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Gloom and Doom related to Climate Change 

In some ways, this is an understandable attitude for many economically vulnerable Indians.

If, say, you're in poverty, at the risk of falling into poverty, or recently risen out of poverty, you can't afford to worry too much about the distant future. You have to focus on survival now.

Of course if you're rich, you may have other reasons to ignore climate change. You may, I don't know, believe you can simply buy yourself protection from .

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Gloom and Doom related to Climate Change 

Unlike say, the United States, this isn't exactly denial. Very few people actually deny the existence of climate change in India, regardless of political affiliation.

I don't quite know what exactly it is however, that prompts people to ignore what's going on.

The best I can come up with is an attitude summed up by "Climate change will come, but we'll find a way to deal with it when it comes. Right now, we've got more pressing problems."

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Gloom and Doom related to Climate Change 

Sorry, I should have put a content warning earlier. Didn't occur to me for some reason. Apologies.

Anyway, the bad news gets worse. Because even though there is ample evidence that anthropogenic is going have severe effects on India, the country itself seems very much on business-as-usual mode.

In some ways, we seem to be on business-even-more-than-usual mode at the moment.

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When one combines existing data of increasing temperatures with future projections estimating 3-4 deg C rises...

...and one combines THAT with the crazy number of linked disasters that have taken place in the last ten years (India has had pretty much the full menu of disasters this last decade - floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones and this year, of all things, a locust invasion)... makes for a very grim picture indeed.

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A 4 deg C rise is closer to the top of the estimated range, of course. The lower bound is about 2.4 deg C. Even so, that's a very high increase.

These findings will be debated and contested and counter-proposals and revisions may take place.

However, what can't be disputed is the temperature increase that has already taken place.

This are temperature bands for India and my home state of Karnataka. Note the angry brick-red stripes toward the end of this decade.


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Just to put things in context. The Paris Agreement wants to limit average global temperature rise to somewhere between 1.5 and 2 deg C compared to pre-industrial revolution temperatures.

Even a 2-3 deg C increase is predicted to drastically transform human settlements around the world.

I can't even imagine what a 3-4 deg C rise over 1976-2005 average temperatures would look like in India.

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Unfortunately, the news isn't good. The report predicts that mean temperatures in India could increase by...wait for it...

2.4 to 4.4. deg C.

compared NOT to pre-industrial levels (which is what the 2015 Paris Agreement uses)

but to average temperatures between 1976 and 2005.

In other words, temperatures may rise by FOUR degrees over the average temperatures of my PARENT'S GENERATION, not the 1800s.

That's just insane.

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Firstly, absolutely love the fact that they made it open access and put up both PDF and ePUB versions for download.

Government reports are often very hard to access and this is a refreshing change. May the tribe of folks in government who do this increase.

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India's Ministry of Earth Sciences has released a new (and open access!) report assessing impacts on the Indian region.

Can be accessed here:

Something I'm really dreading is certain Indian politicians and commentators looking at what's going on in the US and using that as a justification for their own atrocities.

"Happens even in the US" is a common excuse for all kinds of transgressions.

This isn't the Americans' problem of course - it's ours. But the riots and the crackdown there will have its own translations here.

Brilliant project that tidies up public domain ebooks.

Gutenberg and Internet Archive are wonderful resources, but the texts are poorly formatted for actual use, especially on ereaders.

This is a volunteer driven initiative to bring these texts up to date with modern standards and make them look as good as possible on the page.

(1) Deep Time, Dark Times: On Being Geologically Human by David Wood.

(2) Recommend pairing this with Robert McFarlane's Underland, which I am coincidentally reading at the same time.

Will post a review of (1) once I'm done.

Book Sites:

(2) Underland

I am new at this instance: I'm an architect and PhD on social sciences who studies the commodifications between , and in the context of the Urban Studies and I am now pursuing a more data-scientist approach. I've been using for some years and I am now starting with

I'm looking for people with similar research interests or who can help me improving my skills.

Thanks @cxli for kindly introducing me to this nice ritual.

The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

Anyway, I can go on and on about this, but I think I'll stop here.

In summary, I really hate this debate and I hate having to engage with this.

Unless we can inject a little bit more nuance or reflection into this discourse, we are doomed to revolve around the same old mulberry bush.

And it doesn't help anyone - not us, not lawmakers and certainly not workers.


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The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

But honestly, my opinions are just one among many different types of workers.

It's astonishing how policy commentators fail to acknowledge that they may be articulating their own interests, because they are workers too.

Workers are a diverse group of people, differentiated by sector, region, gender, religion, caste and experience. Not taking these diverse voices into account is a huge part of the problem with this debate.

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The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

Personally, whenever I encounter this debate, I prefer going back to basic questions:

1. Do I want workers protected by occupational health and safety norms?
Obviously yes.

2. Do I want a minimum wage?
Yes, but I don't want it going only to organised workers and not unorganised.

3. Do I support collective bargaining via formalised unions?
Depends on the case in question, but I support collective bargaining itself unequivocally.

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The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

The fault in this latest episode lies with the Uttar Pradesh government, who just scrapped laws without considering any nuances.

But the intellectual response has not helped either, with people on different sides calling each other 'champagne socialists' and 'ignorant economists', rather than articulating these issues properly.

I can't do it. I've no formal expertise on labour issues. But those who do, really ought to know better.

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The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

What does all of this mean for today? Essentially, what we have is a very complicated landscape of opinions on labour laws and the role they play in the Indian economy.

This is why I hate how the debate is framed - as a simplistic "Keep or Scrap" binary, which does nothing to address the variety of splintered interests on this issue.

And somehow, no matter what, the debate keeps regressing back to that.

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The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

Supporters of liberalisation (well, not necessarily 'supporters', more like 'least of all evils') can also be unorganised workers who couldn't or were unable to negotitate for the same terms and benefits as organised workers.

Organised workers can sometimes be seen from the outside as a clique of its own, with divides being drawn on lines of caste or regional differences.

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The Labour Laws Debate: Why I Hate It But Can't Look Away 

It's important to note that the divide on liberalisation isn't a simple 'capitalist versus labour' story.

Supporters of liberalisation today can be workers (or children of workers) who lost jobs and livelihoods during the tumult of the 1980s and resent the politics of that time.

There has been considerable erosion of trust - in both owners and unions - due to the collapse of jobs and industry of that time.

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