Questions... Questions....

If Tesco and Wal-Mart are friends of the earth, are there any enemies left?

of the various topics that are close to my heart, one is global warming.. and of late one is hearing an increased chatter regarding it & its consequences.. i sincerely believe that global warming is for real.. and the more inaction we show over it.. the closer we are at the point of no return.. for time may come when the global warming engine could sustain itself with even zero emission.. some say we have already crossed the Rubicon.. i 'm not going into the virtues of it.. but there are some serious questions that needs to be addressed and some of these concern include the way developing countries (including india & china..) are evolving..

Question#1: Bush in his SOU speech talked of renewable fuels that would be mixed with conventional fossil fuels.. these other fuel sources are primarily corn based like ethanol.. but there is a limit to how much corn can be grown as land is limited.. and it makes sense to mix ethanol when crude is $70.. if it drops to $40.. would corn or other fuels still make sense.. ?

Question#2: Why is Bush not taxing gasoline as prices at pumps have fallen to $2 levels.. we have seen that higher prices inflates the sale of hybrid cars and depresses gas guzzlers..

Question#3: Why are developed countries not doing enough research on alternative energy sources, looking at the seriousness of the situation.. tax gasoline to generate funds, if funds is an issue.. how can you expect developing nations to do expensive research on these, where even malnutrition or malaria are unresolved legacies of the past.. to be frank they don't have the pockets for research..

Question#4: Why are developed countries not cutting emissions more sharply before asking the developing countries to do the needful.. cut your emissions first.. set an example for others to emulate.. all they do is a piecemeal approach...

Question#5: 'What about consuming less ?'.. why doesn't developed countries tells their citizens that their consumptions levels are unsustainable.. why not tell them about conservation.. especially here in america.. 'conservation' seems to be a pariah.. some kind of mental sickness.. what happens if india & china attain the same lifestyles of an average american.. what happens then.. & this has to happen someday..

Question#6: We know US is the biggest emitter.. but of late, we are hearing a chorus of voices as to how india & china will be becoming bigger emitters then america... hmmmm... so is india & china the problem now.. seems by hearing the voices that are emanating... why are we being taken to the table.. as if india/china single handedly uncorked the global warming genie.. what happened to the unbridled emissions by america & others for last 200 years from industrial revolutions... todays warming is due to these emissions & not due to any projected release by india & china... it is US that matters most on global warming policy for it created this monster.. directing the blame to india & china won't help.. why should we sacrifice over growth and our future good (mind you, not luxurious..) lifestyle at the altar of some climate change.. don't we have the right for good living or is it the sole prerogative of developed economies... some say that you can't ignore the fact that we are contributing significantly to the greenhouse gases.. nobody is denying it.. but, to give you a perspective if a average US citizen is emits 200 pounds of carbon(including breathing,transportation,fuels and all other chores that involve carbon..) and an indian emits 10 pounds (all inclusive..) where do you see the major chances that a cut is possible... its all crystal clear.. and these figures( between US & india... ) are comparable.. we are on the list (of top emitters) because we have numbers on our side.. not because some goddamn people who love to drive gas guzzlers or waste like anything... there can be no per-nation limits on emissions, if it has to be it has to per-capita limits... do americans have some innate rights for endless carbon emissions, while preaching developing countries to curb there living standards...

Question#7: What are india & china doing to curb there emissions, because they are part of the problem now.. we have to face it, if not today.. because i think india & china will be facing the brunt of any future climate change.. we have to act & act fast.. and show it to US, and shame them into acting...

The best possible way forward is to have some kind of emission cut targets for developed countries only... for now.. spend heavily on new research of alternative energy sources.. sell the technology to developing countries.. and maybe in the next rounds of emission cuts, expect developing world to be among the countries cutting emissions.. use the wealth of developed countries to generate & use energy efficiently, so that citizens of nations with living standards that are 10% of americas can continue to improve their own living standards.

But, Is that so simple... ?

~Castles Made of Sand~

Are We There Yet ?

There has been perceptible hoopla over the report by investment bank Goldman Sachs.. which states that india's economy may surpass the US and be second only to china's by 2050.. its not something we didn't knew... everybody knows it all along.. given the growth rate differential (between india and developed economies..) and population we have, india will overtake western economies one day or another... it's all the question of 'when' and not 'how'.. the report says that this target maybe achieved much earlier than was previously predicted.. it quotes

India's growth acceleration since 2003 represented a structural increase rather than simply a cyclical upturn. It said productivity growth drove nearly half of overall growth and expected it to continue for some years.

you know, one needs to view these figures cautiously and not get carried away.. i feel that the increased growth rates ( 8 % instead of 6% before.. ) is more of a result of cyclical upturn (in commodities as well as world trade..) rather than any fundamental or structural reforms in india... i couldn't recall any great reforms undertaken by the UPA government... though productivity can be a factor, but i doubt if it can drive full 2% growth.. agreed that growth in US in nineties was driven by productivity gains... but we are long way off from that stage... and growth came when manufacturing had been hit hard by oil at $60+ a barrel... there has been hardly any sectoral reforms (except telecoms,airlines,insurance and possibly retail) and the entire growth engine (infrastructure.. power, shipping,public utilities,pension/financial ) hasn't seen much of improvement... neither do structural reforms (size of government continues to be bloated.. nor have we become reform friendly.. the agrarian crisis continues to affect rural india.. the bureaucratic red tape still persists..) the 2% extra growth is being generated by exports.. by IT/ITeS/Service & its side-effects (positive though...) on the other sectors (by means of increased consumption through added disposable incomes..) and the banks giving loans easily... its more of a credit driven growth rather than any fundamental difference in how economy is being run.. add to it the real state bubble that driving prices in class-A/B cities... the problem with this is that such run-away growth is that growth sometimes has its own momentum that just carries it even higher...sometimes leading to overheating.. or inflation... the important question is can we sustain these levels if we hit a downturn in world economy... (world trade & IT spending...) or if interest rate spikes... then can efficency and our economy alone generate an 8-9% growth Y-o-Y for say 5-10 year period... i doubt.. i may be skeptic... i may be wrong.... i would love to be wrong.. but then, 3 years of higher growth changes the perception... but perception is the not real thing... actions are...

~Hells Bells~

What Is He Thinking !

so bush has walked the talk.. he managed to get more boots on the ground in iraq... i guess that was the easier part.. in spite of the non-binding resolution that being debated in washington here... but selling it to the people would be nearly impossible... four years of stalemate.. with no signs of any possible 'victory'... in any possible literal sense... but can he do something else besides what he has done... obviously he has the intel, but does intelligence pointed out that after steamrolling into iraq, they will be stuck up in the quagmire of insurgency that is technically a civil war.. so how can that intelligence be believed that 22000 more troops will turn the tide this time around... thats a mere fallacy.. i think its more of buying time tactics.. hoping that things just falls in place... wouldn't sending those men to afghanistan had been a better idea where NATO troops had been having a harrowing time against taliban.. and with the summers coming things are bound to get hotter again... doesn't it make better sense to at least salvage one theater instead of stuck up in both and ultimately losing both... and as if this was not enough he is sending another aircraft carrier to persian gulf as a show of strength to iran.. duh !! all the might of american military hasn't been able to bring peace to a single baghdad neighborhood, how can they claim to keep a leash on iran...

~Back Where You Belong~

Frozen Thoughts

well.. this has to be one of the biggest breaks from the blogsphere.. ten days and no post.. not that i was busy, or maybe pondering.. i have gone over it... it was just that it didn't felt like writing... there were not much good things, bad things going around... writable things... after all blogging is just the manifestations of your daily experiences and feelings, and these feeling just make up words in your mind, and you need to pen them down to make room for the new ones.. its a constant process, i love being opinionated...for i hate being dumb... i can be numb, but not dumb.. and my feeling have been frozen by the dreaded winter chill of new england, but winter has its own charm.. you love the naked trees.. the frozen river thats flowing underneath... the group of ducks swimming in a small patch of water surrounded by all enclosing ice... you love the cold and stark boston skyline... it looks like a giant dystopian government machine on a clouded frigid day.. you love the sight of people all dressed in black with every type of cap conceivable... the light snow just takes you to those days when the snow would have mattered more than school homework... but i guess its not one of those days...

~Peaceful Easy Feeling~

Three Years & Still Dreaming

today Jan 5.. I joined this organization three long years back exactly on this day.. and when i look back, it hasn't been that long.. time just went by.. maybe it just flew.. three years in one company.. Bingo ! maybe its time to think & re-think and still some more think...

~Summer Breeze~

Great Things India - 2006

enough has been said about 2006 being as one of the watershed years for india.. maybe it was.. but yes there are positive feelings about the year gone by.. maybe history books will be kind on 2006, not for we have achieved something magnificent, but because we did gain some stature, some confidence , some strength & some self-esteem and didn't lose much steam elsewhere.. it will not be the years that will leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.. but will be year that will be in footnotes for lot of reasons... nuclear deal.. continued strength of IT & ITeS.. red hot economy.. great year for investors(be it gold,realty or stocks).. rise of indian trans-nations.. record outbound & inbound inflows... relative political stability.. judicial & media activism.. good job market.. relative lull in terrorism.. no big sectarian or caste riots.. good trade figures.. rise of indian middle class... growth of quality spaces.. the urge to splurge.. vocal indian diaspora.. rising ambitions of young indians..

among the major negatives, the continuing farmers suicides.. the agrarian crisis engulfing rural india.. the alarming gap between rural & urban india.. dismal state of urban poor.. growing criminalization of society.. not much progress on indian science.. still lethargic pace of judicial & police reforms.. the growing chorus of quota-isation of india..

notwithstanding there is hope that this country has a destiny to be among the richest & righteous nations on the face of earth.. and its all that matters...

~The Crystal Ship~

Whats With New Year Resolutions ?

NYT had an article on our continuing romance with new year resolutions, which each year are made with all the vigor only to be forgotten in the hustle bustle of daily life.. i agree that even the idea of acknowledging that things can be & should be improved is sacred... that's the thing with optimist & it's basic to the idea of progress & pursuing happiness.. undertaking initiatives to ameliorate unhappiness, though they may or may not succeed..


If the end of the year brings a flood of resolutions to change, it is because we are faced with an existence that is invaded by the routine, by the rush of demands. We can’t bear it. We know that another life exists, more beautiful, more passionate, one that laziness and apathy keeps us from attaining.

I have to break with time to overcome my obstacles, to rediscover myself, to be myself in all innocence. I can change my life, at least in some small way. Making resolutions demonstrates optimism, the desire to make oneself better, a faith, naïve and beautiful at once, that declarations can spontaneously become actions, that saying means doing.

Oh, the glorious day of making a resolution, the belief that starting tomorrow I will be the pilot of my existence, that I will stop being the plaything of external circumstances, that I will govern myself. I’m better than I seem to be — a person obsessed by little irritants, addicted to talking nonsense — and I’m going to prove it to the world. The certainty that soon, thanks to my willpower, I will no longer be someone who is habitually late, a slave to my cellphone, a glutton, a distracted driver... that can galvanize me, prompt me to change, tear away my imperfect personality. Real life starts now; I can immediately free myself of my neuroses, correct myself. I can rid myself of the fear of failure and of the specter of the failures of the past.

Knowing that you can change your behavior, even by an iota, is essential for holding yourself in esteem. We’re often cynical about how resolutions are never kept, but we shouldn’t be. Resolutions are perhaps lies, but they’re lies of good faith, necessary illusions. As long as we can make them, we are saved, we can control the chaos of destiny; it doesn’t matter that we break them and that others view us with skepticism. Every resolution is good simply because it is declared. It is a comedy, perhaps, but it keeps us sane.