Nation
No end to Parliament impasse over CAG report on coal

The month-long session, which already lost the previous two weeks to BJP's unrelenting demand for resignation of PM, again saw uproar created by BJP members, leading to wastage of one more day of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

 
New Delhi: With no end to the government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stand-off over the report by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on coal block allocation, the last week of the Monsoon session of Parliament began on Monday with a repeat of stormy scenes raising the possibility of a washout of the remaining four days, reports PTI.
 
The month-long session, which already lost the previous two weeks to BJP's unrelenting demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, again saw uproar created by BJP members, leading to wastage of one more day of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
 
However, amid the din, three bills, including Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010, were passed in the Lok Sabha within minutes without any debate.  
 
The other two legislations were the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2011, and the National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2011.
 
In the Rajya Sabha, repeated attempts by the government to ensure passage of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2012, were thwarted by Left parties which insisted that these should not be cleared without a debate.
 
As the two Houses met for the day, it was the repeat of scenes witnessed over the last eight days with BJP members raising slogans and rushing into the Well to demand the Prime Minister's resignation.
 
Slogans like "Koyle ki dalali hai, Congress sarkar kali hai (brokerage of coal has turned Congress government black)" and "Pradhan Mantri Isteefa Do (Prime Minister should quit)" rent the air leading to clashes as Congress members countered.
 
Some UPA members were also seen waving the 'List of Business' at the agitating BJP members indicating their opposition to the disruption of the proceedings. 
 
AIADMK members in the Rajya Sabha too shouted slogans seeking resignation of the Prime Minister and targetting the government. Their party colleagues in the Lok Sabha were seen in the aisle raising some slogans.
 
P Lingam (CPI) was seen with a placard opposing the forthcoming visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India. In the Rajya Sabha, DMK and the Left displayed placards saying 'Stop Training the Sri Lankan Army'.
 
Trouble began in the Lok Sabha soon after Speaker Meira Kumar read out the obituary reference to former member Kanshiram Rana.
 
Amidst the din, both Houses were adjourned till noon.
 
When the Rajya Sabha reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed with BJP members again rushing to the well leading to adjournment of the House till 2pm.
 
In the Lok Sabha, proceedings could be managed for almost 30 minutes amidst the din with the Speaker pushing the passage of the three legislations. She later adjourned the House for the day after the bills were adopted by voice vote.
 
But in the Rajya Sabha, plans of the government to seek passage of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill 2012 could not succeed because of Left parties' resistance to clearing the important legislation without any discussion.
 
This was despite the fact that Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien asked BJP members to go to their seats pleading that the bill be passed as it was very important.
 
However, as members remained unrelenting, he adjourned the House till 2pm. It was a similar story when the House re-assembled prompting Kurien to adjourn the House for the day.
 
Earlier, Kurien's attempts to take up a short notice question on whether companies may lose Rs6,000 crore every year due to cut in spot sales of coal also could not be taken up.
 
As YS Chowdhury (TDP), in whose name the question was listed, did not raise it, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal laid his reply in the din and no supplementary question was asked.
 
Earlier, Chairman Hamid Ansari's repeated pleas to restore order went in vain as BJP members remained unrelenting in their slogan-shouting.
 
SP members were also up on their feet trying to raise certain issues but were inaudible. Ansari then adjourned the House till noon.
 

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Global warming and climate change: The never-ending debate

The debate over global warming has engulfed one and all—climatologists, meteorologists and climate alarming scientists, and the scepticism is quite clear. So why are meteorologists more likely to take to climate scepticism? More on it...

An email forwarded to me informs me that The American Meteorological Society (AMS) has once again re-affirmed their policy supporting anthropological global warming (AGW). But I was totally intrigued why the email chose an innocuous news item to circulate among influential members of our government and media including our prime minister and former environmental minister. 

 

Was it the point of this email that this policy re-affirmation by AMS was construed by it as a major victory for AGW?  

To answer this, we need first to put AMS into perspective. The debate over global warming has created many predictable adversaries such as between climatologists affiliated the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and sceptic climatologists on one hand and an overwhelming majority of the meteorologist community and climate alarmist scientists on the other hand. 

 

Surveys after surveys have shown that climate scepticism are pretty widespread among TV weather forecasters most of whom have a degree in meteorology and other related fields in climatology. This gives climate sceptics an undue advantage in moulding public opinion within the climate debate.

“What we’ve recognized is that the everyday person doesn’t come across climatologists, but they do come across meteorologists,” said Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists.

 

The AMS is the largest membership-based organization of meteorologists in the US—about 14,000 strong. This is only because they confer its coveted seal of approval on qualified weather forecasters in the US that are important for career considerations, especially freshers. 80% of their membership is accounted by climate sceptics. 

 

These include weathermen legends like John Coleman who founded the Weather Channel; Anthony Watts who now administers the world’s most popular climate change blog, WUWT; Joe Bastardi of formerly Accuweather, etc. Because of AMS’ AGW policy, many of these legends cancelled their certification with the AMS. A significant majority though still retaining their membership, cook a snook at the AMS by spewing out their anti-climate alarmism venom on a daily basis. 

 

So why are meteorologists more likely to take to climate scepticism?

 

Polls show that a vast majority of weather forecasters, about 75%-80%, distrust models of climate change. Weather models are usually only accurate in predicting five- or seven-day forecasts. A common belief of broadcasters is that climate models are just as fallible.

 

Joseph D'Aleo the first director of meteorology at The Weather Channel explains, "The forecasters live in the real world. They know models in general, and they know these models don't even get tomorrow right. They aren't going to trust them to be right about what is going to happen in 2100."

 

We in India should instinctively appreciate this logic having the ready illustration of monsoon predictions going haywire, year after year. This year was no exception—with not a single international model, including those of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on course to getting it right. 

 

So finding themselves totally impotent to stop climate sceptic weathermen from influencing public opinion on the climate debate, the AGW lobby did the next best thing. Get the AMS to endorse AGW. And how would they do that? By offering liberal funding just as the West offers our NGOs to advocate adoption of policies friendly to their interests here in this country.  Lord Monckton, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, in a lighter vein exposed such funding to AMS in his article Climate ($$$ and) Change. Read here. (http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=10144 )

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SC pulls up PMO officials in Cauvery water dispute case

The apex court expressed surprise that PMO officials have been seeking convenient dates from the Committee members, instead of convenience of the Prime Minister 

 
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the failure of officials from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to hold a meeting of the committee, headed by the Prime Minister, to resolve the Cauvery water-sharing dispute between southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, reports PTI.
 
A bench of justices DK Jain and Madan B Lokur expressed surprise when it was told that the meeting had not been held till now as the PMO officials had been seeking convenient dates from the committee members, which includes the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
 
The bench observed whether "the Prime Minister is to see his own convenience or that of others." 
 
"Sometimes we are short of words when it involves the highest functionary of the government," the bench remarked and adjourned the matter to Friday, 7th September.
 
The court had earlier asked the government to convene a meeting of the committee to resolve the dispute.
 
The Centre on 30th August had told the apex court that it would soon convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider Tamil Nadu's plea for release of 25.373 thousand million cubic feet (tmfct) of water from Cauvery river to save the state's standing crops.
 
In its affidavit, the Centre had said it had written to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry on the proposed meeting for their consent as the meeting was subject to the availability of the quorum.
 
Once the consents of the states are obtained, the date would be fixed for the same, the Centre had stated. 
 
On 13th August, Tamil Nadu had made a plea to the apex court for a direction to the Centre for convening the CRA meeting immediately to perform its statutory obligations and approve the distress-sharing formula evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee for sharing of flows of the river Cauvery in view of the prevailing "distress" situation in Tamil Nadu.
 
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa has also written letters to the Prime Minister for the CRA meet.
 
In its application, Tamil Nadu had said during the current irrigation year 2012-2013, though the south west monsoon is not vigorous in the Cauvery catchment of Karnataka, the state of Karnataka has received 21.9 tmcft of inflow in its four major reservoirs up to 20th July.
 
"But it has not shared the water with Tamil Nadu. Instead it started to build the storages in its 4 major reservoirs and letting water in the canals of Krishna Raja Sagar for irrigation with the result that the state of Tamil Nadu has been deprived of its due share of water as per the interim order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal," the application said.
 
It had complained that over the years, Karnataka did not agree to the distress sharing formula evolved by the Central Water Commission/Cauvery Monitoring Committee, with the result that it "resorts to impounding all the flows in its reservoirs depriving the state of Tamil Nadu in getting its legitimate flows, more so during the lean years, thus aggravating the distress situation." 
 
Tamil Nadu had said "during the current irrigation season 2012-13 also, the southwest monsoon has not been active so far in the Catchment area of Cauvery, with the result that there is a distress situation and since there is no agreed formula for sharing the flows in such distress years, the state is put to hardship."
 

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