Monday, April 23, 2007

drought down under

Australia's Epic Drought
Australia has warned that it will have to switch off the water supply to the continent's food bowl unless heavy rains break an epic drought - heralding what could be the first climate change-driven disaster to strike a developed nation.

The Murray-Darling basin in south-eastern Australia yields 40 per cent of the country's agricultural produce. But the two rivers that feed the region are so pitifully low that there will soon be only enough water for drinking supplies. Australia is in the grip of its worst drought on record, the victim of changing weather patterns attributed to global warming and a government that is only just starting to wake up to the severity of the position.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, a hardened climate-change sceptic, delivered dire tidings to the nation's farmers yesterday. Unless there is significant rainfall in the next six to eight weeks, irrigation will be banned in the principal agricultural area. Crops such as rice, cotton and wine grapes will fail, citrus, olive and almond trees will die, along with livestock.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

addicted to war

Why the U.S Can't Kick Militarism
A History of U.S Foreign Wars in Comic Book Format
by Joel Andreas

Online book is here.

The book webpage is here and
if you want to buy a copy, it costs $10.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

live bomb in every house

"In every house there is a live bomb that can erupt at any time. Do you know who that is? Daughters are the honour of the family and the community, and to protect that is our Hindu duty and Hindu culture... . Come, and let's unite to save bombs... I don't believe in love marriage. We have to marry within our own community. These girls go to college, make friends with some lafanga [loafer], roam with them on their bikes, fall in love, and then run off and get married…We bring them back and convince them that they are ruining their future. They stay with me for a while and then return to their parents." - Babu Bajrangi, Frontline, Dec 16-29 2006

Kavita Krishnan writes on policing of women and borders of caste, religion and community restricting freedom of women.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

coke bad, pepsi good?

While Coke has drawn all the flak for ground water depletion and contamination in Pallakad district, Kerala and its bottling plant in Plachimada remains closed, Pepsico remains operational and is reported to be doing the same or even worse activity in the district.

The CPM-led Left Front government in Kerala shut the Coca-Cola plant in Palakkad as it was damaging the environment. Why is it not applying the same rules to Pepsico?

No one knows how many borewells the Pepsico plant has. No one is allowed to enter.

Coke used seven to 15 lakh litres of water daily, while Pepsico uses 15-25 lakh litres.

... the soft drink giants, the half-a-dozen beer factories and the scrap-iron smelting factories are responsible ...

The Coca-Cola factory was inside a thickly populated village. But Pepsi is located in an industrial belt and it has arrived through the green channel. So the government has a limited role in enforcing regulations on it. But when it comes to the water exploitation, it is number one.