 May 2015 13 April 2015 12 March 2015 16 February 2015 17 January 2015 10 December 2014 10 November 2014 10 October 2014 10 September 2014 11 August 2014 7 July 2014 5 June 2014 7 May 2014 2 April 2014 3 March 2014 4 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 3 November 2013 2 October 2013 8 Upcoming Events Webinar on Groundtruthing at online event Groundtruthing gathers information that connects regulatory requirements with actual impacts development has on people Resource person Kanchi Kohli Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 12th May 2016 12th May 2016 Rainwater Harvesting Workshop at Hyderabad Understand and combat Hyderabad s water problems through rain water harvesting Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 15th May 2016 15th May 2016 Thought for Food at Palampur Himachal Pradesh Workshop on eating responsibly sharing strategies and tools for doing so Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 18th May 2016 22nd May 2016 Two short courses on Development at Azim Premji University Bangalore Designed for professionals working in various domains of development Share this Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to share on Google Opens in new window 24th May 2016 3rd June 2016 View All Events Special Features Video Disobedience The rise of the global fossil fuel resistance Written by Contributor Apr 27 2016 0 Comments Disobedience is the story of the struggle to save the world Disobedience tells the David vs Goliath tales of front line leaders around the world risking life and limb in the fight for a liveable climate Interwoven with this riveting verite footage are the most renowned voices in the global conversation around social movements and climate justice for a series that is personal passionate and powerful The stakes could not be higher nor the missions more critical DISOBEDIENCE is a new film that shows the amazing things that regular people are willing to do when faced with the biggest crisis in human history If politicians won t do what it takes to break free from coal oil and gas we will While organisers across the world prepared for Break Free a global wave of resistance

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/27/video-disobedience-the-rise-of-the-global-fossil-fuel-resistance/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Bookshelf: 150 Strong – A Pathway to a Different Future – Ecologise
    tree plant a new one We should try to use the waste from one process as a resource for another Polluters should bear the costs of their actions All of these seem like good and logical ideas But there is a rather significant problem in attempting to work in this way because the greater context in which such efforts are currently being made reduces them to a farce our current system of economics which encourages short term accumulation of financial profit is fundamentally incompatible with sustainability This to use a colorful colloquialism makes such efforts akin to farting against thunder That is not to say that profit is inherently a negative thing The creation of a financial surplus in its most earnest expression could be equated with prudent and efficient house holding But if nature is to serve as our model then we can see something of how our current approach to profit has become problematic The accumulation of a surplus is a natural process a plant accumulates surplus energy and nutrients to be able to bear fruit a polar bear accumulates a surplus in the form of body fat which enables it to survive the winter and our hunter gatherer ancestors collected a surplus of food so that they would be able to survive in lean times But in the monomaniacal pursuit of profit that we are engaged in at present there is little that is natural about it little sensitivity to the intricacies of the environmental and social systems that sustain us The reason for this can be deduced from a simple formula Profit Income Expenses From which we can see that the profit motive and the sustainability motive are diametrically opposed If sustainability initiatives were to truly succeed beyond the narrow realms of such things as waste minimization and embracing new technology they would result in less income due to reduced consumption and more expenses due to the cost of mitigation measures leading to lower profits This inverse relationship between profit and sustainability is hugely important and it is the proper starting point in any effort to confront our large scale environmental problems Yet it is almost universally ignored in official circles and political efforts to address sustainability issues give it almost no coverage In our current way of doing things the conflict between profit and sustainability is resolved through regulation where all must comply with certain rules that hurt profitability a little bit but avoid worse damage And indeed this approach has produced many good outcomes the air is cleaner in Los Angeles the fish are returning to River Thames and many large areas of undeveloped land have been protected as national parks But for many reasons it is an approach that is flawed it doesn t handle complexity well it breaks down when there are different laws in different countries and it only works when there is a social context in which the law is supported and enforced As soon as one tries to address these problems sustainability becomes an unapproachable subject to address it at the big picture level one has to address the underlying economic and social context but that is something of a taboo Nevertheless there is some mainstream discussion opening up on this topic including some positive response to Naomi Klein s book This Changes Everything Capitalism vs The Climate 2014 and increasingly it seems the need to consider alternatives to our current system is being recognized The main message of the book is that we are blind to the significance of the reconciling force of our current system which happens to be inherently negative and that it is only by understanding this that we might have some chance of finding a better way of doing things for anything else would be but tinkering around the edges In seeking to provide a bridge to something better a very successful and proven system that operates with an alternative positive reconciling force is examined It is based on Dunbar s number which originates in evolutionary biology and proposes and upper limit to the number of people that humans can maintain effective social relationships with which is approximately 150 people If you wish to read the book in full it is available on Amazon Rob O Grady is a Renegade Inc contributor Note from Club Orlov Press publisher Dmitry Orlov I am very happy to announce that another Club Orlov Press title on which Rob and I worked for most of a year is finally available Its cover doesn t lie this book does provide a pathway to a different future and in my estimation a better one It is the happy end of a longish story In early 2013 I was invited to speak at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais Minnesota It is a school that teaches a wide variety of native and folk arts from building canoes to baking bread One of the things that this school does rather well is teach people how to become part of the community that has grown up around the school This had been happening spontaneously for some time and it was thought that a conscious effort in this direction would produce even better results And so I was invited to address this topic in a seminar This was a new topic for me and so I spent a few weeks at the library researching small communities that have stood the test of time I looked at a great many of them religious communities such as the Anabaptists the Amish Mennonites and Hutterites as well as the Mormons in Utah and the Dukhobors in British Columbia secular ones such as the Kibbutzim in Israel ethnically defined ones such as the Roma also called Gypsies and the Pashtun tribesmen of Afghanistan and Pakistan My criteria were simple I looked at small communities that had stood the test of time a century at least ideally longer What I was looking for was not their particulars

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/25/bookshelf-150-strong-a-pathway-to-a-different-future/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Connecting the rise of Donald Trump with global resource depletion – Ecologise
    in our path in the direction of collapse For a good number of years I have been studying the reasons for the collapse of societies And at the beginning I tended to explain it as mainly the result of the depletion of crucial resources crude oil in our case But the more I think about that the more I understand that the relation between depletion and collapse is far from being straightforward A society can very well collapse without running out of anything think of the case of the Soviet Union When it collapsed the Union had still plenty of mineral resources but it couldn t find a way to exploit them in a convenient manner In the case of the Roman Empire also there is no evidence that it run out of food or of any basic resource Rather it ran out of the resource it used for paying its troops gold and silver for its currency In both cases it was a question of the collapse of control As we all know power without control is nothing Note that the loss of control is related to resource depletion but the relation is not direct It works like this any complex society can exist only in certain conditions it is not enough to have access to natural resources It is necessary to be able to distribute these resources in such a way to keep all the sections of society supplied this is a question of control You can also use the term governance if you like to avoid a term that has a military ring to it The point is that if a society is unable to allocate the a resources in such a way to make most people accept the way they are allocated it will break down or collapse or both things In our world resource allocation is controlled by the entity we call the market with some correction on the part of another entity that we call the government Generally speaking the government is supposed to correct for the fact that the market is not supposed to provide a fair distribution of wealth For instance the government is supposed to provide health care services even to people who can t afford it This is why taxes are progressive or used to be before president Trump took office This is what we normally call democracy it works on the shared belief that society is kept together by a certain degree of fair sharing of the available resources It works but only in some conditions In particular it works under the assumption that the available resources are relatively abundant If that s the case it is more convenient to create new wealth by exploiting some untapped resource than to steal wealth from others who already have it But that s not always the case Lets imagine that you are out of your job In normal conditions you look for another job But if there are no jobs available

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/23/connecting-the-rise-of-donald-trump-with-global-resource-depletion/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Bookshelf: Farmageddon – The True Cost of Cheap Meat – Ecologise
    What it also produces is environmental disaster ill health in humans and stressful and unhealthy animals Farmageddon an important expose of the disastrous failings of the global food system never quite gets to the bottom of why the agricultural system is like it is Martin Empson Climate and Capitalism FARMAGEDDON The True Cost of Cheap Meat by Philip Lymbery with Isabel Oakeshott Bloomsbury Publishing 2014 It is impossible to read Farmageddon The True Cost of Cheap Meat without coming to the conclusion that the world s food and agriculture system is screwed This is a system that produces enormous quantities of food yet sees up to a third of that wasted It s a highly technological system requiring enormous quantities of oil pesticides and chemicals to produce vast quantities of food yet it s a system that fails to feed the hungry Opening the book at random gives the reader plenty of ammunition to argue for a different more rational way to produce food Take fishing for instance Lymbery points out that a fifth of all fish caught is used as food for other fish in fish farming Some of this fish also is used as feed for pigs and other animals Our food system spends vast quantities of energy and time producing food sources to fuel other food sources This is most apparent with beef Lymbery points out that if all the cereals alone currently fed to factory farmed animals offered directly to people instead of being converted into meat it could feed a mind boggling number as many as 3 billion folk This represents a tremendous waste of resources but this isn t simply an incredibly inefficient way of producing food What this food system also produces is environmental disaster ill health in humans and frequently stressful and unhealthy animals So Lymbery documents the way that mass factory farming of beef pigs and chickens in particular helps create the conditions for outbreaks of avian or swine flu The way over use of antibiotics is helping to encourage drug resilience in both animals and people The fossil fuels that drive the tractors keep the lights on in the massive chicken farms and produce the pesticides contribute enormously towards climate change and vast quantities of manure threaten eco systems particularly in seas and oceans around the globe The author emphasizes one thing above all else Factory farming does not feed the world In fact because it sucks up other foods sources to feed animals it actually undermines the ability to do this In doing so it encourages or needs even more ridiculous solutions such as the transportation of billions of bees vast distances to pollinate crops because the farms which use monocultural farming and high levels of pesticides have decimated local bee populations Lymbery is not arguing against meat eating What he is arguing for and demonstrates very clearly is that meat can be produced in a healthier more sustainable way This requires animals to be pastured and not farmed

    Original URL path: http://www.ecologise.in/2016/04/22/bookshelf-farmageddon-the-true-cost-of-cheap-meat/ (2016-05-02)
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