Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Indian government is acting like fools.

I'm sorry, but there is no other way to describe it. Even China has some common sense.

This comes after reading the whole of India's response to the Copenhagen Accord, made by its' Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, who said India 'has come out quite well in Copenhagen'.

Excuse me?Mr. Ramesh, do you want your grandchildren to inherit a 50 degree Celsius India?

Lets' analyse, and debunk all his baseless arguments here, shall we? "The Copenhagen accord "bears in mind that the social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries," Ramesh said.

Right. Now, firstly, the Accord was never created to give Mr Ramesh something to gloat about, only to make sure SOMETHING came out of the meeting. And yes, it is true that economic development and poverty eradication are the main concerns of developing nations. But seriously, there are many ways to develop a country, and eradicate poverty, while preserving the ecosystem. Reducing wastage of electricity is one, via energy-efficient devices, that would help the poor save money, while enjoying equal privileges.Compact fluorescent lightbulbs are more energy efficient and last longer compared to tungsten bulbs. Wouldn't this help the poor save money and aid in poverty eradication?

And what about green energy technologies? India produces some of the brightest scientific minds every year. Surely the Indian government is not underestimating its' graduates capabilities to come up with new clean tech to help India corner the market for such devices? If the government tried a little harder, it can stop India's brain drain (to the U.S. especially) and work on its own, cost efficient measures to save Earth. Plus, if India expects the developed world to come up with solutions, then Indians will have to buy green products from other countries, and this will NOT benefit Indian economic development (or poverty eradication) in any way.
With India producing more and more scientists, doesn't it make perfect sense to fund local development of green tech? Wouldn't this help economic development?

Next, the good minister wants "to ensure that the interests of developing countries and India in particular are protected in the course of negotiations in 2010 and beyond".

So, it is not in India's interests to protect from extreme weather events caused by climate change? Might I remind Mr. Ramesh that just last year, India was hit by severe floods in Maharashtha, Andrha Pradesh and Bihar? And bear in mind that AP is a key agricultural center for Indian consumption. Is Mr. Ramesh so concerned about mere economic development that he forgets a human's basic necessity to eat? Or worse, is his cushy office enough to make him forget about the fate of hundreds of poor farmers who rely on a good, predictable, un-global warming-ed, climate to fill their bellies and clothe their bodies?
Mr. Ramesh obviously doesn't think of these people, who will be forced to do this daily (?) if he continues to resist solid, legally binding action against global warming.

Maybe it is. After all, this is a man who was willing to form a coalition (with Brazil, South Africa, and China) that worked to block a proper deal in Copenhagen.

I'm sure he enjoyed his vacation there. And that his post as Environment Minister comes with a gas-guzzling, Earth warming SUV. You're a good man, Mr Ramesh.


So, in the end, my worst fears came to pass. There was a walkout (by the Africans), developed countries promised no increase in emissions cuts, developing nations acted like they're all broke and need funding, and generally, no-one could agree on anything.

And in the end, 26 nations (out of 193!!) got together at the last minute and hashed out the Copenhagen Accord, a mere realization that in future, the world must come up with a strategy to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. Like we didn't know that already.

Plus, the other nations only 'noted' the Accord, without committing to it particularly enthusiastically. Whatever Obama says about the Accord (do check out India's response), Copenhagen WAS a FAILURE!

Oh and that was a 'small' matter about climate protesters clogging up the venue.

I'm not kidding. There were so many of them, and the wonderful organizers, wanting to 'be democratic' and 'champion freedom of speech', let them harass, block and crowd the place. This was to the extent that important people who actually had important things to contribute could not get in. Like Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Report.

Anyway, a big, sincere thank you to all those who prayed for a victory of common sense. I feel your pain and I'm sorry it got thwarted. But, the battle goes on.

And a big thank you to China, for blocking anything and everything constructive, plus all developing nations who act like global warming is a rich world problem and keep insisting they fund every damn thing the developing world needs to do to stop it. Right down to the last freakin' eco-bulb. Screw them all.

I guess we shouldn't forget the developed countries. Thanks for setting a wonderful example, and to the U.S, that 17% emissions cuts target is a really wonderful effort. And to all you rich, money-minded fools all over the world for presenting governments with a powerful lobby against emissions cuts.

And lastly, if you're the consumer out there who insists on his air-cond every night, his SUV, his extravagant plastic use, his laziness to recycle, and his general Earth-polluting ignorance, this goes out to you too.

I love you all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


If the repeated demands for money and tech are any indication, developed countries sincerely believe that they have little of their own stuff to contribute to the fight against global warming. Truth be told, they do and not just in terms of products either, but also in market terms.

Firstly, the nature of the people in developing nations means that battles on green tech are fought not only on efficiency, but also on cost. 3rd-world people, much more than richer populations, are less idealistic when it comes to the environment, and more concerned about cost. In this sense, due to the rapid emergence of developing nation consumption, green companies will be more motivated to cheapen their products, which in turn promises greater profits, and that leads to greater funds available for further research.Wanted- cheaper solar panels. If solar panels carried a "Made in China" tag, they could be hundreds of times cheaper.

As an added bonus in the price wars, developing countries also allow for green appliances to be produced far more cheaply. Take China, where mobile phones can be made and sold for $80, with full touchscreens, internet access and every other cool feature. Similarly, such price revolutions could be moved to solar cells, compact fluorescent bulbs and wind turbines. Of course, quality control is an important issue that needs more than ever to be taken into account.

And then there's the young population. While most developed countries are facing an aging population, developing nations have been blessed with a boom on young people. Not only are young people the engine for change (helping spearhead calls for climate action) but they will provide a pool of workers and innovators in the world's next big field: green tech. Plus, they provide companies with an incentive to develop such products as electric sports cars, green laptops and hip reusable shopping bags. They are, in short, producers and consumers in the exciting new world of reduce, reuse and recycle.The Tesla Roadster electric sports car. The younger population of developing nations would provide an eager market for such green products.

Last of all, developing nations also contain stores of untapped resources that are integral in cutting emissions. Take for example China. With one of the world's largest proven lithium reserves, Chinese participation is essential in the development of electric car batteries. In addition, African nations close to the Sahara Desert typically contain a plant- the jatropha, which has seeds containing oil suitable for biofuel. Jatropha is exempt from the typical food vs fuel debate plaguing most biofuels because it grows on land that can't support any other plant.A hedge of jatropha. Want 'em to power your cars, Americans? You need to work with us first.

But for these benefits to actually come through, developing nations must stop heaping near-total responsibility on rich countries, and promote green-mindedness among their people. Similarly, the 1st world should realize that only shared partnerships with the 3rd world will result in a comprehensive effort to repel the spectre of global warming.