Category Archives: Climate Change

Pakistan: Being Untrustworthy and in Humanitarian Crisis

Zubair Faisal Abbasi

International development organizations recently conveyed us a message that government in Pakistan is untrustworthy and therefore humanitarian aid in desirable quantity is hard to arrange. Many of us accepted the argument and starting divulging additional reasons on international donors being right in avoiding a direly needed bout of foreign assistance. We should try to be critical about such claims which primarily blame the victim.

Let us say, you call us untrustworthy and therefore you refuse to pour money into our kitty so that we fight against the unprecedented calamity on our own. You call our state institutions untrustworthy slipping into the coffin of a failed state. You call us untrustworthy because we got a ‘bigger cheque’ from the USA and refused the Communists. Had we accepted the smaller cheque and fought the imposed war against you then what we were supposed to be? Traitors? But we accepted the cheque and remained trustworthy till the time cheap gun fodder was needed. The transaction was simple and persuasive. We, the untrustworthy, joined the most ‘truthful’ arrangements like SEATO/CENTO and remained most aligned nation outside the NATO and fought as frontline state – we remained trustworthy. Now once the war-machine appears to be tired, exhausted, and needs oiling then we become untrustworthy, corrupt, and extortionists. In fact, we were trustworthy for the expansion of military-industrial complex and now when we need humanitarian assistance we are untrustworthy. Continue reading

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Bhasha Dam project: another perspective – Will a Large Dam Increase Access to Electricity in Pakistan?

Bhasha Dam project: another perspective
Will a Large Dam Increase Access to Electricity in Pakistan?
Fast Track Power Generation

This article by Ann-Kathrin Schneider has first appeared on the website of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in September 2008.

Men of all ages, most of them wearing dashing black moustaches and white cotton caps that contrast with their pitch dark eyes and brown skin, pass each other on the narrow lanes of this market, just north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Some appear to have no reason to be here, leaning leisurely against graffiti-soaked house walls, waiting for something to catch their interest. Others are hard at work, exposing sweaty muscular torsos as they unload three, four or five wooden boxes filled with yellow mangoes from a truck onto their shoulders. The weight of the boxes challenges their balance – but not a mango is spilled.

Life in this market hasn’t changed for a long time. Trucks bring wheat, spinach, apples, cucumbers, mangoes, herbs and pumpkins from the villages. The produce changes hands quickly; fathers, shopkeepers and restaurant owners carry the food on bicycles, motorbikes and minibuses out of the market and into the city. More food arrives. Continue reading

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How can International Development policy help poor countries face climate change?

Source – here

The current mainstreaming of climate change into international development policies and thinking may not be enough to address the practical challenge of climate change in poor countries says Professor Kate Brown of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. A leading specialist in climate change and international development, Professor Brown’s experience shows that international development needs to be restructured in radically different ways. Continue reading

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Vandana Shiva on Farmer Suicides…

Vandana Shiva on Farmer Suicides, the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal, Wal-Mart in India and More

We speak with world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, Vandana Shiva. A physicist and ecologist, Shiva is author of many books, her latest is “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.” [includes rush transcript]

In India, more than three hundred farmers climbed water tanks in the country’s central Vidarbha region, many of them threatening to commit suicide unless the government fulfilled their demands to lift them out of poverty. Throughout India, more and more troubled farmers are killing themselves. Up to three farmers a day swallow pesticides, hang themselves from trees, drown themselves in rivers, set themselves on fire or jump down wells. Many of them are plagued by debt, poor crops and hopelessness.
  • Vandana Shiva, world-renowned environmental leader and thinker. She is also a physicist and ecologist and the Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is the founder of Navdanya–“nine seeds”, a movement promoting diversity and use of native seeds. Dr. Shiva was the 1993 recipient of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize–the Right Livelihood Award. And she is the author of many books, her latest is “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.”
AMY GOODMAN: Vandana Shiva remains with us, physicist; ecologist; director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology; in ‘93, awarded the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize, the Right Livelihood Award; her latest book, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace. There is an epidemic you write about in India of farmer suicides. Can you explain what’s happening and where this is happening?

VANDANA SHIVA: Indian farmers have never committed suicide on a large scale. It’s something totally new. It’s linked to the last decade of globalization, trade liberalization under a corporate-driven economy. The seed sector was liberalized to allow corporations like Cargill and Monsanto to sell unregulated, untested seed. They began with hybrids, which can’t be saved, and moved on to genetically engineered Bt cotton. The cotton belt is where the suicides are taking place on a very, very large scale. It is the suicide belt of India.

And the high cost of seed is linked to high cost of chemicals, because these seeds need chemicals. In addition, these costly seeds need to be bought every year, because their very design is to make seeds nonrenewable, seed that isn’t renewable by its very nature, but whether it’s through patenting systems, intellectual property rights or technologically through hybridization, nonrenewable seed is being sold to farmers so they must buy every year. Continue reading

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Filed under Climate Change, Environment, Food Security, Globalization, India, Inequality, Poverty, Social Protection, Uncategorized, World

Biofuels may promote, not slow, global warming

Source: Earth Times

“Cultivated biofuel crops may actually increase the carbon emissions that ethanol and other biofuels were supposed to reduce. Plowing up rainforests, peatlands, savannas and grasslands to plant corn, sugarcane and other crops for biofuel releases 17 to 240 times more carbon than the annual savings from replacing fossil fuels.

That’s because the plants and soil are a giant carbon-storage system. During cultivation, the carbon escapes as carbon dioxide. The studies are the latest warning against an all-out rush into corn ethanol at the expense of food for humans and tilling of uncultivated ground.”

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Climate Change Guide

From here 

Rare international consensus ensured that the new millennium heralded the promise of a fairer world for poor countries, symbolised by undertakings to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Suddenly, a combination of science and observation makes it clear that climate change will impact developing countries much harder and sooner than the richer countries which have caused the phenomenon. With the Millennium Declaration potentially undermined, the moral predicament demands greater levels of international cooperation and resource transfer than have been seen since 1945..

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