It must be tough being the prime minister of India, having to jump from UP elections and a tug-of-war over who should be the next president to issues like climate change and world trade negotiations. Perhaps charity begins at home in the issue that involves energy efficiency. Manmohan Singh, we are told, typically likes to catch up lost or staggered sleep on his flights. And a personal cook adds to the solace.
Climate change jokes
I think we should await jokes on global warming. Anything that causes the world to take notice must yield some humour. And it has. The scorching heat at Delhi’s Palam Air Force station made some on board the Air-India flight with the PM wonder if climate change had not already reached perilous levels. Inside the aircraft, a back-up power unit ran a feeble air-conditioner. “They must already be implementing climate change measures,” a voice in the cabin said.
Woodstock to Rostock?
If 1973 was about Woodstock, the rock music festival, 2007 could be about Rostock, the place where anti-G-8 protesters are camping on the way to the Baltic resort of Heiligendamm, where the rich and powerful heads of governments will meet to discuss issues including global economy, AIDS and African poverty. Anti-globalisation activists, lobbyists for active measures to tackle poverty and anxious environmentalists are camping at the village amid tight security measures. Their satyagraha-style roadblocks, or fears that they may materialize, has got leaders flying from Rostock to Heiligendamm — just 10 minutes by helicopter.
Chemistry of G-8 and O-5
Is 13 a lucky number? There are eight developed countries called the G-8 supping with five so-called ‘Outreach’ countries called the O-5 meeting to discuss the world’s future. While Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa are a motley lot, their clout is higher than it used to be in influencing global issues like climate change and AIDS. We might as well call this group the G8O5. Sounds like a formula that would warm a chemistry professor’s heart.