Why we are the way we are – part II

A version of this appeared in Firstpost on Aug 20th: http://www.firstpost.com/living/climate-change-and-the-social-contract-how-our-choices-lead-to-predictable-tragedies-3950247.html A Faustian Bargain – Social Contracts, Climate Change and predictable tragedies Last time we saw how our societal choices – building over water bodies, dumping rubbish in rivers and allowing slums to come up on river banks – join hands with climate change and [...]

Why we are the way we are?

So many of us give and receive inane advice. Things usually are the way they are for good reasons. It helps to understand why. A three part series on why India is the way it is - and how we can change it? The first part appeared in Firstpost on August 6th: http://www.firstpost.com/living/gujarat-assam-floods-why-blaming-climate-change-while-customary-is-also-unhelpful-3893631.html Want to [...]

Why should we care about coral reefs disappearing?

Pro: They are such a beautiful, rich source of life and biodiversity. Con: How are they even related to me? I care more about the jobs and the economy. Certainly, the "Pro" argument will not cut any ice with any person struggling with holding onto their jobs or finding a new job. Corals are remote, [...]

Au Revoir, M’sieur Trump?

(This was published in Firstpost on Jun 01, 2017) “The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.” Good advice for the rest of the world in waiting for America’s decision on the Paris accord. Especially since [...]

Lessons from a River Reborn.

Summer is a supercharged time in the South. For one, its hot. The one degree of global warming is palpable in May, where the temperature often skips above 40°C. For another, it is dry. The past year has been one of the driest in the past hundred and forty years. In Madurai, we have our [...]

The fall of crude and the death of king coal

Something very unusual took place in 2014, that changed the course of the global economy. In June 2014, global oil prices began to fall. Brent Oil prices almost reached $115 in late June, and then began to fall precipitously. In early October 2014, with Brent prices about 20% lower at $90 per barrel, the PIRA [...]

Two glaring symptoms of global warming: Drought & Heatwaves

(Image from thehindu.com) Time to spend money and attention on adaptation Price water. Please. We do not have the luxury to waste water on growing low-yielding rice varieties and sustaining 300 million cows & buffaloes. However, the current machinery extracts significant rent from crises. Emergencies give procedural checks and balances a go-bye making an already leaky [...]