The PEST solution

In what is being heralded as one of the most visionary efforts in recent times to stem the extinction crisis, a collaborative effort by ecologists and economists from India, Brazil, and the USA has developed a novel solution for biodiversity conservation. Announcing this amidst great excitement today at a packed press conference at the Carneghee […]

Death on the highway

This article was published in The Hindu Survey of the Environment 2009 (pages 113 – 118) without the supporting footnotes. The original article with footnotes and photographs is reproduced here. Crunch! Splat! Thud! A daily massacre is occurring under the wheels of our vehicles. Thousands of lives are snuffed out tragically, instantaneously, and yet, we hardly […]

The butchery of the banyans

How difficult is it, in the depths of the human spirit, to find an ounce of compassion, an iota of sensitivity, to Nature? This is a question we are forced to ask, after a few journeys along the roads from Mysore. The roads from Mysore, leading west into Kodagu, and south towards the Biligirirangan Hills, […]

Earth-scar evening

The road winds through a disfigured landscape of tea plantations. It skims the contours over the open reservoir with its sloping banks of naked red earth. It passes the checkpost with the inevitable tea stall, and only then does it plunge down. Down towards the rainforest, our destination for the evening. The Nilgiri langurs, on […]

Blowin’ in the wind

Looking up from the road, I see the blue arc of the sky slicing through the forest canopy. Into the arc, the dome-like crown of a tall dipterocarp tree emerges from the dark rainforest. The tree is over a hundred feet tall, its straight bole emerging from a spread of stout roots that snake along […]