The farmers' agitation in UP was described largely as protests against unfair and speculative land acquisition by the government. What about the impact of changed land use? This paper reported just yesterday that according to an IARI study, wheat production fell by 4 million tons in 2004 because of one degree change in temperature.
The Economic Survey also points out that the food grain production reduced by 218 million tons in 2010. In the coming decades, there will be temperature rises and production will be hard-hit. This scarcity will be exacerbated as some of India's most fertile farmlands are converted on a large scale into housing. Where will India gets its food from then? Although the proposed Land Acquisition Act takes this into account in part, India, our government has to look at land not as disputed territory but a vital resource, prioritized for food security and poverty alleviation. We have to force this consideration through zoning key food baskets, make them inviolate and helping them to become even more productive, even if they are small holdings. Otherwise, the builders and corrupt governance will starve the country.
Watch Your Cells
Anyone who has bought a mobile phone or a computer knows these gadgets are changing. A new study by a group of Brazilian scientists, Yamane et al, from the Sao Paolo University, tells us mobile phones are becoming more valuable even as junk.
New phones contain more copper than old ones, which makes them more valuable to recycle. A typical cell phone printed circuit board studied contained 64% metals and only 13% plastic. But don't let that recyclability justify throwing away a cell phone frequently. Metal extraction is expensive and polluting both from ore and during recycling. By using your cellphone longer, you can delay such pollution, even though there is a economic incentive to recycle it.