Climate change myths

This is with reference to ‘Think local, think adaptation’ (November 7). There are some myths about climate change that need to pointed out. Even in the Middle Ages, there were summers in the Mediterranean that were very hot and dry.

So, climate always keeps changing and has always been changing.

It is unrealistic to expect an ideal amount of rainfall, or an ideal summer/ winter temperature every year.

Another common myth propagated is that polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. A little research will reveal that the polar bear population has increased over the decades. So, this proves that the melting is not happening at an alarming rate.

As for rising sea levels, scientists claimed in 1988 that the Maldives will be submerged by 2018. The country is doing fine today.

Every article on climate change demonises carbon dioxide (CO2). It must be noted that CO2 is crucial for plant health and has a key role to play in the greening of the planet. Also, it is debatable whether a gas that constitutes only 0.04 per cent of the atmosphere can do so much harm.

Can climate activists be believed when they say the world will be warmer by 2.6 degrees by the end of the century?

Weather forecasting cannot be accurate beyond a few days to a week, because of the huge number of variables affecting it. Any extrapolation will hold good only if other ambient conditions remain the same. As regards flooding in cities, it is the result of poor urban planning and not due to climate change.

Western nations have become rich using fossil fuels, and they are now ask developing countries like India to reduce its usage.

Much of the manufacturing of the West is outsourced to Asian countries, so when they blame the latter for pollution from industrial activity, it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Aravind R Narasipur

Chennai

Return on investment

This refers to the report on Centre’s PSU dividend receipts (November 18).

While some estimates and projections about dividend receipts from PSUs cannot be avoided as part of Budget exercise, tracking targets and comparisons put pressure on individual institutions.

Expecting reasonable return on investment and ploughing back surplus income on a need-based basis are part of prudent resources management.

Simultaneously, the government needs to tap the possibility of mapping resources and making industries reinvest an agreed portion of surplus income back, irrespective of whether the units are in the public or private sector.

Corporates in the private sector which have availed of several concessions should be encouraged to pay back to society much beyond their CSR obligations.

MG Warrier

Mumbai

Delhi’s air pollution

This refers to ‘How to tackle Delhi’s air pollution’ (November 18).

One of the possible ways could be to ensure that the aggregate number of various vehicles that ply in the national capital is commensurate with the carrying capacity of the roads, and the emission levels of all these vehicles strictly conform to the globally laid down norms, like in Singapore. Moreover, industrial emissions, unplanned construction activities, stubble burning in neighbouring States and prevalence of three massive open-ended garbage dumping zones call for quickly devising some astute yet workable action plan by the Delhi government.

Vinayak G

New Delhi

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