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Why winter has not peaked yet

It's bad news because once again we've been hit by global warming, writes Bharati Chaturvedi.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 03:26 IST

Based on prior experience, I recently compared the BBC's temperature for Delhi and Washington DC. Delhi was between 22 and 10 degrees centigrade and in DC it was between 18 and 9. The only difference was that it was bright and sunny in the American capital and foggy in Delhi.

It's bad news, because once again, we've been hit by global warming. The World Meteorological Association last week announced that the current year 2006, still reigning as we dissect it, was amongst the warmest four years since 1861 and the second warmest since that time. Data shows that the last decade was the warmest ever recorded.

The irony is how little is being done about it everywhere. Groups in Massachusetts have filed a lawsuit asking why the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not treating carbon dioxide as a pollutant and regulating it.

The EPA has argued that there is little evidence and science is not yet clear about the issue.

The court has to be convinced that carbon dioxide has caused damage and that the court's judgment will limit the damage to the public at large.

In this debate the EPA is not alone. Pulp fiction fans will recall the Michael Crichton's novel, State of Fear, which trashed climate change science, albeit flimsily.

In India, we are at the crossroads and can take a path that works better. The Stern Report reminds us how much we stand to lose from climate change. Apart from re-naming the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy, it is critical to look at clean energy forms that are locally viable.

We have to be prepared for extreme temperatures in the form of hard-hitting droughts and frightening floods. But if I were a global leader of any importance, I would certainly keep up a strong campaign on the United States to reduce its emissions, without resorting to carbon trading.

Print forever While the globe is gently baking, Xerox is getting cooler. It's just invented a brand new type of paper in partnership with the Palo Alto Research Centre that self erases. The invention promises to be both delightfully chaotic and quite useful.

Xerox says that 2 of every 5 sheets printed have a one time usage, making for a lot of waste. Another survey shows that 77 per cent of all paper discarded in Delhi offices is used only on one side.

If you feel for planet earth, write toearthwatch1@yahoo.co.in