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TRINet Newsletter September 2011

MUNDRA -- The cost of the coast

The people of Mundra coast face a constant struggle to protect their commons, rights and the very socio ecological character of the region from the massive land use changes around them. Kanchi Kohli reports.

Environmental disaster in the making: Ecologists blast Posco
A group of ecologists have warned of an ecological disaster at the Posco Steel Plant’s site in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, with the state government cutting around 50,000 trees to prepare the site for the plant. In a letter to Orissa chief minister Navin Pathnaik and environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, the ecologists have expressed concern over the state government’s decision of afforestation in non-forest land in lieu of the trees being cut in forest land.

Tamil Nadu invites investors to set up power plants
Facing a power crunch due to strong demand, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday invited National and International investors to set up power plants in the State.

Ban GM trials in TN: Activists
Hailing Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s decision to scrap the budgetary announcement on Bt Cotton, groups opposing genetically modified crops have requested her to ban trials of such agri products in the state

Dyeing hub faces reversal of fortunes, pollutes area
An 84-year old farmer’s court injunction has converted a booming export hub into a ghost town, causing exports to plummet and businesses to relocate.

TN officials for Gujarat to study effluent treatment model
As part of its efforts to find a solution to the vexed issue of pollution from Tirupur dyeing units, which has affected the Noyyal river, Tamil Nadu government has deputed a team of officials to study a Gujarat model on effluent treatment, and consider its application in the state. The delegation is led by Environment Secretary CV Sankar.

India to patent tribal medicinal knowledge
India plans to scientifically validate and patent traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, home to some of the world’s oldest tribes.

The Niyamgiri juggernaut
An order of the erstwhile National Environment Appellate Authority (“the NEAA”) had sent the environment clearance (“the EC”) granted for mining in the Niyamgiri Hills back to the expert desks at the Ministry of Environment and Forests (“the MoEF”). On July 28, 2011, the National Green Tribunal (“the NGT”) was to hear the review petition against this order. The usual flurry of journalists, cameras, and the buzz that might centre on a judicial proceeding related to mining in Niyamgiri was missing. The hearing lasted only a couple of minutes and a bench comprising Justices A. Suryanarayan Naidu and G.K. Pandey allowed the withdrawal of the review petition.

25 tips for climate change journalists
This collection is based on training presentations to journalists from around the world, and especially the global South: Mike Shanahan, Press officer, International Institute for Environment and Development

Indian hubs cut costs for global wind turbine makers
Chennai, the hot and sultry capital of the Southern state of Tamilnadu in India has long been the epicenter of the Indian wind turbine industry. The Centre for Wind Energy Technology (C-WET) of the Ministry Of Renewable Energy, the regulator is headquartered at Chennai and deals with all licensing and policy matters besides helping develop data for setting up wind farms.

Kerala: Three hydel projects of KSEB cleared
The Forest Department has cleared all hurdles for the three small hydro-electric projects of the KSEB, including the Anakkayam project which was denied permission owing to legal tangles for the past 21 years.

'Landlubber' Fish Leap for Love When Tide Is Right: Research Sheds Light On How Animal Life First Evolved to Colonize Land
One of the world's strangest animals, the Pacific leaping Blenny -- a unique fish that lives on land and can leap large distances despite having no legs -- has a rich and complex social life, a new study has found.

Disaster Management:

Despite weather forecasts indicating a gradual spell of rain through south-western Punjab, north-eastern Balochistan, and the adjoining areas of Sindh, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) insists that it is prepared to deal with the upcoming challenges and does not require the assistance of the international community.

Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
Japan has been slow to admit the scale of the meltdown. But now the truth is coming out. David McNeill reports from Soma City

Book Review:

We Are Poor, but So Many
Ela Bhatt's narrative of SEWA's efforts to bring justice to the lives of poor women reasserts the place of work in human existence. Neeta Deshpande reviews We Are Poor, but So Many.

Nature and Power: a Global History of the Environment by Joachim Radkau
This is a book of big ideas, an attempt to make broad conclusions about the long-term relationship between humans and our world. Radkau makes some simple, but hugely telling points — about the fact that only 150 years ago (and for all of previous human history and pre-history) we had an almost totally solar and broadly sustainable economy (really on photosynthesis — wood from trees and horses powered by grain and grass).

TED/YouTube:

Kamal Meattle on how to grow fresh air
Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.

Janine Benyus shares nature's designs
In this inspiring talk about recent developments in biomimicry, Janine Benyus provides heartening examples of ways in which nature is already influencing the products and systems we build.

TRINet DeBunk:

What’s So Great About Kant? A Critique of Dinesh D’Souza’s Attack on Reason
Michael Dahlen examines Dinesh D’Souza’s Immanuel Kant-inspired philosophy that “reality as a whole is, in principle, inaccessible to human beings” and that “it is in no way unreasonable to believe things on faith that simply cannot be adjudicated by reason.”

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