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Ethical Man - Justin Rowlatt

Should Indians drive cars?

  • Justin Rowlatt -
  • 22 May 07, 05:11 PM

Now that my year of living ethically has come to an end I am free to explore the question that has haunted me throughout the last year.

justin_rickshaw.jpgThe question was raised wherever I went and whatever I did and it went to the very heart of the Ethical Man project.

What people wanted to know was whether my ethical efforts really counted for anything when India and China are building new coal-fired power stations every single week.

That’s why a few weeks ago Sara, the Ethical Man producer, and I boarded a plane to Mumbai. I’m hoping that our decision to fly won’t incur the torrent of criticism that followed my trip to Jamaica last year. The question is whether our report is worth the carbon cost.

What we set out to explore was what Indians made of the whole idea of “ethical living”. We wanted to see if we could create an Indian Ethical Man.

justin_shirt.jpgWithin days of arriving in India I got a pretty good indication of Indian attitudes. I opened the Times of India over breakfast to find that the Indian parliament had scheduled May the 8th for its first ever debate on India’s role in global warming.

That seemed a clear sign that Indian politicians are recognising that there is a problem but any optimism this might have inspired was quelled by a restatement by the country’s environment minister of the Indian government’s official position - global warming is not the responsibility of developing countries like India.

Yet India is a world-class polluter. It has already overtaken Japan to become the fourth biggest producer of greenhouse gases on earth. In 2000 India was responsible for 1.89 billion tonnes of CO2 (5.6 per cent of the world total) – just a few million tonnes behind the Russian Federation - 1.91 billion tonnes (5.7%).

(For more on these figures see the World Resources Institute’s Climate Analysis Indicators Tool CAIT)

Of course India isn’t yet the carbon catastrophe that is the Chinese or American economy. In 2000 China produced a whopping 4.96 billion tonnes of CO2 (14.7 per cent of the world total). But even China’s carbon count was dwarfed by the 6.87 billion tonnes of CO2 America spewed out. That’s a fifth (20.3%) of the world total.

justin_crew.jpgNevertheless Indian emissions show every sign of continuing their rapid growth. India has over a billion people and its population is booming. By 2050 it is expected to have overtaken China to become the most populous nation on earth with 1.6 billion people to China’s 1.4 billion (see Population Reference Bureau).

By comparison to India, Britain’s emissions – 0.66 billion tonnes (1.95% world total) - seem relatively modest.

Indeed, you only need to do some simple maths to see why the growth of the Indian economy could have such a consequence for global warming. Even relatively small increases in the incomes of Indians could lead to huge increases in carbon emissions.

For example, imagine every Indian bought a car or took a return short haul flight or even just used a tumble dryer 90 times a year. That would be enough to increase their carbon footprint by a tonne of CO2 and would add (obviously) a billion tonnes to the national total – almost twice Britain’s current total emissions.

So does that mean that India should curb its population’s carbon consumption?

The Indian Government’s policy of blaming global warming on the West is based on the fact that, over the years, India has emitted significantly less greenhouse gasses than the leading developed countries.

Between 1950 and 2000 India emitted 17.58 billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses. That makes it the 13th biggest polluter over the period with 1.58% of all world emissions. Britain has emitted almost twice that – 29.73 billion tonnes putting it in 8th place with 2.67% of global emissions.

Once again America dominates the table. Between 1950 and 2000 it emitted a staggering 186.70 billion tonnes of carbon – 10 times the emissions of India – 16.77 per cent of world emissions.

But take a look at the emissions per person and you can see why even the Indian branch of Greenpeace argues that the primary responsibility for tackling global warming lies with the West.

Between 1950 and 2000 each American produced 642.0 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Each Briton toted up 499.1 tonnes. Over the same period the average Indian was responsible for just 16.5 tonnes. That is one of the lowest figures for any country on earth - 164th out of 185 countries - and is less than the average American is responsible for in a single year.

That is why – after a week in India – I found it easy to understand the Indian Government’s position. It is also why I found it hard to begrudge Indians – in particular the two families we filmed with - some of the luxuries like cars and holidays abroad we in the West have been enjoying for years.

We are told the world needs to reduce carbon emissions worldwide if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming. If India is going to increase its emissions that means someone somewhere will need to make some carbon cuts.

The question is who.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:37 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • jaga wrote:

I still don't understand how you can compare India/China to UK. Uk is is 10 times small in size / 20 times small population . so if you compare per person co2 emmission Uk/US by comparission far higher polluter.... I think it is pointless saying to compare un these two nations... only comparission should be only per perssion emission....

  • 2.
  • At 08:39 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • JT wrote:

Don't they realise it's EVERYONE's responsibility, and not something that can be palmed off on to someone else? At the risk of sounding cliche "Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth". If they do nothing then they'll still be affected by climate change, and no amount of shouting "it's the West's fault!" will change that.

  • 3.
  • At 08:45 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Chris P wrote:

Jaga - Thats precisely what the article refers to - pollution per capita, did you actually read it!?

  • 4.
  • At 08:49 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Tony Evans wrote:

Most people in the UK do not enjoy regular holidays abroad or own a car. If you want to make an example of unreasonable car ownership and unnecessary air travel, go to America.

  • 5.
  • At 08:58 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • jay chandran wrote:

The so-called ethical man who blames India and China saying they are massive polluters is making a mockery of his own common sense and those of the readers by forgetting that China and India together are home to nearly 36% of world population and the per capita CO2 consumption of these 2 countries are some of the lowest in the world.The people in the developed world including the UK should do something about their own lifestyles including low cost flights,yearly holidays to exotic destinations,high energy consuming lifestyles including total dependance on cars for transport before lecturing the 3rd world where a minority of the population has just started to enjoy the sort of life that a commoner in the west has enjoyed for decades and majority of people are still suffering extreme poverty.Tony Blair gave a classical example of hypocrisy of western leadership on climate change issue when he was asked about his yearly holidays to exotic destinations that it was for scientists to sort out global warming.I don't think developing world needs any guidance on ethics of living from the West.Alternately,I am sure `ethical man' will be able to learn a few lessons himself if he can keep his eyes and ears and more importantly his heart open on his visit to India.

  • 6.
  • At 08:58 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • DM wrote:

How can people expect India or China to cut back on emissions of CO2? PEople say they have a duty to the people of the future, yet the majority of the people in these countries at the present are desperately poor. Surely their governments have just a right to maximise their welfare during their lifetimes? Or are these people expected to suffer so that their great grandchildren might not live in a place 3 degrees hotter? After all, the people today here are accumulating capital which will make the future richer anyway.

ps the ethical man's flights around the world kind of make his, admirable low carbon emission, efforts throughout the year kind of pointless.

pps As Professor Lomberg said on Newsnight, if we the UK act alone, we will succeed in postponing climate change by only 7 hours! We must find new cheap technologies - it's the only way.

  • 7.
  • At 09:01 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Pushpak Beriwal wrote:

I think the comparison made between India and the UK and USA is a fair way of looking at the emission levels. I am not in favour of India producing more CO2 emissions but it has no choice due its demographic conditions and considering in mind the figures of CO2 emissions per person, i think it would be fair to say that if a country like the UK was even a fifth of Indias current population it would overtake Indias CO2 emission levels anyday by far.

Looking at one country and suggesting that it should cut down on its CO2 emissions will not help no one and even if the country does cut down other developing countries are only going to make it worse due to their industrial revolution.
The world must come together to advance in technological developments in order to avoid use of sources which cause the CO2.

  • 8.
  • At 09:02 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • mm wrote:

Statement 2 is true. We are all far from perfect, everyone of us. Now the "west" is far richer in resources than the "east". To maintain balance, equity within this one world, we the "west" need to help the "east" to the VERY best of our abilities, and live in reasonable comfort together. If no effort is made, what will happen is apparent. A return to the stone age helps no one.
Take care all.

  • 9.
  • At 09:07 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Rupak Chatterjee wrote:

There is plenty of evidence that increased solar activity is the main reason for the very modest temperature rises so far. Thus all this carbon navel gazing is a complete waste of time.

  • 10.
  • At 09:09 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Ben wrote:

Please read the article again Chris P. The per capita consumption in UK is several times higher than India. The numbers mentioned are for total emissions. By this standard the total US emissions should be cut down to about 1/3 to 1/4 of India or China and UK emissions should be about 1/30th of these emissions to even retain any parity with the emissions in India. Now Indians cant be penalized for joining middle class and not being poor anymore, especially when the climate was already polluted by the previous powers even before they realized anything about it. Why should such small countries with small populations of Europe have such high emission rates while the poor countries being punished for eliminating poverty.

  • 11.
  • At 09:12 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Venkata wrote:

Chris -- You mean all those numbers in billions of tonnes in per capita !!? I hope not buddy.

  • 12.
  • At 09:13 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Sabeshan wrote:

It is precisely the hypocrisy and the holier-than-thou attitude of the Western countries that puts off genuine interest in developing countries to reduce their carbon emissions. Consider this statement from the article:

"By comparison to India, Britain’s emissions – 0.66 billion tonnes (1.95% world total) - seem relatively modest."

Any child that can do basic maths will tell you that the annual per capita emission of Britain is 11 tonnes! And that's taking the entire population of UK into account. On the other hand, India's record stands at around 1.9 tonnes.

Certainly, this does not mean that India has a natural right to match UK's pollution record but at the same time this also means that Western media should not turn a blind eye to the garbage in their backyard.

  • 13.
  • At 09:14 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Nitin wrote:

The developed and so-called "civilized" nations such as UK and US always look outside of the cause of any problem. As a nation, I think they are the biggest hypocrites in the world. Even though an average American produces about 40 times more green-house gasses than an average Indian, the “Ethical Man” goes to India and not US. When will US and other developed nations ever realize that they are the ones that are, and have been, destroying the environment? Highest per capita producers of the green-house gasses have to lead from front, rather than blaming nations such as India and China.

PS. The small cars that majority of Indian drive are far more fuel-efficient compared to the SUVs and sport sedans driven in the developed countries.

  • 14.
  • At 09:15 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Christina wrote:

I agree that it's everyone's responsibility to care for the environment.

That said, the past 50 years are completely different than the 50 years to come!

If developing countries don't incorporate environmental concerns into their development, they will add more pollution than the US or the UK ever did in the past.

  • 15.
  • At 09:16 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Roger Fritchie wrote:

While I applaud your endeavors I must make my opinion known to you. Yes, Global warming is occuring. And yes, carbon emissions may have some part in this. But, the major cause of warming, as we know it, comes from the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. There is little if anything that man can do to stop this process. We are in a cycle that is as natural as breathing. Neither you nor I can stop it. To think we can is colossal pride.

  • 16.
  • At 09:16 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • DB wrote:

In response to JT:
This article is a very justified explanation of the problem and a wise judgement that countries like India should not be blamed and held responsible for global-warming. Yes, India is also responsible. But, since it's emission between 1950 and 2000 is 16.5 tonnes against America's 642.0 tonnes, it should be held accountable in that proportion. Let the BIG brother do it's part, India would do it's part too. It is grossly unfair to ask economies like India to cure the disease created (and still aggrevating) by economies like US and UK for years.

  • 17.
  • At 09:17 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Ameya wrote:

Inspite of being a developing nation, my country has no less resposiblity than any other to curtail its emissions. The rate at which automobiles are cropping up on the streets, we need some serious restrictions.

  • 18.
  • At 09:19 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Huseini Kagdi wrote:

It is an interesting article. Having lived on both sides of the world, i can fairly say that indians are far more green the western media thinks. Most people use public transport for travel. Most public travel and a good few private vehicle run on CNG gas. Most indian houses have a good garden except in city centers. Most share their vehicle with friends and family while traveling. Very few use air travel. India is predominantly a agricultural country and not an industrial country. Infact you would see very few electrical/hardware/electronic products from india.

You still haven't answered the basic question on which you are spending so much of our licence fees:

What the hell makes you think living 'environmentally' is ethical?

  • 20.
  • At 09:20 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Jai Singh wrote:

Indians are very good at pointing fingers at others to hide their own shortcomings.They are well on their way to becoming major environmental polluters.Green gases are just a part of the larger problem which includes water,soils and forest cover.From every indication given so far the government is not serious about winning the battle against a looming environmental disaster.

  • 21.
  • At 09:21 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • VS wrote:

The problem is to figure out what the average Indian can really do. Coming from India, I can say that a lot of the population uses minimal electricity, there are frequent power cuts, most people can't afford cars and most people do not have washing machines. So any lifestyle changes amongst Indians that cut down greenhouse gas emissions would be cutting down on their basic needs, not their luxuries. You have to only take one look at the North American lifestyle to see who has to do what.

  • 22.
  • At 09:29 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Anand wrote:

Good article. However, watching the TV, every other day there is a programme on global climate change. Each participant is discussing how much more pollution are the big developing countries like india and china going to cause in the decades to come. but why does everyone forget that west has already industrialised and i would say that 70 to 80 % of the green house gases emitted over the last century has been because of the rapid industrialisation of the west. This is no reason why india and china shouldnt be working towards reducing green house gases but the west at the same time has to understand that it needs a collective effort and that west should share energy efficient technologies with the developing countries.

  • 23.
  • At 09:31 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • mike c wrote:

I live in America and understand that polution and contributing to global warming is a huge issue here. However, when we are supporting 1/3 of the worlds economy, and or economic growth, who is truly responsible. Its easy to say we, America are the biggest contributer, but can we as Americans be counted when we give so much to countries all over the world. On another note, the transporation in most areas of the US is horrible and people MUST own cars to get anywhere. Public transportation where I live on Long Island is a joke. Most places are miles from a train station and buses are too few and far between. This is the same story heard country wide. Its not an excuse, however, point the finger Tony Evans, at the ones who are the most responsible. Car makers, they have the technology and the means to change it all.

  • 24.
  • At 09:36 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Pralhad Goggi wrote:

The root cause of the global warming problem "so far" is this. The better the economy and living conditions, the worse it is for the environment. The West enjoyed and is enjoying luxuries at the expense of the environment, which basically messed it up. Now the economy in India and China is "booming", easying life for Indians, bringing them some luxuries and convenience. This means its going to be bad for the environment. The real solution is to make ease of life go hand in hand with environmental balance. The million dollar question is how to improve standard of living without harming the Nature. Probably we will need to change the definition of comfort for that !

  • 25.
  • At 09:38 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Kevin Campbell wrote:

I have this funny feeling that many people didn't read to the end of the article.

  • 26.
  • At 09:40 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Akshay wrote:

If we're going to dissect numbers here, I would like to see Output/ sq. mile of territory. Going back to Tony Evan's comment - air travel is not "unnecessary" in the US ... the fact is the country spans a large continent, and one can hardly be expected to go across in a train or by car - it'd take days!

So how does the US stack up against other countries with respect to output per square mile?

Please note - I'm not trying to defend any country's output, or lack thereof. I'm just trying to rationalize the numbers here.

  • 27.
  • At 09:43 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Rajiv wrote:

While it is true that per capita carbon emission in India is much less than that of the average person in the UK/USA, the govt in India still owes it to the well-being of people in India and the rest of the world to do its utmost to check carbon emissions. It is utterly petty and short sighted of the Indian govt to say that it is not their responsibility! For instance, they could improve public transport in the cities rather than encourage everyone to use cars. They could learn from others' mistakes. When the storms, floods and droughts occur more and more frequently, blaming the west may not help much.

  • 28.
  • At 09:46 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Raghavan wrote:

Fine, no particular Indian needs to stop producing more CO2, but at least stop producing more people for heaven's sake ! :)

  • 29.
  • At 09:51 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Smith Ran wrote:

Nice try Ethical Man project. Atleast you got a trip to India out of this 'reporting'. I didnt understand what you meant to achieve by visiting India.

Lets see, of all the people in the world who emit CO2 you chose the country which had 23 per cent of the global average. I think reporters should have some basic analytical skills to determine where the news really is. I am sad to say you are like a poster child I will keep mentioning to others of how lacking those skills are. You have countries spewing out 20% of all emissions single handedly and that is just transparent to you. Nice reporting vision you have got.

  • 30.
  • At 09:52 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Prince wrote:

No, we dont want CO2, but the point you are trying to make is still unclear and unconvinced.
I think you need to think in a broarder angle.

  • 31.
  • At 09:52 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Simon Crosby wrote:

What does the maths look like in terms of tons of carbon per $ of GDP? While I certainly think the US is way off the map per capita, given that it is responsible for a decent sized chunk of the world economy, I'd like a measure of the efficiency of a country's economic activity; that's more useful to me at least.
Simon

  • 32.
  • At 09:53 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • eoin wrote:

to say that global warming is being caused by water vapour in the air is illogical.
Yes water vapour is a huge contributer to the greenhouse effect but please do not confuse th greenhouse effect with global warming - global warming is caused by an increase in the the magnitude of the greenhouse effect , this increase is not attributable to water vapour because the effect of the water vapour has remained pretty constant - the increase is due to the levels of man made green house gasses (such as CO2) which ARE increasing.
also a previous poster stated that global warming is due to increased sun activity. If he has any evidence of this then please share it.
there are certain facts which we do know about the effect of CO2 (and the rest) on the ability of the athmosphere to allow heat energy to escape from the earth. all the evidence points to human causes for this unprecedented rapid change in climate. the only question left is - Will people make the effort and sacrifice neccessary to avert a huge global disaster?
unfortunately the answer to this question seems to be a collective apthetic "not unless everyone else does first"

  • 33.
  • At 09:53 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • mike c wrote:

I live in America and understand that polution and contributing to global warming is a huge issue here. However, when we are supporting 1/3 of the worlds economy, and or economic growth, who is truly responsible. Its easy to say we, America are the biggest contributer, but can we as Americans be counted when we give so much to countries all over the world. On another note, the transporation in most areas of the US is horrible and people MUST own cars to get anywhere. Public transportation where I live on Long Island is a joke. Most places are miles from a train station and buses are too few and far between. This is the same story heard country wide. Its not an excuse, however, point the finger Tony Evans, at the ones who are the most responsible. Car makers, they have the technology and the means to change it all.

  • 34.
  • At 09:57 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Sanbor Mawrie wrote:

Global waring is a threat to every citizen living on this planet. Therefore it is everyone's responsibility to try and do something about it. We cannot solve the problem by finger pointing as to who pollute the most. Rather than spending time and resoureces in researching who is to blame for global warming, we all can direct our efforts into finding a solution for it. We all can pitch-in in whatever way we can. As for my effort, I am presently researching on the possibility of starting a Wind Farm in Meghalaya State, NE India. There is talk about starting a coal fired power plant over there. I am trying to persuade the authority that maybe a Wind Power project will be a better idea. If I succeed, I would have made my contribution towards lessening global warming. For you readers, I would appreciate any kind of help I can get on this project.
Thanks and Regards,
Sanbor Mawrie, Michigan, USA

  • 35.
  • At 09:58 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • ahana kalluri wrote:

Although its the easier option to point fingers at developing nations like India and China as their speed of development is far greater and quicker over the last decade, we must remember that we wouldn't be in this global environmental crisis if it wasn't for countries like the US and the UK and their frenzied industrialisation in the 60's and 70's when India was struggling with newfound Independance. It seems highly ironic that they now stand at the top of their skyscrapers and look down upon countries like India and China who stand at the threshold of development.As an Indian growing up in India, just a few examples of how environmentally friendly Indians are -
no prepackaged food - foods almost always gets cooked from scratch including yogurt!
My grandmother's been recycling her newspapers and plastic for longer than she can remember, let alone me!
No scrap yards at the first sign of repair - take your electrical gadget down to the repair shop and reuse.(my mum's fridge is as old as me!)
CARS?! MOBILES?! COMPUTERS?! Only 20 years old...

  • 36.
  • At 09:58 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Neehar Karnik wrote:

I am from India and I feel that Indian politicians should not be allowed to shy away from the issue. This question itself would not have come up, had India controlled its population. The effects of loosing forest cover are quite clear in the Himalayan foot hills. There are no cars there but people still need fuel and they get it by burning wood. No one has the right to push the world over the edge just because they have a billion mouths to feed. US and Japan, in spite of emitting large amount of CO2, have maintained a large forest cover which to a an extent negates the effects of emissions. That is clearly not the case with India. There is hardly any forest cover left today in India if you look at the ratio of forest land to its total land mass.

  • 37.
  • At 09:59 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • ahana kalluri wrote:

Although its the easier option to point fingers at developing nations like India and China as their speed of development is far greater and quicker over the last decade, we must remember that we wouldn't be in this global environmental crisis if it wasn't for countries like the US and the UK and their frenzied industrialisation in the 60's and 70's when India was struggling with newfound Independence. It seems highly ironic that they now stand at the top of their skyscrapers and look down upon countries like India and China who stand at the threshold of development.As an Indian growing up in India, just a few examples of how environmentally friendly Indians are -
no prepackaged food - foods almost always gets cooked from scratch including yogurt!
My grandmother's been recycling her newspapers and plastic for longer than she can remember, let alone me!
No scrap yards at the first sign of repair - take your electrical gadget down to the repair shop and reuse.(my mum's fridge is as old as me!)
CARS?! MOBILES?! COMPUTERS?! Only 20 years old...

  • 38.
  • At 10:00 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • D wrote:

Please would anyone who is going to comment read the WHOLE article. Those of you who have been condemning Ethical Man for failing to consider that the per capita emissions of the US and UK far surpass those of India may have a pleasant surprise...

  • 39.
  • At 10:01 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

With people in India not even creating enough carbon a year to run a tumble dryer 90 a year surely a problem occurs. They can't use very much less carbon. There's only one other side of the formula you can change, the population. And I'm not just talking about India and China here, we should be talking globally we need less people.

Massive reductions can be achieved passively in a single generation all it needs is the political will. If we a re certain our presence is having a negative impact (and I am) then we need to act. I'm doing the most ethical thing I can and reducing my carbon footprint my a huge amount by not having a child, if only 50% of the world population would do the same.

  • 40.
  • At 10:02 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • ahana kalluri wrote:

Although its the easier option to point fingers at developing nations like India and China as their speed of development is far greater and quicker over the last decade, we must remember that we wouldn't be in this global environmental crisis if it wasn't for countries like the US and the UK and their frenzied industrialisation in the 60's and 70's when India was struggling with newfound Independence. It seems highly ironic that they now stand at the top of their skyscrapers and look down upon countries like India and China who stand at the threshold of development.As an Indian growing up in India, just a few examples of how environmentally friendly Indians are -
no prepackaged food - foods almost always gets cooked from scratch including yogurt!
My grandmother's been recycling her newspapers and plastic for longer than she can remember, let alone me!
No scrap yards at the first sign of repair - take your electrical gadget down to the repair shop and reuse.(my mum's fridge is as old as me!)
CARS?! MOBILES?! COMPUTERS?! Only 20 years old...

  • 41.
  • At 10:04 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Jake Long wrote:

I cannot believe that there are so many people in this little corner of the BBC that have decided that anthropogenic Co2 emissions cause climate change.

Even the conjecture is looking a bit rough these days, especially now that we know for certain that warming precedes rises in atmospheric Co2.

If you accept the environmentalist lobby's excuse for this (that anthropogenic Co2 added to natural Co2 causes a feedback mechanism) then you must accept this as proof that even if they are right, it is way too late to do anything about it.

We can either do one of 2 things:

Enjoy it while it lasts

Or

Invest in adapting to climate change

  • 42.
  • At 10:04 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • ahana kalluri wrote:

Although its the easier option to point fingers at developing nations like India and China as their speed of development is far greater and quicker over the last decade, we must remember that we wouldn't be in this global environmental crisis if it wasn't for countries like the US and the UK and their frenzied industrialisation in the 60's and 70's when India was struggling with newfound Independence. It seems highly ironic that they now stand at the top of their skyscrapers and look down upon countries like India and China who stand at the threshold of development.As an Indian growing up in India, just a few examples of how environmentally friendly Indians are -
no prepackaged food - foods almost always gets cooked from scratch including yogurt!
My grandmother's been recycling her newspapers and plastic for longer than she can remember, let alone me!
No scrap yards at the first sign of repair - take your electrical gadget down to the repair shop and reuse.(my mum's fridge is as old as me!)
CARS?! MOBILES?! COMPUTERS?! Only 20 years old...

  • 43.
  • At 10:05 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

With people in India not even creating enough carbon a year to run a tumble dryer 90 a year surely a problem occurs. They can't use very much less carbon. There's only one other side of the formula you can change, the population. And I'm not just talking about India and China here, we should be talking globally we need less people.

Massive reductions can be achieved passively in a single generation all it needs is the political will. If we a re certain our presence is having a negative impact (and I am) then we need to act. I'm doing the most ethical thing I can and reducing my carbon footprint by a huge amount by not having a child, if only 50% of the world population would do the same.

  • 44.
  • At 10:07 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Jake Long wrote:

I cannot believe that there are so many people in this little corner of the BBC that have decided that anthropogenic Co2 emissions cause climate change.

Even the conjecture is looking a bit rough these days, especially now that we know for certain that warming precedes rises in atmospheric Co2.

If you accept the environmentalist lobby's excuse for this (that anthropogenic Co2 added to natural Co2 causes a feedback mechanism) then you must accept this as proof that even if they are right, it is way too late to do anything about it.

We can either do one of 2 things:

Enjoy it while it lasts

Or

Invest in adapting to climate change

  • 45.
  • At 10:07 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:

With people in India not even creating enough carbon a year to run a tumble dryer 90 times a year surely a problem occurs. They can't use very much less carbon. There's only one other side of the formula you can change, the population. And I'm not just talking about India and China here, we should be talking globally we need less people.

Massive reductions can be achieved passively in a single generation all it needs is the political will. If we a re certain our presence is having a negative impact (and I am) then we need to act. I'm doing the most ethical thing I can and reducing my carbon footprint by a huge amount by not having a child, if only 50% of the world population would do the same.

  • 46.
  • At 10:08 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Sukesh wrote:

Most people in India dont own private vehicles and use public transportation for daily commuting. This should mean that emission from vehicle per capita should be really much less compared to US and UK. India will have to investigate the source and find ways to control pollution. We Indians have to consider the harm it causes to our health as well as the Global Warming situation.

  • 47.
  • At 10:08 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • VT wrote:

"Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth" What bull!!!
Before Indians are asked that, let's see if that means anything to the current biggest polluters???

  • 48.
  • At 10:08 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Aporajito wrote:

it's GLOBAL warming, not India or China warming.. personally, i see nothing ethical about this article, but i do hope you saw that there are a lot of problems faced in the country, mostly dealing with ethics and society, both of which have a very flimsy relation with one another.

  • 49.
  • At 10:09 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • AP wrote:

Hey Justin, why not try it on Americans instead? You scared of Uncle Sam? Why go to places like India when clearly the problem lies on "both sides of the Atlantic" and "on one side of the Pacific". :-)

  • 50.
  • At 10:20 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Suraj Kumar Ratti wrote:

India will be developed country in the coming years, it has large Muslim group and will tahe economis strides, good healthcare, call and design centres, huge highways, good airports which will source of pride in the near future, sez's will increase rapid growth, The states like the Punjab will be huge mega facelift with these changes happening huge influx of immgrants will arrive in the country to learn about the culture anf they well being

  • 51.
  • At 10:22 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Vivek Raj wrote:

No offence against WEST, The whole article is like let the WEST create all the mess for years, then EAST is responsible for cleaning it. I call this as complete hypocrisy of the so called ethical MAN. I do agree that it is everyone’s responsible to take care of mother nature, but the people who has created the BIG MESS has to drastically cut the incurring mess, then they can preach others. The way how the WEST has been in the forefront in polluting the nature, I hope they will be in the forefront in cleaning up as well.

Said so, as usual I have doubt that WEST will take the lead in cleaning up. Hence I suggest the ETHICAL MAN go to WEST and see if they are changing a bit. Hope they are, which I doubt.

  • 52.
  • At 10:23 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Vivec wrote:

Poorly researched article!

Greenhouse emissions per capita (C02e/pp)

UK - 11.01
India - 1.34

A typical Britisher pollutes 8 times more than a Indian!

This should have been mentioned.

  • 53.
  • At 10:24 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Mridul Joshi wrote:

Global warming is the biggest threat that we are facing as a human race in this day and age.

All the nations (developed and developing) have a collective responsibility to take corrective actions and reduce greenhouse emmisions.

That said, I think the impact on the greenhouse gases by India & China is more of an overstatement.

Instead of comparing the total emmisions by the two countries we need to look at the per capita emmisions by the two countries and then compare it with most of the developing nations.

Thanks
MJ

  • 54.
  • At 10:27 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

What's needed, and fair, is a global standard for carbon emissions - how many tonnes per person per year can the world cope with? All nations should aspire to this target. Carbon trading and sanctions would help to ease the path.

Of course it also has to be based on population at a fixed date, otherwise uncontrolled population growth will steal carbon allowances from other nations.

  • 55.
  • At 10:28 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Chris Gudgin wrote:

The leaders of developing countries need to separate what is fair and what is practical in their minds. It may be unfair and hypocritical that the west have polluted to a massive extent to develop and now preach to the developing countries to be ethical, but the harsh reality is that everyone has got to change now to avoid disaster, whether they are developing or fully developed.

  • 56.
  • At 10:30 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • A Patel wrote:

There is no possible way for India and China to develop their economies without contributing significant CO2 emissions. The solution is for developed countries to invest in alternative energy sources to be used in India and China, especially for the rural people as they make up the majority of the population, and to install and maintain these technologies. India does not even have the infrastructure in place for conventional energy. Regarding rural villages, placing renewable technology on the local scale would eliminate future CO2 emissions from people who do not have access to electricity. For more information on this subject, you can read this published article: http://sustainus.org/images/stories/CitSci/2007/patel.pdf

  • 57.
  • At 10:31 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • joy wrote:

This whole hue & cry about global warming that is coming out of the west reminds me of the millienium bug -- all those scaremongering and criticising the roles of the pariahs -- Russia, India, china -- all those predictions what could happen -- planes falling off the sky !! UK govt even distributed leaflets how to deal with your microwave in the millienium !!I hope the same doesn't happen with all this pseudo-ethics. I think this is politics of the west to put pressure of the two most powerful economies of the future -- China & India to slow their growth !! Just ignore it.

  • 58.
  • At 10:32 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Rahul Tendulkar wrote:

I think, more than comparing between the West and third world and blaming each other for global warming, we should make a collective effort to reduce our CO2 emissions. I firmly believe its not the ignorance of people but lack of education and realization about the causes of global warming that is causing people in India to behave indifferently towards this issue. When i came over to the UK two years back from India, i myself was unaware about how my day to day actions like using the tumble dryer, frequent car use, low cost flights could affect the CO2 emissions but the awareness missions and programmes in the UK have made me realize this. And this is something we lacked in India, however let me also assure you not for long. On my recent trip back to India, i was very surprised and happy to see the awareness campaigns run by the different NGO's to make people aware about this issue. I was happy to see that Indians have started realizing, there is a problem and are making a sincere effort to address it.

P.S. Please ignore the comments of the environment minister, an average Indian is more educated than an Indian politician

  • 59.
  • At 10:35 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Rana Pratap wrote:

I think that the 'per capita CO2 emission' is not an accurate way to measure the carbon footprint of an Indian. The carbon footprint of an upper middle class urban Indian matches those of middle class people in developed countries. They go for exotic holidays, have multiple cars, shop in super markets and consume at the same level. However, the poor villager has a minuscule carbon print. Since most people are quite poor the per capita carbon emission for India is quite low. To bring up the living standards of the rural poor will increase carbon emissions but the upper middle class and the rich in India do indeed share the global responsibility of reducing their carbon foot print.

  • 60.
  • At 10:35 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Deeg Jama wrote:

All that was said above has its validity. There is another perspective I wish to mention. That is to say that this whole issue is about “MONEY”, and don’t forget “POWER”. Let me clarify, who is pushing this issue on the world? The answer is the West. The West no longer has the power it once had, and now with free trade it is hard for them to compete in a global economy. This “save the environment” is all a façade to hinder both INDIA and CHINAS’ economy so that the WEST can compete in the global economy. After all, the WEST is going bankrupt.

  • 61.
  • At 10:37 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • MB wrote:

The old saying about straw and donkeies backs comes to mind!

Still why am I worried I don't have any children to leave this world to and don't think re-incarnation happens.
So India and China are welcome to it!

Love the world don't kill it!

  • 62.
  • At 10:38 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • AJ wrote:

Since the 'West' is responsible for the pollution till date and also the promotion of consumerism in their own countries and markets they are in, I would say it is upto them to take the initiative to reduce the carbon footprint; especially by utilising the monetary benefits they have reaped over the last 50 years.
The 'West' should spend the money on research into better technologies which will reduce the carbon footprint. Provide this technology freely to the east without the aim of making a profit out of it (as their capitalist economomies are wont to do) and see the difference. I am sure people in the 'east' will be ready to accept these lifestyle changes. If they follow the path of hypocricy and they will fail.

  • 63.
  • At 10:42 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Pradeep Bhat wrote:

I think the upper middle class and the rich in India are averse to the idea of using public transportation. I strongly believe that the use of CNG/hybrid public transport vehicles is the answer to reduce global warming worldwide.


Pradeep

Oxford, Mississippi

  • 64.
  • At 10:50 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Andy, London wrote:

I'll be interested to see if in the coming years the expanding Indian middle classes care one single jot about environmental damage, when they fail to care one single jot about the lower castes living in poverty among them. For a country with India's economy the standard of living for many people is absolutely appalling. I fail to see how the middle classes will wish to see the lower castes achieve a similar standard if environmental pressures ever do register in their selfish minds. Certainly, the impoverished will have no regard for such things either, even if they are fortunate enough to achieve a standard of education where they may be aware of the problem.
Sadly, the raising of living standards for such people, were it to happen in India and elsewhere, will thrust the world over into the abyss that the West has brought us to the brink of. Humanity Rules! ...unfortunately.

  • 65.
  • At 10:50 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • sarangi wrote:

Dear Ethical Man - Here is a suggestion.
You might want to explain to Indians and everyone here and there that we should go for a per capita reduction. So let us propose a 10% per capita reduction for the world as a whole. Then every country can do its bit, scale back according to their scale of pollution. The big per capita polluters would have to scale back more than the small per capita polluters. That would be a fair solution and would I think go down well with Indians. The idea of just cut back while and give up some development will probably not.

  • 66.
  • At 10:57 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

Surely carbon emissions should be allocated to the country at the end of the product/service chain rather than the originator, or at least in part. Take China for example, how much of its CO2 is generated due to exported goods used in Europe and the west? The same probably true for India. Every country (and indeed individual) has a responsibility to manage its footprint, but this is obviously relative to the positive output generated. Exports to foreign parts should also be considered in these figures - the responsibility for the emissions is ultimately where the product or service demand is!

  • 67.
  • At 10:58 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • A.C wrote:

The whole world is responsible for Global Warming and pollution. If we keep playing this blame game that it’s the west or the developing nations alone then I am afraid we will all be doomed. We need to get together and pitch in to save the planet. It’s obvious that rich industrialized nations like the US and Japan will have to lead the way as they have the money and tech to help solve the problem. India should make an effort for its own sake. I have been to India and i have to say that the level of pollution in India cities like Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta are killing its citizens with poor health cause by pollution. Recent survey showed that 70% of Calcutta residents have repertory problems caused by pollution.

  • 68.
  • At 11:05 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • jaga wrote:

I am living in UK . I am surprised to see the gas and electricity prices are less as you use more units /quarter . In India it is the reverse. It is almost double after curtain units/month. I think the power companies in UK should reconsider the rates they should start penalising the people who use more energy... this will automatically reduce the enegry consumption

  • 69.
  • At 11:10 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Taz wrote:

Sod it lets all just screw up the world with all this its your fault no its your fault attitude......anyway if the west plays its cards right the developing countries will all become deserts whilst the western countries will have a great warm climate. So the west come out on top in anycase ! and leave India and co. living in a hell on earth.


However there is another way and that is to stop buying Chinese cheap goods & stop bringing in and using slave labour from India and thereby throwing their economies back into the stone age, the West wins again !

  • 70.
  • At 11:13 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Elaine wrote:

Its would be far easier for India to develope good habits NOW rather than like us - have to try and reverse the bad habits we have mistakenly had for many years. So everyone - developing country or not - should consider what they can do.

  • 71.
  • At 11:14 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Logic wrote:

Curious, people seem to have forgotten that carbon is not necessarily the cause of "Climate Change", and that solar output tallies much more closely with current temperature trends.
Never the less, pumping out carbon may not be the best idea. Also It appears to have escaped peoples minds that energy consumption does not necessarily entail carbon emissions, and become accepted as fact.
Even if carbon is a greenhouse gas heating the earth we can get renewable sources. Not least the disturbing fact that one energy saving lightbulb produced in China releases more carbon in production than it saves during it's life compared to incandescent lighting. Not to mention the chemicals involved, notoriously, Mercury.
Note the French, they have nuclear power throughout, and it's quite tricky in France to buy energy saving lightbulbs, or at least, it is in the smaller cities.
Britain has been endured temperatures far greater than todays and atmospheric carbon levels much higher, but the planet swung back to what we currently experience, which, if I am not mistaken is lower than the global historical average and appears to be set to rise, in any case. It is more likely that this furor over climate change is merely a way to influence development in underdeveloped nations than being a real crisis. It is all a power struggle.
You may be glad to know that I am not some freaky disbeliever, I am a scientist who follows evidence without agenda. I recycle and am conservative with power, I use public transport and do not eat meat. Basically, my arguments are not compromised by my lacking responsible principles, I don't.

  • 72.
  • At 11:16 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Aman Nayar wrote:

The moot issue is that its everyone's responsibility.

India's per capita greenhouse gas emission may be low, but that is just an average- a significant chunk of India's population is still rural where the per capita emmission would be low. As India booms- and urbanises, the per capita emission, as well as the total emissions will go up significantly. This in itself presents a rare opportunity-unlike the West that had to invest significant resource in introducing greenhouse gas reducing technologies for its entire population base, for India the cost of switchover for its small greenhouse emitting urban base is relatively small-per capita.

Any which way, everyone's gotta emit less smoke for anyone to possibly walk gloriously into the sunset -pun intended!

  • 73.
  • At 11:19 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Walter Murray wrote:

Perhaps the biggest step India could make is to curb its population growth. Or maybe it could accelerate it and then claim its per capita pollution rate was falling. Pollution in India is bad for Indians regardless of global warming. Much the same as it was for the working poor in Victorian Britain. Of course the rest of the world did benefit from the lower cost of British trains and steel much as the West does today over Chinese cheap goods.

  • 74.
  • At 11:22 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Paul Mathew wrote:

I agree with the fellow Indians regarding the traditional hypocrisy of the West etc etc, but would nevertheless like for us to become the leaders in energy management for large populations, while preserving the economic and developmental momentum. The younger generations in India may be willing to think boldly and in this framework.

How pathetic, yet another 'Green' article presented by someone who has just jetted across the world. So called Ethical Man wiping out all his carbon credibility in one fell swoop.

Couldn't the BBC have set an example by doing this piece by video conference, or employing a local reporter?

The vital Green message watered down and down and down until its acceptable to the mainstream, but of course by then completely ineffectual.

As for the Indian lifestyle, perhaps the BBC could have gone to some intentional communities or traveller sites in the UK and met people who live a similarly simple lifestyle (and I don't meen some 'Trophy Green' proud of his shiny wind turbine and shiny hybrid car who seem to get all the airtime). I am proud to say I carry all the water I use from an outside tap, just like the Indians. I chop all my wood to heat my little caravan, and I am VERY HAPPY! I am sorry to see that the people in India are envious of our unnatural lifestyles. If they become like us it will only give them the sad disconnected faces I see all around me in England, the faces of debt ridden overcrowded stressed and exhausted folk all struggling to pay for their earth destroying lifestyle.

If the Indians think we all live like 'unEthical Man' it presents a false picture of the West to them. 'unEthical Man' should have shown them the loneliness and isolation of the average western pensioner and see if they still want to adopt our atomised nuclear family, car and house owning democracy!

And when the reporter says 'the things we all take for granted in the west' he doesnt speak for me, or a lot of people I know!

  • 76.
  • At 11:27 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Baldeep wrote:

I am so glad to see this on TV today. Everyone says India and China are bad but they are big countries.

5.5 Indians to 1 Britain is a massive difference in CO2 consumption.

Britain, USA and other big polluters should think again.

MAKE A DIFF NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

  • 77.
  • At 11:28 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Baldeep wrote:

I am so glad to see this on TV today. Everyone says India and China are bad but they are big countries.

5.5 Indians to 1 Britain is a massive difference in CO2 consumption.

Britain, USA and other big polluters should think again.

MAKE A DIFF NOW, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

  • 78.
  • At 11:45 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Tom Shepherd wrote:

The largest polluters are the USA and Europe (no real point in comparing the UK directly as plenty of people point out). We are the ones who need to clean up our acts first before trying to impose the whole concept on people who are currently significantly poorer and less able to react than ourselves (not to mention less responsible for the mess). At the same time we should try educating these self same people while we educate oursleves to help them avoid the mistakes WE ARE STILL MAKING NOW!

The biggest two actions right now are making Americans believe there is a problem and making Europeans start reacting to the fact they've just figured out there is a problem.

  • 79.
  • At 11:47 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Nick G wrote:

It's interesting that man-made global warming is now portrayed as an established 'fact'. It is not. There is no evidence to suggest that human activity has any significant effect on the Earth's temperature. Here's some real facts:
1. Earth's average temperature fell between 1940 to 1975. Just at the same time global industrialisation and CO2 emissions took off. I remember seeing programmes in the mid-seventies predicting a new ice-age!
2. Earth's temperature has regularly been much higher than it is now e.g. around 800-1200 A.D.
3. The Earth's temperature is dictated by the amount of cloud cover. The more cloud, the lower the temperature as clouds reflect a lot of the sun's radiation.
4. Cloud cover is depends on the amount of cosmic particles that enter the Earth's atmosphere because when these meet water vapour they form droplets.
5. The amount of cosmic particles entering the atmosphere is mainly dictated by the strength of the solar wind from the sun. The more activity from the sun as seen by sun spots, the greater the solar wind, the more this wind blows away cosmic particles.
So to summarise, the Earth's temperature is dictated by the sun's activity. Ask any climate scientist who is not on the payroll of the vested interests peddling the man-made global warming myth.
The western governments are terrified of countries like India acquiring the energy they need to challenge western dominance of the global economy. That's why they peddle this man-made global warming myth.

  • 80.
  • At 11:49 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Sean wrote:

I take issue with the comment about unreasonable car ownership and unnecessary air travel in America. We do not enjoy the same level of public (especially rail) transportation that other countries do. We built roads instead of rail tracks, and it is now virtually a necessity to own or have access to a car. As for unnecessary air travel, try booking ground transportation between new york city and los angeles and see how long it will take you versus flying. If anything, take issue with the ridiculously oversized cars that many of my countrymen own.

  • 81.
  • At 11:49 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Supinder Singh Varaitch wrote:

Sustainable development is not just about GHG reduction but also incorporates the notion of equity, as set out by the Brundtland commission. Thus sustainable development should go hand in hand with a convergence of world GDPs.

People in the west should accept the fact that they will have to make certain sacrafices in their lifestyle if the objective of equity is to be achieved; and also they should not begrudge developing economies their growth.

Ethical mans fails to mention various intergovernmental schemes set out by Kyoto that aims to produce flexible mechanisms by which to reduce GHGs; such as Clean Development Mechanisms(CDM), Joint Implementation Projects and carbon trading. It is only by focusing on these superstructure mechanisms can any sizeable dent in GHG emissions, will a reduction be achieved.

Their is an absense in this discussion about technology; the advance of technology has helped millions in the past and it will undoubtably play a major part in mitigating the effects of climate change. The exciting use of zero emission coal fired power stations with carbon capture and storgae will undoubtable be a reality within the next decade. This is the great 'white' hope that will help reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80%.

It should also be noted that India is a world leader in wind power technology, although there is serious doubt as to their efficacy.

As a corollary, Indian man in the perjoritive sense has always been ethical. Go to the villages that make up the back bone of India and you will find that traditional systems in place waste nothing and utilse everything.

  • 82.
  • At 11:52 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Supinder Singh Varaitch wrote:

Sustainable development is not just about GHG reduction but also incorporates the notion of equity, as set out by the Brundtland commission. Thus sustainable development should go hand in hand with a convergence of world GDPs.

People in the west should accept the fact that they will have to make certain sacrafices in their lifestyle if the objective of equity is to be achieved; and also they should not begrudge developing economies their growth.

Ethical mans fails to mention various intergovernmental schemes set out by Kyoto that aims to produce flexible mechanisms by which to reduce GHGs; such as Clean Development Mechanisms(CDM), Joint Implementation Projects and carbon trading. It is only by focusing on these superstructure mechanisms can any sizeable dent in GHG emissions, will a reduction be achieved.

Their is an absense in this discussion about technology; the advance of technology has helped millions in the past and it will undoubtably play a major part in mitigating the effects of climate change. The exciting use of zero emission coal fired power stations with carbon capture and storgae will undoubtable be a reality within the next decade. This is the great 'white' hope that will help reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80%.

It should also be noted that India is a world leader in wind power technology, although there is serious doubt as to their efficacy.

As a corollary, Indian man in the perjoritive sense has always been ethical. Go to the villages that make up the back bone of India and you will find that traditional systems in place waste nothing and utilse everything.

  • 83.
  • At 11:55 PM on 22 May 2007,
  • Kate Fletcher wrote:

Well, here is the 'torrent of abuse', Ethical Man. You knew it was coming...
Seeing people flying everywhere on the TV gives the impression that it's a normal thing to do, in the same way that smoking in films makes people reach for the fag packet. Smoking used to be trendy, I wonder how long it will take for the tide to turn on flying? I gave it up years ago and am just starting to see and hear a change in the media. Let's hope Ethical Man's fear of the 'torrent of abuse' is not just lip service but his first faltering step towards the realisation that this has got to stop.
It seems the main point of your feature was to conclude that we can hardly blame the Indians for finding buses unpleasant. Well great. Fly half-way round the world to say we should all be greener, but it won't be fun...
There were so many more Ethical and Environmental ways you could have made your point, whatever it was.
Local reporters, sattelite link ups, video conferencing, hell if you have to go there what about ship or overland? It IS possible (there are agents that book places on container ships, agencies who find volunteer crew for yachts...) Maybe it takes a bit longer, but that could have been seen as a positive and enriching journey, joining up a spectrum of people at various stages of Westernisation.
Congratulations on yet another missed opportunity for really making a difference and setting a truly ethical example.

  • 84.
  • At 12:16 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Nick Walker wrote:

Tonight’s report clearly shows that the nonsense the Western (particularly British) governments have been spouting about reducing OUR carbon foot-print simply isn’t going to cut it. If we accept that the third world has the right to a standard of living anywhere near our own (and denying them this is not only unethical but is going to be increasingly difficult to achieve), then I’m quite sure that the resources (not just carbon but food, water, metal, cement etc) needed to give all mankind just a 1960s Western lifestyle would be too much for the planet to bear (and I’m one westerner who has no wish to reduce my standard of living back to the 1980s let alone the 1960s!).
We must either keep these people poor or we must remove people from the planet. We can either do the latter by utilising mankind’s favourite methods of war, famine, disease etc. OR we need to export them off the planet altogether. Nearly 40 years ago Gerald K O’Neill told us (in his book "High Frontier") how to do this with 1970s technology. Doing it now will not only be easier and more affordable but is the ONLY answer to the problem.

  • 85.
  • At 12:23 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Varghese wrote:

At the outset let me make my position clear by saying that as a citizen of the globe ,I am concerned by global warming.But lets not blame the developing countries alone.Buses in London still run on fossil fuels whereas in Delhi they have been running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) for the past 5 years.China is a country which uses bicycles for its transport much more than the 'developed world'.South East Asia is famous for its large scale use of two wheelers.Richmond in London went into a frenzy when an extra charge was being put on the SUVs.
And the UK has delayed the home packs till August.Lack of poitical will and procrastination exists on both sides of the hemisphere.And the US of A is still the kingpin when it comes to large scale pollution.
Hypocrisy it seems is still by and large a western export in todays globalised world.Though it will soon be an Eastern export as well.Lest we forget that the world is FLAT.

  • 86.
  • At 12:25 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • MJ wrote:

I think everyone should realise that all the Carbon emission is aload of nonsence. Where was man million years ago when the earth was going through these changes. It is just nature taking its course. All this talk about CO2 is propaganda where thte rich get richer. These governments and intellects think we are all stupid. It has been proven that earth has been here before, and will continue to do so. It will come and go but the cycle continues. Their is nothing you or i can do to change things. All you will do is submit to the governments and those hypecritical organisations whom only wish to make money. Britain has been into these 3rd world countries stolen and left leaving chaos, and how dare we now tell these countries not to spend their well earned money. We do and we continue to do so Let's think about the panarama report that was shown on 21/5/07. our government does not wish to listen, but only make money for those institutes in their pocket.

  • 87.
  • At 12:27 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • MJ wrote:

I think everyone should realise that all the Carbon emission is aload of nonsence. Where was man million years ago when the earth was going through these changes. It is just nature taking its course. All this talk about CO2 is propaganda where thte rich get richer. These governments and intellects think we are all stupid. It has been proven that earth has been here before, and will continue to do so. It will come and go but the cycle continues. Their is nothing you or i can do to change things. All you will do is submit to the governments and those hypecritical organisations whom only wish to make money. Britain has been into these 3rd world countries stolen and left leaving chaos, and how dare we now tell these countries not to spend their well earned money. We do and we continue to do so Let's think about the panarama report that was shown on 21/5/07. our government does not wish to listen, but only make money for those institutes in their pocket.

  • 88.
  • At 12:28 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Justin wrote:

"Jaga - Thats precisely what the article refers to - pollution per capita, did you actually read it!?"

Comparing India (a developing nation) over the past 50 years with the UK and US seems irrelevant. India I'm sure has come on leaps and bounds in its polluting in recent years. Even studies from the past 20 years would give a more accurate reflection and comparison.

Yes, it is everyone’s problem, pointing fingers isn't needed. As much as India may claim that it is the west’s problem it isn't, we all share a planet. Surely they should look at their growing population and not the pollution percent per person. Even a small amount of pollution per person adds up to create a very large global problem. To the same extent, countries such as the UK and the US should have the wealth and means to reduce the amount they produce.

  • 89.
  • At 12:30 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Nick Walker wrote:

Dear Sarangi
Our standard of living is directly proportional to our consumption of resources (not only carbon but food, water, metals, cement etc). Reducing your resource consumption 10% effectively means reducing your income 10%. I once worked for a company that, during hard times, imposed a 5% pay cut on all its employees and I can tell you it was tough! Even those of us living in the heaven of the West tend to spend much of what we earn and to experience a 10% reduction in resource consumption is no mean feat. Maybe we in the west can mitigate this by more careful use of our resources but the real problem lies with the vast majority of the world living in poverty.
I don’t know where you hail from but given that you are participating in this forum I’m pretty sure you don’t live in the slums shown in tonight’s report where one woman had to make 40 trips to the local water supply for the family’s daily water requirement (I think it was 9 people living in a one room house!). If you were to experience that I think you’d have no interest in someone trying to sell you on the idea of reducing your resource consumption by even 1 tenth of a percent let alone a full 10%!

  • 90.
  • At 12:36 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • SEQ wrote:

Looks like there is a general agreement on a postive policy that would be most effective in dealing with the problem : West cuts CO2, East cuts population.

  • 91.
  • At 12:40 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Catriona wrote:

The comments made here are raising some serious issues about the ability of the general population to read.

I know there is a rather large text message generation out there but do we really have to learn to write in four words or less for the message to get across?

Perhaps the BBC should start a scheme of allowing journalists to use graphics, short viral films and four word captions to get the message across.

I am quite shocked at the lack of reading ability displayed on this site.

  • 92.
  • At 12:55 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Roy Mcoy wrote:

To be honest the main point here is of raising the issue atleast and awareness will hold the key.
I am from New Delhi and believe we do take some steps, may be not enough.

For example in New Delhi all Public Transport runs on CNG- compressed natural gas ten times less emmision and way cheaper.

Anwyays the problem down the line will be that worlds 20% population that lives under $1 a day is in India.They will probably not care of global warming, they better worry for their survival.
Like Charles Darwin said Survival of the Fittest will be the future.

Lets do our best and not argue

  • 93.
  • At 12:58 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Srinivas wrote:

Does this write have an iota of understanding as how "The East(India..)" recycles.
Average waste produced by one INDIAN is equal to that of a Large size Pizza Box...Now do the math & then you have a right to blame the person you wish to...

Having said that, we Indians arent all that saints either. Our conspicous consumption, total disrespect for Humanity, Super Individualism will prove to be the biggest blind spots that we wont see.

Wake up "World" not just India & China...

  • 94.
  • At 01:01 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Prasanth wrote:

As much as curbing CO2 is important for the mankind and nature to survive, I think we need to put our resources to find the efficient living. Efficiency should be our motto. I would really like to see my countrymen have the the life like an American but also advise them to learn the from their mistakes. We are not only poor economy but also poor in Natural resources. And we cannot (also cannot dream) to get help in future for our survival once we use our resources. Instead we should learn from countries like Sweden, Norway, and Finland. These countries were able to understand the dangers of the American lifestyle. More important it is for our future children and we don't want them rely on western countries like our forefathers who struggled during Colonial life.

  • 95.
  • At 01:10 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Ross Marnie wrote:

Re. Item number 9... You have NO IDEA what you're talking about. Where is this "plenty of evidence" your refer to which supposedly shows current climate warming's due to solar activity? There's none. Check the latest climate change special in New Scientist magazine (based on hundreds of climate change papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals). Recent solar sunspot activity, while greater than normal, cannot account for the current warming pattern. CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions can.

  • 96.
  • At 01:12 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Ross Marnie wrote:

Re. Item number 9... You have NO IDEA what you're talking about. Where is this "plenty of evidence" you refer to which supposedly shows current climate warming's due to solar activity? There's none. Check the latest climate change special in New Scientist magazine (based on hundreds of climate change papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals). Recent solar sunspot activity, while greater than normal, cannot account for the current warming pattern. CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions can.

  • 97.
  • At 01:15 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Nikhil wrote:

Western nations have, for years, been polluting our environment. Our populations are small but our emissions are huge. Western nations are the ones who must claim responisbility for the past and make the future much more green.

We can't have western nations (with our small populations) emit just as much CO2 as a nation with 1 billion people. That is not fair.

  • 98.
  • At 01:18 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • DCM wrote:

I think the visit of the "ethical man" to India should be considered a welcome one. What's wrong with increasing the global warming awareness amongst Indians? Imagine the impact if the visit leads to some more Indians to use bicycles instead of their mopeds and autos, and if it leads them to turn off their TVs when no one is watching!

Of course, the ultimate answer is the new "green" technologies. And why should Indians not start adopting those "green" technologies as soon as it is economical for them to do so? And finally, why not challenge Indian scientists and Indian enterpreuners to come with new "green" technologies? I don't believe getting a free pass on this issue is in the long term interest of India.

Any way, now that most people agree that the global warming is real, the first thing to do is increase awareness and seek voluntary reductions from each nation. Aportioning blame will indeed be futile.

  • 99.
  • At 01:22 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Rahul Singh wrote:

Serious Note

I was surprised to see many of the Americans giving the point of supporting 1/3rd of worlds economy as an excuse. They are the largest polluters in the world who havent signed the Kyoto protocol. This doesnt give them any rights to talk about any other country who is producing only factions of what they produce every year and is home to largest numbers of CMD projects. If supporting a large economy is an excuse, Japan (second largest economy)and Germany shouldn't have signed the kyoto protocol and stayed polluting as usual.
Apart from the fact that these countries have successfully met their carbon emission cuts target.
Its typical coming from people whose president even denies that CO2 emission is the main cause for global warming.
According to ADB estimates India and China both will surpass the economy of US by 2028. Still US will be a larger polluter given the fact the people are addicted to unnecessary luxuries.
China (third) and India (seventh) are very large countries areas wise too and population wise people should not forget that US is the third largest population in the world anyways still boosts so high per capita output.
What needs to be done is getting Hippocrates of these sorts sign the kyoto protocol and start reducing their CO2 emission as well as support Carbon deduction management (CDM) regime already in place under the protocol where the industries in these economies have to buy carbon credits if they cannot change the way they operate.
I believe once the Americans have to pay thru their noose for the luxuries, then only will they stop using them.

India has the maximum number of CDM ratified projects in the world thereby it seems that India is also making a serious effort. Given the population still under poverty,there is no other option than to look for super high growth rates and in order to do this, they need cheap power, raw meaterials and water resources hence the reason for coal fired power plants, mines and hydro elec dams.
Global warming is a serious issue and things need to be done. First thing would be enter into a regime which the world thinks is the right way to curtail CO2 emission and not only that but also curtail Methane and CFC emission which have a factor of 8 and 35 times more harmful than CO2 itself.
Food for thought:- Once China and India are both bigger economies than US and EU, what other excuses will be their for the US and other western countries to deny their role in a looming catastrophe.

  • 100.
  • At 01:25 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Bala wrote:

I cannot accept the thesis that India and China should worry more about pollution than economic development even though I realise the consequences and wory about the world I will leave for my child. The reason is that the west did nothing to stop carbon emissions when they were developing. The west became rich and the developing world did not and no efforts at conservation were taken. Now the poor countries are following the same path and are being told - "becoming well off is no big deal. you should be more concerned about the environment". In other words, we are rich and developed but if you do the same this will endanger the world so stop or it will be your fault the world comes to an end. If I were in India or China, I would say well, before it comes to an end I want to taste economic well being too and so to hell with your global warming concerns. Much the same, again unfortunately, is true of the nuclear doctrine. We have it, we'll keep it but it is really not worth it for any of you to have it and we'll destroy you if you try to get it. The only reason the western world is tolerating the development of India and China is that they too are benefiting from this growth otherwise the same rhetoric that is directed towards Iran would be directed towards China/India. I can see Cheney saying, "the development of these countries threatens our way of life and if they dare to grow at more than 5% we'll change the regime there". So while I worry about global warming, I am not sure how anyone in the west can suggest to the developing world not to grow. And any way you cut it economic growth=greater carbon emissions. Too bad no one in the west was thinking about it when they were buying their first cars. And not to be too pessimistic, I am sure our scientific geniuses will find a solution. I hope !!!

Bala
Princeton, New Jersey


  • 101.
  • At 01:30 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Jayant Radia wrote:

Please refrain from playing blame game and stop wasting time and energy to devise an ethical yard stick to figure out who is more responsible for killing our planet.

It is almost like comparing two poisons and say this poison kills faster than the other one. Is it not absurd to compare? The out come of taking either poison is virtually same.

The poor countries do not like to listen to the West,I believe for the following reasons:

Greedy West has always dragged its feet in helping poor countries; developed countries ONCE UP ON A TIME promised the foreign aid level at .7% of each countrie's GDP that never happened; refused to forgive loans to the poorest of poorest countries until a couple of years ago; if you recall USA cut off aid for the UN agency which played significicant roll in reducing unwanted kids; western drug companies still refuse to provode cheap medication for aid patients. The list can go on.

What can be done :

What the rich countries can do is to establish a fund of five billion dollars a year to teach India and China to develop clean energy out of coal; build nuclear plants with proper safeguards; help in increasing tree planting;help in cleaning their rivers; provide help in developing infrastructure and public transport system.

Finally stop preaching them what you do not practice.

This way we all help in saving our planet without forcing anyone country to make too many sacrifices.This would be a win win situation for all of us.

  • 102.
  • At 01:30 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Rahul Singh wrote:


I was surprised to see many of the Americans giving the point of supporting 1/3rd of worlds economy as an excuse. They are the largest polluters in the world who havent signed the Kyoto protocol. This doesnt give them any rights to talk about any other country who is producing only factions of what they produce every year and is home to largest numbers of CMD projects. If supporting a large economy is an excuse, Japan (second largest economy)and Germany shouldn't have signed the kyoto protocol and stayed polluting as usual.
Apart from the fact that these countries have successfully met their carbon emission cuts target.
Its typical coming from people whose president even denies that CO2 emission is the main cause for global warming.
According to ADB estimates India and China both will surpass the economy of US by 2028. Still US will be a larger polluter given the fact the people are addicted to unnecessary luxuries.
China (third) and India (seventh) are very large countries areas wise too and population wise people should not forget that US is the third largest population in the world anyways still boosts so high per capita output.
What needs to be done is getting Hippocrates of these sorts sign the kyoto protocol and start reducing their CO2 emission as well as support Clean development mechanism (CDM) regime already in place under the protocol where the industries in these economies have to buy carbon credits if they cannot change the way they operate.
I believe once the Americans have to pay thru their noose for the luxuries, then only will they stop using them.

India has the maximum number of CDM ratified projects in the world thereby it seems that India is also making a serious effort. Given the population still under poverty,there is no other option than to look for super high growth rates and in order to do this, they need cheap power, raw meaterials and water resources hence the reason for coal fired power plants, mines and hydro elec dams.
Global warming is a serious issue and things need to be done. First thing would be enter into a regime which the world thinks is the right way to curtail CO2 emission and not only that but also curtail Methane and CFC emission which have a factor of 8 and 35 times more harmful than CO2 itself.
Food for thought:- Once China and India are both bigger economies than US and EU, what other excuses will be their for the US and other western countries to deny their role in a looming catastrophe.

  • 103.
  • At 01:32 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Jayant Radia wrote:

Please refrain from playing blame game and stop wasting time and energy to devise an ethical yard stick to figure out who is more responsible for killing our planet.

It is almost like comparing two poisons and say this poison kills faster than the other one. Is it not absurd to compare? The out come of taking either poison is virtually same.

The poor countries do not like to listen to the West,I believe for the following reasons:

Greedy West has always dragged its feet in helping poor countries; developed countries ONCE UP ON A TIME promised the foreign aid level at .7% of each countrie's GDP that never happened; refused to forgive loans to the poorest of poorest countries until a couple of years ago; if you recall USA cut off aid for the UN agency which played significicant roll in reducing unwanted kids; western drug companies still refuse to provode cheap medication for aid patients. The list can go on.

What can be done :

What the rich countries can do is to establish a fund of five billion dollars a year to teach India and China to develop clean energy out of coal; build nuclear plants with proper safeguards; help in increasing tree planting;help in cleaning their rivers; provide help in developing infrastructure and public transport system.

Finally stop preaching them what you do not practice.

This way we all help in saving our planet without forcing anyone country to make too many sacrifices.This would be a win win situation for all of us.

  • 104.
  • At 01:39 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Ross Marnie wrote:

To Joy @ number 57: You really should read a little of the science and then see how wise it would be to "ignore it" (global warming). It's not just some politically-motivated ploy to get India and China to slow their economic growth. Efforts to reign in global warming are trying to prevent the DEATHS of many millions of people ALL OVER THE WORLD that will inevitably come to pass if we just "ignore it". People are dying already, and it's countries like Africa and, yes, China and India who will suffer most. Huge parts of China and India are sustained by rivers in the Himalayas. Rivers fed by glaciers. And the glaciers are melting rapidly due to global warming. No more glaciers, no more rivers, millions of people die. Simple as that. And I've not even touched on rising sea levels... And if you're wondering why the rivers are important, well, they irrigate vast areas of agricultural land and supply drinking water too.

  • 105.
  • At 01:56 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Deven Bhati wrote:

It is true that the per capita pollution by developing countries is much less than that of developed countries. But it doesn't give them right to continue polluting till the per capita level becomes the same as that of US or UK.

Private cars and use of electricity are not the only contributor to pollution and global warming. All kind of factories produce CO2 emmisions and other pollutants. In the developed countries CO2 emissons and other pollutants are carefully regulated by governmental agencies. Not so in India and other countries. There the politicians , ignore it saying, we are not the leading polluters so we won't worry about it .

What developing countries like India need to do is bring the emission levles (I am taking ppm) from Industries closer to the west. And developed countries should help with such efforts. Together we can make a difference.

  • 106.
  • At 02:30 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Santanu Ray wrote:

It is surprising that the author had agued about Indian Govt's and people's mentality when everyone in the planet knows the real culprit. That is America. Why haven't you written something against America and their policies? They even don't care what Greenpeace says. It is their attitude to be the big brother. Our country is rich with its heritage and peace keeping mentality unless and until you behave in the similar way with us ie Indians. It is true that global worming is lethal to all of us, but why only the developing countries are put into trial when we already know the big shots' responsibility and part in global worming?

And about the title of the article, would you love to read an article with a title "Should Britons take holidays abroad?” It is up to Britons to decide what to do with their holidays irrespective of what any other people think, and the same applies here, it is up to Indians to decide whether they drive a car or not. Make yourself better before pointing fingers to others. Don’t follow the path of Americans, Britons are given better place for their culture and heritage, don’t loose it to butter the big brother.

  • 107.
  • At 02:54 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Tom Shepherd wrote:

The largest polluters are the USA and Europe (no real point in comparing the UK directly as plenty of people point out). We are the ones who need to clean up our acts first before trying to impose the whole concept on people who are currently significantly poorer and less able to react than ourselves (not to mention less responsible for the mess). At the same time we should try educating these self same people while we educate oursleves to help them avoid the mistakes WE ARE STILL MAKING NOW!

The biggest two actions right now are making Americans believe there is a problem and making Europeans start reacting to the fact they've just figured out there is a problem.

  • 108.
  • At 02:56 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • mathew wrote:

third rate journalism !

  • 109.
  • At 03:24 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • gaurav wrote:

The problem is we all are looking at this problem from a specific country perspective. Some of us say we can control while others appear to be skeptical. I believe there is a problem and probably there might be an solution. But we need to first begin analysing this from a "Global" perspective

  • 110.
  • At 03:43 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • priyadarsan wrote:

Hi,

The carbon emission will remain and we all know that is directly or indirectly killing us. It is like a smoker and expose to smoke.

Our present day living is emitting carbon in different form and we all are letting the mother earth smoke for our comfort.

As per India, Indian lives very close to nature and they will not produce much carbon and they understand the outcome of producing co2. Take for the instance Delhi polution control, they reduced it to highest level. The present day science if mostly destroying nature not like Indian veda (aurveda) and we all are following it and nature oppose it. There is no way to reduce co2 as it became a part of our daily life.

  • 111.
  • At 03:46 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Charlotte Woerner wrote:

Ross Marnie wrote:

One can only sign your arguments - originally from Switzerland - we sit on the same ship. Our world famous alpine Matterhorn (most foreign visitors during the summer holiday are from India!) lost part of is top already during the last hot summer. Next to the Eiger a huge part of falling ice and rock blockt the whole entire Grindelwald tourism area. The same will happen to Mt. Everest and other world famous mountains. Rock avalanges will fill the rivers and the rest of water from the glaciers will move to other parts until they are all dry anyway.

  • 112.
  • At 03:46 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • AB wrote:

Skimming through the comments made, I think Alex Clark (post 19) seems to have made the most valid one:

'What the hell makes you think living 'environmentally' is ethical?'
Lovely how after decades of framing articles in such blatantly biased ways people just don't seem to see the bigger picture. Instead we are debating over whether the author was right in putting such a burden on India or not.

As Roger Fritchie (post 15) mentioned, the major cause for global warming is due to the water vapors and that's a natural process. I think you learn that in the seventh grade and you also learn that you can't really do much about that.

The ethical man is certainly not the journalist who went through an arbitrary transition where he decided to start recycling and be a bit nicer to mother nature. Don't you think there are bigger issues to deal with? Oh, I dunno... huge income inequalities, poverty, etc etc.. start somewhere practical

  • 113.
  • At 03:46 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • M.Lin wrote:


You can learn everything you could ever wish to know about 'ethical living' from the lowliest of common-or-garden Vedantin in India. It's where I came upon it all in the most striking and comprehensive manner and I have nothing but the deepest respect for the way the people I happen to know there, live.

To your undeniable credit, you did show that perhaps 'progress-as-polluter' may be a bit of a ‘macho’ problem, whilst at the same time not ramming the point down our throats.

Congratulations also for actually showing the sojourn in the ‘slum’.

So maybe, if you're going to send a guy out there to report, get him to educate himself more deeply about things beforehand - it's not as though he doesn't have the mental capacity to do this, nor does he seem insensitive.

If you want to do a really effective insert on India, I’d suggest you go and look at the people there who waste nothing - banana leaves for plates, coconut husks used as scourers, crows in attendance to clean up after a meal, ingenious abilities to wash and clean with the tiniest splashes of water, the adept use of a simple bed-sheet as personal (warming) air-flow unit etc etc Not forgetting, either, the tremendous care taken to remain ever clean in body and mind.

THEN pop up and show what aspirations to consumer culture give rise to – and throw in a few, not insignificant, facts about how malarial mosquitoes breed in the plastic cups thrown from trains and the plastic bags that blight the landscape.

I'm sure I sound madly arrogant. This is unfortunate. But I'm fed up with how superior we seem to imagine ourselves to be and what a narrow view we are content to take. I confess that I do sit at home and watch this work and try to imagine myself in the mind of someone who knows all about what you’re trying to portray….how naff and naïve are we?

We have so much to (re-)learn and apparently so little time in which to do it…

And yes, you'll find the Adyyar River full of human excrement in Chennai - So... do a programme on why there are not adequate sewage systems. And better still, find the clever people intending to invest in introducing these and improving matters.

Furthermore, you’ve Emily Maitless on your team. Hasn’t she lived in Asia? Doesn’t she know what I’m bleating on about?

Thanks. And sorry if I’ve offended, but really!!??….

  • 114.
  • At 04:20 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Peter K wrote:

It's disappointing to see such a 'them' and 'us' attitude in the thread when the article and the film ultimately pointed back home to the west to modify its lifestyle. If this is so, then those countries looking to copy it are going to have to modify their expectations too.

I met woman going to Amritsar who visited the UK and said 'you are materially rich, but socially I've never seen so many deprived people'. I'd rather India not follow our direction - obesity, habitual TV watching, private cars - comfort being equated with 'good'.

With New Delhi trying to ban street food sellers, India will soon look like any UK retail park and will be massively boring as a result. What a future (or big joke) we've played on them!

The more the UK can be like India today (with its bicycles, its vibrant public spaces and street life) than a tomorrow promising gated communities and shopping malls - all the better for both our nations and their people.

  • 115.
  • At 04:25 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • NJ wrote:

Amazing.
I'm a westerner.
(I'm actually American. Born and bred New York. Not exactly a kind breed, but that's another point altogether.)

I'm shocked that the thinly veiled racism is allowed on BBC's website. I always thought BBC was the bastion of the liberal mindset. My God! Even us commmunist pinkie homosexual New Yorkers even think that the BBC is a little over the line at times?

What happened here? I'm not sure. I don't even know if Fox News in the U.S. would even air something like this.

Hmmmm... wait a second. They probably would.
In conclusion, this belongs on racist.blog.foxnews.com, not on the BBC.

Please, upgrade the status. If you are not going to make it intellectual, or even economically coherent, please... please... please... just don't make it racist!

NJ
Desi New Yorker (and drives a gas guzzling sexy convertible)

  • 116.
  • At 04:32 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Ritesh Toshniwal wrote:

Everybody is blaming each other! But nobody is talking about what are the steps the Governments in West and developing countries can take to curb the emissions. What are the 'practical' steps?

Option 1:
Do you want China to stop the factories? But how would you survive? China is not manufacturing just for itself. China's major manufacturing is done for the West. And if China takes steps to improve the quality of its manufacturing, is the West prepared to pay for the increase in product prices? Wouldn't that mean that the manufacturing will shift from China to maybe Africa? Hence China doesn't have any incentive to improve the quality and increase the prices. And maybe then you will start blaming Africa!

Option 2:
Do you want Indians to stop buying cars? Can you force the likes of GMs and Toyotas to manufacture low price hybrid cars and sell only those to Indians? People in India don't care whether they are driving petrol cars or hybrid cars. They have just enough money to buy one. So you provide them hybrid cars at the same price and they will go for it. Can you do that?

If you can't do any of the above, then atleast can you suggest how India and China can curb the emissions? How the general populace can contribute to bringing down emissions? They are old civilisations who care for the Mother Earth. Actually Indians revere Mother Earth. If you see their lives from close, you will realise that their lives are quite closely tied to Mother Nature. From childhood we are taught to care for it and not to make it suffer. In fact, my parents always say that the more modern human beings become in their way of life, the more materialistic they become and the more they end up consuming the natural resources and exploiting Mother Earth. Many Indians believe in leading a simple life. Even though India is poor, the people their have good thinking and high regards for Mother Earth which I think contributes a little more towards our survival.

I am not being a part of the blame game. I am just stating how I think about the whole issue. I think we should provide 'practical' steps for the whole world to follow to curb emissions and stop the blame game.

  • 117.
  • At 04:48 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • sarangi wrote:

Dear Nick - the number 10% ws only an example, because x% may seem more abstruse, where x can be arrived upon by consensus. My point was about fairness of the allocation rule. I am assuming that people are willing to do their bit (I certainly do - please note I am not sugesting that you or anyone else has to do this) and reduce resource comsumption. In that case, then I simply suggested that we follow a x% reduction rule per capita, so that those on a higher base will have to reduce more. One last thing an x% reduction is resource consumption does not necessarily mean an x% reduction in income. Finally, where I live or my nationlity is irrelevant to my argument.

  • 118.
  • At 04:59 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Vish Viswanathan wrote:

It is all an issue of difference in the development timeframe. The West was able to develop at great cost to the planet with impunity. Now it wants the East to control its development due to fears that this may have an impact on the planet. What hypocrisy!! If they really want the East to curb their emissions, then they should share their technology with the East.

  • 119.
  • At 05:10 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Paresh wrote:

India has been growing to the 4th largest polluter in the world, and as the manufacturing industry boom is entering India, it will also grow more. Some things clearly need to be said, that India has to stop showing a formal or casual interest in Global Warming. When it comes to utting in practice, the politicans turn their back away, by throwing few numbers. Also, all top 25 key countries should play a consistent active role. The Indain government sitting on a firing economy does not have adequate law and infrastructure, which is helping the rich and illegal people to grow more richer, and the poor are remaining pretty much there with only modest rise in quality of life. With the onset of booming economy there is also a need for a good justice system that improves the quality of living, encourages innovation and safegaurds freedom and stops adhoc noise in the growth. We all know, Global warming is very serious issue, even more critical than the nuclear arms discussion, and it is time for India to prove that it is truly a leading country in the world.

  • 120.
  • At 05:57 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Vinay Mishra wrote:

I think BBC should monitor such articles before publishing on web. Even the caption itself seems offending "Should Indians drive cars". I mean who is Mr. Justin to decide what we Indians are supposed to do or not to do. It just reflects the views of same Imperial era, in which one country acts as a super power and directing other countries' actions.

  • 121.
  • At 06:36 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • shan wrote:

I don't think there is a point of discussiing CO2 emissions per person.
The whole point is the total greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

If you have a 1 litre empty glass ,to overflow the glass, the total matters and not a discussion of contribution per person.

This is a global responsibility which none of the countries can escape from. Its not acceptable that a country should add to the greenhouse gases just because of a past record.

Its the future we should look towards and we owe it to our children that we ensure a cleaner world irrespective of nationalitiy.

  • 122.
  • At 06:41 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Allon wrote:

To Ross, yes you are right and this climate change is an important issue we can't ignore. Yet sadly you are mostly wrong on one point, and that point is, climate change will not be stopped by mankind. We just are not smart enough to stop this type of thing, as we don't have the self-control to do so.
I come across the idea of global warming back in 1982 (when Al Gore first heard of it) and ever since I have looked at what can be done, and is being done, which is very little (in real terms).
Soon there will be crys of 'too little too late' and then most likely a lot of selfish wars etc. I say that we all get ready for the end and yes I'm a 'doom-sayer' and perhaps I'm the one doomsday prophet you will be remembering as being correct, for I say 'the end is coming soon'.
Enjoy you life people, you all worry a great deal. And one point Ross missed, that is that if billions of people are removed from the planet, along with their cars and factories etc, then the planet will quickly become a greener world, and rivers will flow better and grass will grow, that is unless we slip into a new ice age.
God is smarter than you think she is.

  • 123.
  • At 06:43 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Dr D M Joshi wrote:

Before Indians can give a serious thought to atmospearic polution they have to begin to think about polution that is corruption.

Bribes by police and judges do not out number bribes that change hands in education.

At the root of bribes in education is over a century old british law that forces every student wanting to sit at test that takes him to higher education to get certified by the head of a government recognised school that student was enrolled in such a school all 12 years.

British themselves have done away with this law.

Judges though will make law against atmospheric polution in cities will not touch the colonial law that corrupts every educated Indian.

  • 124.
  • At 07:11 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • D.R.Vinay kumar wrote:

I think Mr.Justin should have used a bicycle instead of rickshaw.

  • 125.
  • At 07:42 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Bernard wrote:

I somehow wonder how this 'Ethical Man' business is going to help. But a good initiative in any case if it sensitizes a few people along the way.

P.S. I somehow wonder why all the India apologists are not reading the article. The author has mentioned the per capita consumption.

  • 126.
  • At 08:35 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • mansing bhor wrote:

Does any one know about what Industrial Revolution is? It is a process of “social and economic change.” India and china are the current industrialisation nation. Third world countries want to move forward not backward. We should check the history of Europe and America before pointing out these two nations for climate change? If Europe doesn’t have industrialization during the 18th and 19th centuries, I am sure they will be third world country, today!! Point is how can we make our planet safe place to live? These country having billion people to survive, what can they do?

  • 127.
  • At 10:11 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Mark Parkinson wrote:

I think there's another issue which can slightly defend the developing countries in the equation. More and more manufacturing has been moving from developed to developing countries for two key reasons:
1) Lower costs of labour and manpower
2) More lax rules on environmental and pollution issues (e.g. requirement for cleaning factory emissions).

So, of course quite a lot of the Indian production of CO2 is now actually 'exported' production from Western countries and relates to good s which are eventually consumed in the west. Therefore, in fact the carbon footprint per capita is really even higher for the west if we track their goods consumed back to where they are manufactured.

This should act in the defence of India and similar countries in negotiating. It should not be an excuse for them to be excluded from negotiations.

  • 128.
  • At 10:21 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • T wrote:

I thought the programme made one thig very clear. If we want to stop global climate change we have to prevent poor people in India and China from getting richer. If we allow 2billion people to have a lifestyle similar to our own, then CO2 emmissions go through the roof. For the good of humanity we must prevent the poor of India from having access to electricity, running water and other such luxuries. Don't these people know how bad these are for the environment? I was shocked by the chutzpah of those Indian families who wanted to lift themselves out of poverty - shame on them. I'm sure if we explain the idea of a carbon footprint to them they will soon understand and accept that they must remain squalour-bound.
As an immediate point of action, please write to the Indian and Chinese embassies demanding that their countries halt the construction of hundreds of power stations that will bring elctricity and quality of life to their populations.

  • 129.
  • At 10:26 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Saurabh wrote:

I am a British Indian and my sympathies are towards India. In this article when the author blatently says that people's attitude is "It's not our fault". Aren't they right? The west has polluted the world enough that there is no more room, hence blame India / China for the last straw. I am not trying to justify the indian point of view, but I do not approve of certain things in the british NIMBy culture. For a starter, why doesn't the shuttle train from slough to windsor run on electric? oh yes, in 'Royal Windsor', we don't want to see the electric pylons. I don't see the author reporting the electrification of the rail network in India and its comparison to the UK as an example. Ethics vs Eyesore, In Britain Eyesore wins, at least it does seem to win 'in my backyard'.

  • 130.
  • At 11:07 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Shan wrote:

I am a middle class Indian.

When I can afford a tumble dry washing machine, I will buy it.

Then I will run it less so that I can reduce emissions.

Ok?

Is BBC simply reporting news as it should. Or deliberately targeting certain Asian countries in order to create negative feedback by its mostly holier than thou British readers?!!

  • 132.
  • At 11:58 AM on 23 May 2007,
  • Suresh wrote:

What a waste of time and money by BBC.
Fundementals of the research are right but the end result is atrociously incorrect. Well, people buy if developing countried are blamed, so, go on British Broadcasting Corporation.

  • 133.
  • At 12:10 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Pallav Tyagi wrote:

I was recently in India (after a gap of 5years). I remember the debate that was once raised about India being one of the least polluters of the world but what i saw was very different. untill the 90's the economic boom hadn't effected the people so severely but now the habits of people have changed drastically, they have become very western in terms of polluting and still their mentality is very Indian i.e. they are at most bothered about their own homes and are willing to pollute right outside. its not even an issue for most of them. the industries, the government are quite happy to blame it to the west & seem satisfied to clock a growth rate of 10% with no concerns about pollution or global warming or anything related. i found that pollution has penetrated very deep & it might take India a campaign on war-footing to stop catostrophic consequences.

  • 134.
  • At 12:30 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Nick Walker wrote:

Dear Sarangi

After sending my message last night I realised that I had forgotten to say that your proposal is definitely the fairest and most sensible solution to sharing the burden. My opposition to it is that I think you’re going to find it very difficult to sell to both the West and the Third World. You’ll not sell it to me because I like the fact that I can buy plums from my supermarket at a reasonable price all year round. This is just one example of how my life is so very much better than my parent’s lives were because of the increased resources I’m now consuming. I’ve become accustomed to it and in fact my children know no different. I’m reluctant to give it up mainly because I realise that it’s futile to do so because the Billions of people currently living in grinding poverty will wipe out my (by which I mean every single westerner’s) efforts just by moving themselves from grinding to harsh poverty. They’ll still be so poor that they’ll be looking to raise themselves from harsh to desperate poverty. What luxury will I need to lose to balance that? And again when they move themselves from desperate to relative poverty? And even if they all remain in grinding poverty, the fact that they’ll be 400 million more Indians in 25 years time will be enough to wipe out any gains the West can sensibly make!

I also think you’ll have trouble selling it to the woman featured in the report who currently makes 40 trips a day to the local standpipe for her family’s water supply. I don’t think you’ll be too successful when you tell her that she’s going to have to make 44 trips a day (I know that there’s no reason for her to actually consume more water but I use it as a graphic illustration of what a 10% reduction in her lifestyle means) but it’s alright because the idle Briton who currently spends two weeks a year sunning himself in Goa will be doing his bit too – he’ll now be sunning himself for two weeks in Dubai instead! (Judging by last night’s report that’s exactly the outlook the Indian government and people are taking). And that’s if your value of X is 10%. But what happens if it’s 50% (as I think is a more realistic figure). 60 trips a day so that the Briton can still spend two weeks lazing around in the sun – only now he’s doing his bit by only visiting Tuscany!

I very much disagree with your comment that an X% reduction in resource consumption does not equate to an X% reduction in income. It MAY be true for those of us living in the West who can make better use of their resources but certainly not for those billions who have little resource consumption now. You are also right about where you live being irrelevant but I suggest that the fact that you have the resources to take part in this debate means that you are unlikely to have first hand experience of what it’s like to live in the grinding poverty that the vast majority of people on this planet live in and therefore you have little idea of just how difficult it would be to convince these people to give us their 10% (or is it 50%?) whilst they sit watching the beaches of Goa full of idle Westerners (and ironically even more difficult once those Westerners have done their bit an stayed at home!).

I have just worked out a terrible figure. I’ve been thinking about this problem for nearly 30 years now (the terrible bit comes from the fact I'm old enough to have done so!), a long time before it ever became a popular think to worry about. But unlike the majority of people who are coming to this problem so late, I am absolutely convinced that reducing people’s resource consumption is not the solution. Quite simply, there are too many people living on this planet for us all to live any reasonable comfort level. Removing people from the planet (either by war, disease, famine etc.) or by expanding into space is the ONLY real sustainable answer. I fear that if we do not plan to do the latter, the former is a very real threat. In fact, personally, I believe that the war on terror is actually only the beginning of a war on the wealthy by the poor – and who can blame them?

  • 135.
  • At 12:32 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Amber wrote:

Hi Justin,

I thoroughly enjoyed your reports as Mr Ethical Man, and I'm glad that Ethical Man has gone global.
Your recent report on India was fascinating. But I found it rather uncomfortable viewing, especially when you went for a bus ride in your suit. That's when I also began to perspire with you. I admire your smart dress code, but by the end of the report I was sweating buckets. I could only feel for you in that heat. It's time the Newsnight Editor brought in the What Not to Wear team to give you a more comfortable alternative and find you a carbon free suit.

  • 136.
  • At 01:19 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Krishna Sabbineni wrote:

Dear Mr 'Ethical Man' - Justin Rowlatt ,

I can smell something burning somewhere..!!

  • 137.
  • At 01:24 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Josh wrote:

India accounts for only 5.6% of the global green house gases compared to its 18% of world population. India and China should not be among those countries who produce more green house gas % than their population % and teach a lesson to those countries producing more green house gases per head.

  • 138.
  • At 01:37 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • DP wrote:

I live in the USA, and can tell you that the common theme in these parts is that, 'they can take my SUV when hell freezes over", the people here are so hell bent on having every thing their way, it has become a birth right!!

In India, most people ride motorcycles as their main mode of transport, if even half the people in USA and the western countries duplicate this, then the CO2 would be much less, but do you think these people would do this?/....not in my life time. Most americans i know, would be able to ride bikes or motorcycles to work and for most of their transport needs, but they refuse to do it!!

The whole global warming thing boggles the mind, and most people wre waiting for others to take a hit in their standard of living while not giving up on theirs

Don't forget, USA burned 90% of the forrest that was here, in the 17, 18, and 19th centuries, now they are saying countries like Brazil should stop buring forrest to create agricultural land!!!

  • 139.
  • At 01:45 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • PW wrote:

The comparision between India and UK/US is flawed. How many people in India actually travel long distance using their cars compared to UK/US? Indian railways have been spending huge money on electrifying tracks, which is applaudable considering the size of the country and the fact that the fares are very low. Delhi has forced public transport buses, taxis etc to use CNG, which is much more cleaner than petrol/diesel. However, it has costed the government quite a lot on converting the buses and providing infrastructure. In contrast, London has implemented congestion charge scheme to fill up the government's coffers. Wonder what would have been the response if the author had asked an American to live ethically?

  • 140.
  • At 02:47 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Satya wrote:

It is foolhardy to compare total CO2 emission between countries whose difference in total population is so huge. India is 1.1 billion to UK's 60 million. Calculate per person emission and the real picture emerges. UK/US/Germany/France are the real polluters. People in the west wrongly pontificate to the developing countries. Who can forget the smoke that was spewed out in the last 200 years from these countries since the time of industrial revolution and now when the developing countries are on a path to growth the West accuses them of pollution. The sustainable way is to provide clean technology to the developing countries and also cut down on so much waste that a common man in West uses (think about all the packaging that is wrapped in western supermarkets!!).

  • 141.
  • At 03:27 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Rajeev wrote:

I do not think there was a need for the ethical man to travel all the way to India with his producer and cameraman in tow. He could have asked someone from India to prepare the news report by outlining what needs to be included in the report.

  • 142.
  • At 04:06 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • David Smith wrote:

The bottom line of this issue is that we, the more industrially advanced western nations, have so far set a poor example.

Before pointing the finger at nations following in our footsteps, we need to get our own house in order, and set a new, better example.

Agreements and targets are all well and good, but they are useless unless backed by real, positive action.

For example, what is the UK government doing to stimulate the development and use of hybrid electrical vehicles? On the face of it, very little.

Far from reducing the amount of air travel, there is continual pressure to expand airports to handle ever more traffic.

Far too many people commute long distances to work.

One problem, in the UK at least, is that the government has abdicated far to much control into private hands for there to be any co-ordinated effort towards achieving socially desirable results.

  • 143.
  • At 04:34 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Lapetu wrote:

Useless to compare total CO2 emmissions.. Use per capita consumption..

Clearly you wold understand the viewpoint of why India blames US/West for the menace

  • 144.
  • At 04:43 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Kam wrote:

This is hilarious. For one, you ruled 1/3rd of the planet for centuries, plundering the resources. Participate in almost all major wars, building weapons and producing nuclear waste (offcourse then wondering where to dump them), etc etc. And then, finally now that the developing countries get a chance to have a go at the "fortune reaping", simply by making cheap products efficiently and selling it back to you, you have nothing better to do than going around places and writing article on how the world can be better. As to your "The question is who.", the answer is "you - the British, going back centuries ago..".

  • 145.
  • At 07:14 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Anand Rajendra wrote:

Its a nice effort by so many ppl together to contribute their views on this issue of global warming. I perused (though painfully) through some of the comments here and was surprised to see how many different perspectives everybody has. Someone said that poor ppl should be eliminated from the planet to make it more "livable", but is it ethical, practical, and wise act? why dont you remove poverty instead??
I totally agree with the fact that everyone (in a small or large way) is responsible for global warming... It does not need proof to say that the West has been polluting more than the East, but considering the population and econimic growth of the East, futute increase in their contribution toward global warming is eminent. So no one can deny or run away from their responsibility toward taking corrective and preventive measures to save our mother Earth. I was born and brought up in India and now stay in USA. I've been seeing the differences. So I just wanted to make some points here.

Since the West has the technological advantage, it will be great if they transfer the cheaper technologies to others so they become efficient and environment-friendly in the way they live. On the other hand, east has been historically efficient in the way they consume and recycle products. There should be a way to transfer this knowhow to the West. There might be even a global initiative (it needs a intergovernmental, political will) to share the knowledge of "environment-friendly behavior".

Transportation, packaging and handling of products causes a huge wastage of resources. If local markets are encouraged, it would solve some issues partially.

Use of renewable energy sources for lighting, cooking, air-conditioning and heating will be great success. But solar cookers, wind turbines, solar lights and water heters, bio-gas equipment are still way out of reach of commoners in many countries. Why cant we help make these technologies available wherever possible and practical??

Everyone likes to blame others and ignore their own responsibilities. But did anybody ever think of what they have to do as their part?? just try to answer following questions...
Q. why do I produce so much waste? can I reduce it?
Q. why do I need hours of running showers?
Q. why do I need days and nights of affluent, unnecessary lighting?
Q. why do I ignore leakages?
Q. why dont I participate in car-pooling?
Q. why do I need car/bike rallies every other weekends???
it all leads to wastage of useful resources such as water, electricity, fuels... and it needs lot more resources to make these basic facilities available and usable. Did anybody ever think about what impact they are creating on the environment?? it needs a little introspection to solve such complex, delicate, and now critical issues that will lead to a massive, global disaster.
Its not that it will just reduce the consumption of resources, it will help everyone (including YOU) live a happy life. you will have less fuel-cost, less electricity and water bills, less efforts to dispose the waste.... Its YOU who is going to benefit from these little initiatives, along with others of course.

As everyone knows, this is a multi-faceted problem, but if we want to live peacefully and happily and leave the same or better world for our future generations, we must THINK and ACT irrispective of where we are from and help others too.

  • 146.
  • At 07:50 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Indian wrote:

Does the author has any guts and is he MAN Enough to write any thing about Chinese ?????? does he need calculator do calcualte COe emmission per/person or he is just busting chop of hard working well educated, non racist indians ????

  • 147.
  • At 08:18 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • M.Lin wrote:

Re: "126.

At 08:35 AM on 23 May 2007,

mansing bhor wrote:
Does any one know about what Industrial Revolution is? It is a process of “social and economic change.” India and china are the current industrialisation nation. Third world countries want to move forward not backward. We should check the history of Europe and America before pointing out these two nations for climate change? If Europe doesn’t have industrialization during the 18th and 19th centuries, I am sure they will be third world country, today!! Point is how can we make our planet safe place to live? These country having billion people to survive, what can they do?"

Dear Sri Mansing Bhorji,

Your goodname does not strike me immediately as Indian but as we are speaking here within a more or less Indian-related context, I have used, to my knowledge, the polite Indian form of address.

My personal view, is that the first thing we can all do is to educate ourselves as to the meaning and practice of "Ahimsa" - and from Africa, by the way, the philosophy and practice of uBuntu. After that we can think about the Hippocratic Oath. Having done that we can all sit down together and wonder about who has what to teach to whom.
After that, when we speak, AND use our body-language and attitudes of approach and retreat appropriately, we may be lucky enough to begin a proper conversation on the essential issues that this programme insert attempted to tackle.

Salutations and Prostrations.

P.S. How many Westerners know that the real meaning of a prostration = "I am one with you"/ "You and I are one? I don't know. But I do know that most Westerners I have encountered misinterpret the gesture as one of INequality. Curious.

Justin has his brains wired wrong!We can only blame his math teacher. Per caita UK pollutes 3 times CO2 compared to India.The Auto rickshaw he travels is known to be worst polluter in the transport industry.( He could be riding a cycle).Granted, USA is the worst polluter, efforts are underway to get this corrected by concerned citizens. We all agree that the current US president is a moron when it comes to any subject.Even he seems to realise the effect of global warming and pollution. But all he has done so far is give us a lip service.
It will take more than just "developed" coutries to reduce the CO2 foot print. India is blessed with abundance of Solar power. The soon to be released solar air conditioner should help a lot. Nearly everyone has 4 air conditioners in their home in India (with all the brown out and black out not having any effect.)
We have the brain power in India. All it will take is less interfearence and minimal encouragement from the Central Govt. Give the people open field. They will show the Govt how we can all work together and acheive this goal.

  • 149.
  • At 10:44 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Vishnu Sharma wrote:

Not all Indians need to drive cars.

We need to tax Indians who drive cars heavily like they do in Singapore.
15% surcharge tax on cars.

Also if any indian drives a car it should be a hybrid or electrically driven vehicle.

We need to pursue other modes of transport in our congested cities.

Inductrack is one of them.
Magnetically levitated cabs carrying
15 persons per car whisking people off
to work.
http://www.llnl.gov/str/Post.html

  • 150.
  • At 11:04 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Logic wrote:

A few thoughts.
Nick Walker, I understand why you might think that a 20% reduction in the CO2 output of a nation contributing only 2% of total man made CO2 production might be relatively insignificant, while a nation that produces 15% goes unchecked trying to develop. However, we are developed and our decisions to make a difference contribute more by devising technologies and practices, initially for our own use, that developing countries will adopt when they can. The economics of high demand drives prices within the range of developing nations.
Of course, this assumes CO2 is the leading factor in climate change, but that's another issue.
Some others mention CNG, compressed natural gas. Gas is a fossil fuel, and a CO2 producer, it probably burns cleaner, but I am not sure on it's efficiency.

Some of the finger pointing is like the results in the Eurovision song contest, it's less a question of the song they're singing and more a question of the attitude towards that nation. It's easy to blame the USA, and there are defensible reasons to do so but it may come as a surprise to some that they do have some very forward thinking attitudes towards recycling and waste management.

Another interesting issue is that India and China are being lumped in together in this argument. They are very different and have a large difference in capacity to implement change. The Chinese after all have one of the worlds most progressive space programs and is a hotbed for high tech manufacture and development.
I believe it is folly to assume that CO2 is the root cause of climate change and that changing our behaviour could prevent change in the climate. What would we do if our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions fell on hard ground and the looming human crisis in undeveloped countries continued unabated? The interesting thing about change is that people do not fear change, what they really fear is rate of change. China and India are changing, fast.

  • 151.
  • At 12:50 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • malchik wrote:

Chris mate *&^%*$&-reporters like you perpetuate the myth on the one hand you say you are comparing per capita and then in your article go giving examples like "By comparison to India.... seem relatively modest." what nonsense !!!

what reporters like you dont realize is that the conservative right catch onto stuff like this and further use it to say "oh! there is no point us doing anything look at at India and China"

how come no one writes about why the west is not donating/giving loans or helping the developing countries like india and China leapfrog the dirty technology and use green technology... especially europe which is the so called leader in wind and other green stuff why not open manufacturing plants in india and china and churn out windmills etc.. ?

  • 152.
  • At 01:01 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

I think that there are a lot of obstacles that prevent Indian car ownership reaching the same levels as the USA in the immediate future.
1.) Cost - They simply can't afford to buy brand new cars. There are few second hand cars. Inaccessable to majority. Cars are expensive to buy, run and maintain. They will not be first priority
2.) There are poor roads to support cars, especially in ever increasing numbers.
3.) It is cheaper to install a public transport infrastructure than a road infrastructure. More beneficial to the economy to improve public transport, which will be sought by government
4.) Most agricultural workers don't need cars, they need tractors
5.) Safety - It will be safer to use public transport than cars.

We have to remember that in a developing economy, car ownership is a relatively late development, an extravagant lusxury the poor cannot justify. Other more cost effective stages generally occur before the economy can support car ownership for single occupant travel for many.

  • 153.
  • At 01:45 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

I think America will play a key role in influencing India's development.

- IT development in Bangalore is being supported by American IT firms
- Bollywood idolises American culture
- As energy from fossil fuels becomes more expensive due to increased demand over supply, American will seek greater efficiency. America is starting to do this now with more expensive oil. More 1 and 2 litre hatchbacks, possibly Diesel, less 20mpg 3 litre / 5 litre musclecars.
Crucially flight will become more uneconomic, making developments in alternatives more effective. Vacuum tube systems transporting people upto 4x as fast as planes could be developed across the continent, due to the incentives of costs. Fuel cell / Stirling engine cars with Heat Pipe heat recovery systems could be developed due to it being worthwhile due to the savings of using it. More use of internet and videoconferencing for business.


These reductions by Americans will offset Indian growth
- America has areas of rural poor, and certainly had a similar situation in the past as India, with rich cities and poor country folk. I suspect India will develop similarly to have industrialised areas, urban areas and agricultural areas. I suspect Sri Lanka will be analagous to Southern US, while Bangalore will become the Silicon Plateau. Maharashrta maybe the great plains, and Mumbai the New York. Don't forget how low car ownership is in New York, due simply to practicality making it more effective to travel by public transport, albeit mainly in the form of taxis. America is a big country, and not uniform. LA has exceptionally high levels of car ownership, that isn't the case everywhere, it's just that LA has 2 cars per person compared to 1 per 2 people in New York. (Figures not accurate, only arbitrary)

America is a powerful brand, look how Britain adapted the culture. Will the Indians be able to resist the American ideology of opportunity, optimism and the resources it can provide to other nations that enable them to develop. I think the two cultures will influence one another and work towards common solutions.

Britain simply doesn't have this influence - it is too small, not a superpower, culture of past making influence of Brits less popular than Americans.

Business is a key area to economic development, and Britain is small fry in this when compared to America. American investment and the intellectual magnet this attracts outweighs anything Britain can offer or propose on ethical grounds.

India respects American patents better than China, and business in India will develop to embrace this further to gain American support and investment. India brains will be useful to American pharmaceutical companies, It companies and energy development technology companies.

The ethics need to adapt in business to embrace to challenges of the future. The alternative is a system of totalitarian socialist control that simply doesn't work. Business ethics will need to adapt to put a greater emphasis on sustainability and environmental concerns. Without business ethics, there is business, which is ruthless, and there is ethics, which is restrictive. Business ethics is the hybrid that offers the solutions to both these issues.

  • 154.
  • At 02:45 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

ISO 14000 is currently the best example of a widely accepted universal system used to apply ethics to business in the form of environmental management. I suspect these ethics should be expanded upon to include the manufacturing processes in factories in China, and production of waste and stack emissions. I suspect these ethics will be continuously and progressively improved. Business ethics have been improved, think how slavery has been abolished. China is in violation of human rights ethics, and this is bad for business. Ignoring patents, ignoring pollution control, copying products, and suffocating people is bad business, ethically, and people will not want to buy poor quality, dangerous products that have an unnecessarily high impact on the environment and the quality of life of other people. The costs environmentally, ethically and product quality will all be of increasing importance and these factors will be more important than the price of dirt cheap labour from China. China needs trade to support the debts it has taken on for development. This gives us power to influence them by insisting that they comply to better ethical business behaviour. We should not accept cheap products at any price / cost to human rights and the environment. If China does not enact a clean air act to control Sulphur, agricultural act to mechanise agriculture, and legal system to honour patents, we should stop doing business with them. The pollution affects everyone, and it's mitigateable. We should boycott products that fail to meet these business criteria. This should be highlighted with greater prevalence. If this hadn't happened in the past, we'd still be using slaves and mantraps. Things need to change, business ethics is the key, international standards are the means to identify ethical flaws.

  • 155.
  • At 06:07 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • sarv wrote:

The West should be made to pay for green house reductions in China and India. The U.S. and the U.K. have done more than their fair share of polluting the environment and now plan to shift the blame to developing countries, that are currently going through an upsurge in industrial output. How audacious and arrogant of these developed nations to presume that it is now up to China and India to curb their growth,Western countries PAY UP! for all the damage you have caused this planet, if you want the third world to get clean then help pay for it!

  • 156.
  • At 06:11 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • ravi wrote:

I didn't get to read all 155 comments. Its an interesting article. I am not sure if i feel the writer is taking a intenational side/criticize towards India/China.

Bottom line : India is NOT the most polluting country. ( It can and might be)

China proudces more CO2 than India.

US is the leader of pollution. ( It would be intersting how they will control that and hopefully influence other countries also).

  • 157.
  • At 06:57 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Vickram Suri wrote:

Aggregate emissions level are important for large polluters like India, China, US, EU because with one stroke (legislation etc) a large reductions can be made.

The tragedy of global warming though is that developing world will wear the brunt
- rising temperatures making warm lands warmer and drier causing people to use more electricty for cooling and drawing ground water and in turn causing more emissions
- rainfall more erratic making agricultural societies vulnerable
- glacial melting drying up rivers
- low lying area submerged
- Importantly, having to make trade offs while
they are in the developing phase while the west sits pretty and sunbathes in the baltics!

And since the west is not really being impacted they are NOT going to pony up

As an aside, seems a large number of fellow Indians have not read the article completely - the author talks about per capita emissions at the end - so read the friggin' article before commenting!

  • 158.
  • At 09:08 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • shanthi adiyat wrote:

I found the 'Ethical Man' very interesting. Yes, Indians should drive and take holidays....
Indeed, the west is and has been responsible for the carbon emissions and should be the first ones to act on this issue. It is important that developing countries start awareness campaign for their ever increasing population, so they continue to keep the emission levels down.
It's ludicruos that an American emits 40 times carbon than an Indian, a Briton 30 times!!! Should we be even discussing India before the level of emission in the world's leading countries is brought on par with India's. At the end of the day, the West will not be badly affected as the developing nations, it is time the rest of the world gets the West to reduce carbon emission.

  • 159.
  • At 09:22 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • L Jansz wrote:

I agree with Mike C above (#33) to a certain extent. I think it's simply time that the US stopped supporting the economies of other countries - particularly countries that cavil incessantly about the so-called 'harm' that the US does. Perhaps if they learned to get along on their own (and they need to get rid of their corrupt, enormously wealthy politicians before they can do this) they'll focus more on their own inadequacies and shortcomings and have far less time and inclination to point accusing fingers at a power that gives so charitably - in return for scant gratitude. Many third world countries have made a fine art of complaining; and what makes it most offensive is that it is the expatriates from these countries who have made their homes and fortunes in the West that complain the loudest.

  • 160.
  • At 10:52 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • jaga wrote:

L Jansz needs a private lesson (outsourced from India like maths and science) about Indian and Chinese economy and dependency .. in fact how much US depends on china.... And how much Indian /china depend on American charity... about expatriates... If L Jansz lives in US look around and see how many he can count who is real native americans there?

  • 161.
  • At 01:21 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • srikanth wrote:

Are we playing a blame game here .Its everyone's responsibility to cut the co2 emmission.How many countries are researching the ways to reduce the co2 and how much are they spending.The world bank has recently funded india for solar system equipments in rural villages .Most of the people are unaware of global warming in india .Most of them doesnt have the choice bcoz they need to survive.

  • 162.
  • At 01:55 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

I suspect business ethics would benefit from education in India. We'd bettered forget this Carbon nonsense, it's a concern, not through global warming, but through ocean acidification and the Aragonite Carbonate concentrations in the ocean, which are the key to Carbon control and geological sequestation. It's futile and frankly oppressive to stop them using technologies to improve the quality of their lives. If an Indian has got any sense, cars should not be an Indian's first priority. A one hour motorway journey uses the same energy as 6 to 12 showers or many hours of a/c use. In a country whose people have a limited abundance of energy, where would you put your Rupee ? They would be wiser to buy a/c units and water purification devices. It's frankly ignorant to fail to address the needs of the average Indian. Mumbai and the Indian middle class aren't best at encouraging best treatment of rural workers. I suspect this can change. I suspect the middle class will become more charitable, and business schemes will begin to develop to support rural workers, by schemes such as tractor buying schemes. The west can also help to fund such schemes. I suspect the national government will begin to develop rural development schemes. I think Bollywood will start to promote these good cultural ethics among the middle class as well, and the culture has the potential and the will to become more sustainable with relation to its population and food needs for them. I suspect they will benefit far more from other goods such as computers, fresh water, tractors and public transport far before they will benefit from cars. Bang for your buck, as the Americans say, or maybe Balti for your Rupee, Indians will benefit from more fundamental technological developments than cars. If cars will facilitate communication, at this stage it would be more cost effective to use computers (e-mail), trains and buses. And that needs electricity and infrastructure. India needs to have a reliable electricity supply, and this should start in the cities. Inter city communication should be improved with the infrastructure of IT, electricity, great railways and roads. Only India can do this, and it's about time we left them to make their own decisions. They know what's going to satisfy their needs the greatest, and it won't be cars in the immediate future, let alone the extravagances of planes. I do not know the nature of Indian politics or the nature of their municipal or state governments, however I think cities and their mayors will be the best ones to influence in their decision making. We can help them do the maths and show them what we think will be the most effective forms of development. As a great democratic country with a free market, I see no reason why decisions cannot be made in India to benefit the majority, and this will occur through democracy. It appears India is fragmented at the moment, with rural issues a neglected problem. Isolated cities with a middle class act for their own interests. I suspect great benefit would be gained from an improved infrastructure throughout the backbone of India. It's ignorant to forget what makes countries tick with the aspirations of the citizens of a poor developing nation. India is fast becoming a developing nation with developed cities. The next step will be further development between the cities. And business ethics needs to be applied within India as well, with standards such as ISO 14000 being applied to Indian business as well, which should be the goal of Indian business. Business should be good for the people in a democratic country with a free market economy. To prevent a developing country from developing is quite frankly unethical. It is ethical however to educate, influence, and inform, and be receptive to the real needs of the poor of the world. It would be unethical to sell them cars when at the moment what they really need is fresh water, tractors and air conditioned modern trains. Maybe they don't see it at the moment, but I think a congested Mumbai with suffocating photochemical smogs from the millions of cars that will probably appear and will be improved at a later date with modern train facilities for health reasons and to improve living standards. This is what our cities need, and we will see improvements to our lives and economy if we address our problems using the most effective technologies and apply our own business ethics to one another in the UK and the USA before trying to be ethical elsewhere. We need to apply the universal ethic of treating others how we would like to be treated ourself. Respect has fundamental ethical value. And Indian development has to be respected.

  • 163.
  • At 02:09 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Janani wrote:

it boils down to what development is defined as.
ppl think that the west is developed...and to be developed means to become like them in terms of lifestyle.

but dvpt has to mean dif things for dif countries/regions...it has to be local specific.
driving cars, holidaying, industrialisation, mega projects and large scale production and consumption, use and throw attitude etc seem to characterise 'devpt' world wide.

ppl look to high GDPs for the welfare of the country...well did u know that after a war or calamity, the GDP rises due to the amount used to rebuild? but think of the lives lost...that is not counted in the calculations is it..

the q now is, can india develop an enjoyable, heathy, sustainable lifestyle that doesnt take a toll on the environment? thus not make the same mistakes during devpt that the west did.

its not impossible. nothing is.

  • 164.
  • At 02:17 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Janani wrote:

please also read E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful
and 'Hind Swaraj" by M.K. Gandhi (mahatma gandhi)

for more elaborate explanations on the idea i just posted

they make a lot of sense for india and on the whole-3rd world countries

  • 165.
  • At 04:36 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Supinder Singh Varaitch wrote:

With respect to 'Lionel Tiger', your is a rather idiotic post with numerous contradictory statements.

You affirm that 'India is fast becoming a developing nation...'

Really, what was India before it became a developing nation?

You state that India should decide what India wants and needs then state that it is unethical to sell Indians cars.


Hmmm...well make up your mind, either India can make its own decisions or needs a patricahial overseer to tell it what it wants.

P.S. Have you heard of paragraphs?

  • 166.
  • At 04:55 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

How is agricultural business operated in India ? If it becomes economically preferable to modernise, by using tractors and centre pivot irrigation systems, surely market forces will favour this option. It is not without concern the fact that this would put millions of agricultural labourers out of work, but surely these technologies will start to become viable in some areas of India. It seems the population problem is not uniform, and in fact there are large areas where population is sustainable (see map)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:India_decadal_growth_rate_map_en.svg

Literacy is also clearly an issue in many of these areas:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:India_literacy_rate_map_en.svg

Would you really feel safe on a road where the drivers weren't literate enough to read a highway code or be able to read the road signs ? This is before the questions relating to the current standards of the Indian Driving Test are considered. I think I would rather employ my cat as a chauffeur to be honest. Unless these cars are going to be technologically advanced to drive themselves, which I sincerely doubt.

  • 167.
  • At 06:30 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Shailesh wrote:

More than Greenhouse gases, India's main environmental issue quality of breathing air in its cities. I am no scientist, but whenever I go to Bombay every few years, the air seems thicker and becomes difficult to breathe. I alway get some kind of bronchities etc... I read it is causing 1 in every 5 kids Asthema. I am surprised at lack of attention given to such an alarming health issue.

  • 168.
  • At 06:56 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Shailesh wrote:

Well here is more scientific assessment. India may not be producing CO2 or Greenhouse gases by Car, but it is definitely making the air in its city not healthy. See the stat below. With such a high particulate matter in the air, you will see large number of health issues.

I think resolving this issue will provide significant health benefits, make the people more productive and improve economy.

Particulate matter (2) microgram per cu. m. 2002

Jakarta 115
Beijing 99
Bangkok 83
Mumbai 74
Singapore 48
Seoul 46
Tokyo 42
Manila 42
Kuala Lumpur 28
Berlin 25
London 23
Sydney 22
New York-Newark 22
Auckland 15
Paris 12

Source: http://www.business.nsw.gov.au/aboutnsw/lifestyle/E5_air_pollution.htm

  • 169.
  • At 07:43 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Sanpreet Minhas wrote:

Its a global issue, and obviously everyone ought to take responsibility including Asia (India, China being the population centres), Americas (US being the prime) and Europe. India and China are the home to 2 billion people (approx 1/3 of the world's population) and therefore it is reasonable that contribute 33% of world's emissions (about 16% each). Whereas, US with about 1/18 of the world's population should be contributing just about 6% to world emissions (in contrast to the actual 20%). Similar emission standards are applicable to the other nations in Europe and Americas.
Obviously the above numbers show that the the West (US in particular) need to cut their emissions by over 70% just to come in line with the world average.
Its meaningless to talk about emissions when one drives an SUV to work everyday with a fuel efficiency of 6-7 Km/ litre of petrol with a single occupant (when all you need is a SumerMini vehicle -- ever heard of Smart Car or even Maruti/ Suzuki Zen). Similarly, summer retreats and drives to tourists spots 300KM away in large SUV's with trailers and boats. Talk about being inefficient and fat.
And US being responsible for 1/3 of the world economy -- wow what a supreme sacrifice. I am driving my car, watching my huge TV, buy imported Chinese stuff NOT because I want it, but BECAUSE I am trying to feed a Chinese worker.
It will be like me SACRIFICING my body and let Gisele Bundchen take advantage of me in bed. Talk about hypocrisy.
I have heard about ridiculous arguments, but it seems that North America is one place where stupidity has reached record levels. Believe you me, Europe is actually inhabited by sane people.
Alright everyone, TIME TO GO RIDE IN MY HUMMER ; - )

  • 170.
  • At 09:37 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Jim Saxon wrote:

Who invited this Comedian to India and what qualifications does he have to comment on a serious subject such as Global Warming? His aggressive tone and attitude are appalling. Is he still under the delusion that he was visiting one of his colonies for a nice little vacation? Sit at home buddy and enjoy your hot cuppa tea while it lasts in a soon to be third-world country.

  • 171.
  • At 09:41 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

Re : Shailesh, post 168

Yes, I agree, the air quality in Mumbai could be improved with better environmental pollution control. For an example of how car use can cause air quality problems, Los Angeles is a perfect example, with the measures taken over the years to mitigate the problem. Low Sulphur fuels is one aspect. Another problem is that of photochemical smog. This is in fact low level Ozone that is formed when UV light from the sun causes Nitrous Oxide emissions and Hydrocarbon emissions, primarily from cars, to react to form Ozone. This causes breathing difficulties, and is why cars are now fitted with catalytic converters, to turn the Hydrocarbons into CO2 and water, and the Nitrous Oxide (NOx) into Nitrogen and Oxygen. It it worth noting that the emissions of NOx and Hydrocarbons and particulates are also from industrial sources other than cars, particularly relevant to the current air quality in in Mumbai. Many of India's vehicles are two stroke autorickshaws, which aren't as efficient as four-stroke engines. They emit lots of NOx and unburnt fuel that lead to Ozone formation. They also emit more smoke as their design requires them to burn the lubricating oil that is added to the fuels used in them. Using vehicles with four-stroke engines would be a good step towards improving air quality. Other technology would be too expensive to adopt at this stage.

  • 172.
  • At 05:42 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • sachin wrote:

Math this....
briton 60 million people - 0.66 billion tonnes of CO2
India 1.1 'B'illion people - 1.89 billion tonnes of CO2

While briton still debating on scenic sense of wind farming.....
India ranks 4th when come to producing energy by wind
and the rate of wind mill installed is second only germany....

In delhi all public transport system(bus,taxis) all run on CNG...
and in chennai by end of nxt year all public vechiles will run on LPG...

  • 173.
  • At 08:07 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Dr. J. Gokhale wrote:

Most readers, and to some extent the reporter himself, have pointed out everything that needs to be said - who are the real polluters (first world and mainly U.S.) and who are the poor and less polluters ironically being flagellated by the polluters themselves.

Just one point though, about how far out of touch with reality some of them are - you mention tumble dryers; in India? Are you stupid, blind? You need them (while you do much less washing and showering than us in India) - we have sun! Germans dry their laundry hanging in the basement or out in the yard, you could learn from them.

Again, look at the major, nor minor, polluters - big industries pollute far more than individual little housewife anywhere, no matter which way you count it.

You have to look at your whole corporate and pro-corporate culture for rehaul if anything is to change. Your lifestyle largely is shaped by the needs of steep increases in your corporate profits and a green earth needs more of a reversal in the whole outlook, whether exotic holidays or cosmetics or eating produce out of season shipped from the starving Africa or South America.

And, ironically, the two major problems opposite of each other have the same root as well – your obesity problems are due to eating food that is heavily corporate profit produced and advertised; your starving-to-death daughters and women are afflicted by corporate-profit-driven need to fit into the mass produced clothes and fashion images driven by the need to sell those clothes and cosmetics. You may think these are unrelated problems but think a little deeper, and survival of the mothers of your future and their self-esteem will not seem so unrelated to future of your race, or survival of earth.


  • 174.
  • At 10:21 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Shailesh wrote:

Everyone on this board seem to bash US, and have this chauvinistic attitude as India is the best. I am from India and have lived in US for 12 years. There are major differences.

The biggest disconnect I see is that everyone seem to make this issue Global and hence seem to shy away from their responsibility. In reality, this is much more local issue then global one. Within India, you have large pollution in mega cities, but same problem does not exist in towns and rural villages. The issue has been India's development has been very unruly and unorganized. The under development of rural & town infrastructure has caused huze strain on large cities. This will increase significantly as migration from rural to cities is going to happen at rapid face. Lionel pointed out how going from 2 stroke to 4 stroke rickshaws will significantly help. Why not take such a simple step first in major cities at least? Why not make people aware that they are at health risk? Why shy away from reality?

  • 175.
  • At 10:53 AM on 25 May 2007,
  • Shailesh wrote:

How India can help itself and environment at large. Read the article below,

Every progressive city has shown that improving public transport is the best way to clean up the air. Mumbai, on the other hand, is geared towards providing 55 flyovers, sea links and coastal highways to the 9% of the population that uses private vehicles.

http://www.infochangeindia.org/analysis25.jsp

Why does Indian politics always works toward special interests?

  • 176.
  • At 03:29 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Bones wrote:

Perhaps China and India's high carbon emissions are from manufacturing cheap products for Western consumers...

  • 177.
  • At 04:33 PM on 25 May 2007,
  • Kalyan wrote:

Indian Auto companies are already building fuel afficient cars..

There is Air Car which is going to be launched in 2008-09
http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4217016.html
http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/mar/21car.htm

There is Electric car, which was launched couple of years back
http://www.revaindia.com/

  • 178.
  • At 11:48 AM on 26 May 2007,
  • A. Patel wrote:

People require pollution. Lifestyles create pollution. Limit population ... limit pollution. India's problem is population in more ways that one. America's problem is undoubtedly lifestyle but moreover CORPORATE America which dictates just about everything and everyone, including myself, the government, and indirectly other governments. Solution? People need to rely less on crap they don't need. BTW I was born in the U.S. but am studying medicine in India so I can safely say that every1 and their mother is at fault, including me. I believe its easy for a person to change but very difficult to get PEOPLE to change without proper education. Therefore, the best solution would be to improve on technology for a quick fix and focus on educating people as to how the world works, for a long term fix.

  • 179.
  • At 08:03 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • T C Swan,USA wrote:

Well, I guess it's all according to whom you run into. ( No ton impended ) As for myself, I have always found the Lakotas to be very kind and considerate with great depth perception. The Mohawks on the other hand , never , ever , have a dizzy spell and have been used consistently as iron workers. The Apaches are a little too high strung for me, and I would hate to be the guy who cuts one of them off. No Mohicans left , save Uncas, and he is little too old to drive anyway. Jay Silverheels finished his stint in Commercials along with " Iron Eyes Cody", or they both would make excellant spokesmen.

  • 180.
  • At 08:27 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • K.Mohsisni wrote:

Ethical Man really needs to reconsider his mathematics. can you tell me what is so modest about Britain, with 1% of the worlds population producing 1.95% of the worlds emissions, when India with about 18% of the worlds population produces 5.6% of the worlds emissions? The average Briton produces 11 tonnes of emissions whereas the average Indian produces about 1.7 tonnes of emissions.

  • 181.
  • At 09:00 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • K.Mohsisni wrote:

the question that ethical man should have been asking is " should americans own cars?" but i don't think he would have the nerve to go to america and find out.

  • 182.
  • At 03:28 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Maurice - Northumberland wrote:

If you want to make an example of un-reasonable Air Travel - look no further than Blair on his tax payer funded self promotional tour!

It's not only the longest goodbye in History it is the most expensive!

  • 183.
  • At 11:40 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • moneylender wrote:

There are a lot of people out there who want true and a free society.Those were the very ideals Hutch Min expressed when he took power.The powers that be did not want Vietnam to be a true democracy, the rest is history.That's what the leaders of Venezuela are trying to create power from the bottom up wards
You cannot create any fair society with out addressing the question of MONEY SUPPLY.As long as we allow Private Banks to create money out of NOTHING as a exponential compound interest bearing DEBT we will all remain enslaved from cradle to the grave.
Money will go into manufacture of Arms which will be used against the people to suppress them, press will be used to peddle false hood, elected representatives will be bought off from creating a true democracy.
Once the Money Supply is in the hands of the people, where the elected representatives are the sole distributors of the funds for productive capacity that will benefit every one, then you may be on a far better world

Illusion, yes the American people are living in an illusion as they are enslaved from cradle to the grave as the rest of the world.The Out Standing Market Credit Debt of that country in the last count stood at $76.63Trillion dollars, the Government will never be able to service the loan let alone repay the capital. Every day this amount is reflected in the books it accrues exponential compound interest. The US lives on a daily overdraft of Billions from the People's Bank of China (a turn up for the books), and others.

Every thing and every body in the US is owned by private banks, and you pay interest on every thing on money created out of NOTHING

But in the first world fed on rubbish both in mind and body, just to be healthy to be Cannon fodders to fight some one Else's war. In the Third World Eight million children die every year this has gone on for decades the holocaust is alive and well.

As long as Banks create money out of NOTHING as a compound interest bearing DEBT to finance wars where the profit margins are better than anything on offer you are in a vicious cycle of violence.
The arms industry is the most subsidised industry in any country, especially in the US..
''If you want to be a slave and pay the cost of your own slavery, let the banks create the money'
''Let me control and issue a nations' currency, I care not who writes its laws''
So you can 'ELECT' any party of any colour, it wold not matter an iota

Peace is profitless.
As the Late Lord Hailsm, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales pointed out, that we live in a tripartite totalitarian dictatorship; Press, Elected and Financial.
Interest is NOT necessary or inevitable, this insidious and invidious imposition on humankind should be abolished immediately and can be abolished
We are told we are all free and live in a democracy. People can be fooled all the time.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." - George W. Bush

  • 184.
  • At 11:49 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • moneylender wrote:

There are a lot of people out there who want true and a free society.Those were the very ideals Hutch Min expressed when he took power.The powers that be did not want Vietnam to be a true democracy, the rest is history.That's what the leaders of Venezuela are trying to create power from the bottom up wards
You cannot create any fair society with out addressing the question of MONEY SUPPLY.As long as we allow Private Banks to create money out of NOTHING as a exponential compound interest bearing DEBT we will all remain enslaved from cradle to the grave.
Money will go into manufacture of Arms which will be used against the people to suppress them, press will be used to peddle false hood, elected representatives will be bought off from creating a true democracy.
Once the Money Supply is in the hands of the people, where the elected representatives are the sole distributors of the funds for productive capacity that will benefit every one, then you may be on a far better world

Illusion, yes the American people are living in an illusion as they are enslaved from cradle to the grave as the rest of the world.The Out Standing Market Credit Debt of that country in the last count stood at $76.63Trillion dollars, the Government will never be able to service the loan let alone repay the capital. Every day this amount is reflected in the books it accrues exponential compound interest. The US lives on a daily overdraft of Billions from the People's Bank of China (a turn up for the books), and others.

Every thing and every body in the US is owned by private banks, and you pay interest on every thing on money created out of NOTHING

But in the first world fed on rubbish both in mind and body, just to be healthy to be Cannon fodders to fight some one Else's war. In the Third World Eight million children die every year this has gone on for decades the holocaust is alive and well.

As long as Banks create money out of NOTHING as a compound interest bearing DEBT to finance wars where the profit margins are better than anything on offer you are in a vicious cycle of violence.
The arms industry is the most subsidised industry in any country, especially in the US..
''If you want to be a slave and pay the cost of your own slavery, let the banks create the money'
''Let me control and issue a nations' currency, I care not who writes its laws''
So you can 'ELECT' any party of any colour, it wold not matter an iota

Peace is profitless.
As the Late Lord Hailsm, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales pointed out, that we live in a tripartite totalitarian dictatorship; Press, Elected and Financial.
Interest is NOT necessary or inevitable, this insidious and invidious imposition on humankind should be abolished immediately and can be abolished
We are told we are all free and live in a democracy. People can be fooled all the time.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." - George W. Bush

  • 185.
  • At 12:00 AM on 30 May 2007,
  • moneylender wrote:

There are a lot of people out there who want true and a free society.Those were the very ideals Hutch Min expressed when he took power.The powers that be did not want Vietnam to be a true democracy, the rest is history.That's what the leaders of Venezuela are trying to create power from the bottom up wards
You cannot create any fair society with out addressing the question of MONEY SUPPLY.As long as we allow Private Banks to create money out of NOTHING as a exponential compound interest bearing DEBT we will all remain enslaved from cradle to the grave.
Money will go into manufacture of Arms which will be used against the people to suppress them, press will be used to peddle false hood, elected representatives will be bought off from creating a true democracy.
Once the Money Supply is in the hands of the people, where the elected representatives are the sole distributors of the funds for productive capacity that will benefit every one, then you may be on a far better world

Illusion, yes the American people are living in an illusion as they are enslaved from cradle to the grave as the rest of the world.The Out Standing Market Credit Debt of that country in the last count stood at $76.63Trillion dollars, the Government will never be able to service the loan let alone repay the capital. Every day this amount is reflected in the books it accrues exponential compound interest. The US lives on a daily overdraft of Billions from the People's Bank of China (a turn up for the books), and others.

Every thing and every body in the US is owned by private banks, and you pay interest on every thing on money created out of NOTHING

But in the first world fed on rubbish both in mind and body, just to be healthy to be Cannon fodders to fight some one Else's war. In the Third World Eight million children die every year this has gone on for decades the holocaust is alive and well.

As long as Banks create money out of NOTHING as a compound interest bearing DEBT to finance wars where the profit margins are better than anything on offer you are in a vicious cycle of violence.
The arms industry is the most subsidised industry in any country, especially in the US..
''If you want to be a slave and pay the cost of your own slavery, let the banks create the money'
''Let me control and issue a nations' currency, I care not who writes its laws''
So you can 'ELECT' any party of any colour, it wold not matter an iota

Peace is profitless.
As the Late Lord Hailsm, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales pointed out, that we live in a tripartite totalitarian dictatorship; Press, Elected and Financial.
Interest is NOT necessary or inevitable, this insidious and invidious imposition on humankind should be abolished immediately and can be abolished
We are told we are all free and live in a democracy. People can be fooled all the time.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." - George W. Bush

  • 186.
  • At 12:42 AM on 30 May 2007,
  • moneylender wrote:

There are a lot of people out there who want true and a free society.Those were the very ideals Hutch Min expressed when he took power.The powers that be did not want Vietnam to be a true democracy, the rest is history.That's what the leaders of Venezuela are trying to create power from the bottom up wards
You cannot create any fair society with out addressing the question of MONEY SUPPLY.As long as we allow Private Banks to create money out of NOTHING as a exponential compound interest bearing DEBT we will all remain enslaved from cradle to the grave.
Money will go into manufacture of Arms which will be used against the people to suppress them, press will be used to peddle false hood, elected representatives will be bought off from creating a true democracy.
Once the Money Supply is in the hands of the people, where the elected representatives are the sole distributors of the funds for productive capacity that will benefit every one, then you may be on a far better world

Illusion, yes the American people are living in an illusion as they are enslaved from cradle to the grave as the rest of the world.The Out Standing Market Credit Debt of that country in the last count stood at $76.63Trillion dollars, the Government will never be able to service the loan let alone repay the capital. Every day this amount is reflected in the books it accrues exponential compound interest. The US lives on a daily overdraft of Billions from the People's Bank of China (a turn up for the books), and others.

Every thing and every body in the US is owned by private banks, and you pay interest on every thing on money created out of NOTHING

But in the first world fed on rubbish both in mind and body, just to be healthy to be Cannon fodders to fight some one Else's war. In the Third World Eight million children die every year this has gone on for decades the holocaust is alive and well.

As long as Banks create money out of NOTHING as a compound interest bearing DEBT to finance wars where the profit margins are better than anything on offer you are in a vicious cycle of violence.
The arms industry is the most subsidised industry in any country, especially in the US..
''If you want to be a slave and pay the cost of your own slavery, let the banks create the money'
''Let me control and issue a nations' currency, I care not who writes its laws''
So you can 'ELECT' any party of any colour, it wold not matter an iota

Peace is profitless.
As the Late Lord Hailsm, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales pointed out, that we live in a tripartite totalitarian dictatorship; Press, Elected and Financial.
Interest is NOT necessary or inevitable, this insidious and invidious imposition on humankind should be abolished immediately and can be abolished
We are told we are all free and live in a democracy. People can be fooled all the time.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." - George W. Bush

The reason for global warming is not CO2, neither is it solar flares.

It is bovine flatulence in India.

The global warming period coincides with a population explosion of cows in India. Cattle in the west are killed brutally for food before they get to pollute significantly.

The SUVs and Hummers spew CO2 into the atmosphere. CO2 reacts with methane endothermically, and that actually cools down the earth. It is methane that warms the planet.

So, the west emitting CO2 is good for the planet. After all, W is a wise man. They are all wise men, the leaders of the west.

  • 188.
  • At 04:07 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

So basically, the Communism of the 21st Century is the banks, who enable people to do things. They do this by restricting what they will lend money for and to whom. This is the reason for the house problem, because banks have been prepared to lend more money out to get the same profits from loans with low interest rates compared to the previous higher interest rates. The Supermarkets take over the means of production, putting farmers, small holders and quality service minded competition out of business. The oil industry controls the source of energy with fuel supply. And then the consumer / citizen gets the blame. Surely we live in a democratic society that should allow us to choose to reject this situation. There is no such thing as an average citizen. Ethical business should promote freedom of choice. As the banks and supermarkets are plc's, most of their business is connected with those that it effects. The feedback loop. Communism is just a one way dictatorship. Let's see the free market provide choice and democracy.

  • 189.
  • At 04:49 PM on 05 Jun 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

The biggest issue here is sustainability. Sustainability of lifestyle. Sustainability of food production. Sustainability of population. Sustainability of the environment. The developed world is not as sustainable as it should be, being dependent on overuse of oil and energy. The developing world however has generated an unsustainable population to try to compete with mechanisation and industrialisation with the use of manual labour. Nature is sustainable in essence, and unless these rules of sustainability are persistently violated, tragedy will inevitably result for mankind, with the magnitude of the violation. It seems as if we are living on a global island, and like the inhabitants of Easter Island, the last tree will be felled in the ignorance of those making the orders. The problem is that for centuries mankind has violated the laws of sustainability that have been applicable to other species. The question is, how low can we go with the tempo rising in this game of Conga. Sustainability surely has to be promoted, otherwise we will be like flies, rotting in the lake of eutrophication. We are suffocating ourselves with this lack of responsibility and blame culture. Why don't we help one another in the quest for sustainability. This will provide security. And your security is my security. The security of the sustainable planet is the security of everyone.

  • 190.
  • At 10:34 PM on 06 Jun 2007,
  • Surajit wrote:

Without nuclear fuel, India doesn't have any other choice than coal fired power plants.

If the western world want to cut green house gas and global warming, they should understand that India need the nuclear fuel.

Some countries think that Global worming is an opportunity to make money. They will of course try their best to sell their products by hooks or by crooks.

Finally its our earth who is paying.

  • 191.
  • At 04:00 AM on 07 Jun 2007,
  • abhishek wrote:

It is the West that has brought global warming into focus and is getting the whole world to agree to do something about it.

Third World Countries have spent so much time feeling inferior on the material quality of life index that it is difficult to convince them that there are grave pitfalls after the summit of material success.

It is not that they dont know the ill effects of greenhouse gases. But they have no answers. How else do they fulfil the needs of a hungry population but untamed growth.

Another factor is Indian leaders are lazy, greedy, indifferent and short-sighted, more than any other politicians. So while their major cities are falling apart, their tigers are dying like flies, thier infrastructure is crumbling, they refuse to get into the war mode. They squabble, delay, lie and cheat.

What do you expect from these morons to do for global warming? Is it a poll issue?

  • 192.
  • At 12:24 AM on 08 Jun 2007,
  • Rowland Pantling wrote:

Global warming? What global warming? Apparently, average temperatures rose by just 0.6 degrees C over the last century and has apparently been flatlining since then. It is poppycock to suggest that the slow rise of a miniscule gas in the atmosphere can have some apparent devastating effect. CO2 is also not a pollutant; it is a non toxic beneficial gas without which all life on earth would disappear. The constant drip-drip of the present propaganda on this subject is leading to mass hysteria on which our pompous grandiose, holier-than-thou politicians are eagerly feeding. As for "carbon trading", what a fantastic opportunity is that making for some smart people to make an awful lot of money at our expense.

By all means let us develop new and practical ways of producing energy as we have to consider dwindling resources. We should also help third world countries to develop cleaner industries without getting bogged with the myth that CO2 is a pollutant. Meanwhile, huge swathes of rain forest and jungle are being destroyed to plant palm oil trees - ironically for bio-fuel! That very act is responsible for liberating vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Bear in mind that 96% of CO2 is produced naturally - the rest coming from man`s activities. Thus, the UK`s 2% share is actually just 0.08% of total world emissions.

  • 193.
  • At 01:06 AM on 19 Jun 2007,
  • Max - Toronto wrote:

Hi, when you talk about ethics, what about the co2 released from every bomb being dropped on poor nations in the name of "anti-terrorism" and "WMD's". One million tonns of WMD's were dropped to get rid of one saddam ? Bush gave zero respect to EPA's request not to use bombs in Iraq. Damage caused by Bush & Blair together on the ozone layer exceeds the damge caused by the whole humanity ? How many planets do we have ? can't we keep it healthy ?Oh Yes, Big brothers can do all they want and they are always right..

India and China should progress and become world powers if they want to impose some restraint to monopoly on world's resources by the west in the name of sugar coated "monopolism"

  • 194.
  • At 10:05 AM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • Subramani wrote:

Ethical man is spot on on his concerns. If you read the entire article most of the "Indian Defenders" will realize that Ethical man is not at all blaming India and China. Rather the article ends with a note of "what is the solution?"

At the same time Westerners should realize why Indians react the way they do.

1) Indians are bad at arguing in a western model. They see there is no point in what according to them, is the obvious. It is this mode of thinking that causes the westerner to believe that the Indians simply rant without substantiating their arguments with facts.

2) Somehow I belive that instead of uniting to fight global warming, the west and western minded Indians are more keen on taking credit for claiming "my method is better than yours" or with "Ethics". I urge western Liberal activists(environmental/Ethical trade/Animal/Equal Rights) to consider the following points:

And Indian ploticians view hardly is in Synch with what Indians are.
The English speaking Indian liberal/leftist is quite the opposite of the western liberal.

Even before Independence, Indian activists (now called Hindu fanatics who will set India back by 100 years) Were accused of propogating policies that would hinder the nations growth. The policies were primarily dealing with Local Economies and why it is un-ethical to buy anything that is not made locally.

They supporeted Vegitarianism and several activists (half naked Fakirs or Saffron towel heads as the then English used to refer them) protested against the logic of "non-Veg food makes you strogner/Muscle man etc)

Even today if you watch an Indian film, one that depicts rural life. Where the Lead actor would make insulting comments on his Rival (the bad guys) farm that "My farm is pure/blessed as unlike yours it is not polluted(in a religious context) like your with the "White man's Fertilizers". The comment may seem politically incorrect/unfair etc.The point I am trying to stress here is that the western equivalent of Environment friendly/aware intellectual existed and still exists in India. However they are not the Arundhati Roys/Amartya Sens or any one with whom a person from the UK/US can even communicate. These Indians are one who would think every white man is from England/America is the land of porn and Divorces and many things that would be considered politically incorrect by the world media. The actual issues get neglected and usually the focus shifts to how unruly/racist/fundamentalist/etc these people are, and these views are fed to the west by the Urban-English speaking Indian who has a degree in something or the other from Cambridge/Harvard etc. The middle class Indians usually grow up worshipping these cambridge/Oxford/Harvard educated Indians the same way Rock stars and Sports Idols are reverred. When these middle class Indians, most of whom have a link in the family who is the rustic Indian (from the country side) come in contact with a fellow English speaking Indian or a westerner, they do their best to hide this connection and bring out instances that exemplify their understanding and conformity to western standards and ethics (Usually an Indian perception of the western ethics or just American lifestyle that is projected through movies and shows like American Idol). WHen this Indian, who ridiculed anything that his/her countryside/INdian language speaking/non-English speaking/what the hell is an elevator, counterpart has said so far, is told about Global warming and what they can do to curb it, this new progressive Indian feels insulted as in his/her mind what goes on is "I spent my life trying to be the perfect Global citizen, appreciating western art/cluture/ lifestyle/ etc etc." and now this bunch of westerners come and tell me that what my stupid cousing (who has never stepped out of his village) was right all along" The next step is....

"Naah! I can't look like an Idiot, I rather pitch an argument that these westerners are Idiots too"

I see this happening in all walks of Indian life, including arts and cluture as well.. but that is a seperate topic.

  • 195.
  • At 10:43 AM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • Subramani wrote:

"Third World Countries have spent so much time feeling inferior on the material quality of life index that it is difficult to convince them that there are grave pitfalls after the summit of material success."

This is spot on, and the developed countries have also been pushing for this feeling. At a more granular level, the NGO's and social activists who usually get funding from the WHO and organizations like World Vision come out with articles where the activist makes comments like "Why can't a person living in a remote village dream of having an AC and a nice car and access to 24x electricity".
There are many traditional activists who argue that there is actually no need for any electricity in Villages. The organizations who rally for electricity in Villages, know that to increase consumerism in Villages electricity is a must. The ploy usually is to first start with a few development activities Tractors for the farm, a concrete house that will not be cool as the tradition hut or Tiled roof house and then make them feel that an AC/FAN is a must.

  • 196.
  • At 11:08 AM on 21 Jun 2007,
  • Subramani wrote:

A few points:

1) Western countries realize to pug carban Emmissions

2) They come up with legislations making for Industries set up in the west.

3) This encourages western Industries to set up shop in India/China were it is less of a "Pain in the axx" to set up Industries in India/China.

4) Now argue in environmental summits that we have reduced emmissions, while facilitating an increase in emmissions in third world countries.

5) this is similar to the Nike/Addidas controversy where, to escape labour laws in the US, NIKE opened shop in pakistan employing child labour.

Unless the American companies setting up shop in India are foprced to follow the same norms in India as they would follow in the west, all such issues will only be debated and nothing substantial will happen.

This reminds me of the old times when the British took credit for eradicating Sati from India. Swami Vivekanand had said that the problem needs to be tackled at the fundamental level, simply passing a law banning somethign and punishing the perpetrators is not enough. You need to reform them by re-inventing Hinduism.
How is this related you muight ask. A western country which is concerned about emmissions in UK/US is not bothered when it when it is setting up shop in India. "Hey we are playing by the rules, we are not doing anything illegal". This clearly shows that nobody is concerned about such issues, deep down many people in the west appear to be concerned about environmental issues/child labour etc because it is almost impossible to indulge in such things in say UK.
I personally know of a UK family who lived in Bangalore for 2 years. They had more servants than their family members. One each for two of their daughters and 3 drivers. On gettnig back to England, my friend was lamenting about how tough it is to live in England!

The concern has to be genuine not only out of fear of laws or just to show someone that you are concerned. A concerned person will do what needs to be done even if there is no law to check.

  • 197.
  • At 10:04 AM on 24 Jun 2007,
  • lou lou wrote:

Am I the only one who is sick of seeing Justin Rowlatt's smug face on TV.
Every report is so obviously a self serving attempt to raise his public profile. It's sickening to watch.
Justin why can't you do a report without subjecting us to watching you 'at home' as if we are interested in your personal life or indeed your morning ablutions. Just get on with the job man.

  • 198.
  • At 11:37 AM on 20 Dec 2007,
  • krishna wrote:

When you are at the death bed you won't probably think about cosmetics.
The majority of the population in India are already 2 feet below the grave and you ask us about Global warming and climate change.
If west can articulate this sort of question on India and China?

Then!

* The R/D should majorly concentrate on producing non polluting gadgets than evolving atom bombs and nuclear weapons.

* Many of the developed and developing countries are still under the mercy of Westerners. The presence of US/ UK in India is pervasive and abstract even after Independence for instance.

The developing countries always get ecstasy in fantasy perhaps?

  • 199.
  • At 11:00 AM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • ankush wrote:

India is the best!

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