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Food habits, climate change: Indian politicians don't even refer to 'existential' threats

By Shankar Sharma* 

Average westerner's eating habits lead to loss of four trees every year, and renewables plus batteries offer Australia the same energy security as coal, according to a recent research, which adds, our food habits thus are a major cause of climate change.
Looking at our own food habits in India in the last few decades, especially of today's younger generation (as exemplified by the growing number of fast food suppliers, especially 'the home delivery' business), it may appear that India and most of the countries from other regions are not far behind westerners being the major cause for the loss of trees.
Whereas, there have been a lot of noises about carbon emissions, loss of bio-diversity, fossil fuel burning etc., not much is being heard about our food and travel habits.
The opposing Labour Party leaders in the United Kingdom seem to be talking about much more focused actions on climate change, while it is not known whether they had similar concerns while they were in power. At least they are making a noise about climate change, as a political party.
But what about our own politicians in India? I do not remember when I read last about any of the opposing party leaders even referring to such existential threats; they all seem to be content in blaming the ruling party for every problem, and on trivial political issues of not much/any relevance to the larger society.
Even those leaders who were once upon a time environment ministers or energy ministers are never seen referring to such issues, even when a lot of related issues/materials are brought to their notice. So much for the dirty politics.
Indeed, the last thing we need is a 'cosy consensus' on climate crisis.
Our authorities in the energy sector seem to be oblivious to very many reports from around the world that renewables plus batteries (or energy storage systems) offer not only Australia, but most other countries the same level of energy security as coal and other conventional technology power sources; that too at much less overall societal costs in most scenarios.
I will be surprised if our authorities have ever considered conducting such studies for the Indian scenario. There are already reports that many of the tenders received recently for solar power plus battery systems in the international bidding processes in India are below the cost for new coal power plants. There can be no doubt that this scenario will be true even for nuclear and large hydel power plants also.
So why there is continued indifference on part of the Union government to commit for only renewables plus batteries (or energy storage systems) in future; at least few years, say 3-4 years, later? Is such a commitment also not needed at the global level?
---
*Power and climate policy analyst based in Sagara, Karnataka

Comments

Does-not-matter said…
Eating meat, especially beef, causes immense harm to environment. We should reduce the consumption of meat.
Anonymous said…
Yes, correct....Eating meat, especially beef, causes immense harm to environment. We should reduce the consumption of meat.

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