SCIENCE & DEVELOPMENT

Floods, Drought, Heat, Fire – Welcome to Climate Change!

MANY parts of the world experienced extremes of climate and their consequences during June and July 2021. Whereas definitive attribution of particular weather events to specific causes has always been difficult given the numerous variables involved, scientists have almost unanimously ascribed this summer’s events all over the northern hemisphere to climate change. Even within that context, two aspects have been noteworthy. First the intensity, indeed ferocity, of the climate events and their impacts.

Bezos and Musk: Heralding a New Space Age or a Space Grab?

THE space race was once between the Soviet Union and the United States. It is now – on the surface – between the three billionaires, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Two of them rode their sub-orbital flights, meaning that they cannot be considered as space flights as they did not reach a stable orbit around the earth. Branson’s ambitions are limited, more for a market for developing the exotica of space tourism. Elon Musk and his SpaceX have been playing for the long haul, with a series of rockets and launches including to the International Space Station.

Bezos and Musk: Heralding a New Space Age or a Space Grab?

THE space race was once between the Soviet Union and the United States. It is now – on the surface – between the three billionaires, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Two of them rode their sub-orbital flights, meaning that they cannot be considered as space flights as they did not reach a stable orbit around the earth. Branson’s ambitions are limited, more for a market for developing the exotica of space tourism. Elon Musk and his SpaceX have been playing for the long haul, with a series of rockets and launches including to the International Space Station.

Pegasus: Dangerous for Democracy

THE winged horse of the Greek fable Pegasus is haunting the Modi government once again. 17 news organisations including The Wire, Washington Post, The Guardian along with two NGO's – Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories – have spent months examining a possible list of 50,000 phone numbers from 45-50 countries. They have found out who could indeed be possible targets of cyber attacks in these countries. They then forensically examined the phones on the target list of some of the people who were willing to have their phones tested.

Billionnaires’ Space Race

A NEW space race is on, not between superpowers, but between three billionaire businessmen with their space-based enterprises. Their goal, each in their own way, is to pioneer space tourism and to move space travel away from an exclusive activity involving select, rigorously trained astronauts often with military backgrounds to one in which, theoretically, ordinary people can participate.

Viewing Covid-19 Pandemic Naturally, Not Conspiratorially

COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has been one of the most devastating pandemics. It has exposed the dark underbelly of the health systems in many developed countries with a dominant privatised system. There has been a massive loss of lives and livelihoods in the US, India, Brazil and several countries. It has also shown that countries with strong public health systems like China and Cuba have withstood the onslaught much better.

From Vaccine Apartheid to Vaccine Neocolonialism?

THE prime minister in his speech on June 7, partially reversed his widely criticised Covid-19 vaccine policy. What concerns us here is that he also went on to give a false account of India’s vaccine history: that it had not been able to vaccinate its people earlier and could not manufacture vaccines indigenously. It is only now – according to Mr Modi – that India had manufactured two vaccines indigenously.

Lakshadweep Happenings: the Big Plot

WORLD Environment Day falls on June 5, each year and the theme for the coming decade has been declared as “Ecological Restoration.” It is indeed a tragedy that this article, written in commemoration of the Day draws attention to the ecological and human disaster unfolding in the Lakshadweep archipelago in the Arabian Sea, as well as in the Andaman & Nicobar island chain on the eastern flank of peninsular India in the Indian Ocean, in the name of “island development.”

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