Author: India Spend

As India Struggles With Climate Change, Farming Couple Learns To Cope And Flourish

“Year by year, the quantity of rainfall is decreasing,” said Shyamrao Patil, 55, a lungi-clad, generously mustachioed wiry farmer who has learned to read the changing seasons and–most importantly–adapt to them in a country where climate change has started affecting the livelihoods of a fifth of the population, or 263 million people, that depends on farming.

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Green energy, red tape & last stand of the Great Indian Bustard

The Great Indian Bustard is classified as “critically endangered”–just short of extinction–in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. Like the tiger, the bustard is supposed to be protected as a “schedule I species”–endangered, threatened or of special concern–under India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. But the bustard isn’t as well known as the tiger, and it lives in areas where its life is in growing conflict with human development. The main threat to the bustard comes from an ironic source: Renewable energy.

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Citizens could save India’s environment, if a 15-year-old law is used well

As time progressed, Baiga Chak–the officially recognised traditional habitat of the Baiga tribe known for its myriad species and their inclusion in the local diet, lifestyle and healthcare–started losing its biodiversity. A nonprofit, the National Institute of Women, Child, and Youth Development (NIWCYD), established “forest study groups” in various villages in 2005. The approach was unique: Instead of getting experts to research on the changing ecosystem, villagers were trained not only to analyse the situation but also to suggest conservation plans.

In short, they were to become citizen scientists.

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India is losing its night to light, at 3 times world average

Light pollution is an outcome of the excessive use of artificial light at night. This “loss of night”, as Christopher Kyba, 39, a Canadian-born physicist and the lead researcher of the study calls it, poses a significant health risk to humanity and is impinging on the habitat of nocturnal animals. India is losing its night more than three times faster than the global average. Between 2012 and 2016, the study period, India’s area exposed to light pollution grew by a third, Kyba told IndiaSpend in the course of a Skype interview.

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If we ate less rice, Delhi’s air could be cleaner

It is commonly believed that mechanised harvesting of the rice crop creates stubble. Combines, the machines used to harvest, thresh and clean grains, cannot cut the crop close to the ground the way manual harvesting can. If you put the average height of a paddy plant at 100 cm, this generates 50 cm of loose straw and 50 cm of standing stubble. Is this true?

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For A Dying Silicosis Patient, A Mining Fund Offers Hope

In the early 1990s, at the end of a drought that stretched over three years, an 18-year-old Deva Singh took up work at a nearby sandstone mine. He was grateful for the Rs 15 a day it paid because there was no other work in his primarily agricultural village. Now 42, Singh has been diagnosed with silicosis, a disease caused by fine silica dust released from mineral mining operations, for which there is no cure.

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