Environment

Environment

The india forum

Contemporary Developments in India

A Conversation with Ramachandra Guha
Q and A Ram Bhat

Issue Articles

Extreme events in nature: An ecological history of the present

The zoonotic disease Covid-19 is yet another warning shot to humanity. The imbalance throughout history between our ecological footprint and the earth’s biocapacity has grown to a point that it now poses a threat to civilisation. How can we deal with this?

Char Dham Pariyojana: A High Risk Engineering Exercise

The prestigious Char Dham Pariyojana to widen roads to Uttarakhand’s pilgrimage sites is being rapidly pushed forward without heed to the environmental and social consequences. Several laws have been bypassed in the process.

Is India Concerned about its Energy Security?

India's overambitious targets for solar energy could destabilize its power sector and threaten energy security. Rather than 'green' political posturing, the country must plan an energy transition based on its developmental interests.

EIA 2020: Two Steps Back…

The draft Environment Impact Notification 2020 has been widely criticised because it is not designed to protect the environment. It will further weaken the 2006 EIA and rather than deter violations, encourage them. The poorly drafted rules must be withdrawn.

The Architecture of Democracy

Central Vista and a Tale of Three Axes
The imperial Central Vista in Delhi has been transformed since 1947 into a symbol of democratic India. But the proposed redevelopment will reduce public space, highlight the spectacle of government and seems to reflect the authoritarian turn in our democracy.

Toxic Ecologies

Assam, Oil, and a Crude Future
The ecological destruction from the Baghjan gas well blowout is part of the story of Assam’s economic development. Resource extraction has been foundational to the logic of politics in Assam but has marginalised local communities.

Making Indian Cities Habitable

The Legacy of Patrick Geddes
The social & environmental problems of a rapidly urbanising India were anticipated a century ago by the Scottish town planner Patrick Geddes. It may be time to redeem & rehabilitate Geddes’ themes of respect for nature, democracy & architectural traditions.

Seven Lessons for the Future

For the World After Covid-19
The pandemic has already taught us that for a better world we cannot have the market as the backbone of the economy; we need a more inclusive politics; decentralised governance is essential; and we obviously need a more harmonious relationship with nature.

Ecology is for the People

The catastrophes in Kerala in 2018 and 2019 can be a lesson to move away from the paradigm of imposing both development and conservation from above; the state and the people must adopt new ways of functioning. It is a lesson the entire country needs to learn.

The Computer Infection of Kudankulam and its Implications

The October 2019 cyberattack on a computer system at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant points to new pathways to severe accidents that can result in widespread radioactive fallout. Attempts to lower this risk would further increase the cost of nuclear power.

A Hesitant Transition

Renewable Energy Growth and Carbon Emissions
Renewable energy capacity has expanded globally but this does not as yet mark a shift away from fossil fuels. On current trends, energy use from CO2-emitting fuels will continue to rise in the future. Talk of decarbonisation of the world economy is premature.

The Disruptive Politics of Renewable Energy

In making the shift to renewable energy, India has to manage the disruption of long-standing institutional and political arrangements in ways that enable clean energy in a sustainable manner.
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