Thursday, July 31, 2008
“We see India as a unique case,” says one Western member
Not enough time to study Indian draft, feel some members
Vienna: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) secretariat may have deflected Pakistan’s criticisms of the Indian safeguards agreement last week by suggesting Islamabad could follow a similar approach but most members of the IAEA Board say their biggest worry in approving India’s draft would be the danger of setting a precedent for its neighbour.
These fears have been amplified by the recent remarks made by Pakistan Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, when he said “there should be no discrimination” and that “if [the IAEA wants] to give such nuclear status to India, we expect the same for Pakistan.” More >>>
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Gazprom, Russia's energy leviathan, signed two major agreements in Ashgabat on Friday outlining a new scheme for purchase of Turkmen gas. The first one elaborates the price formation principles that will be guiding the Russian gas purchase from Turkmenistan during the next 20-year period.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
“US-Pakistan relationship is an important bilateral relationship, it is important for Pakistan , it is important for the United States. It is also important for the peace and security of the region,” the spokesman, Mohammad Sadiq, told a weekly media briefing.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been under US pressure to endorse a controversial nuclear power deal
US President George W Bush has urged India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to push ahead with a controversial deal on nuclear power between the two countries in the wake of a key confidence vote in New Delhi.
The issue has divided opinion as supporters argue it is the only way to keep pace with the energy demands of India's fast-growing economy. But many remain deeply suspicious of a deal they fear will cede too much influence to America. More >>>
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Speaking on ‘Climate Change: Will India’s Growth Story Confront a New Constraint?’, Saran made a strong case for pushing solar and nuclear energy as the best way to reduce India’s dependence on imported oil, gas and coal as well as for reducing its GHG emissions that lead to global warming. Saran described at length how industrialised countries were responsible for almost all the carbon dioxide added to the Earth’s atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Age and how they were continuing to do so despite signing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Carbon dioxide is the main GHG. More >>>
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The warning was made in a letter addressed to more than 60 nations as the Indian government, having survived a no confidence vote on Tuesday, dispatched diplomats to clear the deal with international regulators.
Monday, July 21, 2008
LONDON (Reuters) Mon Jul 14 - It is time to consider new ways of encouraging countries such as Iran not to develop nuclear weapons, the head of one of the world's leading public policy think tanks said on Monday.
James Thomson, president and chief executive officer of RAND Corporation, told Reuters in an interview that the world was entering a new nuclear age that required fresh and more effective ways of dealing with the spread of weapons.
He said there was a "good chance" of Iran developing a nuclear weapon in the next five years.
It was important to understand why countries sought nuclear weapons and mitigating the need, he said.
Friday, July 18, 2008
The government says the deal, signed in 2005, will give India access to nuclear technology it needs to help meet its rapidly rising demand for energy.
But a joint statement issued by three scientists who have worked on India's nuclear programme warned the deal was loaded with stipulations that could destroy the country's commercial and military interests.
The scientists -- former Atomic Energy Commission chairman P.K. Iyengar, the ex-chief of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board A. Gopalakrishnan and A.N. Prasad, former head of Bhabha Atomic Research Board -- sent their message by fax to all lawmakers. More>>>
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
As a consequence, prices for many staple foods have risen by up to 100%. When we examine the causes of the food crisis, a growing population, changes in trade patterns, urbanization, dietary changes, biofuel production, and climate change and regional droughts are all responsible. Thus we have a classic increase in prices due to high demand and low supply.
However, few commentators specifically mention the declining availability of water that is needed to grow irrigated and rainfed crops. According to some, the often mooted solution to the food crisis lies in plant breeding that produces the ultimate high yielding, low water- consuming crops. While this solution is important, it will fail unless attention is paid to where the water for all food, fibre and energy crops is going to come from.
A few years ago, IWMI (the International Water Management Institute) demonstrated that many countries are facing severe water scarcity, either as a result of a lack of available fresh water, or due to a lack of investment in water infrastructure such as dams and reservoirs. What makes matters worse is that this scarcity predominantly affects developing countries where the majority of the world's under-nourished people-- approximately 840 million -- live. More >>>
Monday, July 14, 2008
The declassified Agreement with the Government of India for the Application of Safeguards to
Civilian Nuclear Facilities was sent to the IAEA on Wednesday; a day later the Indian Foreign Ministry made it public. The document is likely to be signed soon.
This agreement is envisioned by another document - a nuclear cooperation pact between New Delhi and Washington - and is a step on the path to allowing India to buy nuclear fuel, which is now banned by international regulations because India has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). More >>>
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Will this latest news make us think twice about jumping into our SUV's to go get a coffee from the Starbucks three blocks away? I doubt it, the Wilkins Ice Shelf is hard to connect to on a personal level for most. But for those us who frequent the extreme fringes of the earth, the Wilkins ice shelf and global warming are a reality that hits very close to home. More >>>
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Washington, which says Iran seeks atomic bombs, told Tehran to halt further tests. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, says its nuclear programme is only for electricity.
Iran's missile tests rattled oil markets, helping crude prices to rebound about $2 a barrel after recent falls.
Speculation that Israel could bomb Iran has mounted since a big Israeli air drill [exercise] last month. U.S. leaders have not ruled out military options if diplomacy fails to end the nuclear row. More >>>
Monday, July 7, 2008
"In the 21st century, we must be able to feed the planet," Sarkozy said in an interview published in Japan's Yomiuri newspaper Monday, as the Group of Eight summit of major economic powers was opening on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. More >>>
Sunday, July 6, 2008
It would not even benefit Israel, which is adequately protected by its own nuclear deterrent. On the contrary, by creating new links between Sunni and Shia extremism, it would worsen Israel’s long-term chances of survival. Finally, as last week’s remarks by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, indicated, an attack is strongly opposed by the US military. They would bear the first brunt of Iranian reprisals, since the US would rightly be held jointly responsible by Iran, and US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are far more open to Iranian-sponsored attack than is Israel itself. More >>>
Saturday, July 5, 2008
This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, when nuclear powers agreed to eventually eliminate their nuclear weapons, and non-nuclear states agreed not to seek to develop nuclear weapons capabilities.
Forty years later, there are 189 signatories to the treaty and nine nuclear armed states in the world. The United States and Russia still have the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. We speak with Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons. More >>>
Friday, July 4, 2008
Published on Friday, July 4, 2008 by The Guardian/UK
LONDON - Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.
The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.
The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil. More >>>
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Greenpeace estimates climate change could displace at least 125 million in India and Bangladesh alone.
“Blue Alert – Climate Migrants in South Asia: Estimates and Solutions, a paper authored by Dr Sudhir Chella Rajan , professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras, and a climate expert, estimates the number of people who could be displaced from their homes at 125 million in India and Bangladesh alone. More >>>
Download Report (Note Large File 17.9 MB)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Friday, 27 June 2008: It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer. More >>>
The question for South Asia is what effect will the warming of the Arctic have on Monsoon patterns? One can also question what this will do to temperatures in the Himalaya and Karakoram mountain ranges and hence the retention of snow mass? Editor.