Stories about climate change

Should Pakistan be investing in carbon capture? – Part 2

This article is the second in a two part series which looks at Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and talks about the efficacy of using it to reduce our carbon footprint. Read part one here.   Public engagement with regards to the efficacy of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is important because it can mitigate the opposition to the development of the largely untapped technology. However, to achieve this, a greater and more meaningful collaboration between engineers, politicians and social scientists is required. Such meaningful interdisciplinary engagement will overcome the bias that may exist amongst various disciplines for the misunderstood carbon ...

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Tackling Karachi’s energy crisis

Karachi is the economic power-house of Pakistan, yet the city is facing a massive energy crisis which needs to be tacked on an urgent basis. To remain viable in the coming years as the highest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), a strategic energy road-map for the city needs to be drafted under a comprehensive framework. How we prioritise our actions and create the right benchmarks is crucial. To enhance technological expertise within the sector, we need four components to be simultaneously inter-connected: human resources, research, development and investment. Providing incentives for the private sector must be the top ...

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In conversation with Pervez Hoodbhoy – Part 3: South Asian politics and culture

This conversation with Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy is presented as a three part series. Part 1 covers Pakistan’s education system. Part 2 discusses Pakistan’s language conundrum . Part 3 includes a conversation regarding South Asian politics and culture. ~ South Asian Politics and Culture Hassan Mirza (HM): Was India ever a proper democracy? Pervez Hoodbhoy (PH): India was a secular democracy in its first few decades but, like Pakistan, is now becoming a majoritarian democracy. That’s very dangerous for minorities. There’s a real danger of the two countries becoming mirror copies. For example, last year I arranged a talk by the anti-Modi Indian liberal politician, Mani Shankar Aiyar, at Forman Christian ...

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In conversation with Noam Chomsky – Part 3: Pakistan, India, religion, and climate change

This conversation with Professor Noam Chomsky is presented as a three part series. Part 1 covers American culture and politics. Part 2 covers media, intellectuals and imperialism, along with science, language and human nature. Part 3 includes a conversation regarding religion and spirituality, alongside a discussion about the Indian subcontinent, climate change and the migration crisis. ~ Religion and spirituality Hassan Mirza (HM): Did religion have any big influence on you when you were growing up? Were your family members religious? Noam Chomsky (NC): Judaism did, religion didn’t. My parents were not religious in the usual sense. Deeply rooted in Jewish/Hebraic culture, somewhat observant. HM: What do ...

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Is climate change impacting our mental health?

Numerous studies have been conducted in an attempt to gauge the adverse effects of climate on human development. One of the many unfortunate facets of climate change that are currently being explored is the impact it has on mental health, particularly with respect to that of our children and future generations. Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in natural disasters, owing to rapid climate change. A non-profit organisation, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, looked at numerous studies and determined that there was a clear pattern which demonstrated climate change had resulted in weather related disasters becoming far ...

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How effectively is Pakistan tackling the climate crisis?  

As Pakistan continues to grapple with the climate crisis, it is increasingly important that we as a nation turn our sights towards the future. As environmental lawyer Sara Hayat informed me, “Planting trees has huge benefits for the soil, air pollution, livelihoods of people. However, the tree tsunami must be supplemented by policy measures that curb global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the source. Carbon sinks are useless if no mitigation measures are being prioritised. Furthermore, Pakistan has the highest deforestation rate in the world per a Lahore High Court judgment. Don’t plant trees if you’re going to keep cutting them ...

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How successful was COP25?

“We’ll be watching you,” said teen activist and global star Greta Thunberg to world leaders back in September at the UN in New York. Last week at the climate conference in Madrid she again called out political leaders from rich countries for “misleading” people about the climate crisis and “finding clever ways around having to take real action.” For me the highlight of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2019 (COP25) was Thunberg’s speech, given to the plenary during the ‘High-Level Event on Climate Emergency’. This was followed by an impromptu protest by fellow youth activists on the main stage ...

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Dining on ashes: Pakistan’s hazardous coal dependent future

This article is the second part in a series about climate change and Pakistan’s carbon footprint. Read the first part here. ~ Earlier this year in August, I came across a newspaper article that read: “The government confirmed on Sun­day successful commercial operations of a two billion dollar 1,320MW coal-fired power plant set up by the China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) under the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC) project.” It is mind boggling to see such news at a time where the world is moving towards renewable energy. What makes it worse is that Lahore has been plagued by dangerous smog for the ...

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Pakistan’s population conundrum

Amidst all the politicking over economic recovery, a crucial element that is missing from the mainstream narrative is the uncontrolled population growth in Pakistan. The recent census revealed that Pakistan’s population has skyrocketed to approximately 208 million. This is an alarming situation because any effort to stir economic development will be undermined if the population keeps growing at this rate. Realising the constraints overpopulation can have on a developing country’s socio-economic development, most countries in the region implemented policies that significantly decelerated population growth in a relatively short amount of time. As a result, Bangladesh currently has an annual population ...

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How effective is PTI’s climate change policy?

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan began his historic speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last week with climate change, calling it one of the “most urgent problems the world must address”. Climate change was of course on the agenda of this year’s global leaders gathering in New York. But to be fair Khan has noted the importance of climate change in several of his earlier speeches to the nation as well. 1st let me talk about climate change; I have seen a lot of leaders talk about this. But I don’t see world leaders really realizing the urgency ...

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