Monday, December 21, 2009

Why should India be concerned about climate change



As expected, last week was dominated by the climate change meet at Copenhagen. Let us take a bird’s eye view of the last week’s developments.


Swine flu:


After the initial hesitation, the government included private hospitals in the fight against swine flu. But lately, they are facing flak from the government once again. So far, there are 670 deaths due to swine flu in our country and according the Health Ministry most of it is due late reporting for which they hold private doctors responsible. Two things are obvious: (a) private doctors require training on the modalities, (b) better coordination between the government and private agencies is required


Climate change at Copenhagen:


A tonne of carbon dioxide emitted in India is the same as a tonne of carbon dioxide emitted in the U.S., but that isn't making climate negotiations any simpler in Copenhagen. India has displayed flexibility in its climate change position by offering to adopt the international guidelines under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), while reporting to Parliament on its unsupported domestic efforts to deal with climate change. This move can be viewed as a significant step. It conveys to the global community that India’s reporting would be at international standards, at the same time the government would be able to tell the domestic audience that it has not submitted to international review.


Why should India be concerned about climate change? The three main ‘categories’ of impacts, namely those on agriculture, sea level rise leading to submergence of coastal areas as well as increased frequency of extreme events. Each of these pose serious threats to India. Read this article and more such interesting articles. Help India become Carbon Neutral.


China and the US were placed at the bottom end of a worldwide national ranking of performance on climate protection published on Monday, 14 December 2009. Compiled by Germanwatch, a think tank and the Climate Action Newtork (CAN), an alliance of environment pressure groups, the annual Climate Change Performance Index ranks countries based on their climate protection performance, comparing 57 industrialised countries and emerging economies.


Money laundering:


A team from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body that sets benchmarks for legislation on money laundering, is in India to assess the country’s legal and enforcement framework. The assessment, which ends on Friday, 18 December 2009, will set the ball rolling for New Delhi’s membership of the elite body.


Illegal activities such as drug trafficking, trade in weapons and white collar crimes can generate large sums of money. Money laundering refers to the act of making these gains legitimate by disguising the source of money, changing its form or moving it to a location where not many questions are asked.

Storing power in the grid:


The distribution of electricity to millions of consumers is a difficult task because while the amount of electricity generated is relatively fixed over short periods of time, the demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day. A highly efficient electricity grid that can easily harmonize energy production with energy consumption is needed to answer this problem. Read my recent blog post on the subject


Danish Island:


The Danish island of Samso has become one of the first industrialized places on Earth to qualify as completely energy self-sufficient. Should we aim at converting our villages into the so called ‘Danish Islands’ using appropriate renewable technology ?


India’s first commercial MW power plant:


Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah on 15 Dec 2009 (Tuesday) inaugurated country’s first commercial 2 mega watt Solar Power Plant in Punjab’s Amritsar District.


Cement and concrete:


Those working on cement and concrete may have a look at my recent blog post on International Journals on Cement.


See you next week


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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.