What Copenhagen missed
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
In the small village of Kalika in Kumaon, Sarla Devi and her daughter spend the day scrounging the forest for firewood. Her son takes the two family cows to pasture within a kilometer of the house, while her husband works as a day labourer for the roads department. The 800 square yards of land the family owns, provides them with seasonal corn, bajra and vegetables; on it is a mud plastered stone house of two rooms. By any measure, Sarla Devi's family is typical of millions of families in rural India. Its carbon footprint — if the global measure applies — is a mere half ton of carbon per person. Laughable by western standards.
By comparison, the Kapurs of Delhi live a more abundant lifestyle. Two cars and an SUV line the drive of a four-bedroom ground floor flat in Greater Kailash. A commodities trader, Kapur drives to work 30 kilometers a day to NOIDA; his son takes the other car to college, while the SUV is used by the driver for a range of daily chores. Within the house, an assortment of electrical gadgets — two TVs, a fridge, a freezer, three computers, a music system — line the walls. The family lives in a perpetual haze of gadget upgrade and international vacations. At 16 tons per person, their carbon footprint comes close to the American average.
In the desperate urge to replicate the outmoded Western model of development, the Indian government wishes to turn Sarla Devi's family into the Kapurs within three generations. At a time of enormous challenges in climate science, urbanism and technology, India sets itself imitative goals. Along the worn and tested path, the country's ambition is to become the America of the 1950s, happily complacent in its middle class affluence, and a state of self-righteous contentment that poses no demands to develop new ideas, or test its will to enact real change. The parallel is not just painfully obvious, but comes at a time of global energy, financial and climate crisis, when the rest of the world is rejecting such growth as wasteful and redundant.
- Quake-hit and shaken, Bhaderwah spends nights in the open
- UP blast accused dies on way to jail, govt wanted to drop case against him
- Former civil aviation secy changes mind, seeks airport security exemption as EC
- BCCI suspects Gujarat players in other teams were also approached
- Police on money trail, Sreesanth in fresh trouble
- Chhattisgarh 'encounter' leaves 8 villagers dead, no Maoist link yet