The blogs of InTheFray Magazine.
Tag >> bhumika ghimire
Monday, December 13, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed participating in Think About It Climate Change blogging competition. It was great learning experience, got to learn so much more about our world, environment and also about myself.
Let me be a pompous a## and start by explaining how glorious I feel now that I have successfully participated in this month long competition. It feels great to have contributed to the debate on climate change and Nepal, although towards the end I got a little wiser and wrote about US issues too.
It was not all about me, I learned about our world too. There is still hope and there are committed people working hard to make a difference. That was a reality check for a chronic cynic like me.
So, all of you who love this world and our environment, please keep the fire burning. We have keep climate change discussion relevant and push fore more action to deal with issue.
Monday, December 06, 2010
At this blogging platform I have been focused on highlighting climate change and broader environmental issues facing my homeland Nepal. But the United States is my adopted land never far from my thoughts. I am a Jersey girl now and what the state's governor remarked about climate change has really saddened me. I believe his comments has brought shame to the state too.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie denies climate change. Here is what Gawker reports,
"Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I'll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I'm skeptical - I'm skeptical. And you know, I think at the at the end of this, I think we're going to need more science to prove something one way or the other. But you know - cause I've seen arguments on both sides of it that at times - like I'll watch something about man-made global warming, and I go wow, that's fairly convincing. And then I'll go out and watch the other side of the argument, and I go huh, that's fairly convincing too. So, I go to be honest with you, I don't know. And that's probably one of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can't figure this stuff out."
Seriously Mr. Governor?? You cannot see any evidence of climate change around you? Let me break a news to you, please consider:
Chris Christie's ignorant dismissal of climate change, I believe, comes at a point when the in the United States it is a cool thing to be this rusty, earthy commoner who rejects all things "science". Christie has Sarah Palin and the Tea Party gang for back-up. And while America elects these dim-witted Republicans, the world is fed up and now more than ever is looking for elsewhere for climate change leadership. Europe looks like a much better climate change leader that the United States. Sad turn of fate after historic elections of 2008!
Monday, November 29, 2010
According to NepalNews.com,
"While, other South Asian nations will also be affected by sea-level rise, Nepal will be largely affected by the melting of snow in the Himalayas and the changes in climatic pattern.
The vulnerability index also takes into account the region's poverty level, preparedness to combat impacts of climate change, and high dependency on natural factors for food."
Rapid deforestation, dependence on forests for majority of domestic energy need and food supply directly dependent on rain and climate pattern has Nepal on the front-line of climate change. Unfortunately, because of unstable political and social environment, climate change and related issues are being pushed to the sidelines.
In an interview with this blogger, Ganesh Shah-former Minister for Science and Technology for the Nepali government which was pushed out in 2009 following a row with the military; expressed his frustration over what Nepal is not doing with regards to preparing for climate change. He blamed the instability, saying that a country which doesn't even have a basic things straightened out cannot be expected to tackle complex issues like climate change.
Mr. Shah, though, sounded optimistic about the role of the youth and private groups in dealing with climate change and environmental issues.
It would be premature to completely write off any and all climate change efforts made by Nepal; but compared to the severity of the matter-almost nothing is being done.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
But because of various issues-mainly technical difficulties and lack of stable government; Nepal;s hydro-power potential remains under utilized.
For last couple of years, Nepal has been facing acute energy shortage, forcing the state run Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to resort to frequent power cuts to stretch out the limited supply. The country imports all its oil and natural gas through neighboring India. State run Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) is the agency responsible for handling the imports and distributing oil through local dealers. NOC is chronically corrupt and mismanaged institution operating under huge losses-even if it has no competition when it comes to importing oil and natural gas into Nepal.
Developing local energy sources and investing alternative energy is the only way for Nepal to be energy independent and fill the energy deficit.
Bio gas projects and wind turbines have produced some success in villages in various parts of the country. But solar remains by far the most promising one.
Southern Nepal could be the place for solar power harnessing projects in Nepal; as the region gets plenty of sunlight and is mostly flat terrain-making it easier to install energy distribution infrastructure. As Southern Nepal is developed as solar energy focal point, there is also a possibility to push for energy independence at the local level. Installing solar panels on roof tops, encouraging green building designs and also providing deep discounts on solar panels could bring more people to join in
Nepal's private sector and also the government has made encouraging strides on developing alternative energy sources in the country.
Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) is a "Government institution established on November 3, 1996 under the then Ministry of Science and Technology with the objective of developing and promoting renewable/alternative energytechnologies in Nepal. Currently, it is under Ministry of Environment. It functions independently, and has a nine member board with representatives from government sector, industry sector and non-governmental organizations." AEPC's projects include-developing small scale hydro-power plants, solar,wind and biomass energy, geothermal energy and also improved water mills.
Number of international donor agencies support AEPC's efforts ,including the USAID and the Asian Development Bank(ADB).
In the private sector, there are numerous projects focused on developing alternative energy sources in Nepal. Here is a short list, which by no means is complete:
Renewable Nepal and Alternative Energy Pvt.Ltd.
The Renewable Energy Project (REP) (joint effort of the European Union and the Government of Nepal)
Embassy of Denmark in Nepal also has alternative energy development project, along with UNDP and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
Energy deficient developing nations can provide a huge boost to their economy and also improve standard of living by investing in alternative and renewable energy sources. Nepal has made some progress in being energy independent, but here is still a long way ahead.
I am not saying that Lord Shiva's devotees are irrational, but there are plenty who use and abuse God and religion. For example, during the month of Shrawan, large numbers of married Nepali women and young girls fast every Monday. Their desire? The married ones pray for their husbands' long life and the single ones ask the lord for a good husband.
What on Earth? Is God a businessman or an egomaniac who is pleased by you not eating on a certain day and will grant your wishes? And, also, what is it about Hindu women fasting and praying for their husbands' long life? In no other religion women are forced to beg for their partners' long life, and yes, the husbands are completely absolved of this duty. It is the female who begs, not the man.
This is religion- and culture-sanctioned discrimination. Very much accepted and prevalent in Nepal and also in India. Drives me nuts.
Some will attack my observation because I am an atheist and supposedly bound to attack anything remotely connected to God or religion. Bonkers! I am criticizing this practice because this is just so ridiculous and stupid. In the 21st century, women are intellectually infantilized and reduced to begging in front of God.
When are we, Nepali women, going to grow up?
At Change.org, there is an honest look into "The Myth of Public Education" by Megan Greenwell:
"But that notion of public universities increasingly belies a less-attractive truth: many public colleges are too expensive for even middle-class students, and they're not providing enough financial aid. A study out this month from advocacy group The Education Trust underscores the growing problem: rising tuition and changing priorities for financial aid have priced many poor students out of their states' flagship public universities. As Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust, wrote in the report, 'No longer widely accessible, their treasure is bestowed disproportionately on the children of America's economic and political elites.'"
At the same site, there is also an article about America's drop-out epidemic. Marian Wright Edelman says:
"One-size-fits-all school zero tolerance disciplinary policies are responsible for the growth in the number of school-based arrests of poor and minority children, funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice systems at younger and younger ages. So many are suspended, expelled, even arrested, for nonviolent infractions such as being 'disruptive' or 'disrespectful.' In the past, many of these problems would have been resolved in the principal's office or referred to a pastor or social worker or by calling the parent (who may no longer be in the house). Too many children today end up with an arrest record and are labeled a troublemaker, increasing the likelihood of dropping out of school."
No surprise that some professors and scientists routinely say that kids in India and China will take over America in the next decade. Next week we will look into Indian and Chinese education systems and why so many foreign students want to attend U.S. universities.