Pollution

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What is Cloud Seeding?

There was a time when a farmer would sit out in his field, watching a lonesome cloud float away, taking with it the last hope of a much-needed burst of rain. As humans take control over more and more natural processes – not necessarily for the betterment of civilisation – rain too seems to have finally been leashed in. Just like a farmer throws seeds on ploughed land to harvest plants, clouds can also be seeded with chemicals to induce rain!...

What is the Secret of the Windmill?

What is the Secret of the Windmill?

It was a particularly windy day in late July when my cousin and I sat down to make a pinwheel. The paper was folded into a wheel, the pin inserted at the heart of it and the entire structure fixed to the broomstick. As our pinwheel took shape we ran out braving the sun and the hot wind. The pinwheel caught the wind and rotated. Seeing it, our hearts pin-wheeled as well. Energy from wind...

Save rivers, lakes from worshippers

Save rivers, lakes from worshippers

Before every Ganesh Chaturthi, people from across India, especially Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa, get busy with preparations for celebrations. But, as the momentum of activity increases, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) start feeling queasy in their stomachs. For, though festivals like Ganesh Puja and Durga Puja are a time for fun, it is also the time when rivers and lakes around the country are abused. Unlike in the past when the idols of gods and goddesses were made of ordinary colours and plain clay that dissolve in water easily, without causing widespread pollution, now they are made of plaster of Paris, distemper, plastic paint, dyes, metallic powders, adhesives, varnish, fluorescent powders and oil paints, which can have an adverse effect on the eyes, skin and respiratory system....

What are Dry Clouds?

What are Dry Clouds?

It is that time of the year when all of us look to the sky, waiting for the first drops of rain to fall on our faces. We wish the monsoon would come soon. But for people who live in polluted cities like Delhi or Tokyo, there’s some bad news. Israeli scientists have discovered that air pollution may actually stop rain from falling. To know how pollution may prevent rain from falling, it is necessary to know how and when rain falls....

What is Ribotyping?

What is Ribotyping?

Consider this, in a murder case, the culprit has left no clues. There are no fingerprints or eye witnesses. A perfect crime, you would say. But on close inspection, the crime branch discovers a tiny strand of hair. Back in the forensic laboratories, scientists use this strand of hair to track down the criminal and solve the murder case. But, how can you crack a mystery with a strand of hair, you would exclaim. The technique used by forensic scientists to track down the culprit is called DNA-fingerprinting....

Pollution – an old ancestral legacy

Pollution – an old ancestral legacy

If you thought today’s pollution and environmental damage was just as old as the coming of industrial factories, smoke and chemical waste, you were wrong. A recent report in the journal ‘Science’ says that environmental pollution is as old as human existence itself, though industrialisation certainly hastened the process. The report is based on a study consisting of the combined research of 19 scientists across four continents, who found that the diversity of marine life was among the first to be affected....

Polluted India

Polluted India

Where: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad is a lake famous for the thousands of migratory birds it attracts from other parts of India and abroad, in the winter months. But the seagulls, ducks and other migratory birds no longer find it hospitable. They only use it as a stopover and prefer to fly away elsewhere. Too many idols spoil the lake The lake has seen more clay idols of deities such as Ganesh and Durga being immersed in its waters than any other lake in the vicinity....

More fuel to the CNG fire

More fuel to the CNG fire

August 16: It’s a nightmare either way. Too little, and we have thousands of autorickshaws and bus drivers in Delhi waiting for their turn to fill their fuel tanks with the new eco-friendly CNG or Compressed Natural Gas. Too much, and we have the gas pipe of a bus bursting when a careless attendant over-filled a tank at the Bhikaji Cama Place mother station. On the other side, Petroleum Minister, Mr Ram Naik is now championing the cause of low-sulpher diesel, and more recently, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), which we use as cooking gas....

A Problem, Naturally!

A Problem, Naturally!

April 4: On April 1 or Fool’s Day, India’s capital, New Delhi, wore a deserted look. There were no public vehicles on the road. According to a Supreme Court decision passed two years ago, they were required to run on compressed natural gas or CNG, to ease the terrible pollution levels in the city. For two years, two successive Delhi governments slept through the deadline, not bothering to create a system that would make the transition easy....

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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