- Grave implications of Chinese Hydro Projects – (Power Politics)
Recently a ‘political’ novel, Shengshi: Zhongguo 2013 (the Fat Year of China), written by Taiwanese art critic Chan Koonchung
was released in Hong Kong. Today everyone understands the meaning of ‘fat years.’
To maintain a tempo close to a double-digit growth, the Communist regime in Beijing has become an ogre devouring energy world-wide. Most
of the raw materials (such as oil, gas, wood, minerals, etc.) necessary to feed the economic engine can be ‘bought’ from outside China, except
for one: water.
- A Malthusian Nighmare – May 21, 2008 (The Pioneer)
The slide-show was a frightful dialogue between a father and a son, staged in year 2070. The planet was cracked and dry; human beings had no water, leave alone to bathe; they had no food other than tablets. The oldest human being on earth was 50, though he looked 90. The father was explaining to his son how the planet was when he was in his teens, with forests, lakes, glaciers… and a lot of food to eat. I stopped watching; it was unbearable…
- The Hunger Tsunami – April 25, 2008 (Sify)
If you ask experts what is the ‘number one’ issue facing the planet today, you will receive different answers from different people. Some will vociferously argue that US ‘imperialism’ is the problem, others will tell you that it is the rise of China; still other will say it is terrorism or global warming. Everyone has valid arguments to press his or her points. For me however, the most critical issue is the food shortage, which is itself linked to worldwide water scarcity.
- Dear Father Christmas – December 24, 2007 (Rediff.com)
In the tradition in which I am born, the year-end (and Christmas) is a special time. For young and old alike, it is the occasion to spend time with the family and take stock of events which occurred during the past 365 days. It is also the time to dream. Children are busy writing to Father Christmas.
With his sledge and magic sack, he comes at midnight on December 24, and delivers through each chimney the kid’s annual ‘order’. Before the Internet revolution, the postal department in France had a special service to take care of the millions of letters addressed to the kind bearded old man, though many believe that he is clever enough to know the kids’s secret wishes and bring them the present of their dreams. Does he forget those who had been kids one day? I don’t think so. Anyway, I have decided to take my chance and write to him. I am copying here my letter:
- Who will feed India? – Earth Day 2007 (New Indian Express)
He added: “Why is this small piece of land — Nandigram — so important for a party that believes in the withering away of the State? When did they stop believing that Nation State is an artificial construct conceived and created by the bourgeoisie to oppress the working class?”
But the issue is even graver. It raises a more fundamental question: “Can India feed her people in the decades to come?”
- The Climate Change and Interdependence – April 2007 (Tibetan World)
The final version of the report ’Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’ released in Brussels by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents a “nightmare vision” of the planet’s future. As an outcome, the Panel urges industrialised countries to launch an energy revolution to create a carbon-free economy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and keep global warming below the critical level identified by the IPCC.
- A Pact with Nature – February 7, 2007 (New Indian Express)
Where is Europe 50 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome? The most pessimistic watchers like Michel Rocard, a former French Prime Minister, believe that “Political Europe is dead. But Economic Europe remains. It is the first economy in the world; it can put its weight on the rules of world game”.
Whether optimistic or gloomy, the fact remains that 50 years after the extraordinary adventure of the European Union was launched, the European process has seen the emergence of a new kind of aspiration for unity which translated into a voluntary association of its nation-states…
- Eyes wide shut – May 7, 2006 (New Indian Express)
My only point is that it does not help India to always place the blame on a more environmentally-aware West, for all its ills. The predicament is in India, and as long as the government does not decide to take hard and perhaps unpopular decisions, we will continue to be sick during the spraying season…
- Unnatural Lakes – August 2004 (The Pioneer)
Today, it is surprising, to say the least, that last month’s friends cannot even help each other in times of distress. The facts: An artificial lake at Pareechu in Tibet was created, according to the Chinese authorities, by seasonal landslides. Experts agree that if it bursts, there would be devastating effects in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh…
- Water War in South Asia? – 2003 (South Asia Politics)
Traditionally, the Chinese people’s respect for their Emperor increases when the latter is undertakes projects that no human mind can conceive of. After all, the Emperor is the Son of Heaven, and only in Heaven can projects such as the Grand Canal or the Great Wall can be envisioned. It is also the role of the Emperor to bring Heaven’s vision down on earth. If he fails, his Mandate is terminated by Heaven and a Revolution or a Rebellion occurs.