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The Importance of the Mangrove Forest

The Importance of the Mangrove Forest

Tropical coastlines and marshy areas around the world have one thing in common: mangrove forests. These consist of trees and shrubs that throw out many prop roots and sustain a large variety of aquatic animals, birds and plants. These mangroves form a complete ecosystem. That is, they provide a complete base for all the organisms within that environment to live and thrive. That keeps the balance in the larger environment of which humans are a vital part....

All Human History is Just 10 Seconds Old!

All Human History is Just 10 Seconds Old!

Look at the dial of a clock. Imagine that the 12 hours showing on the dial are equal to earth’s history of four-and-a-half billion years. Now, this is how the earth’s evolution happened… We know very little about what happened in the first three hours of the earth’s existence. The first signs of life appeared in the form of bacteria when the earth was four hours old. Then came the first vertebrates (animals with skeletons). They were born when the earth was 10 hours and 35 minutes old....

Coconut Oil + Kerosene = Fuel

Coconut Oil + Kerosene = Fuel

Coconut Oil + Kerosene = Fuel [Illustration by Shinod AP] March 27: Fossil fuels or fuels that are naturally found in the earth, are being rapidly consumed by humans. And the world has begun searching for an ‘alternative fuel’. Necessity is the mother of invention. And out of necessity, a coconut farmer in a village in Thailand has ‘invented’ an alternate fuel. Guess what this ‘invention’ is – a little kerosene mixed with a lot of coconut oil!...

The Bt Brinjal Battle

Where: New Delhi, India February 20, 2010 : India’s environment minister Jairam Ramesh had announced that Bt Brinjal, a genetically modified (GM) plant, would be introduced for cultivation across the country. A storm of public protests followed. As a result, the introduction has been put on hold for the time being. On February 9, 2010, the government of India announced that it needs more time to take a final decision. Bt Brinjal is brinjal modified by the addition of a gene from ‘Bacillus thuringiensis’ (a bacterium)....

An invasion of toxic toads

Where: State of Queensland, Australia April 2, 2007: This is certainly not a toad you’d want to kiss. Not only will the toad not turn into a handsome prince, you may not be left alive to tell the tale. It’s as big as a small dog, has the body of a football and enough poison to kill a crocodile if it makes the mistake of having a Cane toad for lunch. It has been 70 years since the cane toad was first brought to northern Australia from South America to kill and eat the beetles that were spoiling the sugar cane crop....

The Green Magician

The Green Magician

July 1: Many children, all over the world, are working to protect the environment. While some are involved with school groups, others are busy spreading awareness in their neighbourhood. Fifteen-year-old Kruti Parekh is a bit different for she uses some rather fantastic methods in campaigning for the environment. This nature-loving teenager uses magic to promote environmental causes! Kruti also happens to be India’s youngest professional conjurer — a record she has held for the last five years....

Eleven-year-old Eco-ambassador

Eleven-year-old Eco-ambassador

July 31: Somya Ahuja does not like the way people treat their environment. So she wrote an essay about it. And that essay led to her becoming India’s Eco-ambassador at a children’s conference in England recently. Eleven-year-old Somya lives in Delhi – a city which has the distinction of being one of the most polluted cities in the world. The city’s roads are choked with cars, lorries, buses, tempos and three wheelers. Most of these vehicles belch poisonous gases....

World Environment Day on June 5: Become an Earth Warrior

Where: Worldwide June 4, 2009 : World Environment Day is observed every year on June 5. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The guiding principle is that people have to take responsibility for the environment. The earth’s rain forests are disappearing, chemicals have poisoned our air, marine life is dying in our polluted seas, and harmful waste and toxins have reached even the least populated corners of the globe. The wake up call for earth’s citizens for 2009 is “Your Planet Needs You — UNite to Combat Climate Change”....

The Chief Minister and the Butterfly

Where: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India July 1, 2000: Indian politicians are mighty people, especially when they are in power. Even Nature trembles before their arrogant minds. Some years ago, when India was ruled by a Congress-I government, its environment minister decided to build a guest house in Manali. Why not, you may ask. It’s a nice place. But there was one small problem – he wanted to have the course of a river changed so that he could have his guesthouse exactly where he wanted it....

High Performance, Low Pollution

With the number of vehicles and industries growing at an alarming rate in India, pollution levels are also shooting up. Most of us go about our daily lives feeling the impact of pollution in smarting eyes and asthmatic sighs, but we do not do much beyond talking about it. But there are some people who are actually thinking of ways in which to preserve a green environment so that we can all breathe cleaner air....

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