Is population control overrated?

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In my very first blog post, ‘Major Challenges to Sustainability‘, puts the population on the top of the list. In such a case, if all of us stopped consuming like we do, will we still run out of resources? Will we have alleviated poverty and famine? Will we have eliminated all other issues just by tackling this one? Is population, the most significant challenge in the world?

I’m pinning two works of thoughts that go against the grain to try to answer these questions. First is from a review of a book called Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation by Amartya Sen and second is from a book It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook.

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Visit your nearest library to read thought-provoking books.

Are we running out of resources? We have a lot of resources, but we are not managing them well. Are we running out of time? When it comes to climate change, yes we are. Climate change could cause a lack of access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Above all, is population control the panacea? I don’t think so. If we could only manage our time and resources well, we could do a lot better. Just think about how much time and resources we waste and how much we could save by working together – through efficient management and knowledge transfer.

What are your thoughts?

Here’s your freebie! – Environment & Sustainability Web Resources

Looking for free web resources on environment and sustainability? Click here to access it! 

It’s first of the many freebies I’m going to create for you. All of which can be accessed from here, anytime you want.

This first freebie is a list of web resources covering environment and sustainability in general. I’ve taken all my years of web search and came up with this list of web resources – websites, newspapers, educational, etc.

Why free? Because everyone needs to start somewhere and it saves your time.

Happy reading!

Anuja

Water mining in India and its consequences

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Water mining causes not just the depletion of water, a non-renewable source, but it is ironically raising sea-levels. Little drops of water are making a mighty ocean in that sense. Here’s trying to understand what water mining really is, its situation in India, and technological solutions available to protect this precious resource.

Definitions:

  • Fossil water or paleowater is groundwater that has remained sealed in an aquifer for a long period of time. Water can rest underground in “fossil aquifers” for thousands or even millions of years. When changes in the surrounding geology seal the aquifer off from further replenishing from precipitation, the water becomes trapped within, and is known as fossil water. Fossil water is, by definition, a non-renewable resource. Whereas most aquifers are naturally replenished by infiltration of water from precipitation, fossil aquifers are those that get little or no recharge. – Wikipedia
  • The extraction of water from such non-replenishing groundwater reserves (known as low safe-yield reserves) is known in hydrology as water mining. If water is pumped from a well at a withdrawal rate that exceeds the natural recharge rate (which is very low or zero for a fossil aquifer), the water table drops, forming a depression in the water levels around the well. – Wikipedia

Situation:

“The Story of Water in India” outlines the food/water/energy crisis in India, and presents different solutions the Columbia Water Center is pursuing in the country.

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  • “Nearly a third of India is suffering from chronic water shortages, and making up for it with “the world’s largest groundwater mining operation,” according to experts…… For about half of the country, their analysis suggests, if people used small-scale “rainwater harvesting”—capturing rain and storing it in tanks and ponds—they would have much of the water they needed, assuming they continued to grow the same types of crops….. In other parts of India, though, rainwater harvesting alone won’t be enough to avoid depleting groundwater further, the study suggests.So the team is studying how farmers could shift the crops they grow to ones that require less water.” – National Geographic
  • “But a new study shows that global warming is not the only cause of swelling seas. Much comes from “water mining” – the pumping of vast amounts of groundwater from beneath the earth, mainly to irrigate crops. This inevitably ends up in the oceans after it evaporates from farmland and comes down as rain.”The Telegraph
Technological solutions:
  • Production of drinking water from extracting moisture from atmosphere. These devices are called Atmospheric water generators.
  • Netafim has found a solution to cater to the drip-irrigation problems of India’s fragmented farms. – Forbes India Read more: Drip Irrigation Technology to save Water and Enhance Crop Yields
  • In some states rainwater harvesting has been made compulsory for every building, ancient water harvesting systems in Rajasthan have now been revived. An attempt has been made at Dept. of Chemical Engineering, IISc, Bangalore to harvest rainwater using upper surface of a solar still, which was used for water distillation.

Read more:

Last Edited: January 12 2018

Optimistically green China

“Its current five-year plan calls for a rise in the proportion of power generated from non-fossil fuels of 3.4% to 11.4% of total energy use by 2015, to be accompanied by a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 17% compared with 2010.” – John Pearson at che.com

Read more about how China is going green in this article: The greening of China