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Historically India has been a handloom wearing country. Handlooms were not so easily available and would take time and were relatively expensive. But with changing times we have started to see the change. More and more clothes are now produced and more thrown away every year. We buy clothes for no reason. We buy what we feel like, we buy because there is a sale and not necessarily because we need it. We have a wardrobe full of clothes but still feel we don't have enough to wear. The number of times we wear the same clothes has come down and the number of clothes we throw away has increased. But what does buying clothes have to do with Climate change you may ask. To talk about this host Rakesh Kamal talks to Dr. Monika Gera, who is the Founder of One for Blue, a sustainable clothing company. See for privacy information.
The increasing threat of climate change and the contribution of waste to the emissions is something that needs to be taken seriously. And as individuals, by living sustainably each one of us can make an impact. But many of us are often stuck with questions like how do you begin this zero waste journey? where do you start?  and will it really make any difference? To know this and more in this episode host Rakesh Kamal talks to Srini Swaminathan and Shubashree, authors of the books (Im)perfectly Zero Waste: A No-Nonsense Guide to Living Sustainably in India and The Everyday Eco-Warrior: 110 Easy Tips for a Zero-Waste Life. Both these books are really interesting in understanding what Zero waste means in an Indian context and give really good examples of how to cut down your waste.  You can buy their physical copies of the book in a local book store near you or on Amazon. You can also buy it on Kindle and help save some emissions.  See for privacy information.
To earn their daily bread, fishers from Tamil Nadu put their lives and property in peril while crossing the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka in the Palk Bay. The large trawlers they operate, however, wreak havoc on the shallow waters and destroy the marine ecosystem. This leaves precious little marine life for the fishers across the border. What are the roadblocks India has faced in solving this dispute, and what is the way forward?  For this episode of the Climate Emergency, independent journalist Hariprasad Radhakrishnan travels to Pudukottai. He also spoke with V Suryanarayanan, former director of the Centre for South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Madras and Prabhakar Jayaprakash, a doctoral scholar at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to understand the challenges faced by the fishing communities and get insights into possible solutions to the Indo-Sri Lankan fishing dispute.  Show notes T.N. fisherman drowns after boat rams Sri Lankan vessel Sri Lanka Navy See for privacy information.
Global temperatures are already 1.2 degree C higher than pre-industrial era. As the UN’s annual climate conference COP26 drew to an end with little progress on most key issues, it drew reactions of anger and disappointment from young activists. The world leaders needed to agree on some key issues: who will do how much to reduce their carbon emissions, the finance that will be given to the developing countries to cope with the changes already underway, and whether countries with historically high carbon emissions will compensate the vulnerable countries for the ongoing damage.  All through the COP, Scotland’s Glasgow, the venue for this year’s conference was buzzing with activity. There were roaring protests by the young outside, lots of pushback from the developing countries inside in the negotiation rooms, and plenty of big speeches by the world leaders. In the end, little was delivered. India stepped up to block coal phaseout and watered it down to coal phase down, at a time when its capital is engulfed in thick air pollution. On the plus side, COP26 did see a rise in conversations about the public health fallouts of climate change. In this episode, we string together the key highlights from COP26. Disha Shetty reported from COP26 as a part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership.  See for privacy information.
Are green crackers, the proclaimed panacea to the problem of air pollution caused due to firecrackers, solving the problem of air pollution? And can we do without a blanket ban for firecrackers? For this episode, Hariprasad Radhakrishnan speaks to environmentalists and other experts to figure what are the possible solutions to the problem facing us this Diwali. Tune in to this episode of the Suno India Show to find out! See for privacy information.
Almost every year since 1995, politicians and representatives from all over the world have been meeting in the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) to discuss ways to reduce CO2 emissions which cause climate change. Scientists have been producing reports in a collaborative manner and all say the same “Climate change is happening” and over years only say that it is worsening. All the countries came to an agreement in the 21st year of meetings in COP 21 called the “Paris agreement”. The sense of urgency with which climate change has to be addressed seems limited to words and not actions. Since climate change affects all the countries in the world and the vulnerable the most and climate change is so interdisciplinary, there has always been some pressure from civil society. But for the last few years youth from across the world has played a very important role in bringing this issue forward. In this episode of Climate emergency, Rakesh Kamal talks to climate change activist Disha Ravi on youth climate activism, dissent and the role of the global south. This episode also features a poem by feminist & activist Kamla Bhasin who passed away recently. See for privacy information.
In September 2020, India passed the Farm Laws without any multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary consultations or parliamentary debates. There were sweeping protests across India against these laws, which favour private investment, unregulated markets, and contract farming, among other changes. Experts feel this will push commercially viable but intensive agriculture which will not favour the farmer or the environment.  India is home to over 18,000 species of plants including, 160 crop species (with several thousands of varieties), 1,500 wild edible plant species, nearly 9,500 plant species of ethnobotanical and medicinal purposes.  This podcast episode traces how India’s agrobiodiversity was destroyed and continues to be under threat. We look at alternatives and examine what ecologically sustainable farming looks like. In this podcast episode, Mahima Jain reports from Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu on alternative models of farming that farmer organizations are promoting.  Additional reading: Agricultural Subsidies: Study Prepared for XV Finance Commission Biodiversity in Farming, European Court of Auditors, May 2019 Assessing the sustainability of post-Green Revolution cereals in India The impact of the Green Revolution on indigenous crops of India See for privacy information.
While scientists discovered a new snake species in the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu, little did they know that this discovery would unearth a 185-year old problem of name mix-ups done in the past. In 2016, Deepak Veerappan, working with the Natural History Museum in London, received a new snake species from Tamilnadu. It was considered similar to banded racer (a widespread species). For this, they had to describe the snake, look at finer details, and also compare it to a banded racer. When they looked at the morphology and DNA of the new species, they found it to be different from banded racer. When they probed further into banded racer for comparisons, they found that banded racer was wrongly classified in the category of wolf snake. And all this mix-up happened due to Albert Gunther, a scientist, working with the Natural History Museum between 1875 and 1895. The specimens, snakeskin collection and paintings in the Natural History Museum, London and Bodleian Library, Oxford University among other repositories were analysed to deconstruct this. Though discovering a new species is not uncommon among researchers, this research traces back to historical archives and modern science to break a taxonomic confusion. The story is based on a research paper published in the journal of ‘Vertebrate Zoology. Sharada Balasubramanian, an environmental journalist, spoke to authors Deepak Veerappan and Surya Narayanan, and renowned herpetologist Varad Giri, for this story. See for privacy information.
In April 2020 India’s environment ministry gave wildlife clearance to two infrastructure projects waiting for approval in Goa. This was another step towards allowing trees to be cut in the forests of Mollem that is part of the UNESCO global biodiversity hotspot–the Western Ghats. In Goa, this move was met with strong resistance. What initially started out as an online campaign due to Covid-19 restrictions soon bubbled into an offline one once they began to ease. The Save Mollem movement is one of the many local citizen-led movements in India and highlights the increasing concerns of the young at a time when climate change threatens their future. In the process, the citizens of Goa also showed the rest of India how to make the environment political. A year on, we look back at the movement, and speak to Karleen De Mello, an advocate based in South Goa, on how the movement began and where it stands now. This podcast was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. See for privacy information.
If you ever visit a vegetable market late in the day you will see mostly rotten vegetables and leftovers thrown around everywhere.  Some of it is stored in cold rooms but most of it, unfortunately, ends in dump yards. But one such exception is the Bowenpally market yard in Hyderabad. It got a mention in Prime Minister Modi's Man ki Baat. In this episode, we talk to Shruti Ahuja director of Ahuja engineering services private limited from  Hyderabad who has been instrumental in developing the biogas plant which helps in generating energy with the vegetable waste. See for privacy information.
In a recent paper published in the Journal of Hydrology, scientists looked at climate change and their impact on river runoffs in the Dokriani Glacier in the Central Himalaya. To understand the impact of climate change on these glaciers, it was crucial to collect and analyse regional climate data from the field. It was found, over forty years of data analysis, that the glacier was in steady state before 2000. The temperature changes impact the glaciers, and as a result, the snowmelt and ice melt disappears earlier. This, in turn, impacts the runoff of the river. Experts also talk about debris cover in this paper. The lower part of the glacier has rocks that come down to the glacier when there is an avalanche. Scientists worldwide say that perhaps this debris cover could prevent the glacier from impacts of climate change. In the last 5-6 decades, glaciers have been losing their mass but the impact of climate change on melting runoff into rivers depends on the local climate. This study quantifies the snow and glacier melt at local conditions and looks at how the river runoff would be impacted in the downstream regions. This would help in planning the water resources and flood risk reduction in the rivers. As farmers heavily depend on these rivers for sowing, and this happens on a very timely basis, this data would help in water management in future.  In this episode, independent environmental journalist Sharada Balasubramanian talks to Smriti Srivastava, a research scholar from the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore, and Mohammad Farooq Azam, a glaciologist and professor from IIT Indore. Being an editorially independent platform, we rely on you to help us bring in untold stories that have the potential for social change. Do consider supporting us! See for privacy information.
In a recent paper published in the Journal of Glaciology, scientists have reported their findings from the longest ever field data from the entire Himalayan range for the first time. Chhota Sigri, a key benchmark glacier or an indicator glacier for the Lahaul-Spiti region in Himachal Pradesh, was studied to understand the effect of climate change. The data looked at various components of the glacier like mass balance, ice velocity, high altitude meteorology, glacier runoff, and their interactions with climate change. The glacier is losing its ice mass like other glaciers in the world. However, it’s not as bad as previous studies have pointed out. Also, based on The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone soon, it was found that the glaciers would not really disappear as predicted or talked about. The study revealed that glacier health depends on fluctuations in air temperature but summer-monsoon snowfall plays a key role in maintaining the mass of the glacier. If such summer snowfalls continue to arrive, the glaciers would sustain. Their patterns were analysed over different time periods to understand what could be the possible factors that could drive the glaciers to disappear. Over the past two decades, there was a significant slowdown inflow of the lower half of the glacier, and this was directly related to glacier mass loss or thickness reduction. However, at the higher altitudes, ice flow didn’t change much, indicating less impact of warming at higher altitudes. The glacier river runoff is tightly controlled by the air temperature, which translates to the fact that a warmer world would likely be associated with higher runoff in the Himalayan rivers.  In this episode, independent environmental journalist Sharada Balasubramanian talks to Arindan Mandal, a PhD student at JNU’s School of Environmental Sciences, and Mohammad Farooq Azam, a glaciologist, and professor at IIT, Indore. Being an editorially independent platform, we rely on you to help us bring in untold stories that have the potential for social change. Do consider supporting us! See for privacy information.
During the COVID lockdown, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change gave many virtual environmental clearances with little or no consultation with the public. Three such environmental clearances in Mollem, Goa have given rise to Save Mollem Campaign by youth and environmental activists in Goa. They have been advocating to get the clearances cancelled and save the pristine Mollem from “development". Recently, some of the young protestors have also been arrested for their non-violent protests to stop these projects. To discuss these issues Rakesh Kamal, host of Climate Emergency talks to two young activists Gilbert Soyus and Leandra Do Carmo Souza to understand the Save Mollem campaign. See for privacy information.
Fans, one of the most used electrical appliances in India, has the potential to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions. Fans consume about 20% of the electricity in Indian households. And this number is growing rapidly, said a study from a Pune-based NGO Prayas. Versa Drives, a Coimbatore-based company made Superfans, became one of the earliest companies to produce super-efficient fans. This fan runs on just 35 watts as compared to normal fans which consume almost 75-90 watts. As the fan industry is growing, and the energy efficiency norms have changed, there is hope that energy-efficient fans could capture the mainstream fan market, and reduce the demand for energy in India. In this episode independent journalist Shardha speaks with Sundar Muruganandham, Maheshwari Krishnasamy and R Mahendran of Versa Drives and Toine van Megen, Co-Founder of Auroville Consulting to know all about these Energy efficient fans. See for privacy information.
In August this year, the Madras High Court delivered a rare, but decisive victory to the people of Thoothukudi in their fight against an industrial giant in their quarter-century battle. Thoothukudi is an industrial seaside town of 700,000 facing the Bay of Bengal in South India. The court not only denied Vedanta, the multi-billion-dollar global mining and metals conglomerate permission to resume its shuttered copper smelter, it also held the company responsible for widespread environmental degradation and severe health consequences suffered by the people of Thoothukudi as a result of sulphur dioxide poisoning.  This episode on the Climate Emergency podcast reported by journalist Kunal Shankar captures why this court order is significant to India’s environmental jurisprudence and how opposition to Vedanta has influenced the social and political dynamics of Tamil Nadu. See for privacy information.
In August this year, the Madras High Court delivered a rare, but decisive victory to the people of Thoothukudi in their fight against an industrial giant in their quarter century battle. Thoothukudi is an industrial seaside town of 700,000 facing the Bay of Bengal in South India. The court not only denied Vedanta, the multi-billion-dollar global mining and metals conglomerate permission to resume its shuttered copper smelter, it also held the company responsible for widespread environmental degradation and severe health consequences suffered by the people of Thoothukudi as a result of Sulphur dioxide poisoning. This episode on the Climate Emergency podcast reported by journalist Kunal Shankar captures the genesis of Vedanta’s entry into Thoothukudi and the beginnings of what has come to be a highly effective grassroots environmental campaign. See for privacy information.
Forest owlets are one of the most endangered and cryptic bird species in India. These birds are found only in India and nowhere else. Though the bird was first spotted in the 1880s, for almost a little over a century, the bird was not discussed by anyone. Forest owlets looked similar to spotted owlets (a more commonly seen species), and hence were often mistaken for them. After 113 years, the species was rediscovered by Pamela Rassmussen from the Smithsonian Institute. After her team spotted these birds in India, more researchers started working on forest owlets. Two research papers, one relating to the genetic research on these owlet species, and two, relating the bird’s diversification to ancient climatic change were significant in understanding the species in a better way. For the first time, genetic research was done for the owlet species in India, which led to new information that was unknown earlier. In this episode, Sharada Balasubramanian talks to various researchers about the Conundrums of the forest owlet. See for privacy information.
At a time when the voices of youth are growing louder in the climate change campaigns because it concerns their future. Delhi police has slapped UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) on a youth led climate change advocacy organsiation called Fridays for Future(FFF).  Fridays For Future is a global people's movement for climate justice. They are a volunteer based youth led movement with over 10000 volunteers and more than 60 branches across the country. The crime they have allegedly committed according to the Delhi police and some media reports is to spam the email of Prakash Javadekar, minister of environment forest and climate change with request to not to make amends to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) as they believe it will impact the environment negatively. The website of FFF was pulled down from 10th July till 24th July which meant they lost a lot of time for their campaign as well. To discuss this we have with us Vaishnavi, an 18 year old volunteer from Bangalore, who completed her 12th and wants to become a lawyer. Also in this episode, we have Apar Gupta, Executive director of Internet freedom foundation who has offered pro bono legal support. Please note the link to the representation mentioned by Apar Gupta here. See for privacy information.
Students in Madhya Pradesh are documenting excess fluoride in groundwater through a citizen science project that uses smartphones and portable fluoride detection kits. The students go around villages in Alirajpur district, testing water samples from handpumps, geotagging them, and marking them as safe or unsafe. Madhya Pradesh is one of the 19 Indian states severely affected by high fluoride content in drinking water. Long-term ingestion of large amounts of fluoride can lead to dental and skeletal fluorosis. Through the project run by Columbia University researchers and local partners, the young volunteers, majorly girls, are finding a solution to the fluoride crisis by identifying the extent of the problem in their homelands. Visit Mongabay India for news and inspiration from nature’s frontline in India. The story was supported by the Solutions Journalism Network ‘LEDE’ fellowship. Download Transcript. See for privacy information.
In 2011, Cyclone Thane had a serious impact on the livelihood of farmers in Cuddalore, the eastern coast of Tamilnadu. The farmers in this region could only grow casuarina, cashew, due to the soil conditions here. After the cyclone, many farmers looked for an alternative crop. Vettiver, a perennial grass variety, turned out to be the only feasible alternative. This hard grass could survive drought, rain and tolerate salinity. Many farmers shifted to vettiver cultivation hereafter 2011. Though the state was traditionally growing this crop for bund strengthening, the practice reduced over time. A few traditional farmers still practised it. What further gave an impetus to vettiver farming in Tamilnadu was the announcement of Aroma Mission in 2016 by the Indian government. Cuddalore was declared as the hub for vettiver cultivation by the Prime Minister. Over the last five years, the acreage of vettiver plants increased in Cuddalore due to climate change, and the announcement of aroma mission. The crop made environmental and business sense, as the profits seemed good. However, the graph changed this year, with fluctuating prices. The plant is climate-resilient, good for the environment, and makes good business sense. To make vettiver a robust climate-resilient crop that also gives sustainable income to farmers, government support is needed. Farmers believe that if the government supports in marketing, setting a minimum price, gives concessions on solar pumps, and encourage exports, it would be greatly beneficial for them to sustain. See for privacy information.
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