Thursday, July 31, 2014
It is important to harvest each drop of water but dangerous to utilise all available water for benefit of the humans only. A greater amount of water is required for the ecology herself...
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The real farmers need support for the crop they grow. What they instead get is some amount of a hypocritical sympathy only when they lose the crop, or their own life...
Respect the farmers if you respect your nation!
Monday, July 28, 2014
We call ourselves the most educated and advanced race. However, our activities prove that we have exposed ourselves and most importantly our environment to irreparable damages by developing and using products that we hardly have any control over. We are half educated in most of our so called 'development inventions and discoveries.' As a result we let loose killers into the environment and then don't have any control over them. The DDT is one such example.
A latest news report from Michigan talks about this alarming fact of DDT killing Songbirds. Tests have found out that these songbirds are being poisoned by this pesticide that was banned in the Unites States more than 40 years ago, in 1972. Lethal concentrations were found in the birds' brains, as well as in the worms they eat; said this report.
(Detailed report @http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2014/jul/dead-robins)
Issues and concerns related to rivers of Odisha, especially Mahanadi; and actions that we have been initiating as part our citizen's drives have been given a lot of space in a special feature published in the Sunday supplement of leading Odia daily 'Pragativadi' in it's 27th July 2014 edition.
We really need this awareness and citizen's drives to continue. Thanks for all your support to our campaigns. Our next city focus for Mahanadi campaign is Sonepur and we hope to receive the same support from all of you.
Thanks and regards,
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Waterkeeper Alliance)
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Nobody knows the cause as yet about what made this China river turn blood red in no time. One thing is however sure that humans are always capable of polluting rivers so easily and most the times they really don't have an idea about this deadly act of theirs...
(More @ http://www.ecouterre.com/breaking-river-in-china-mysteriously-turns-blood-red-overnight/)
Friday, July 25, 2014
This new study by researchers at Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University in Tokyo finds out that Japanese monkeys' abnormal blood is linked to Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. The Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), that were studied, had low white and red blood cell levels and low haemoglobin, and are more prone to infectious diseases. In fact this study could help in finding similar impacts of the radioactive elements on human health.
Japanese macaque perched on a tree. Photograph: Renee Lynn/Corbis (published in www.theguardian.com)
As reported by the Guardian, the scientists compared 61 monkeys living 70km (44 miles) from the the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with 31 monkeys from the Shimokita Penisula, over 400km (249 miles) from Fukushima. The Fukushima monkeys had low blood counts and radioactive caesium in their bodies, related to caesium levels in the soils where they lived. No caesium was detected in the Shimokita troop. Professor Shin-ichi Hayama, at the Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University in Tokyo, told the Guardian that during Japan’s snowy winters the monkeys feed on tree buds and bark, where caesium has been shown to accumulate at high concentrations.
“This first data from non-human primates — the closest taxonomic relatives of humans — should make a notable contribution to future research on the health effects of radiation exposure in humans,” he said. The work, which ruled out disease or malnutrition as a cause of the low blood counts, is published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.
Rotten tomato, once used to be thrown at ill performances and bad politicians, is now a delicacy.
A friend just called me from a village in Deogarh district. His father has died and tomorrow is the Ganga Shraddha feast (the closing ritual that ends with a feast). He tried to buy tomato from Deogarh and nearby areas but found it too costly at Rs.80/- a kilogram. He is now trying to get 'any quality' tomato as he cannot afford the above price. I tried it with a whole seller of Gole Bazar market at Sambalpur, who has offered me Rs.50/- a kilo but with a condition. 'Bhai, please promise that you won't scold me for the quality,' said he. Now the choice is mine. Or, do I really have a choice?
Such are difficult situations actually. My friend's feast is not possible without tomato, and I cannot help him in any other ways than sending low grade tomato. Half rotten, half good to be specific.
The governments have made us compromise our lives in so many senses. Or is it a revenge being taken by all those politicians who have received 'rotten tomato welcome' in the past?
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
If your river is polluted, the vegetables you eat is poison. This is what we are warned from this news that talks about how pesticides and a toxic mix of sewage and industrial effluents may be contaminating what’s grown on the bed of the Yamuna River in India...
(Source: Times of India)
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Sharing this very appropriate graphic depiction of water consumption by different sources of energy production. This shows us clearly that while coal consumes the highest amount of water to produce electricity, solar is almost a ZERO water consuming power generation source. Isn't reason enough to invest more in solar in a world where water scarcity is triggering worst ever conflicts, including security problems?
More importantly, Let's Act!!
Right now, I am going Live, over phone, with Focus TV in a discussion on flood management in the state of Odisha, INDIA...
900 crore subsidy to conventional & renewable sources in areas with no or poor electricity. India sud focus on solar now,even in grid covered ares!
Monday, July 21, 2014
2 sides of India: Gujarat gov's armed WATER GUARDS bar farmers water from Narmada; armed bandits demand water from villagers in Lucknow...
Indian government sources have said that there has been an eleven percent increase in monsoon rains over the last week. The situation has certainly improved, but it is not as good as we should expect. Last week, the source says, the deficiency was 43% as compared to this week’s 32%. Farmers of the nation are waiting for a good monsoon, desperately…
More at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=107050
Our adivasis are best preserved in wall paintings of the capital city; our health care system is well developed in the capital city; our education system is well groomed in the capital city; and our officials are well protected in the capital city. Power has been centralized, corporations and commissions centralized and even corruption centralized...
Time Bhubaneswar be made a separate state for the best interest of rest of Odisha...
Sunday, July 20, 2014
आदतें बदल गये हैं, अब बारिश नही आती...
पेह्ले प्यार का संदेश लाती थी, अब आती है तो तबाही मचा देती...
यह इसकी आदत हमने ही बिगड़ा है,
कभी देर से आती है तो कभी रुक रुक के....
फिर कभी ज़ोरों से तो कभी दूर् दूर् से बरस जाती...
बस तबाही ही मचाती...
बस तबाही ही मचाती....!
Good Morning, Friends!
Tried this short poem in Hindi today. It is about how monsoon has changed it's ways due to change in our habits. We have ruined it's patterns and distribution. So, what we get from it now is devastation - be it via droughts or floods...
Friday, July 18, 2014
Cancer-causing arsenic in rice to be limited, said the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the top global decision-making body for food standards, issued the decision at its ongoing annual meeting in Geneva. The commission set a maximum of 0.02 mg of arsenic per kilo of polished race — the product that is traded and consumed. Arsenic affected water impacts negatively the rice consuming population in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India and Vietnam…
2 sides of India: 1 trillion rupee black money traced, several millions face chronic hunger. 155000 millionaires & 55 billionaires we have!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Sharing in today’s pick section a news about study that has found out some bitter chemical pollution truths in rivers of Pennsylvania in the USA. These issues should also worry us, rather more because our pollution studies are too sporadic and immature at the moment. I am sure if a thorough study is done on these aspects most of our rivers would be showing similar problems in our fishes.
This study should warn us about the estrogenic chemicals in our water. Let’s watch out for it, let’s find ways to curb the pollution.
Hope you will find the issue useful.
Thanks and regards,
Intersex fish indicate chemical problems in Pennsylvania rivers
SANDY BAUERS, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014
A government researcher who has studied intersex fish in the Potomac River now has found them in three Pennsylvania river basins, including the Delaware.
The fish - males that develop immature eggs and other signs of feminization - are considered symptomatic of estrogenic chemicals in the water. Their discovery in the state indicates that effects of hormones and hormone-like compounds are more widespread than thought.
The mutant fish could bespeak a deeper crisis, said Vicki Blazer, a U.S. Geological Survey fish biologist who conducted the Pennsylvania study. "Fish are a good indicator of the health of the aquatic environment," she said. "They are always in it."
Pharmaceuticals and personal-care products - contaminants that, while being detected worldwide, are unregulated in water - are a growing concern for water-quality experts.
The Pennsylvania intersex fish discoveries have prompted the state Department of Environmental Protection to launch a sampling campaign of several river systems in search of 180 compounds, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals, new pesticides, and old products such as DDT.
The Delaware River Basin Commission and partner researchers also have found caffeine, over-the-counter products such as naproxen and ibuprofen, prescription drugs such as codeine, and antibiotics.
Natural and synthetic hormones rank among the top chemicals in U.S. surface waters for potential ecological harm, a 2012 DRBC report noted.
"We have to be vigilant," said Thomas Fikslin, manager of the commission's monitoring and modeling branch. "It's why we do the monitoring we do, to see first of all what chemicals are there, and then determine potential hazards to human health and aquatic life."
But, he added, "Just because you measure something in high concentration doesn't mean it's a problem." Conversely, "measuring something in a low concentration doesn't mean it's not a problem."
Intersex fish are a problem.
In the latest study, Blazer tested smallmouth bass and suckers in the Ohio, Susquehanna, and Delaware watersheds.
Suckers, which are bottom-feeders, showed few intersex characteristics. But the bass from all sites had immature eggs in their testes.
Blazer found the highest prevalence and severity in the Susquehanna drainage area. But at the Falls Bridge over the Schuylkill near East Falls, 50 percent of the smallmouth bass they caught had intersex characteristics.
Blazer and her colleagues also used a specific strain of yeast to measure estrogenicity in the water. In places with intersex fish, it was higher.
The sources of the estrogenic chemicals, Blazer said, "are likely complex mixtures from both agricultural sources, such as animal wastes, pesticides, and herbicides, and human sources, [such as] waste water treatment plants and other sewage discharges."
In most cases, Blazer said, farmers are not feeding estrogenic compounds; manure simply contains them. In addition, pesticides and herbicides can be estrogenic.
Likewise, humans naturally excrete estrogens, as well as the synthetic estrogens from birth control pills. The latter "tend to be of higher potency," she said, "and are more stable, and hence, last longer in the environment."
Generally, Blazer found that severe intersex characteristics occurred downstream of waste water treatment plants. The Schuylkill has 435. Most facilities are not designed to remove pharmaceuticals that people ingest, then excrete.
Agricultural land use, however, could be the bigger culprit. Overall, both the numbers of intersex fish and immature eggs correspond with the amount of agriculture in the watershed above the collection sites. In upstream areas along the Schuylkill, the percentage of land given over to farming is high.
The study findings, published recently online by the journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, were not good news to Tom Davidock, who oversees the Schuylkill Action Network, an educational and outreach program of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. He often works with farmers to help them reduce their environmental impacts, and "this is just another one of those messages we'll have to start looking into," he said.
Blazer did not start out looking for intersex fish. When she began working the Potomac, she was investigating fish kills in the watershed. But she soon began finding male fish with immature eggs and a precursor to yolk material.
Similarly, fish kills in the Susquehanna are what attracted the interest of the Pennsylvania DEP. First-year smallmouth bass were getting sick and dying late every summer.
After state officials learned of Blazer's work, they began their own testing program for emerging contaminants in 2013. They are sampling the waters not just of the Susquehanna, but also the Delaware, Allegheny, Juniata, and Youghiogheny Rivers.
Although smallmouth bass are the immediate concern, they may simply be an early indicator of "bigger problems in the river," said Rod Kime, a DEP environmental program manager.
"We're finding concentrations of many of these compounds," Kime said, but he called that "not unusual" in "any place there are people or farms."
An Appeal to Concerned Citizens of Western Odisha...
Each time the Government of India declares its plan to establish a national institute, hopes surge in the western districts of Odisha. People here, especially the intellectuals and concerned individuals, start mobilizing public opinion in order to influence the government of Odisha to establish the same here. Then starts district wise lobby. Each district level lobby group showcases the respective district’s advantages and strengths. Most of the times our region fails to get the attention of the Odisha Government and such institutes are always established in Bhubaneswar or a place close to this capital city. We don't lose our hope and sharpen our steps for the next opportunity to come.
Good that is. Good also that we have stepped up our efforts to lobby for establishment of an IIM (Indian Institute of Management) in western Odisha. Ever since the Finance Minister of India declared, in his this year's budget speech, that one of the newly proposed IIMs would be set up in Odisha, people from Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundergarh and Balangir (as far as I know) have started demanding for locating the same in their respective districts. I don’t know who wins this time – these districts or the state capital and it's periphery, if at all that is called a win. However, I am sure we are not heading for any drastic development in our educational scenario even if we have an IIM here. At least I know the poor of the state will continue to be largely deprived of good education.
Let me first dwell upon some issues that I think are important to ponder with regard to the proposed benefits of an IIM in our region. For few years from now, it will open the opportunity for local business persons and contractors who would be engaged in the construction works. Before the IIM comes up in its own building, some local private house owners would get income by renting out their facilities to faculty, students, construction company personnel, etc. The local market will benefit by an ounce or two as a hundred and two new people will buy consumables, clothes, etc. etc. That is the immediate economic benefit. Travel business, hotel business, etc. will also benefit to some extent. On a long term, as the institution establishes and settles down; some of these local economic benefits would continue, but most of it may discontinue as the institute would have its own infrastructure including staff quarters.
Now, let’s consider the educational advantage to local students. The IIMs take students from an all India entrance test and even if we are very optimistic, ten to twenty students from Odisha may be able to study in this institute per year. Well, there may be many more benefits from housing an institution in our districts. I may not be knowing many of those. So, let’s still think that we need to have an IIM in our region and fight for that.
However, as concerned citizens, let us first look around our neighborhood for the quality of institutions we have. I am not sure how many of the people who are at forefront of the lobby groups have looked into the existing institutions of western Odisha, beyond the gates and buildings. I am also not the competent person to comment on the quality of education some of these technical institutions are impacting. As a general observation, I can only say that most of the students prefer institutes at Bhubaneswar more than our institutions. In fact there is a deliberate attempt by the education industry – aided by our political leaders and bureaucrats – to kill all other institutions around the state to support the Bhubaneswar based education businesses. We have fallen prey to that and to counter that, an IIM here may help by just a bit.
Then, let's talk about the the general institutions starting from our primary schools. Are they competent to build students who will quality for an IIM? Or, we would land up in the same business processes where children have to pay lakhs of rupees in private coaching at Bhubaneswar to get a seat in IIM and other institutions? I am sure many of the people at forefront of this fight know how treacherous a life many of our students lead in Bhubaneswar to take those private (commercial) coaching classes. If not, I request them to visit the hostels in which students from our districts are staying to know what a real torture is going on in Bhubaneswar all in the name of education.
In my opinion, while we can fight for establishment of many institutes, our major focus should be strengthening all the existing educational institutions starting from primary ones to higher education level and then technical institutes in our area so that they provide equal opportunity and educational justice to all the students of the region. The current system of education is a money game that benefits the 'education mafia' and it is not going to end with establishment of any number of national institutions.
Suggestions are most welcome to build citizens actions on the existing educational system.
Thanks and regards,
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I have extensively travelled in different parts of the world, have met people from all walks of life. Attended hundreds of meetings and heard some of the greatest minds that matter. None have attracted me as much as the common person, be it the one who begs on the street or the one who pulls a cycle rickshaw for a living. Wisdom shelters there, sense prevails in their talks. Most of them, I repeat most of them, have humanitarian values still alive. Well, being below the survival margins may have helped them in this. They have no money to be spoiled, but lack of it has not demonized them either. They struggle each moment with their lives, but have not corrupted their minds as yet. Whenever they speak, they teach an important lesson of life. They are what they have lived; no puzzle, no hypocrisy.
Amazed by their great words of wisdom and experience, I have decided to borrow quotes from my conversations with many of these real common persons of the world. I don’t remember names of most of these invisible human beings, but can’t escape the powerful messages they have shared with me.
O’ real common person, I have learnt from you a lot. Time to spread it among friend humans. I know many of your common sense sound nonsensical to the people in power, who occupy the positions that influence your lives and their situations. However, I am sure, the reality of life is best taught by you and has to reach there – sooner than later….
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Pesticides don't just kill pests. New research out of the Netherlands provides compelling evidence linking a widely used class of insecticides to population declines across 14 species of birds. Scientists from Radboud University in Nijmegen and the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands (SOVON) compared long-term data sets for both farmland bird populations and chemical concentrations in surface water. They found that in areas where water contained high concentrations of imidacloprid—a common neonicotinoid pesticide—bird populations tended to decline by an average of 3.5 percent annually…
Oil that matches the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been found in the bodies of sickened fish, according to a team of Florida scientists who studied the oil's chemical composition. Thousands of claims for damages against BP continue to be processed since the oil and gas producer's Gulf rig exploded, killing 11 oil workers and spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days after the April 2010 blast. Fishermen in the northern Gulf near the blown-out well say they began noticing a spike in abnormal-looking fish, including many with unusual skin lesions, in the winter of 2010-2011…
(Source: Thompson Reuters @ http://planetark.org/wen/71843)
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
India ranks second in world fish production, contributing about 5.4% of global fish production. It is also a major producer of fish through aquaculture. Total fish production during 2013-14 is estimated at 9.45 mt with 6.10 mt coming from the inland sector and 3.35 mt from the marine sector. The sector contributes about 1 per cent to overall GDP and represents 4.6% of agricultural GDP…
Newly released data shows 4,000% more radioactive material in Fukushima groundwater than Tepco claimed — 39 billion Bq/m³ in sample from shoreline… after going through filtration process — Results not made public until almost a year later...
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
For those who only understand the language of money, I suggest you to think - just for a moment - that the air you breathe is a bank deposit. The more you pollute, scarcer it goes; and, replenishing it is possible only by preserving the ecology...
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
After having shared the news about the NASA satellite that will track the whereabouts of the lost carbon, sharing this latest news about a study report that brings to the fore how dangerously we have polluted our seas.
As the rt.com news points out, "the total amount of plastic in the open-ocean surface is estimated at between 7,000 and 35,000 tons, according to the report". So, we are having plastic seas all around!
I hope you will find this information useful.
Thanks and regards,
88% of world’s oceans covered by plastic junk – study
Entrepreneur and conservationist who lives in Hong Kong, displays rubbish on a beach on the south side of Hong Kong which has been left uncleaned (AFP Photo / Mike Clarke)
At least 88 percent of the surface of the world’s open oceans is polluted by plastic debris, says a new scientific report. The findings raise large concerns of the safety of marine life and how this ocean litter may affect food chains.
"Those little pieces of plastic, known as microplastics, can last hundreds of years and were detected in 88 percent of the ocean surface sampled during the Malaspina Expedition 2010," lead researcher and the author of the study Andres Cozar from the University of Cadiz, told AFP.
The results of the study “Plastic debris in the open ocean” are based on 3,070 total ocean samples collected around the world by Spain’s Malaspina science expedition in 2010. They have been recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), an official journal of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The total amount of plastic in the open-ocean surface is estimated at between 7,000 and 35,000 tons, according to the report. This amount, though big, is lower than the scientists expected.
Screenshot from “Plastic debris in the open ocean” report
According to the study, the highest amount of plastic is to be found in the North Pacific Ocean – 12.4 kilotons (at the high estimate), which is almost twice as high as in the North Atlantic Ocean (6.7 kilotons). The clearest open ocean is considered to be the Indian Ocean, at 5.1 kilotons.
The authors say that it could be related to the high human population on the eastern coast of the Asian continent, which is the most densely populated coast in the world.
“The surface plastic concentrations measured in the Kuroshio Current, the western arm of the North Pacific Gyre, can become exceptionally high, including the highest reported for non-accumulation regions,” the document says.
The report also figured out five major concentrations of ocean ‘plastic junk.’ They are located west of the US (the Pacific Ocean), between the US and Africa (the Atlantic Ocean), west of southern South America (the Pacific Ocean) and east and west of the southern Africa (the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans).
However, the study raised several new concerns including those about the fate of so much plastic, particularly the smallest pieces. The research found that plastic fragments "between a few microns and a few milimeters in size are underrepresented in the ocean surface samples."
Screenshot from “Plastic debris in the open ocean” report
"Ocean currents carry plastic objects which split into smaller and smaller fragments due to solar radiation," says Cozar. "These micro plastics have an influence on the behavior and the food chain of marine organisms."
Cozar added that most of the impacts taking place due to plastic pollution in the oceans “are not yet known."
According to Kara Lavender Law, from the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the research provides the first global estimate she knows of for floating plastic junk.
"We are putting, certainly by any estimate, a large amount of a synthetic material into a natural environment," Law said. "We're fundamentally changing the composition of the ocean."
However, the impact on fish and birds is yet to be studied, including how the marine life and birds may be harmed if they swallow the plastic, she added.