Climate change effects on the agricultural economy in Villuppuram District

The unabated emissions of greenhouse gases have induced major changes in the atmosphere, resulting in unseasonable rainfalls, severe drought and rising sea levels. Scientific Studies have proven that the  by 0.8 degrees Celsius rise in temperature  have  melted glaciers, submerged  islands and threatened  coastal nations. Arun Nedunchezhian articulates that Villupuram in North Eastern Tamil Nadu has borne the brunt of changing Monsoon and altering average temperature. He underlines the need for social justice for the farmer in this changing environment of people migration by waiving loans and offering subsidized rates for fertilizers.

Climate Change and Dairy Farming

Dr. Ganesh Hegde has made a case for Dairy Farming which is gripping in its analysis. With an investment of Rs. 1 lakh, 3 cows and subsidized machinery for cleaning  cow sheds, cutting grass we can not only have good wholesome milk but market them and make a margin. The only criterion is one move to a hilly area, close to grass land, and opts for a mix of indigenous and mixed breeds. With the breaking up of joint families and with absorption of the youth by urban glitz Dairy Farming is now corporatized as an industry – into a mega enterprise – where the cows just eat and produce milk in large sheds. Leafy foliage, ambling cattle and lazing in the shade are all now sinking into the mists of time.

Climate Change and the Destruction of the Reedbeds

The situation of reedbeds seems irreversible, as the rivers are drying up. What is remaining is being dug and sucked up. The birds who roost and feed their young are ‘demented’ about the changed situation. Thatched homes with straw and reeds which were a common sight is now being rapidly replaced with Tin and Plastic. We probably need to answer the Latin expression Quo Vadis – Where are you going!! Writes Lingaraja Venkatesh. [Picture Above: A Streaked Weaver Bird working on building its nest.]

Ecorights and Responsibility

Ecorights and Responsibility

What and who gives humans the right to its ecosystem? Ancient and today’s tribal communities believe that their right to utilize resources in the ecosystem on which they depend is encompassed with a huge responsibility to protect and conserve it. In all situations right is a community (such as family, office, institution, association, organization, state or any other group), and therefore there is no such thing as private or individual right. This makes responsibility also beyond the self. The author Nirmal Selvamony provides interesting insights with examples, into rights and responsibilities towards our ecosystem.

Art and Sustainable Development

Art and Sustainable Development

Jyoti Sahi brings a different perspective to sustainability and the need for artists to express social and environmental aspects through their art. He talks about the ethical responsibility of artists and how they can use art to extend their sphere of influence. 

This image shows worship of the Peepul Tree using garlands, thread that is tied round the tree, and snake stones at a wayside shrine. The image is meant to show the way in which a folk culture in India celebrates nature, showing how art as ritual sustains the sacred in the natural environment. This sketch by the author is based on the photograph that he took at the Nallur Amaroy Thopu (sacred grove) near Devanahalli in Karnataka.

Alternative Education – Creating a Microcosm for a Sustainable Society

B. Ramdas

A sustainable society does not fall from the sky nor does it just happen one fine morning. It has to be created through a long and arduous process. There are innumerable nuances and principles that are involved.

Where and how does one get these across to people? Where are the forums? I believe that the best place to begin this process of creation of such a society is in the classroom – with children. Here lies our future!

Just Change – People Before Profit

Many of us have struggled for and with the poor for over four decades now. We have fought human rights abuses, land alienation, untouchability, feudalism and violence against women.

We have mostly won major victories and changed the lives of the poor with whom we had worked.  But forty years down the line, most of us are faced with the stark fact that fighting poverty and fighting for the economic rights of our people is now virtually impossible, and moved beyond our control.

From easily identified local exploitative individuals, the forces causing poverty have moved to new, distant, complex structures way beyond the reach of communities. The blame is now conveniently laid on catch phrases such as market forces, globalisation, liberalization. But the question still remains as to how one deals with these faceless forces? Writes Stan Thekaekara