On Covid and Climate Change – thoughts.

Are they the same? Covid is fast, sometimes visually brutal, singular. It hurts people like us, now. Climate Change is slow, sometimes visually brutal, most times invisible, has many pieces and many villains. It hurt 'them', now and in the future. From my article: Size does not matter; Time does; Having a clear villain does; …

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A Rs. 1,000,000,000,000 annual subsidy to support stubble burning?

Last time, we asked what is the 'Herbie'? The one action or thing or person who, if impacted, can materially change our pollution levels? Psst: It’s the money Two causes stand out in the emission inventories: vehicular emissions and the one responsible for winter pollution spike: biomass burning. Let us deal with the latter today, …

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Why are we not solving the pollution crisis?

Image source: Pic by Neil Palmer (CIAT). Burning of rice residues in SE Punjab, India, prior to the wheat season. Wikimedia Commons A version of this article first appeared on Firstpost on Nov 10, 2019. Policy – follower not leader Policy is a manifestation of astute follower-ship, a balancing act, an act of judgement of …

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The curious case of Delhi – water-starved but unwilling to vote for water governance

What is the appropriate time and the appropriate scale at which to deal with water issues in a democracy? A Question of Scale Let’s start with scale first. If it is to do with provision (and division) of waters – the answer is to deal with it at high a level as relevant. Consider Delhi …

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Provision vs Management – the Eternal choice of the Indus Waters

(A version of this piece first appeared in Firstpost on Apr 09, 2019) Last time we saw how the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) defanged the dam as a geopolitical source of advantage. But the more relevant question to ask is – will securing the Indus secure India’s water future? To answer that question, we need …

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The Story of the Indus – Can the Indus Waters be turned off?

The Indus Valley provides a fascinating and disturbing example of what geopolitics, colonisation, finance and climate can do to a region. This vulnerable land, which the British transformed with philosophy, canals, land and tax reforms into what it is today - a fault-line between two nuclear nations. Today, with tensions rising, the question asked is “can the tap on the Indus waters be turned off?”

What can we do about India’s water crisis – Part 5/5

Solution#2 for cities: Decentralized Sewage Treatment What to do and when to do it: Managing water in Indian cities is hard. Our water philosophy has thus far largely rested on grabbing a higher share from reservoirs or desalination – i.e., we’ve pinned our hopes on centralized provision rather than decentralized management. However, in the land …

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