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Government Actions this week

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16 new thermal power plants coming up in India

Sixteen new power plants that started operations in 2017 violate environmental norms.
India continues its rapid march towards environmental destruction.  Coal power is the single worst pollutant in the country on par or perhaps even worse than petroleum-based transport.  At the very least the government should be using the latest emission-reducing equipment.  Low cost of coal cannot be a good enough reason for its expansion since it is directly responsible for increased morbidity and mortality. 



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Saubhagya scheme may provide base for India’s energy shift

Universal access to electricity vis Saubhagya scheme will reduce pollution?
This author favours universal access to electricity and reduced dependence on other fuels.  But the notion that universal access to electricity will reduce emissions is highly flawed, as long as the primary source of electricity continues to be highly dirty coal power plants.



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Schools to run anti-firecracker campaign

Lazy government instructs schools to ask children to not use firecrackers.
While the government’s dirty-coal plants pollute and refineries produce dirty fuel, it resorts to brainwashing children not to use firecrackers.   A single day’s pollution that firecrackers cause is an insignificant percentage of the massive pollution being caused by biomass, coal, petroleum or even mismanaged landfills through the year. But firecrackers take everyone’s mind away from the more substantive action that governments need to take.



Initiatives


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Climate change is going to hit the Indian economy hard

The IMF says that a long-term impact of climate change will adversely affect the Indian economy.
While there are many possibilities why models that link climate change with economic growth can go wrong, there is no doubt that large parts of India will be impacted by the climate change that is hitting us.  Agriculture will be affected directly for obvious reasons, fewer working days due to extreme weather events is another factor, drying rivers, impact on plant and animal life not to mention the destruction due to the structural economic shift that will have to accompany the structural climatic shift.   



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Indian power majors embrace renewables

A very interesting article on how both public and private sector majors are changing.
Did you know that Bharat Petroleum – a public sector company is heavily investing in renewable energy.  Another one is attempting to enter the recharging battery business.  A large private conglomerate such as Tata Group is not far behind.  Big business has decided, it is time to enter the emerging renewable sector.



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Solving the waste problem requires us to treat it like a resource

A nice article that illustrates how garbage can be a valuable resource generating both jobs and incomes.
There is much value in the garbage and great fortunes have been built on it, both in India and abroad.  However much of garbage is wasted and when treated as waste only causes more harm.  A change in our mindset can reduce the garbage problem, have a positive environmental impact, and create value for all.



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Delhi’s air goes from moderate to poor

The horror continues: Delhi’s pollution rises to meet its tryst with destiny.
Despite all the political announcements and all the judgments of an impotent NGT, Delhi’s air is back to its normal toxic levels.  Apart from a very limited action on stubble burning the local, state and central government could get away by doing little of substance.   Pollution is a techno-economic problem.   If only the government’s oil marketing companies supplied cleaner fuel and its coal power plants cleaned up on emissions, fewer people would have died this winter.



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Residents forego Diwali gifts to repair roads

While urban government rests, residents take over road maintenance in Sushant Lok, Gurugram.
A massive and all-encompassing urban governance failure is rippling through urban India and citizens are forced to take matters into their own hands.  Many decades after the locality was developed, urban authorities are neither repairing nor forcing the developer to maintain basic infrastructure such as roads. India needs to directly elect its mayors and empower them.



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