Friday, July 25, 2008

My Five Minutes of Fame As Citizen Activist

I have been profiled in the Times of India, Pune edition. Check out this piece in Times e-paper. You may have to navigate to page 6 of July 25th issue once the e-paper downloads: Switch off at signals, save fuel

Almost a year ago I wrote a series of posts on air pollution and environmental problems facing Pune City. At that time my blog was virtually anonymous. A few friends knew I had started blogging, but the site meter counter moved only occasionally. Still, I like writing about science and I was curious about air pollution in Pune and I kept writing. I really had no expectations about the reach and effect those posts might have. I had underestimated badly the power of the Internet search:

how much CO2 emitted during vehicle idling
bus pollution graphs
comparing diesel and CNG emissions
forest CO2 sinks

These search phrases I can say changed the profile of my blog. I have had several thousand hits on those Pune City posts and hundreds of clicks on the images of the graphs and tables, which have most likely been downloaded. If at least part of the role of a science blog is outreach and education, then I am satisfied with the role my blog is playing. Last month a reporter from Times of India stumbled upon those posts and interviewed me. The article was published today. I don't expect editorial control over the content of the article, but I wish a draft had been sent to me before publishing. The article covers only one of the posts I wrote and I felt a broader coverage of my posts would have helped highlight the entire series. I think its best readers refer to my posts on these topics. Links below:

Part1. Idling and Pollution
Part2. PMT buses and Pollution
Part3. Rickshaws and Pollution
Part 4. Urban Forests and Clean Air
Part 5. Sensing Corruption Remotely
Part 6. Diets, Consumption and Global Warming

I like writing about the city I live in and the neighborhood I grew up in. Being profiled like this is always welcome but I will keep writing about local issues regardless.


  1. (with reference to your comment in the previous post) It is obvious now that more than one is reading you :)


  2. and isn't that a good feeling!!