Oct 27, 2008

Green is King !

I have this crazy thought - of creating a 5000 people strong movement - of resources committed to make Faridabad ( the place where I stay) the most green city ( through planting trees, promoting cleanliness and reducing use of plastics / non biodegradable packaging, etc.) in India. The thought has at its roots, an idea of bring together like minded people, who can contribute positively - through group action to making this dream a reality.

Obviously, motivating capable and bright minds is a challenge. The challenge is similar to the workplace challenges that one faces routinely. In this case, the workplace environment changes to a more social context ( probably far more valuable and meaningful than what a lot do for a living) of causing positive change to the nature and environment.

Any thoughts / ideas and suggestions would be most welcome. The group may not be restricted alone to Faridabad / NCR. The key word is like-minded and affiliation is open to one and all.

Oct 20, 2008

Shaken & Stirred.....!

The mess that that financial meltdown globally, has left a lot of us - well precisely that.. shaken and stirred !

A majority amongst us has been touched at close quarters, whether through the real estate market investments or our dabbling in the stock markets (mutual funds and other forms of participation in the market) - and I heard a colleague talking about opening new bank accounts in nationalised banks, such was the concern and fright. While, this meltdown is temporary (fleeting, if one can describe it keeping in mind the lineage and history of financial world) and with the sentiment changing and sanity prevailing, investors world over shall soon realize that while things may not be hunky dory, the future is not all that bleak - of course there are some dents here and there, and its going to take a few quarters to get growth back on track.

If we were to transform this crisis to the climate crisis that is predicted to hit mankind and earth, what would the scenario be like ...some of the large countries realise that there are food stocks only for the next two weeks, with drinking water runnning short almost everywhere across- with the change in climate, more and more surface is being submerged by sea water, though. There are energy outages happenning more frequently. Water tables are dropping. Countries have started to blame each other for inaction and causing the crisis - and while in the current crisis, countries have come together to bail out the financial system, in the climate crisis, its one population against the other - simply because it is the test of survival...! Wars shall soon erupt.

Is this likely to happen ? Has someone already built a simulation around this ? I am sure, some of the countries have.. I am told that when man first made the expedition to the moon, the President of the US had two scripts ready.. one in the scenario that the mission was indeed successful, and the other if the mission had failed and the spaceship and men destroyed.

My ramblings above, echo in the thought that the impending climate crisis needs to be taken up with the same sense of urgency that governments and central banks displayed in announcing bail out packages and nationalisation of banks where required - an over 1 trillion dollar global governmental initiative can do wonders to the climate change (renewables) business worldwide - if nothing else, it will bring every individual to become acutely aware of the seriousness of the crisis that mankind faces.

Oct 5, 2008

Country Roads... take me home !

I was driving across to my office in the morning, it was around 8:30 am and a bright & sunny morning. And what do I suddenly see - on a main road, all the halogen lights are on - at that hour !!
Now that is the raison'd'atre for our plight and the energy situation that the country is in. Insensitivity and disregard for energy conservation. Is that a familiar story - in our lives, our homes & families.

While writing this, I am reminded of a late night party that I was in. It was near winding up time, and while we were gulping down the sweet dishes and sitting outside in the host's spacious garden, someone came around, and switched off a two lights from the four lights that were switched on - I remarked and asked him to switch off the other two lights - since they were incandescant lamps and consumed more power. What had been switched off were two CFL - the lumen output was almost similar for both sets. Naturally, I suggested that if two lights had to be switched off, ideally should be the incandescant lamps that consumed more power. I was taken aback when - one of my close friend scoffed at the remark - bordering on sarcasm - the uselessness of swapping the set that were on and off. Now this person is well educated, is doing well in life - but is seemingly unaware of the challenges that are staring at us in the face as people and as a world.

Coming back to the government and that powers that be - and the halogen lamp lit main road at 830 am, I was left pondering who ( or what ) would have been responsible for the lamps being left switched on.. was the person who was supposed to switch them off not in office , was there no back up then ? Did he forget ?

There is a daylight measuring device (costs about INR 100) that can automatically switch off lights once there is sufficient ambient light. No need for manual intervention. I am sure a manual override is also possible to be overlaid on this. But is there no thought in the direction ?
Or I can just rest with a conjecture that there was a device - and it malfunctioned that particular day. It would be great, if everyone can write in their experiences of seeing streetlights that are on - in broad daylight and evaluating the scale of the problem.