Most of us with even a passing interest in nature believe that summer is low season for birds. The fact is, it’s peak season for resident birds, because they breed now. Mostly, it doesn’t matter where you live - just wake up and listen to the cacophony of birds, busy nesting, feeding their young or simply attracting mates. Unfortunately, most of us urban Indians live in concrete jungles, where cement blocs disguised as apartments and mud patches with a few shrubs disguised as parks dominate our living spaces. Even here, crows and mynas breed, obvious from their un-elegant nests, or the constant cries of their fledglings. And you can hear the ubiquitous Koel even in school compounds. The beautiful Golden Oriole also comes into our urban spaces at this time to breed. And if you live near a river, don’t miss the bitterns, in full plumage. Let’s at least appreciate the incredible capacity of birds, not only those who fly thousands of miles but even those who live here and proliferate while the human species reels under the heat. The urban jungle is not as barren as it is lamented to be.
Knowledge is really power, and as a country where we enjoy the Right to (limited) Information, we know this first hand. A recent scientific journal, Green Chemistry, describes a move that can revolutionize not only scientists but also consumers.
A large pharma company has made available to its scientists information about greener alternatives to traditional solvents, a key pollutant, and eased their availability. The shift is likely to have a ripple effect, because large industrial production echoes such shifts. Nothing new for the company, but it has increased the green solvents from 47 to a 110.