Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Notice To Readers: Comment Moderation

Dear Readers:

If you have left a comment on my blog over the past two years or so and not gotten a reply from me, it is most likely because you posted a comment one week after the publication of my post. After one week, comments are routed to a moderation queue. I am supposed to get a notification by email of pending comments. I noticed today that this email notification setting was turned off! As a result, I have been unaware of the many comments that were languishing in the moderation queue. 

I apologize for my oversight. I have reset the notification settings and I should now be receiving an email regarding any comments pending moderation. You can also email me directly. You can find my email address on the Profile Page. 

As always, a big thank you for your continuing support of my blog.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Books: Speaking Rivers, The Ice Age

 Ordered and received!

Prof. Vipul Singh is with the Dept. of History, University of Delhi, and he writes in the acknowledgments section that environmental history as a formal subject of study in history departments had a late start in India. The focus of the book is the flat lands of Bihar with its annual floods and shifting river channels and how Mughal and later British land use policies transformed the people's relationship with the river system. Looks like a very meaty book with plenty of Notes, Maps and a long Reference section. Will be sharing interesting snippets as I read along.


As one blurb says... "Perfect to pop into your pocket for spare moments".  A fine introduction by Jamie Woodward. The recognition that the earth has passed through several glacial and interglacial phases is really a triumph of field geology. Thick sedimentary deposits in Europe and N. America were recognized as being left behind by advancing ice sheets. The stellar role played by geologists in the mid-late 1800's and their debates grounded within the prevailing schools of catastrophism versus uniformitarianism is highlighted. And there are good succinct sections on the many modern theoretical advances in climate science and the techniques that geologists and climate scientists bring to bear upon understanding the mode and tempo of climate change.


Happy Reading.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Readings: India Dams, Geology Videos, Parsis in India

 Sharing some readings.

1) Neeraj Wagholikar, Parineeta Dandekar and Himanshu Thakkar weigh in on the dam building epidemic that is afflicting India. These three experts cover issues of environmental governance, destruction of fisheries and livelihoods, and a perspective on their irrigation potential and economic logic.

The deep political drive to push through permissions to build dams is best highlighted by an example of a malign recommendation in a report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on energy published in January 2019. It seems to view in favor Himachal Pradesh's suggestion to the committee to help declare large hydropower projects as linear projects, thus enabling them to bypass Gram Sabha consent. The statement reads, “If it is done, then, to a large extent, the problem of FRA, which the Secretary also mentioned, will get resolved because the stringent provisions of FRA will get diluted. It is not our purpose to subvert them. Our only purpose is to get them more liberalised.” 

FRA is the Forest Rights Act which gives local forest dwellers a say in the site selection of infrastructure projects. 

Makes you despair and shake in anger, doesn't it?

India, Dammed.

2) Geology fans! I highly recommend Rice University Professor Cin-Ty Lee's YouTube Channel. He has a very informative collection of short videos on rocks and minerals and geologic processes. 

Here is one of my favorites.. Isostacy and what controls the elevation of mountains?

Email subscribers who can't see the embedded video, can view it here - Elevation of Mountains.

3) Like Sugar in Milk.. was the memorable assurance given by the Zoroastrian refugees to the King of Gujarat. We will assimilate in Indian society. And they have in many ways, while maintaining a distinct identity. 

What does genetics tell us? Fine post by Razib Khan.

Endogamy and Assimilation. Parsis in India.