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posted by janrinok on Tuesday November 16, @02:59AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Just days after voting to water down restrictions on fossil fuel use at COP26, India finds itself struggling to deal with the consequences of fossil fuel use.

New Delhi Braces for Emergency Measures as Toxic Smog Worsens

New Delhi braces for emergency measures as toxic smog worsens:

A thick haze of toxic smog hung over the Indian capital, exacerbated by a spike in the burning of crop waste in surrounding farmlands.

It reduced visibility and the Air Quality Index (AQI) hit 470 on a scale of 500, according to the federal pollution control board. This level of pollution means the air will affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases.

According to the pollution board's "Graded Response Action Plan," air quality remaining "severe" for 48 hours must prompt states and local bodies to impose emergency measures that include shutting down schools, imposing 'odd-even' restrictions on private cars based on their number plates, and stopping all construction.

In a circular late on Friday, the board said the government and private offices should reduce the use of private transport by 30% and advised the city's residents to limit outdoor exposure.

Delhi Shuts Schools as It Mulls 'Pollution Lockdown'

Delhi shuts schools as it mulls 'pollution lockdown':

The city is ranked one of the world's most polluted, with a hazardous melange of factory and vehicle emissions, as well as smoke from agricultural fires, settling in the skies over its 20 million people each winter.

On Saturday, the Supreme Court suggested imposing a lockdown on Delhi to combat the air quality crisis. "How will we live otherwise?" Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said.

Kejriwal said his government would consider the court's suggestion after consulting with stakeholders.

"Pollution lockdown has never happened before. It will be an extreme step," he said.

[...] On Saturday, levels of PM 2.5 particles – the smallest and most harmful, which can enter the bloodstream – topped 300 on the air quality index.

That is 20 times the maximum daily limit recommended by the World Health Organization.

A 2020 report by Swiss organisation IQAir found that 22 of the world's 30 most polluted cities were in India, with Delhi ranked the most polluted capital globally.


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Related Stories

COP26 Climate Deal Includes Historic Reference to Fossil Fuels but Doesn't Meet Urgency of a Crisis 44 comments

COP26 climate deal includes historic reference to fossil fuels but doesn't meet urgency of the crisis:

The COP process has tried and failed for years to include an acknowledgment that the climate crisis has been caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Coal is the single biggest source of greenhouse gases and phasing it out was a key priority of COP26 President Alok Sharma.

But despite that progress, the text doesn't reflect the urgency expressed by international scientists in their "code red for humanity" climate report published in August. Rather, it defers more action on reducing fossil fuel emissions to next year. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported the world needs to roughly halve emissions over the next decade.

Also at Washington Post and www.aljazeera.com


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:36AM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:36AM (#1196563)

    Visited India for months-long backpacking trip more than twenty years ago. The smell of burning garbage in the early morning was delectable.

    India has been developing rapidly, but, still, the majority population are small-holding/tennant farmers.

    It's time for Indian agricultural revolution 2.0, government-led campaign for cleaner, more efficient agricultural practices backed by government investment/subsidy. Likely a more efficient and efficacious tactic to reduce carbon emission as well as supporting the farmers.

    All those rockets and spaceship ambition may boost the national ego, and a country like India should strive for it, but in the end, you first want people well fed and be able to breathe the air.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @06:54AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @06:54AM (#1196585)

      you first want people well fed and be able to breathe the air.

      No, the psychopaths in power would rather kill off about 70% of the population, but, you know, they have to make it look like an accident.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by DannyB on Tuesday November 16, @03:24PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 16, @03:24PM (#1196667) Journal

        Are the undesirable castes really 70% of the population?

        Why would so many people willingly choose to be born in to the lower castes?

        Maybe for the same reasons some people choose to be born with the wrong color skin, or born to parents with low income or the wrong religion.

        --
        This Christmas season is the most likely to see Missile Tow instead of large artillery pieces being toed.
        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:48PM (#1196677)

          There are no undesirable castes. There are upper castes which are supposed to be educated, and lower castes that does menial tasks. There is a small percentage of untouchables which is what I think you misspoke about. The untouchables are basically janitors etc. It makes sense in a historical sense. The current reality is too complicated and just as fruitless to explain to westerners. Just trying to get facts straightened. Majority is not untouchable.

          The upper caste in conservative sense is pretty much dead. The upper caste was picked by the British for western education and given ruling power after they left. The lower caste I. E. Farmers became majority after they left. The western educated people don't care about caste. They, like me, speak English, earn good money, care about education and dream of moving to the west. The majority lower caste LOVE casteism. They consist of land owners who actually are able to move to west because they don't mind bending the western rules and have all the money and pay 0 tax as protected class, being a farmer. They like bossing around the labors. The labors are dirt poor, don't have any education and the only reason they see for their poor condition is casteism.

          The western understanding of India is filtered via two distinct lenses:
          1. The pre-independence lens laced with racism and orientalism. The western educated Indians subconsciously support it. Their self recognition is what became Indian independence movement, where Gandhi did a 180 and accepted the persona of a "naked fakir".
          2. The post-independence lens tinted by post modernist claptrap championed by western liberals who are supported by farmers of India who don't pay tax and are out of control, being a majority. The fact that they are the actual historical land owners is conveniently missed because it doesn't fit western liberal politics.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, @12:55AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, @12:55AM (#1196890)

          Psychopaths come in all castes. Upper castes expect to be eaten last. What was your question?

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @12:52PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @12:52PM (#1196618)

      It's time for Indian agricultural revolution 2.0, government-led campaign for cleaner, more efficient agricultural practices backed by government investment/subsidy. Likely a more efficient and efficacious tactic to reduce carbon emission as well as supporting the farmers.

      .

      Like they did in Bhopal?

      • (Score: 1, Disagree) by khallow on Tuesday November 16, @01:25PM (6 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 16, @01:25PM (#1196630) Journal

        It's time for Indian agricultural revolution 2.0, government-led campaign for cleaner, more efficient agricultural practices backed by government investment/subsidy. Likely a more efficient and efficacious tactic to reduce carbon emission as well as supporting the farmers.

        Like they did in Bhopal?

        Indeed. The Indian governments at all levels (a state government was part owner of the Bhopal plant) shows considerable incompetence and corruption, and has done so since its creation 70 years ago. For more recent examples, most of the financial losses that Enron was trying to hide came from a coal power plant in India which lost an extremely profitable rent-seeking agreement which had been made by a local government and rescinded by the next (IIRC).

        Then there's the bizarre demonetization scheme [soylentnews.org] which came out in late 2016. Great for creating more poverty with the stated goals being utterly laughable (claiming that they were thereby cracking down on black markets and such).

        I hope the original poster was sarcastic because that's a pretty shitty train to hitch your agricultural revolution to.

        Moving on, India was doing better than China in 1980. Now they're doing worse. It's time to look at why that happened. My take is that part of the problem is too much government not enough private enterprise.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Tuesday November 16, @02:32PM (5 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Tuesday November 16, @02:32PM (#1196646) Journal

          Your post indicates the problem is too much corruption rather than too much government, though admittedly much of the corruption is *in* the government. Or are you going to claim that China doesn't have a lot of government?

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday November 16, @02:37PM (3 children)

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday November 16, @02:37PM (#1196649) Journal

            The guy's a fanatic (defined as "one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject"). His fallacy here is that abuse of an idea means the idea itself is intrinsically bad and/or unworkable. This is the same dishonest bullshit the deregulation creeps throw around: point to regulatory capture, i.e., deliberate and almost blasphemous poisoning and perversion of the regulation system, as "proof" that all regulation is bad.

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
            • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:59PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:59PM (#1196681)

              Countries with greater govt control are wonderful places: China, USSR, Communist Vietnam, East Germany, etc.
              Clearly the answer to people's problems is to put a fair, intelligent, and far-seeing handful of people in control of EVERYTHING. They, unlike private businesses, do not make mistakes and are incorruptible.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @07:03PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @07:03PM (#1196750)

                There is the mindless narrative. So on top of your pile of straw we can toss the burning log of reality where individual greedy assholes pollute the very water and air we depend on for survival. Thanks, I'll take civilian oversight via regulation over your anarcho-apitalist dreams or the fake dictatorship you try and scare people with.

                To persuade others all I have to do is show them the historic records from not long ago up to today. You? Only crazy rants and paranoid theories. You must be a Joe Rogan fan.

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday November 18, @03:58AM

              by HiThere (866) on Thursday November 18, @03:58AM (#1197300) Journal

              He's got a point that governments tend to become corrupt. The problem is that so do all centers of power or authority. Government is a necessary tool for a large civilization, but this doesn't mean it doesn't have its problems. Unfortunately, so does every other proposed solution.

              One of the big problems with the current government is regulatory capture. I am strongly of the opinion that nobody who has worked for a regulatory agency should ever again be allowed to collect any payment of any kind from those they had priviously regulated. Lobbyists are another problem, but one that doesn't have as obvious a solution.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday November 17, @01:53PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 17, @01:53PM (#1197007) Journal

            Your post indicates the problem is too much corruption rather than too much government, though admittedly much of the corruption is *in* the government.

            I wouldn't treat the two as independent variables. The larger the government, the greater its power; the greater its complexity and opacity; the greater the tax revenue stream; and the less accountability it has as a result. These all create massive opportunities for corruption. Smaller governments can be very corrupt in the things they do, but they are very limited by that size in what they can do and how much money they can throw to cronies and such.

            This is important also from the choices it creates on the private sector side. With a small government, there's much more opportunity (less government monopolies, for example) and incentive to earn an honest living rather than game the government for your advantage. In most of the world, we have 30-50% of economic activity passing through government hands. That generates considerable incentive to parasitize.

            My take on this is that if you leave food lying around, you'll get vermin. A large government is such food.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:40AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @03:40AM (#1196564)

    After Covid thought you were done with masks? Now you can wear it to protect from pollution. N95 masks can stop PM2.5 particles

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @12:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @12:15PM (#1196611)

      "Free N95 mask for every 5kg of coal purchased!"

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by krishnoid on Tuesday November 16, @04:28AM (2 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday November 16, @04:28AM (#1196568)

    Imagine if pollution and climate change was directly affecting Washington, D.C. and surroundings? Maybe we'd start getting action a little sooner.

    • (Score: 2) by legont on Tuesday November 16, @05:56AM

      by legont (4179) on Tuesday November 16, @05:56AM (#1196576)

      It did and we did. The US people cut all the trees and poisoned all the waters in the country. Well, there were a few exceptions, but they don't change the point. Then the policy was changed and clean up was enforced.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @06:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @06:11AM (#1196579)

      LOL reading while tired is not a good idea, thought your nick was khallow and was floored for a brief moment.

  • (Score: 2) by Barenflimski on Tuesday November 16, @04:43AM (2 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Tuesday November 16, @04:43AM (#1196569)

    What happens at 500? Is that when air isn't air anymore? Did someone just never think that humans would try to exist in that? Is that the LD50 when air kills you?

    I've been there before when its bad, and they say its worse now. Our plane was delayed by 7 days. Nothing like being delayed for 7 days in a hotel you can't leave where the air is so smoggy your eyes water. This sounds terrible.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @12:23PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @12:23PM (#1196613)

    i assume it has mostly to do with farming. burning the fields and then praying for a drizzle of rain gets you free potash? a fertilizer?
    since the fields burnt are at "room temperatur" and not completly dry, the combustion is ...uhmm...ahh... incomplete, smokey.
    thus, and here the oil industry needs to perk up, taking this "dirty air" and combusting it a second time in amore controlled manner, say a combustion engine, should yield "better air" albeit even more oxygen starved, but nevertheless ... cleaner?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @04:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @04:01PM (#1196682)

      I noticed the burning farm waste as well in the actual summary, after the submitter's editorializing lead-in: "News
      Just days after voting to water down restrictions on fossil fuel use at COP26, India finds itself struggling to deal with the consequences of fossil fuel use."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @05:22PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @05:22PM (#1196700)

      > combustion engine

      Where's the profit in that? /s

      It would also be better to support changing farming practices, and paying the actual environmental and health cost for products.

      You don't get greener by adding technology.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, @04:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, @04:42PM (#1197053)

        disagree.
        it depends how and with what energy source the "added technology" is created.
        if the added technology enables less "dirty energy" usage then it could be called green (super-green if the added technology can create itself with its own energy output/creation/harvest)?
        .
        anyways, original post "filtering polluted air thru combustion engine" was a tongue in cheek... or was it? :) (i was hoping someone would have said something along the lines: but india (they are not alone) first needs to have "carefully controlled internal combustion engines" to begin with...

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday November 16, @03:28PM (6 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 16, @03:28PM (#1196669) Journal

    The climate change deniers will claim the same thing for pollution as they do for climate change: People will simply adapt to it.

    After all, we don't want to affect corporate profits.

    --
    This Christmas season is the most likely to see Missile Tow instead of large artillery pieces being toed.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @04:05PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @04:05PM (#1196684)

      "Denier". Has a religious invective ring to it. I notice the old term "manmade climate change SKEPTIC" was apparently too kind to the heretics, so it has been replaced with DENIER.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cmdrklarg on Tuesday November 16, @05:47PM (4 children)

        by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 16, @05:47PM (#1196719)

        An actual skeptic can be swayed if given evidence and/or proof.

        Deniers will not be swayed, as they have a vested interest in denying the issue.

        --
        Dealing out the agony within
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @08:42PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @08:42PM (#1196800)

          Speaking of "deniers", what are we to do with those who deny there is only male and female? Deniers of much more settled science than manmade global warming.

          • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Wednesday November 17, @05:40PM (2 children)

            by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday November 17, @05:40PM (#1197087)

            Your assertion is completely wrong, as while the vast majority of humans are male or female, there are a small percentage of humans who are intersex (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex).

            One thing you learn when dealing with biology is that there is no such thing as 100%. There is always some kind of variation going on.

            --
            Dealing out the agony within
            • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Wednesday November 17, @08:21PM (1 child)

              by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday November 17, @08:21PM (#1197137)

              What about the taxonomy [wikipedia.org]? Isn't that 100%, at least as an imposed classification system?

              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cmdrklarg on Thursday November 18, @03:04PM

                by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Thursday November 18, @03:04PM (#1197412)

                Taxonomy is not biology; it's a tool for studying biology.

                Perhaps I should not say "nothing is 100%" since there are probably some exceptions to that rule of thumb.

                --
                Dealing out the agony within
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @07:23PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, @07:23PM (#1196765)

    It's obvious that this is a problem caused by governmental over-regulation, and that free market capitalism will solve it. How it will do so is obvious and will be left as an exercise for the reader.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, @12:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 17, @12:53AM (#1196889)

      No, comrade. It is obvious that capitalism *caused* this problem, and that seizing all the farms will solve it. /sarcasm.

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