Sunday, December 11, 2005

dis-armed thakur from sippyland

im writing this from the land where your pee freezes as u move and the tree is no longer a safe place for the dog to lift its leg against.
the markets are full of canned stuff being bought by conned people.
the buildigs are repeated again and again and the sky is a rare treat for your eyes .
the trees are naked with snow .

the people are warm and friendly,
the smiles are easy to come by
the undergrounds are warm on your feet
but u still cant see the sky....

Montreal ,Qubec - Canada

Can the Climate Change its spots?

hello guys time for todays update.... very cool stuff ,today out of
nowhere arrived .... guess who ? our very own ex prez who was
involved a few years ago in making the white house red!yes it wa
indeed billy boy clinton who appeared out of nowhere today morning
in montreal. his arrival was announced this morning and he gave a
really cool speech ,which was applauded a number of times . it was
quite amazing to see him talk live ,hes a pretty cool speaker...
about his speech ... he was pretty clear about the status of america
today and even though he didnt mention the bush administration he
urged the people to take action at local and state level and hope
that the fedral govt. of america will catch up later (hopefully in
about 1137 days and counting..... thats the end of the bush
era!!).The place was packed with people .From my personal
perspective I think he was trying to apologise in some ways in
america's current position because apparently he was one of the
major guys involved in creating the UNFCC as well as the Kyoto and
today his own country is trying to cover up its own eyes and ears to
the roar of climate change.
He talked a lot about renewable energy ,that is wind ,solar
and geo thermal.and he condemned the further destruction of the
climate by burning fossil fuels.He was prety diplomatic about his
stuff and he even tried to get the saudis on board by saying that
they actually have the best natural resources as well as finances to
develop further.
He stressed the importance of economics and climate change
and how Renewable energy development will be mutually benificial for
everone by creating more jobs as well as decreasing the dangerous
effect of climate change .... he also talked quite a bit about
action at a personal and local level by increasing efficiency as
well as promoting efficient use of electricity.this i believe was
with special reference to his own country.

Well enough about bill clinton,ill add a bit about Steve
thats the GP spoksperson who also spoke at the planery ,his indirect
mention to US and australia earned him a standing ovation by the
audience.... thre was also the youth delegation consisting of 4
members who also spoke,needless to say they were supported by all
the youth which is present in significant numbers.
After the speeches we took down the stall and distributed
all the stuff between us and the recycle bin .strangely enough im
carrying a bottle of water from a german glacier... the lord works
in mysterious ways.
then we went to explore the city a bit and hung around for afew
hours .Montreal is a pretty interesting city even though its not
much to my liking.... its too bloody uniform and full of cement for
m e to respect this place .anyways we did have a lot of fun and
finally we ended up in the hostel.... thats all for now guys. sorry
for boring you again ,couldnt help it ;-) . adios....

Friday, December 09, 2005

Can the Climate Change its spots?

aha ! lots of stuff happened today... lets get you guys filled in....first the boring political news, today the indian minister for environment and forestry Mr.Raja spoke in the UN council, im quite deeply disappointed by what bullshit he gave.let me give u a few quotes..."india has the largest no. of people below poverty line in the world" ,"India cant catch up with the developing world for at least a generation(whatever that means?) so there is no question of binding targets " , "India is working on more efficiency and clean fuel technology...blah blah" ,basically he 'forgot' to mention the word renewable energy in his entire speech and he refused to make any commitments(again!) so there isnt anything new on the cards.
thats the boring political news also the conference is being wrapped up ,the most important agenda on the table right now is about commitment periods-about when will we commit to talk about commiting periods post 2012 when the 1st kyoto agreement ends.(kindda complicated but its just a part of the red tape).
now about the more exciting news.we finally manage to hunt down the indian minister(of magic?.... sorry too much harry potter)after a long and boring wait for him in the aisle... and dragged him to our stand in the exhibition stand ,it went pretty well and i managed to give him the film cd as well.We managed to get some shots of him doing the flag thing and that ought to be useful ..... soon after this event we made our exit from the land of politicians and onto the streets of Montreal....
we(thats us and a few solar gen members) walked in the area for a bit ,till the harbour and then headed for an area called sherbrooke to have dinner at an indian restaurant called 'govinda jaya jaya' run by the hare krishna people.We found the place after a long walk and then went to eat.... the food was simple and delicious and we finished with halwa(wah wah!) .It was actually an interestin blend of mediterranean and indian cuisine but very nice.It was run by a greek guy who was from egypt(dont ask) ,i had a interesting conversation with him ,the place had been working for 7yrs and seemed to be doing pretty well considering its small stature,the walls were done up with replicas of paintings of krishna in his various 'leelas'. very good fun.oh and we also drank fresh mango juice(its something of a rarity in this packaged food country)
with lots of difficulty ,we managed to get up and leave and made our way to the skating place . It was not as difficult as i thought and i manage to get the hang of the skates pretty well ,even though i havent been on ice skates ever before.but i have done some skating in my youthful days(about 7 yrs ago) so it was quite surprising for me that i could still stand and not fall(at least not as much as i would have ;-) .so anyways we had a great time after that we went to a bar to have some hot chocolate(for me) and ..... i fell asleep there for some time. when i woke up everyone was pretty high and dancing ,perfect timing, i simply joined them and we jumped around for quite a while. Then we headed back to the auberge de jeunesse (our hostel).thats all guys ,really sorry if i have bored you guys to tears .... couldnt help but write(the internrt is working for free somehow!)well adios for now.

the end??

our work here is almost over.
we met the indian minister today and clicked pictures with him. it was quite funny!!
we also showed our hotspot video tot eh public again. we gave a copy of the doc tot he minister as well.
tonite is aur last nit together as many ppl are leaving tm. we are goingt o go ice skating in the evening. am very excited abt tht as i dont no how to ice skate!!
we will mostly be free from tm so hoping to do sum sight seeing. lets c....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

artic day

well artic day is almost over
we had about 3 polar bears runnin around
1 inside the conference, 1 in the climatic village and 1 in between
ppl took pics of the polar bears with speech bubbles against global warming.
this u can c in my pic!
along with this we had the rolling sunlight again today and it was bloody cold in the mornin.
amrit attended a un youth meeting against the coal pact. he will be talking to the meia about it tomorrow.
also the secretary of the indian delegation has agreed to meet us tomorrow at the minister day function. so we will be giving him a copy of the doc as well as our present. i dont no abt the petitions as yet as mr. srinivas wants to c them first.
the minister may be coming tonite. we dont yet no!
we r going to have a party tonight at the wearhouse. the greenpeace campaigners will be coming for it.
thts it for today. more news tomorrow

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Feliz Cumple

Agnes has told me that she will give me a cd with all the t shirt designs from all over the world.... that out to be helpful in our quest to find cooler t-shirts. taking about serious stuff... there has been quite a bit of activity on the political as well as the solar gen front. We have been planning for the arctic day as well as for the minister daym, i believe that i have already given a brief idea about what will they contain.... We have been putting in a lot of hours in the warehouse doing a fair bit of sawing,painting etc.One of the campaigners working with us(Roetze Koen from switzerland) plays the guitar pretty well so we have some exciting guitar sessions betweeen work hours.I dont think ill describe the stuff we're doing cos itll be better to see it in pictures(we'll get em to u ...dont worry). On an even more serious note... the political stuff.There has been some developments regarding CDMs ...blah blah .from what ive heard India is in a ok position now,but nobody is really happy about or them.the asia pacific pact(or coal pact as it has been dubbed )had a secret sort of meeting on sunday. Even though they are not callin it a "meeting".also an ex-greenpeace founder called patric moore has showed up here ,hes founded a group called greenspirit and is pro nuclear energy.He is generally being ignored by all.... Not much else to say.Times running out... I was polar bear for aa while today...bye


SolarGeneration in Montreal. Our very own Amrit Bakshi! (extreme left front)

Monday, December 05, 2005

monday morning

The major activities in SolarGeneration have been the Rolling Coffee bar, the hotspot video side event and the march
The activities for this week include the Arctic day and the Minister's day,
we may have another activity, time permitting!
The Arctic day is an event which shows the impact of global warming on the climate and the Minister's day is where we will try and get the ministers to raise their hand for Kyoto,
we have been doing a lot of preparations for this. We have been making a lot of banners. We have also made polar bears out of wood.
Yesterday we had a skill sharing program by Greenpeace USA.
They talked about non-violent direct actions and they gave us a lot of ideas on how to go about it. I will get back to that when I return.
We also had a skill sharing program among ourselves which is going to continue tonight. It was very interesting to listen to all the SolarGeneration activities going on around the world.
Well, other than that today we are going to prepare for the Arctic day which is tomorrow.
hey everyone
our video was shown today in front of quite a few ppl
every1 loved it and were quite surprised that we had done it ourselves cause it looked very professional!!!!
i feel on top of the world cause of that
but really missed u guys cause i felt you all should have been there!!
It's our joint effort and I really wanted to share the wonderful experience with you all!!!
other than that,
we had the rolling sunlight coffee bar again today
we are planning our next week event tonight
will get back to you on that
will try maybe tom cause still feelin sleepy all the time
its weird!!
will also try to get you all some pics if not tonight tomorrow some time soon.

Montreal: Dec 3,12: 32

Writing this while i am pretty tired so please excuse any mistakes on my part. Today was a pretty hectic day... I'll sum up all the major events. Solar gen had a meeting with Sven Teske about the plan for Arctic Day and Minister Day (both are theme days, planned by SolarGen with the mentioned themes in mind). We decided on what all will be done on these days. On Arctic Day we'll be doing stuff involving arctic ice melting, etc, around the exhibition area that we have> Also we'll be having polar bears walking around (maybe hounding a Bush figure!and getting into a fight with him). The Minister Day will involve the ministers who are arriving at the conference after Tuesday. It'll probably have the various ministers leaving their handprint on this huge globe that we are placing in the exhibition space. If it comes through , it'll have quite an impact and pretty good media coverage. These are just rough drafts of events slated for Tuesday and Wednesday. Also today there was a sort of demonstration + performance by all the youth groups in the conference which consisted of people wearing shorts and t-shirts walking towards the conference and singing climate change jingles. This sort of stuff may seem a bit funny here but it gets quite some media attention as well as the delegate's attention, so its a pretty cool means of pushing the message of renewables through. Also interesting in today's menu was the arrival of a group called C pact (or c fact)or something like that consists of about 40 american students who are promoting nuclear energy. Thankfully they have been disowned by all other youth communities (which outnumber them 10 to 1. Also today I witnessed Sven take a nuclear energy promoter apart bit by bits. His arguments literally hit the guy's face....hard. Its very interesting to see people lobbying for nuclear energy when there is absolutely no future for it (simply because just like fossil fuels, nuclear fuel is running out as well). It was pretty interesting to see how the confrontation really works (even though I'll never be able to do it, I'm too diplomatic.... but I'm learning) Today we started working at the warehouse where all our banners, etc are being painted. Pretty nice place with all hardware tools , I got to work with the saw for a while when we were cutting plywood. And finally, yes, it snowed in Montreal, the temperature dropped to somewhere around -5 and I almost froze. There are worse weather predictions for tomorrow and tomorrow is also a march that we have planned along with a lot of other organisations aainst climate change. Thats all for now ...I think. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Montreal: Day 2

Well, am feeling really guilty about not blogging!!
well I tried last night but erased the whole thing by mistake so did not have the energy to do the whole thing again.
We showed our video today along with the GP international video
It was a roaring success and I really missed SolarGen India.
Not fair, we should have all been here for this!!!
From tonight we start new activities,
will keep you posted on that.
We have political briefings every evening by the GP people
so have to go for that in a while.
The atmosphere is really lively and the entertainment never stops!!
Am planning to go for a concert tonight,
will tell you how it was if I do go!!
Am getting to know lotsa people!
Have not yet met the Indian delegates,
will try to find them in a couple of days when I stop feeling so sleepy!!
All in all,
I'm learning every day here and I don't think I will ever stop!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Montreal: Day 1.

Hello guys, I'm writing from a really costly place, costs some 150 bucks an hour! So I think i'll make this a bit brief. Arrived yesterday in Montreal [had a] very nice flight , saw some really interesting looking places especially over the Middle East (a mountain range called the zhagrosa or something like that). Then caught a connecting flight from Heathrow , London. A really busy place, planes seem to hang around like stray cattle back home. The youth hostel is a pretty cool place though a bit of a culture shock . The conference is going pretty well today; everybody is pretty kicked about the passinng of some vote referred to as the amrikesh (it's actually a place where the UNFCC was held a few years ago and an agenda was decided, finally today it was adopted by everyone , that does not include US or australia). Everyone thought that Saudi Arabia would cause some trouble but they gave in pretty eas[il]y (due to pressure or some secret agenda? We still have 2 weeks to find out.) Also, the MOP1 began today, officially. Yesterday was COP 11.

Also Rolling Sunlight (that's a coffee bar powered by solar energy, made by Greenpeace USA) came here yesterday, very cool piece of technology and an even cooler symbol of what we are trying to show to the world . We worked on it for sometime, serving organic , fairtrade coffee along with views (ours and theirs) and snacks (not necessarrily in the same order). Food is very expensive around here, not to mention bloody delicious (but I'm glad that GP is footing the bill). Will send photos somehow. Oh, and everone has praised our work on the film (thought I'll pass on the compliment). Well that's all for now, guys. Au revoir.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


The Solar Generation team in Orissa. Amrit (extreme left) and Krittika (fourth from left) will be lobbying for greater use of clean energy at the COP/MOP conference in Montreal this winter.

Six students - members of the Solar Generation, from Bangalore went to Orissa from the 15th of July to the 29th of July to understand and document the impacts of climate change on the environment and also on the lives of the people living in that region.

"Over these two weeks we mainly covered the coastal region of Orissa. Starting from Bhubaneshwar where we interviewed college professors after which we headed south to Chilika Lake. At Chilika we spoke to and interviewed many villagers who gave us their take on various issues like increase in temperature, sea level increase, erratic rainfall patterns. We also spoke to some NGOS in this area. The people of the villages surrounding the lake also spoke to us about various other issues concerning the lake like the opening of the new mouth and how it affected them. Chilika was a real treat to us personally too. The bright, red crabs, the Irrawady dolphins, the exotic colorful birds and the moonlight reflecting on a serene lake at night left me totally speechless!Next we went to Konark, where the Solar Generation obviously visited the dazzling Sun Temple! We got some lovely interviews there too before we headed to Astaranga where we saw Nuwagarh. We saw some very powerful images there- the paddy fields had been flooded by the river water and the people there spoke of regular floods and even health problems due to increase in heat.Soon we went to Talcher and the Rengali dam where we saw smoke stacks polluting the environment and loads of coal being carried in NTPC wagons. We saw dirty coal fields and nearly choked at the foul smell that settled all around us.

The fisherman told the team that the new mouth was widening and that strange marine creatures found way into the lake, sometimes even sharks. He'd been fishing for about 7 years. The fishermen faced great competition from the commercial trawlers. the trawlers not only threatened to destroy their livelihood but also destroyed the marine life.Overall we got very insightful information and wonderful images. Learning and seeing all this and more, first hand was an amazing experience! Orissa was the hottest place in India this summer with the temperature reaching 55 degree Celsius. We saw how the state was affected after the 1999 super-cyclone and how the continuous floods and droughts affected the people. But the unbreakable spirit of the people and how they always welcomed us so sweetly amazed us! Also most importantly we studied and understood the impacts of climate change first hand!"

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Beginning

Watch this space for more on how to prevent human-induced climate change