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Books & Reports

Putting people before economies

By Ranjan K Panda

New research by Maplecroft discusses the economic cost of climate change and puts the focus on building flood defences and other infrastructural resilience. Surely the focus should be on rethinking big business’s destruction of local ecologies instead?

 Natural embankments Maplecroft study


Learning from China

By Nitya Sambamurti Ghotge

As China became the biggest workshop of the world, the Gross Domestic Pollution increased alongside the Gross Domestic Product. But even as the environment paid a heavy price for the country’s swing from communism to consumerism, there are signs that Red China may turn green


World fails to meet 2010 biodiversity target

Nearly a quarter of endangered plant species are threatened with extinction, natural habitats continue to vanish, and waterbodies to be degraded. The world has failed to meet its target of a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, says the third ‘Global Biodiversity Outlook’


What it will take to build a sustainable culture

By Anosh Malekar

Worldwatch’s ‘State of the World 2010’ paints a vivid picture of what a sustainability culture could look like, how it would differ from the current consumer culture, why we need to urgently make this shift, and, most important, how we can and already are making the shift


People cause climate change

By Manipadma Jena

Scientific and diplomatic discussions have steered clear of the contentious question of population growth and greenhouse gases. UNFPA’s 2009 State of the World Population report tackles the question head-on and asserts that smaller families means less people and less greenhouse gases


Vulnerability of Asian cities to climate change

A WWF report lists 11 major Asian cities most vulnerable to climate change and says the impacts are already being seen and felt. Action must be taken now to mitigate the effects on the large populations of these cities


India's asbestos time-bomb

By Sudhirendar Sharma

A new study titled 'India's Asbestos Time Bomb' takes a hard look at the integrated global system that mines, processes and exports asbestos, and delves into the dark, shadowy world of the asbestos industry which thrives on political patronage


Greening Benaulim

By Rina Mukherji

A book by Benaulim resident Clinton Vaz shows visiting tourists how they can reduce the harmful effects of their presence in this popular Goan tourist destination


Can mining ever be sustainable, asks CSE report

The 356-page Sixth State of India's Environment Report, titled 'Rich Lands, Poor People -- Is Sustainable Mining Possible?', underlines the need to revamp government policies so that mining does not happen at the cost of the environment or people's livelihoods


Climate injustice: The rich are hiding behind the poor

In India, 150 million people who belong to the upper-income groups already emit more than 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per annum. A new Greenpeace report states that India's rich consuming class is hiding its significant carbon footprint behind legions of poor. Shouldn't the government, which demands differentiated responsibility in the international arena, establish the same within India?


Oil or water? Getting our priorities right

By Darryl D'Monte

Worldwatch's new Vital Signs 2006-2007 seems more concerned with rising oil prices than with depleting water resources


Why some civilisations survive and others die

By Darryl D'Monte

Is it ecocide and the depletion of natural resources that is responsible for the collapse of the Mayan and other civilisations? Is it natural disasters, or socio-political cataclysms that are responsible for societal decay? Jared Diamond's new book discusses these issues


India, China's resource consumption on the rise: 'State of the World' report

A recently released report by the Worldwatch Institute indicts India and China for being extremely high consumers of the world's resources and looks for alternative solutions to the problem


Freshwater supplies under serious threat in tsunami-hit areas

In the aftermath of December 2004's devastating tsunami, governments are having to cope with problems ranging from waste disposal and degraded environments to the disruption of basic services like water supply and sanitation


We need water counsellors as much as marriage counsellors: UNEP chief

The Atlas on International Freshwater Agreements, brought out to mark World Water Day on March 22, 2003, in the International Year of Freshwater, claims that the availability/non-availability of freshwater could be the flashpoint for future conflict in the world


Tiger tract for our times

By Darryl D'Monte

Emperor Jehangir killed over 17,000 animals in 12 years. The Raja of Sarguja hunted down 1,100 tigers. A new book provides a graphic account of the bloodlust that led to the mass destruction of India's bountiful wildlife