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Notorious poacher nabbed

Poacher Sansar Chand is well known as the Veerappan of the North, for he is India?s biggest exporter of skins and bones of big cats, like the tiger and leopard.

tech reviews Updated: Dec 10, 2003 19:20 IST

Poacher Sansar Chand is well known as the Veerappan of the North, for he is India’s biggest exporter of skins and bones of big cats, like the tiger and leopard. If there was no Sansar Chand, India would have had more of these majestic animals, not to mention smaller stuff like otters that he also trades in.

One of his cleverest methods is that he never touches the stuff himself, so he is hard to actually catch red-handed. Having single-handedly run this business for two decades, including from a hub in Old Delhi, he may finally get what he deserves.

Currently in custody in Ajmer, Sansar Chand has the CBI, and various railway police, state police and forest departments queuing up to prosecute him. For once, we should thank government authorities and hope that they can stop the king of poachers from preying upon the king of the jungle.

Not a Butt of Jokes

Smoking is a bad idea. But what about cigarette butts? It turns out that they are not just inert remains. Cigarette butts are intended to trap many harmful chemicals and particles from entering our systems, so obviously they contain these polluting residues.

When a smoker throws a butt onto a road, it enters the drains finally and then our rivers. In a coastal area, it enters the seas. It has been seen to work like plastic after this, entering the stomachs of various animals.

The huge volumes make the problem worse: for each cigarette smoked, there is a butt left behind. Some guesstimates suggest that 4.5 trillion butts are littered each year worldwide. And the Australian Clean Up volunteers once said these were amongst the most commonly found litter they came across.

In Hawaii, there is a legislation to ban smoking in outdoor locations, including a beach, where cigarette butt pollution has been reportedly linked to tumours in sea life. So, what is it that you can do? There is only one sensible thing: quit smoking, get others to do so too!

Cleaning up Bush’s mess

The Bush government cares two hoots about the environment. Now, the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry plans to counter this.

His plan includes cleaning up and minimising toxics, countering the pathetic dilution of the federal Clean Air Laws and making them stronger, using the Clean Water Act to improve the quality of water and life, participating and making a strategy for Climate Change, which the US has till now tried to sabotage for its economic benefits and taking another look at the way public lands are used for commercial purposes.

The most interesting idea is that Kerry intends to reduce dependence on oil from the Middle East and ensure that 20 per cent of all energy comes from renewable sources. Maybe then, next time, an Iraq-like situation will be avoided.

(If you feel for Planet Earth please write to Earthwatch1@rediffmail.com)

First Published: Dec 10, 2003 19:20 IST