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Ambitions Blacker than Coal

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

So the Prime Ministers Office is catching stick for coal block allocations. But its not merely how coal was allocated that is the issue, its also the very fact that it is being allocated from forests and other ecosystems without which India has no future.

 As a long time member of the Central Government's environmental expert


I miss Mahatma Gandhi

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Many of us who served India for decades on Environmental Committees mandated to protect our natural resources have tried without success to convey to planners that they cannot so ruthlessly destroy life-support infrastructures -- forests, wetlands, coasts, rivers, lakes -- to create infrastructures of commerce -- mines, dams,


I wrote this piece  in my GreenTalk column that used to be published in the Deccan Herald, Bangalore's leading news paper in 2003. The 'Vanishing Wildlife' I wrote about is vanishing even faster today. 

Virtually nowhere in India is our wildlife truly safe. Our national parks and sanctuaries provide some very welcome respite for


PRIME (MINISTER) PARALYSIS

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

This is a letter I wrote as long as 15 years ago, on July 11, 1997, to Mr. I.K. Gujral, who was then India's Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Indian Board for Wildlife.

 I could write almost the exact words today to Dr. Manmohan Singh and they would remain valid.

No action was taken then. Little has been learned since.


The Budget Naturally!

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

It's budget time for India and every industrialist is in Delhi, lobbying for tax benefits, sops and policies that can be reflected on their balance sheets. This has been the pattern for six decades now. It's how most fortunes were accumulated by the largest Indian corporations.

If short term economic gains are not replaced by a



Flying in the face of cyclonic winds, floods, droughts, hottest-ever and coldest-ever days, plus salinisation of coasts thanks to sea level rise, the climate skeptic brigade is up to its dirty tricks again. Just as they did a few weeks before Copenhagen, prior to the climate conference about to take place in Durban they have


Yesterday, together with Prerna Bindra, I met with the Parliamentary Forum on Global Warming and Climate Change, Chaired by Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

(http://164.100.24.209/ls/committee/Cells/GlobalWarming.htm)

We made a presentation to them on the umbilical connection between wildlife, forests and climate change. I was absolutely

The Nuclear Energy Myth

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Nuclear energy is not merely unsafe, it is uneconomical. Carbon neutrality? That's really just wishful thinking for nuclear reactors, if the canvas is expanded to incorporate a 'cradle to grave' scenario. Indian scientists and nucleocrats have learned the art of window dressing cost-benefit analyses from their counterparts

The Future of the Sundarbans

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

There is precious little real on-the-ground cooperation between India and Bangladesh on the issue of climate change and the management of the largest mangrove forest in the world -- the Sundarbans.

 We know, of course, that the Indian Sundarbans has better WILDLIFE management and enforcement than the Bangladesh side. And that


Climate Skepticism

Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

Climate skepticism is emerging from its closet again these days. How I wish we were wrong and the skeptics were right. It would be terrific to buy that hammock, pick out the island on which to string it and relax for the rest of my life! But that is not to be my fate. Sadly the science has proved the skeptics wrong and our work