Companies & Sectors
Telcos to buy wind, solar power to reduce carbon footprint

Telecom towers in the country burnt diesel worth over Rs12,500 crore last fiscal to run generator sets

 

Mumbai: Apex telecom industry bodies -- GSM operators body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and CDMA lobby Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUPSI) said they have placed a power purchase order with seven renewable energy generation companies (Rescos) to power as many as one lakh telecom towers, reports PTI.

"The umbrella body of telecom tower companies, Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), had two months ago sent a request for proposal (RFP) to seven Rescos like Moser Bayer and ABB, informing of readiness to buy their entire generation to power our 1 lakh towers," Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan S Mathews told PTI.

Though the initial response was positive, Rescos have some doubts about the viability of such projects and that they are in talks with companies to iron out the issues, he said.

Telecom towers in the country burnt diesel worth over Rs12,500 crore last fiscal to run generator sets, according to an estimate.

When asked about sharing telecom towers to bring down air pollution as also the alleged radiation threat (which both Coai and AUPSI today termed as "unfounded and scientifically not proven"), Mathews said: "Already 70 per cent towers have over two customers and the rest have three to four."

"There is so much misrepresentation about incidence of brain tumours and use of cell phones. The incidence of brain tumours in the country has been unchanged over the past one decade. Hence, introduction of cellular phones and mobile services does not seem to have increased the risk of brain tumours and cancer," Mathews said in a presentation citing many independent studies.

He further claimed that radio waves have been in the environment since times immemorial and the same waves used in wireless telecommunications have not been scientifically proven to cause any harmful effects to human health.

Mathews also said strength of radiation received from base stations is considerably lower than the strength of radiation from radio and television transmitters, and 15 years of studies examining a potential relationship between radio frequency transmitters and cancer have not provided evidence that exposure to mobile towers increases the risk of cancer.

User

Lack of transparency persists over lending rates says RBI

Even after the introduction of the base rate system there is lack of transparency in the customer-specific spread charged to a borrower over the base rate

Chennai: Concerned over the lack of transparency in bank lending rates, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subbarao said the central bank has set up a working group to address the issue, reports PTI.

"One problem that has persisted even after the introduction of the base rate system relates to the lack of transparency in the customer-specific spread charged to a borrower over the base rate," Subbarao said in his IOB Platinum Jubilee Oration Series in Chennai.

"There have been complaints that the spread charged to a customer has been revised upwards without any apparent change in his/her risk profile," he said.

Also, where floating rate loans are concerned, existing customers have been disadvantaged vis-a-vis new customers with similar credit ratings, resulting in complaints about discrimination, he said.

In order to address this malady, Subbarao said the RBI has set up a working group under chairmanship of Deputy Governor Anand Sinha to determine the principles that must govern proper, transparent and non-discriminatory pricing of credit.

The working group is expected to submit its report by next month, he added.

To improve transparency in interest rate, RBI introduced the base rate from 1 July 2010 in place of the benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR).

Base rate is the minimum lending rate below which a bank cannot lend. However, in the BPLR system, banks were allowed to lend below the benchmark rate.

The BPLR was introduced by the RBI in 2003 to serve as a benchmark rate for lending.

User

New study exposes NGO’s climate smart agriculture as fraudulent!

Present ‘climate science’ has no clue of ‘monsoon behaviour’ because uncertainties are so huge that makes its prediction highly challenging. If this being the case how agricultural solutions from NGOs would be climate smart?

 

"Understanding how the South Asian monsoon will change in response to global warming and resolving the uncertainties in projected changes are ‘demanding tasks’ for climate science.”
 
The extract is from a study published in the 24th June issue of “Nature Climate Change” - a sister journal of the world's  most cited scientific publication - Nature. The study had been authored by Andrew Turner, National Centre for Atmospheric Science-Climate, University of Reading and co-authored by Hari Subramaniam Annamalai, International Pacific Research Centre, School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Hawaii.
 
If we were to go by Oxfam’s policy document - Growing Better Future or ActionAid’s - ‘On the Brink or the ICRIER-Gene Campaign Policy Paper 16: 'Impact of Climate Agriculture & Food Security', all based on the so called Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) paradigm, we can’t be faulted to be left with an impression that CSA is a magic wand wherein all solutions are known and further these NGOs have actually the in situ capability to translate these into action!
 
But wait a minute. What did this new “Nature Climate Change” study actually find? Let’s read their opening sentence once again:
“Understanding how the South Asian monsoon will change in response to global warming and resolving the uncertainties in projected changes are ‘demanding tasks’ for climate science.”

Translated:  Present ‘climate science’ has no clue of ‘monsoon behaviour’ because uncertainties are so huge that makes its prediction highly challenging!

If this being the case, how climate smart can these NGO agricultural solutions be?

So on what basis has the Nature Climate Change study made such a conclusion? This is what is given as an explanation:
“Current state-of-the-art general circulation models have difficulty simulating the regional distribution of monsoon rainfall...”

“But, variations within each season, over timescales of a few days or weeks, often have large impacts on agriculture or water supply...”

"Perhaps the single biggest scientific challenge is in understanding monsoon variability at intra-seasonal timescales (several weeks), the so-called active and break events in the monsoon, and how they will change in the future"...”

A few days ago, India Today interviewed my Facebook pal, GV Ramanjaneyulu, Executive Director of Hyderabad-based Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA) on the issue of the monsoon playing truant. And this is what Ramanjaneyulu expressed as the problem during this interview:
 
"There are areas which are hit by drought every year, but still there is no contingency plan...The plan should be, say, if rain is delayed for 15 days, what is the plan B? If it is delayed for 30 days, what is plan C?"

I wrote back cheekily perhaps he should target his ire at NGOs like Oxfam, ActionAid or Gene Campaign, as only they could audaciously claim they were climate smarties and not government agencies like the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). I added that in the past farmers used to give specific names to weekly rainfall according to which they took decisions what crop and variety to plant. Thus in the past these decisions were made on the basis of soil fertility; irrigation potential and monsoon behaviour. Now the same decisions are driven by market or profit maximization impulses which makes monsoon forecasting, as difficult as it is, a prerequisite for climate smart agriculture.

But NGOs instead of developing monsoon forecasting skills choose to belittle the IMD’s chequered forecasting track record. Take for example Devinder Sharma who pompously projects himself as an international food security analyst in an article a couple of days in the Deccan Herald wrote:
“In 2009 when India was faced with one of its worst droughts, the monsoon forecast was for an 'almost normal' rainfall season.”

You must have heard of the meteorological department’s monsoon forecast. It promises to be a near normal monsoon season from June-September with rains expected to be 98% of the long period average with a 5% variation.

Sounds good.

But if you are a farmer, keep your fingers crossed. Instead of depending on the first monsoon forecast that was given out in April, I suggest you keep on praying before rain gods to be kind to you. Pray with folded hands that the rains do not deceive you once again as it did two years back in 2009. You haven’t yet recovered from the economic distress that the 2009 drought had inflicted, and if the monsoon fails again you will be in dire straits.

 

By the same logic we can ask votaries of CSA such as Devinder Sharma, how they can claim that their agriculture practices are climate smart even when they are unable to forecast monsoon behaviour. This trait cuts across all foreign funded NGOs. All pretend climate smartness even when they have no clue on how the monsoon will behave. If the IMD’s wrong monsoon forecasts can hurt farmers bad, even more so agricultural practices that are not aligned with monsoon behaviour, even if they are foolishly assumed as being so.

The “Nature Climate Change” study goes further to observe:
“Current state-of-the-art general circulation models have difficulty simulating the regional distribution of monsoon rainfall”.
 
But it is the same GCM models that predict that global temperatures will increase 4-8 deg C by 2100, the primary problem that CSA bases itself to address.  If the GCM model is unreliable for seasonal forecasts, how then is it considered reliable for a 100 year forecast?

The “Nature Climate Change” study concludes:
“Models linking monsoon responses to global warming suggest a rise in monsoon rainfall, but there is a high degree of uncertainty in these projections. Observations from data sets from most areas indicate a declining trend or no change in monsoons, contrary to the projected rise.”
Climate is average weather for a period now taken as 30 years. Now if a model cannot predict this season’s monsoon, how climate smart can be the solutions based on such models? Rather than finding appropriate solutions to a changing climate, all these NGOs have to offer are standardized solutions which are assumed as being appropriate for whatever directions the climate shifts! And they call this illogical outlook - “Sustainable Development”!

So next time you hear a foreign funded NGO staff waxing eloquent of CSA, you should now be able to recognize them for what they really are - either imbecile idiots parroting lines that they have no clue about or just sleek PR artists aiming to con you!

To read more details of the “Nature Climate Change” study, click here

Courtesy: http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.in/

User

COMMENTS

Rajan Alexander

5 years ago

Hi Andy!

Thank you very much for taking the time to make a detailed rejoinder. But let me react.


1. "The scientific evidence (from basic theory and from a large number of climate modelling experiments) clearly suggests that as a whole monsoon rainfall will increase somewhat in the future and due to the expected increase in atmospheric moisture there is some evidence that rain will fall in heavier bursts. Such changes point to increased risk of flooding."

The AGW theory states that global warming induces an increase in global precipitation through the augmentation of water evaporation. Warmer seas should heat up the monsoon winds that carry moisture from the ocean to the land. In turn, warmer winds should carry more moisture, so warmer oceans should lead to more rain. This should in turn imply that global relative humidity and evaporation levels should increase. Unfortunately relative humidity and evaporation rates remain lower than normal. This is amazing as they offer themselves as perfect proxy for global temperatures.

In 2005, NASA boss James Hansen stated in an article in the journal ‘Science’ that confirmation of the planetary energy imbalance can be obtained by measuring the heat content of the oceans which are the principal reservoir for excess energy.

A problem for the AGW hypothesis now is that the oceans have been cooling as measurements from thousands of Argo sensors floating on the sea indicate. So the lame explanation that:

“Overall, the missing heat doesn't change expectations for future climate change, because the heat won't stay missing forever. Eventually it will resurface and impact the climate system, and the recent and deceptive reprieve from rapid warming we've enjoyed will come to an expected end.”

Indeed there is no known mechanism to account for what some describe as vast amounts of missing heat, suggesting that contrary to the AGW hypothesis, heat is not accumulating in the climate system and there is no longer any radiative imbalance from all the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)'s statistical model skill level is 22% and their new dynamic model (modified CPC-NCEP-US) is 26%. This means their odds of success is one out of 4 or 5. This is after nearly 200 years of existence. Now if the "climate smart" community has anything to offer to fill this vacuum, then this is the time they should demonstrate. No one dares to even to attempt to provide an alternate forecast. The proof in the pudding as they say is eating it.

Like to add Andy, a couple of years ago, Indian Inst of Science Bangalore, India's premier science institution, fed all monsoon data for 20th century and tried to hindcast using the IPCC GCM models. They were no where near the mark. A detailed discuss on models can be found in the link I previously provided


For all your other comments please visit my previous post: Critique: ICRIER-GC Policy Paper on Climate, Agriculture & Food Security: Climate, Agriculture & Food Security
http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.in/2...

Andy Turner

5 years ago

The article “New study exposes NGO’s climate smart agriculture as fraudulent!” paints an extremely distorted picture of our Nature Climate Change review article (Climate Change and the South Asian Monsoon, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate1495), blatantly misrepresents the science and implies a viewpoint that we have not presented and do not support.

The article states that “climate science has no clue of monsoon behaviour”- this is patently untrue. The scientific evidence (from basic theory and from a large number of climate modelling experiments) clearly suggests that as a whole monsoon rainfall will increase somewhat in the future and due to the expected increase in atmospheric moisture there is some evidence that rain will fall in heavier bursts. Such changes point to increased risk of flooding.

However, there is a considerable range in the magnitude of the projected increase in rainfall and climate models do not agree on the local detail of how rainfall might change within South Asia. It is often such local detail that is most relevant when planning how to adapt to climate change, e.g., in the agriculture and infrastructure sectors. These disagreements between climate models are due to inaccuracies in the way current models represent some of the small scale physical processes, in part related to a lack of quality observations to constrain the models. As we argue in the Nature Climate Change paper, more reliable predictions of the future will be made when models can better simulate the local features of the monsoon and its variability on a range of timescales – from days to weeks and more. Such improvements are the focus of current monsoon research.

Your article also perpetuates the old fallacy that one cannot predict the future climate many years ahead while there are still difficulties at making weather forecasts in the next days and weeks. The science of climate change is about “expected changes in the probability of occurrences of certain weather events” such as monsoon droughts and floods; as models improve in conjunction with our better understanding of the physical system, we are in the right direction to reduce the uncertainties in future projections – this is doable as climate community has demonstrated the tremendous accomplishment in the few decades in understanding and predicting, for example, El Niño events.

On the issue of Climate Smart Agriculture, of which we do not comment in our review, a cornerstone seems to be to enhance resilience and improve adaptation strategies. In our opinion, what better way to do this than improve the way that farmers adapt to variability in the current climate? The sort of floods or breaks in the monsoon that occur in recent and indeed all monsoon seasons have much larger impacts than the projected signals of future mean climate. The key to dealing with the changing climate will be to make sure that the adaptation strategies are themselves adaptable. In other words being able to adapt to current variations allows farmers and others to be able to make decisions even in the face of uncertainty in the climate models.

Dr Andy Turner, Dr. H. Annamalai and Kathy Maskell

Phil

5 years ago

The point of most "climate smart agriculture"is to help farmers SURVIVE the weather that is becoming too difficult to predict.

As the author mentions, monsoon season, once upon a time, was fairly stable. As that becomes less so, NGOs are trying to assist farmers in making the transition from a predictable climate to one that is markedly less so.

Basically, climate smart agriculture works to minimize the adverse impacts of wild weather on farmers. Not sure how that could be fraudulent.


REPLY

Rajan Alexander

In Reply to Phil 5 years ago


@ Phil: "As the author mentions, monsoon season, once upon a time, was fairly stable. As that becomes less so, NGOs are trying to assist farmers in making the transition from a predictable climate to one that is markedly less so."

No where in my article I said. The official data consisting of 200 year record of GoI says that there is any significant change in the monsoon mean values.

It has to be appreciated that the phenomenon of monsoons are not fully understood, leave alone predicted successfully. The monsoons, by character, exhibit a wide range of natural variability on the spatial, temporal, intra-seasonal, inter-annual and decadal scale that characterise its pattern of distribution, frequency and intensity of rainfall. The monsoon has always had its natural vagaries and it is going to show them in future too.

That does not mean that human's are responsible for such changes


Rajan Alexander

In Reply to Rajan Alexander 5 years ago

Correction: No where in my article I said. The official data consisting of 200 year record of GoI says that there is any significant change in the monsoon mean values."

It should read as follows:

No where in my article I said THAT. The official data consisting of 200 year record of GoI says that there is NO significant change in the monsoon mean values."

Devinder Sharma

5 years ago

I am disappointed by the snide remarks made against me, Suman Sahay or Dr Ramoo of CSA. I have never called myself International food Security expert. Nor is it fair to deride the significant contribution made by Suman Sahay of Gene Campaign and Dr Ramoo of CSA.

I expect Sucheta Dalal to look into this.

REPLY

Rajan Alexander

In Reply to Devinder Sharma 5 years ago


Devinder. For the record, I have not made any disparaging remarks on Suman Sahai. I did mention Gene Campaign. To equate the two is something like the slogan India is Indira and Indira is India.

As for Ramoo, I have sought a clarification from him through email exchanges. He confirmed my article did not offend him.

Thanx for the clarification. You are not a food security analyst. I thought so

Gyan Mitra

In Reply to Devinder Sharma 5 years ago

DISAPPOINTED ? WHY ? It just means you are a SIGNIFICANT player in the discussion :) Some of your thoughts are refreshing which you are unafraid to convey. You challenge the grain and this is necessary for ultimately, the farmer needs simple solutions & not Nobel winning theories.

mtobis

5 years ago

Just as a casino cannot predict the next spin of a roulette wheel, but can predict it will win in the long run, it is possible to predict a long term climate trend without knowing what individual seasons will bring.

In both situations, the trend is determined even though the individual component events are not.

This is well-known and widely discussed, not only in the professional climate literature but also in broadly accessible outreach reports.

You have some other points that may or may not be worthy of consideration, but your multiple repetitions of this plainly incorrect argument do not help the credibility of your position.

REPLY

Rajan Alexander

In Reply to mtobis 5 years ago

"Just as a casino cannot predict the next spin of a roulette wheel, but can predict it will win in the long run, it is possible to predict a long term climate trend without knowing what individual seasons will bring.

In both situations, the trend is determined even though the individual component events are not."

But we never know whether theory is validated as how many of us will be around till 2100 to verify?

Now your logic is fallacious at least for the common farmer. They need to adapt for current climatic changes and not for a long term climate trend though individual seasons which may or may not reflect the long term trend. That's being entirely puerile.

But what we know is that more than 20 years have passed since IPCC AR1 Report 1990 and this is sufficient time to verify. They missed their mark by a mile

The latest SREX IPCC Report AR5 t acknowledged that the prospect of any global warming, leave alone accelerated warming, does not seem even probable during the next 2-3 decades!:

...climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability".

If global warming for the next 2-3 decades are expected to be on vacation, why adapt for it now. If it re-surfaces during our life time, let's think of it then.

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