2012-03-04 03:07:00Please Delete
John Hartz
John Hartz

I would appreciate it if one of the super-Administrators would delete this thread in its entirety. It's left a very bad taste in my mouth. I will confer with John Cook privately about ways SkS might become more relevant in India.

2012-03-04 03:36:13



I think Gulati's article shows why that is likely to be a waste of time: Most Indians are focused on very near-term problems.

India is a country where some mothers cripple & mutilate their children so that they will seem to be more heart-rending objects of charity. I have seen them crawling around on the floors of a train car, on the way from Delhi to Agra.

Indians don't need more information as much as they need a longer-term perspective, that comes from having a less frantic existence.

Unless we can address high-level government officials, it is likely to be a waste of time.

2012-03-04 03:40:02
Andy S

It's nevertheless a pity that SkS is dominated by authors and, as far as I can tell, readers from relatively rich countries.
2012-03-04 03:53:14
George Morrison

If you are living on $2/day, why the hell SHOULD you concern yourself with global climate change? After all, you are living an essentially carbon neutral lifestyle already.

I am not minimizing the dreadful poverty, I am saying that whole article is a non sequitur. Dealing with GHG emissions is still very much about dealing with the emissions of a relatively few high emitters, mostly the rich.

As I commented on the article, 50% of emissions come from about 11% of the global population, who are WAY WAY above the global means, and even further above the global mode. We can essentially ignore the poor for the forseeable future during which we must turn emissions down.

Socolow, Pacala and others had an important paper in PNAS in 2009 regarding the "billion high emitters". These billion high emitters are roughly 25% each in USA, China (there is a huge sub-class in China that are already high emitters), rest of OECD ex-US, and the rest of the world (high emitters within Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia, etc., etc.)

I thought that was a lousy article and said so in the comments.

2012-03-04 03:59:18
John Hartz
John Hartz


I couldn't disagree with you more. Your personal experiences and prejudices are showing.

2012-03-04 04:08:11
John Hartz
John Hartz


Please take a look at the Green Initative's webpage of Mother Amma's EmbracingtheWorld website. It belies much of the the naive remarks about the Indian people made above.  


2012-03-04 04:19:12
John Hartz
John Hartz

Who is Mother Amma?

Find out at: Amma.org

2012-03-04 04:45:04


About 5 years ago I spoke to a Mumbai local government delegation about climate change. It was amazing how interested and challenging their questions were on the subject, far more so than our local authorities.

It is easy to classify India as a population of poor people, the reality is that like China there is an enormous middle class who consume and emit like Western populations.  Moreover since the disparity between the richest and poor is so great it creates ever higher targets for more than a billion people. The Indian middle class is estimated to be 150 million people and will reach 600 million by 2030.

One issue we are missing here is that although China and India as a whole may claim to be low per capita emitters why should that let their richer component off?  Don't they have the same responsibilities as we do?

India has made progress in reducing its fertility rate, and least that is something. Unfortunately part of the reason is female infanticide, so some births are not registered.  This may also cause a demographic problems for the future, but should reduce population growth over the long term.


2012-03-04 04:57:14
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

This is the graphic from Perseus' comment above:


2012-03-04 05:07:43
John Hartz
John Hartz

If you haven't bothered to read about her in the webistes that I provided above, you need to know that she is considered to be a "Living Saint" in India and is considered to be one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the world.

She is also very influential in Indian politics. 

Mother Amma spends a considerable amount of her time touring the countries of the world -- including annual Spring and Fall tours of the US.

In recent years, Mother Amma has delivered speeches about the need for the human race to address climate change as part of her tour remarks.

Given that my step-son is one of the key people on Mother Amma's immediate staff, I believe I can foster a close working relationship between SkS and her organization.

2012-03-04 07:01:52



The £100,000 Slumdog shacks: Soaring property prices in the Mumbai slum made famous by film

Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2109749/Shacks-Mumbai-slum-famous-Slumdog-Millionaire-selling-100-000-property-prices-soar.html#ixzz1o5O1MuWg

2012-03-04 07:49:44
John Hartz
John Hartz


What the heck is the point of your above post?

2012-03-04 08:07:04
Paul D


In what way would this site market itself to india??
The purpose is to convey the science and the arguments about the science.
That is universal.

I fail to see the relevance of the first article to SkS and it's public view??
There is a difference between discussing general environmental issues on a private forum and making SkS into yet another 'green' web site.

Frankly JH I think you aren't focused enough. You keep wanting to change the agenda.

2012-03-04 08:39:52
John Hartz
John Hartz

Paul D,

Frankly, I don't give a damn about your opinion. 

2012-03-04 08:58:28
John Cook


Settle down, guys. We are all working towards the same goal.

John H, the amma.org site is pretty impressive but seems a mismatch for SkS's science focus - am struggling to see what form a collaboration would take. What did you have in mind?

2012-03-04 09:51:07


John just to demonstate how rich some Indians are nowadays (and how poor the majority still are)

2012-03-04 09:58:59
John Hartz
John Hartz


Sorta like what's happening in the USA and throughout the world.  

2012-03-04 10:53:17
John Hartz
John Hartz

Press release

Cities are failing children, UNICEF warns

NEW YORK, 28 February 2012 – Urbanization leaves hundreds of millions of children in cities and towns excluded from vital services, UNICEF warns in The State of the World’s Children 2012: Children in an Urban World.

Greater urbanization is inevitable. In a few years, the report says, the majority of children will grow up in towns or cities rather than in rural areas. Children born in cities already account for 60 per cent of the increase in urban population.

“When we think of poverty, the image that traditionally comes to mind is that of a child in a rural village,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But today, an increasing number of children living in slums and shantytowns are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in the world, deprived of the most basic services and denied the right to thrive.”

“Excluding these children in slums not only robs them of the chance to reach their full potential; it robs their societies of the economic benefits of having a well-educated, healthy urban population,” Lake added.

Cities offer many children the advantages of urban schools, clinics and playgrounds. Yet the same cities the world over are also the settings for some of the greatest disparities in children’s health, education and opportunities.

Infrastructure and services are not keeping up with urban growth in many regions and children’s basic needs are not being met. Families living in poverty often pay more for substandard services. Water, for instance, can cost 50 times more in poor neighbourhoods where residents have to buy it from private vendors than it costs in wealthier neighbourhoods where households are connected directly to water mains.

The deprivations endured by children in poor urban communities are often obscured by broad statistical averages that lump together all city dwellers – rich and poor alike. When averages such as these are used in making urban policy and allocating resources, the needs of the poorest can be overlooked.

Making cities fit for children

A focus on equity is crucial – one in which priority is given to the most disadvantaged children wherever they live.

UNICEF urges governments to put children at the heart of urban planning and to extend and improve services for all. To start, more focused, accurate data are needed to help identify disparities among children in urban areas and how to bridge them. The shortage of such data is evidence of the neglect of these issues.

While governments at all levels can do more, community-based action is also a key to success.

The report calls for greater recognition of community-based efforts to tackle urban poverty and gives examples of effective partnerships with the urban poor, including children and adolescents.

These partnerships yield tangible results, such as better public infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil; higher literacy rates in Cotacachi, Ecuador; and stronger disaster preparedness in Manila, Philippines. In Nairobi, Kenya, adolescents mapped their slum community to provide information to urban planners.

Oportunidades, an initiative that began in Mexico and helped pioneer cash transfers that increased the ability of the poorest families to send their children to school and pay for health care, has been taken to scale in both rural and urban areas and provided valuable experience for countries that followed Mexico’s example.

At the global level, UNICEF and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) have worked together for 15 years on the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative building partnerships to put children at the centre of the urban agenda and to provide services and create protected areas so children can have the safer and healthier childhoods they deserve.

“Urbanization is a fact of life and we must invest more in cities, focusing greater attention on providing services to the children in greatest need,” Lake said.

2012-03-04 11:54:29
John Hartz
John Hartz


Please take a look at the Green Initative's webpage of Mother Amma's EmbracingtheWorld website. There may be a way to weave a link to SkS into it and perhaps do more. I am going to explore some possibilities with my stepson (who actually designed this website) perhaps tomorrow if we can arrange a time to Skype with him.


Amrita University was started by the world-renowned humanitarian leader, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma.

As Chancellor of the University, Amma continues to guide the university's mission and growth.

Last year, Amma began the Amala Bharatam Campaign, involving students, to clean all of Mother India.

The campaign is now also promoting awareness of our environmental crises.
Learn More »

And emphasizing ways to help reduce our carbon emissions.
Learn More »