Sunday, November 29, 2009

Air Pollution Alerts - November 29th, 2009

News & Information; Every Sunday (Last on November 22, 2009)

The Hindu, November 29th, 2009
Where the pedestrian is a third class citizen.

Business Standard, November 29th, 2009
A healthy beginning.

The Truth About Cars, November 28th, 2009
Beijing Drowns In Cars.

TIME, November 27th, 2009
China announces first greenhouse gas target.

NPR, November 27th, 2009
Climate Change Is Victim Of 'Tragedy Of The Commons'.

Science Daily, November 27th, 2009
Exposure to Both Traffic, Indoor Pollutants Puts Some Kids at Higher Risk for Asthma Later.

Reuters, November 27th, 2009
China says no emissions checks without foreign funds.

Science Daily, November 26th, 2009
Cutting Greenhouse Pollutants Could Directly Save Millions of Lives Worldwide.

Science Daily, November 26th, 2009
Emulating Western Lifestyles: Consumption and Carbon Footprints in Less Industrialized Countries.

CNN, November 26th, 2009
A deal on climate change? Not exactly.

NPR, November 26th, 2009
China Announces Plans To Cut Carbon Emissions.

The Economist, November 26th, 2009
Climate change: It's off to Denmark we go.

AFP, November 26th, 2009
Hazy conditions disrupt air travel in China.

Science Daily, November 25th, 2009
Children Still Exposed to Secondhand Smoke in Spite of Smoking Ban.

Science Daily, November 25th, 2009
America's Increasing Food Waste Is Laying Waste to the Environment.

Science Daily, November 25th, 2009
Carbon Dioxide Emissions Continue Significant Climb.

Eurek Alert, November 25th, 2009
NIH teams with Lancet to address public health impacts of climate change.

Gozo News, November 25th, 2009
MEPA launches air quality plan for the Maltese islands.

Eurek Alert, November 25th, 2009
Cutting greenhouse pollutants could directly save millions of lives worldwide.

NewYork Times, November 25th, 2009
Coal Plant Stirs Passions in Cambodia.

WHO, November 25th, 2009
WHO Identifies Public Health Impacts of Mitigation Strategies.

Science Daily, November 24th, 2009
Is Global Warming Unstoppable?

The News, Pakistan, November 24th, 2009
Major cities remain in grip of air pollution.

Tennessean Voice, November 23rd, 2009
Coal-fired plant is too hazardous to health.

Earth Times, November 23rd, 2009
Hong Kong public says pollution worse but won't pay for cleaner air.

Rediff, November 23rd, 2009
What India needs to do to transform the economy.

The Hindu, November 23rd, 2009
Save our public transport, save our city (Bangalore).

OpEd News, November 23rd, 2009
Global Warming - Logical Concerns and Responses.

Rediff Business, November 23rd, 2009
More flyovers of no help to public transport users.

NPR, November 23rd, 2009
Cities Use Cash To Encourage Carpooling.

CNN, November 23rd, 2009
Sea level rise could cost port cities $28 trillion.

Science Daily, November 23rd, 2009
Exposures to Metals and Diesel Emissions in Air Linked to Respiratory Symptoms in Children.

Business World, November 23rd, 2009
Billions of pesos lost due to air pollution in Philippines, says World Bank study.

Times of India, November 22nd, 2009
Pollution norms up in smoke.

Times of India, November 22nd, 2009
To discourage car use, govt plans more tax.

The Herald, November 22nd, 2009
Change is in the works for pollution rules.

Indian Express, November 21st, 2009
New air quality norms to burn hole in govt’s pocket.

China View, November 21st, 2009
Environment biodiesel law updated in Hong Kong.

Reuters, November 20th, 2009
Curbs to ship pollution would stoke global warming.

Science Daily, November 20th, 2009
Braking News: Particles from Car Brakes Harm Lung Cells.

Business Standard, November 19th, 2009
Revised air quality norms notified in India.

Economist, November 19th, 2009
America, China and climate change: Let's agree to agree.

New York Times, November 19th, 2009
Industrialized Nations Unveil Plans to Rein in Emissions.

Economist, November 18th, 2009
Not-so-wonderful Copenhagen.

Center for American Progress, October 6th, 2009
Meeting the Climate Challenge.

Center for American Progress, September 30th, 2009
It's Easy Being Green: Arts and Crafts with a Mission.

Center for American Progress, September 19th, 2009
It's Easy Being Green: Lessons from an Inspiring Film.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution in India in 2007

New in the SIM-air working paper series

No.27: Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution in India in 2007

The review is based on the monitoring data published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for 2007 and presented by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) of Government of India to the Lok Sabha Parliament in February 2009. Document is available @ Indian Environment Portal.

This paper presents a visual correlation between the pollution measured across India along with various indicators ranging from energy to emissions, and resources for relevant information - population, energy, power plants, and emissions.

The Day The Earth Stood Still (Throbgoblins International)

A funny side of climate change by cartoonist Marc Roberts @ Throbgoblins

"The day the earth stood still"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Air Pollution Alerts - November 22nd, 2009

News & Information; Every Sunday (Last on November 08, 2009)

Scientific American, November 22nd, 2009
Growing Skyscrapers: The Rise of Vertical Farms.

BD News, November 21st, 2009
Air pollution linked to 10% of unnatural deaths in Dhaka.

China Daily, November 21st, 2009
Sky's the limit as Beijing's smog lifts.

DNA India, November 20th, 2009
CSR Asia, November 18th, 2009
on Coal in China.

The Hindu, November 18th, 2009
New air quality norms set uniform standards for all areas.

The Gazette, November 18th, 2009
Coal’s ‘Assault on Human Health’.

CNN, November 18th, 2009
Women 'bearing brunt' of climate change.

Vietnam Net, November 18th, 2009
Air pollution reaches alarming level.

Washington Post, November 17th, 2009
Low-emission locomotives may boost public health.

DNA India, November 17th, 2009
Rickshaw strike leaves citizens stranded.

The News - Pakistan, November 17th, 2009
50 per cent of Hyderabad vehicles causing air pollution.

UB Post, November 17th, 2009
Mongolia Turns Eco-Friendly in 2012.

Huffington Post, November 17th, 2009
Time to Speak Out Against the Biggest Polluters.

NPR, November 16th, 2009
The Dirt On Dust.

Wheels Unplugged, November 16th, 2009
Delhi first Indian city to switch to ultra low sulphur diesel from April 2010.

Economic Times, November 15th, 2009
Way forward for India’s urban reforms.

Christian Science Monitor, November 15th, 2009
China confronts global warming dilemma.

China View, November 14th, 2009
Let the sky be blue again.

The Atlantic, November 14th, 2009

Here's why the China trip matters.

TIME, November 13th, 2009
Black Carbon: An Overlooked Climate Factor.

China Digital Times, November 12th, 2009
Daily Star, November 11th, 2009
Air pollution in Dhaka.

Jakarta Post, November 11th, 2009
Urban air pollution at alarming levels.

The Financial Express, November 11th, 2009
UM News, November 11th, 2009
Walking and clean air in Vancouver.

Times of India, November 10th, 2009
Times of India, November 9th, 2009
EU launches online pollution tracker.

Times of India, November 7th, 2009
Centre should notify new air quality standards: CSE.

Times of India, November 7th, 2009
Delhi smog normal winter phenomenon, not Jaipur fire fallout.

The Telegraph, November 7th, 2009
Xinhua Net, November 7th, 2009
Heavy fog shrouds Beijing and neighboring regions.

Climate-L, November 5th, 2009
WHO Points to Health-related Risks Associated with Climate Change.

Climate-L, November 5th, 2009
IDB to Limit GHG Emissions in Coal Fired Plants it Finances.

The Inhabitat, November 4th, 2009
NewYorker, November 3rd, 2009
Elizabeth Kolbert: Al Gore and “Our Choice”.

NY Times, November 2nd, 2009
Mt. Kilimanjaro Ice Cap Continues Rapid Retreat.

Times of India, November 1st, 2009
Delhi air may trouble athletes during Commonwealth Games.

Guardian, November 15th, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My 24 Frames from TEDIndia 2009

Everyone has a story to tell and some tell it better than the others.

I am not a story teller, but my grand father, Late Mr. Venkateswara Bhagavatar, a Hari Katha master, was a professional at that. The presentation by Mr. Devadutt Pattanaik reminded me the Indian mythological stories that I heard from him and which are engrained in my head. I cannot tell a story like he would and this is the post-it version of my experience at TED India 2009.

TED India 2009 brought together 800+ social entrepreneurs, architects, educationists, founders, artists, scientists, statisticians, and executives and more than that, 100 fellows from diverse backgrounds and exuberating stories to share. A simple story weaving through technology, entertainment, and design and portraying a stark reality created a new connection among otherwise distinct individuals.

A concept that started two decades ago in US arrived in India and unveiled at the coliseum of Infosys in Mysore. This provided the stage to tell and share some moving stories. Even before we entered the “golf ball”, we knew that we are in for a visual treat and the conference did not disappoint. The next four days was a roller coaster ride listening to some ground breaking technological advancements to some tear jerking tales for social change.

What characterized the conference was the innovation, use of the multiple mediums which seem quite commonplace today. When the “Sixth Sense” was presented by Mr. Pranav Mistry, the crowd erupted. And yet none of the technology used was ever really created with the intentions of doing something extraordinary, but to merely connect diverse social groups. He humbled the crowd by announcing that the software behind the tool will be made public next month.

Thinkers and politicians emphasized the need to focus on the bottom of the pyramid, especially by building the communications and spreading the message for a better social structure. So did the innovators. A simple push button in the “question box” could get you answers from across the world.

Cricket is a favorite form of game in India. For the common man, Mr. Harsha Bhogle, a commentator and well known figure in the cricket world, highlighted the fast track image of cricket and the intermingling of sports and entertainment industry. Though the game is re-designed to support commercialism, the flavor of the game is still at the public grounds and at common entertainment. At some point, I felt that his speech was turned into an 18 minute commercial for IPL design format and missed on the very story of how common and entertaining the game is.

Activists are always seen as bunch of wary folks (who tend to act outside the conventional rules) but the performance of Ms. Mallika Sarabai and the monologue by Eve Ensler presented the emotional creature in them. Following the touching presentation by Ms. Sunita Krishnan on the hardships of women and children rescued from trafficking, the spontaneous gesture by Ms. Rose Shuman to support Sunita Krishnan’s cause was moving and brought compassion among many TEDizens who opening pledged to support her.

Some noteworthy mentions are the “story of the middle finger” by Mr. Horst Rechelbacher, “the oneness” by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, “growth stick” by Mr. Hans Rosling, and the captivating voice of Ms. Usha Uthop, she rocked the stage and the roar of the first session of the TED main stage was never matched again.

The intermingling of music, starting with Ms. Usha Uthop, followed by great performances by Sivamani, Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan, and Sidi Goma, provided the timely entertainment between a heavily packed schedule of presentation and personal introductions.

The cleanliness on Infosys campus revealed what the communities and cities would have looked like a long time ago, before the cars, trains, and cell phones, something Mr. Shekar Kapoor alluded to in his speech, the old days of Delhi without pollution and open and starry skies. The presence of Kamal Hassan was missed, but made up for by Abhay Deol. While he was freely moving around the TED event, he had his share of fans to deal with outside the event halls. The stage even covered designs from neatly pressed impeccable suits to mostly slacks, to the glitterati of South Indian sarees.

I cannot end this without mentioning the TED Fellows. I am a fan of Quentin Tarantino and Alfred Hitchcock. I believe that it is perhaps the “don’t give a damn” attitude that makes them some of the greatest film makers of our times. This resonated among the Fellows who are pursing ventures “out of the box”, irrespective of their starry educational backgrounds. Looking back at all the presentations by the TED Fellows and on the main stage, one thread that linked the beckoning future is the need for humanity and compassion.

Meet the TED India 2009 Fellows.

Some inspiring presentations from the past TED conferences include

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions about Particulate Matter Pollution

In September "Eight" frequently asked questions on particulate pollution were posted. Here is a link to all.
  1. What is primary and secondary particulate pollution?
  2. What and why to monitor for particulate pollution? (Also see Pollution Mapping)
  3. What is particulate emissions inventory?
  4. What is particulate source apportionment?
  5. Is transport the main culprit of air pollution?
  6. Is PM the most harmful?
  7. What is particulate dispersion modeling?
  8. Local vs. Global pollution nexus
Visit the SIM-air working paper series for information on air pollution analysis methodologies and case studies.

Air Pollution Alerts - November 8th, 2009

News & Information; Every Sunday (Last on November 01, 2009)

Daily Star, November 8th, 2009
Traffic, air to get better if factories relocated in Dhaka.

Financial Express, November 8th, 2009
Heed reasonable advice on mass transit for Dhaka.

Daily Times, November 8th, 2009
Govt urged to review CNG stations’ closure in Pakistan.

Republica, November 7th, 2009
Streets of Kathmandu Managing vehicular traffic should be an immediate goal.

Science Daily, November 7th, 2009
Air Pollution Increases Infants' Risk Of Bronchiolitis.

AFP, November 7th, 2009
Nitrogen pollution worsens in Rockies lakes.

IPS, November 6th, 2009
ENVIRONMENT-SPAIN: Improving Garbage Management.

The Himalayan, November 6th, 2009
75 plans for urban transport reform go astray.

Environment News Service, November 6th, 2009
Six African Countries Funded to Ease Climate Adaptation.

Science Daily, November 6th, 2009
Lightning's 'NOx-ious' Impact On Pollution, Climate.

CNN, November 6th, 2009
New climate change treaty could be ready in 2010.

Economist, November 5th, 2009
Climate change - For peat's sake, stop.

Economist, November 5th, 2009
Religion and climate change - Sounding the trumpet.

Science Daily, November 5th, 2009
Common Plants Can Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants.

Science Daily, November 5th, 2009
Big Air Pollution Impacts On Local Communities: Traffic Corridors Major Contributors To Illness From Childhood Asthma.

AlterNet, November 5th, 2009
Why Natural Gas Is Not a Clean Energy Panacea.

Mother Nature Network, November 5th, 2009
China's different shade of green.

World Watch Institute, November 5th, 2009
Global Environmental Change: The Threat to Human Health.

Asia Times, November 4th, 2009
China electrifies urban transit.

World Watch Institute, November 4th, 2009
Rapid Environmental Change Threatens the Foundations of Human Health.

Times of India, November 4th, 2009
Traffic Trouble: Training for officials to come up with new ideas in Pune.

Business Standard, November 4th, 2009
Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland rush to increase bus supply.

Japan Times, November 4th, 2009
Pollution fears don't dent coal's popularity.

Articles Collection, November 4th, 2009
Environmental Problems in Africa.

Public Information Bureau, November 4th, 2009
Delhi Metro is the Proudest Achievement of Modern India.

Discovery News, November 4th, 2009

Pollution from Underground Coal Fires Tallied.

Science Daily, November 4th, 2009
Green Is Cool, But US Land Changes Generally Are Not.

CNet Asia, November 3rd, 2009
Evident eco-consciousness in China than in Malaysia.

NPR, November 3rd, 2009
Kilimanjaro Glaciers May Vanish In A Few Decades.

Times of India, November 3rd, 2009
Three years on, BRTS still to gain momentum.

The Nation, Thailand, November 3rd, 2009
Asian cities are growing but quality of life is plummeting.

Reuters, November 2nd, 2009
Shanghai drivers use cleaner fuel at old prices.

Daily Mirror, November 2nd, 2009
Part 3: The Solution: Low carbon economy (Sri Lanka).

American Surveyor, November 2nd, 2009
A Trip to China (Through the Eyes of an Engineer).

Times of India, November 1st, 2009
Delhi air may trouble athletes during Commonwealth Games.

Manila Bulletin, November 1st, 2009
Iloilo City to launch action plan vs air pollution.

India Today, November 1st, 2009
Jaipur may lose its 'pink' health.

Petroleum World, October 31st, 2009
Clean Energy Transition: Policy and Program Challenges.

China Dialogue, October 29th, 2009
Cutting the costs of clean energy.

CNN, October 27th, 2009
Democrats push green energy agenda.

Monday, November 02, 2009

India's Public Road Transport

This is from a post by Vikrant

"Imagine a city where the main arterial roads have lanes dedicated solely for buses, increased frequency of buses in almost all the routes, good and comfortable buses for the public to travel leisurely and last but the least cheap and affordable public transport. Now tell me who wouldn't want to travel by buses if the above said ideal conditions prevailed. Having dedicated bus lanes ( that means no cars and other vehicles in the bus lanes even when the lanes are empty) would mean that buses wouldn't get stuck in traffic jams, smooth flowing of buses to respective destinations and more importantly increased rider comfort. Only when the public feels comfortable and has an enjoyable experience while travelling in a public transport vehicle,would they continue using that service. In fact increased public transport comfort could lead to more ridership and in turn more revenues for the government."

Read more here.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bicycle Thief !!

It is sad to see the article in NY Times on October 30th, "French Ideal of Bicycle-Sharing Meets Reality", quoting that 80 percent of the original batch of Velib's are either stolen or vandalized.

"Daily use averages 50,000 to 150,000 trips, depending on the season, and the bicycles have proved to be a hit with tourists, who help power the economy." Even for a conservative estimate, if the average trip length is 5km, that's ~250,000 to ~750,000 vehicle kms off the road, what ever the mix of the vehicles may be and the resultant benefits in air quality and greenhouse gas emissions.

While the city is strengthening the cycles and promoting public awareness via ad campaign's, may be they could add numbers to and show what these benefits mean in terms of public health. On one side, it is easy to the environment will be green with more Non-motorized transport in the city, and on the other, if the story is told from health perspective, saying this emissions mean 10 premature deaths (or something along those), what will be the public reaction?

At the end, it is the Parisian's who suffer not the tourists !!

See AQI in Paris (click image). A very neat concept of using balloons for public awareness on daily air quality, for which transport sector is a key source of pollutants.

We were traveling Lyon in March and were very impressed by the cycle service. We did try to rent one, but failed because our credit card did not have a chip on it. Sadly, we walked and took the bus. Something for the tourists please :-)

Air Pollution Alerts - November 1st, 2009

News & Information; Every Sunday (Last on October 25, 2009)

Nature, November 1st, 2009
Aerosols make methane more potent.

Jakarta Globe, October 31st, 2009
Action Needed Now to Avoid ‘Catastrophe’ in Jakarta.

Science Magazine, October 30th, 2009
Clean Air for Megacities.

Reuters, October 30th, 2009
EU makes progress on climate funding deal.

Economic Times, October 29th, 2009
City growth: When big is not beautiful in India.

Environmental Health News, October 29th, 2009
Idling school buses spew black carbon, fine particles.

Science Daily, October 29th, 2009
Answering That Age-old Lament: Where Does All This Dust Come From?

Gotham Gazette, October 29th, 2009
Moving the City Along the Road to Sustainability.

The Guardian, October 29th, 2009
Nothing will happen at Copenhagen until the 11th-and-a-half hour.

The Guardian, October 28th, 2009
Why we need a world environment organisation.

Terra Daily, October 28th, 2009
China poisoning Pearl River Delta: Greenpeace report.

Discovery News, October 28th, 2009
Volcanic Air Pollution Chokes Locals.

Scientific American, October 28th, 2009
Can the World's Most Polluted Places Ever Be Cleaned?

NPR, October 28th, 2009
U.S. Envoy: No Bilateral Climate Deal With China.

Sustainable Business, October 28th, 2009
China Progressing on Controlling Emissions.

Badger Herald, October 28th, 2009
Middle Eastern air quality researched.

Idaho Mountain Express, October 28th, 2009
There’s no such thing as clean coal.

Times of India, October 28th, 2009
Gandhi did not have answer to environment problem - Amartya Sen.

Earth Times, October 27th, 2009
Climate Change Concerns Drive the Air Pollution Control Market in South Africa, States Frost & Sullivan.

VOA News, October 27th, 2009
WHO: Millions of Premature Deaths Can Be Prevented.

Las Vegas Sun, October 27th, 2009
Dust clouds bring unhealthy air to sensitive groups.

New Vision, Uganda, October 27th, 2009
Government to improve transport in Kampala.

IEA, October 27th, 2009

WRI, October 27th, 2009
China on Track to Meet Climate Goals.

Washington Post, October 27th, 2009
Ailing planet seen as bad for human health.

Science Daily, October 27th, 2009
Simple Measures Can Yield Big Greenhouse Gas Cuts.

Science Daily, October 27th, 2009
Hidden Costs Of Energy Production And Use.

Science Daily, October 27th, 2009
Simple Measures Can Yield Big Greenhouse Gas Cuts.

Science Daily, October 27th, 2009
Hidden Costs Of Energy Production And Use.

World Watch Institute, October 26th, 2009
U.S. Public Still Unconvinced on Climate Change.

World Watch Institute, October 26th, 2009
U.S. Public Still Unconvinced on Climate Change.

Grist, October 26th, 2009
Clean energy is an easy choice.

US EPA, October 26th, 2009
U.S. – Mexico celebrate joint Baja California air quality studies.

The Telegraph, October 25th, 2009
Hotspot horror for Howrah.

Houston Chronicle, October 25th, 2009
The haze that kills.

Reuters, October 25th, 2009
Japan pledges $400 million climate change loan to Indonesia.

Examiner, October 24th, 2009
Surviving urban China: an expat's story.

NPR, October 24th, 2009
Demonstrating What 350 Means To Climate Change.

AFP, October 24th, 2009
Biofuels could increase greenhouse gases: US studies.

BBC, October 22nd, 2009
Scooting Green in China.

Economist, October 22nd, 2009
A special report on China and America - The price of cleanliness.

World Watch Institute, October 21st, 2009
Cheap Energy Comes at High “Hidden” Cost.

New York Times, October 20th, 2009
Fill It Up With Electricity, Please.

Jerusalem Post, October 12th, 2009
Coalition for Public Health demands more gov't efforts to curb air pollution.