Monday, November 28, 2005

independent (uk): already past the tipping point on climate change?

nov 28

scary thought. but it's hard to get people to listen to 'green' stuff unless they are already well-off.

have we already made the planet uninhabitable? a lot of this is from the automobile, which must surely qualify for the epithet 'satanic', like the old mill towns of the northeast us used to be called.

i haven't been on the delhi metro, but i am told it's awesome. if there are good mechanisms like that for public transport, we will -- i believe -- have people using them. although it's true that people find cars to be status symbols. when i was growing up, in the colony where my parents live, there was only one car and one scooter. and i'm not *that* old. now many houses have 2 cars and a couple of two-wheelers.

i think everybody having a cellphone is goodness on average. but everyone having a car is not good. i miss the old bullock carts that used to vend their way all night with a dozing driver, and the phlegmatic bullocks used to know the way well enough that they navigated themselves. today there are no hand-carts or bullock-carts in most parts of kerala. everything has been mechanized. which means more and more demand for oil.

also one of the major downsides of globalization is the need to ship things around, which means more demand for oil, once again. in many ways, a highly localized economy which produces everything it needs would have much less impact on nature.

is there some way india's abundant coal can be turned into oil?


KapiDhwaja said...

Rajeev said,
is there some way india's abundant coal can be turned into oil?

C'mon Rajeev, you do know that the Germans started converting their huge coal deposits to liquid fuels during World War II?

Anonymous said...


i remember reading an article by swaminathan anklesaria aiyar in which he referred to the huge deposits in the north east...shale if i'm not wrong..and the possibility of converting that to oil. i'm guessing it's the cost of production that's holdin it up but with india, you never know. i'll try and search for the article and send you the link later.

Anonymous said...

Coal can be converted to gas under high pressure. Power plants employing this technique are coming up in US. They are called Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)plnats.

san said...

How to fight OPEC's power? Have a look at this:

Form a buyer's cartel. Just as Wal-Mart and big automakers are able to pressure their suppliers on pricing, perhaps OPIC could be formed to attempt something similar.

Might be overly ambitious, but perhaps it could work partially, and also particularly in extreme supply shock situations as well.