Tag Archives: Julianna

Breathless Nation | Books

first_img Bharati Chaturvedi January 4, 2019 ISSUE DATE: January 14, 2019UPDATED: January 4, 2019 16:26 IST The Great Smog of India by Siddharth Singh Penguin Viking `499; 272 pagesIt’s a good time to read Siddharth Singh’s The Great Smog of India. As in previous years, large parts of the country are inhaling hazardous air. This will kill about 1.2 million Indians this year too.Fortunately, Singh’s book is not as gloomy as my opening lines-and that’s possibly because asIt’s a good time to read Siddharth Singh’s The Great Smog of India. As in previous years, large parts of the country are inhaling hazardous air. This will kill about 1.2 million Indians this year too.Fortunately, Singh’s book is not as gloomy as my opening lines-and that’s possibly because as a policy wonk working on energy and climate change, he seeks solutions. Such a dispassionate approach, seeking a silver lining amid the acrid smog, makes his book valuable.The Great Smog of India tells us a few home truths. First, that perfect data is not needed, so let’s not wait for it. We have enough information to act decisively. Second, other countries have managed to salvage an equally gloomy situation with firm but smart action. And third, that air pollution-and some of its individual solutions-exacerbate inequality. To simplify his nuanced case, using electric vehicles may clean up one city, but if it is coal that powers the electricity, pollution will be externalised.Singh goes to the root of each key challenge he identifies as contributing to muddying the air. He examines geography, mobility, energy, agriculture, governance, manufacturing and construction-almost all the factors that make the air toxic. Often, he brings in global histories to contextualise the challenge. I found the case of electric vehicles in the US fascinating. Did you know that in 1900, a third of all cars produced in that country were electric? That trend was crushed by the Ford Model T, the first mass-produced car with an internal combustion engine in an era when plenty of oil was available.advertisementThe story of Indian agriculture from the 1950s is instructive, too. Singh pulls in the interface between early agricultural policy to address hunger in a newly independent nation, ecological considerations about groundwater, and today’s stubble burning. These recent histories are important to build a public perspective. It is important that these be written about with authority, because otherwise they remain disaggregated oral history and fail to carry the credibility they ought to. As one who knows some (but not all) of these histories, I was delighted to find how well these were referenced. Building on this, Singh looks at national and local policy impacts and the lessons global solutions hold for India in 2018.Most thematic chapters compete with each other to inform. However, the chapter, ‘Made in India’, was disappointing-it didn’t carry the ‘big thinking’ of the rest. While Singh explores manufacturing and the success of the PAT (Perform, Achieve, Trade scheme of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency), the issue of the informal industries-significant in India-is absent. I’d also have liked to hear about current thoughts on clean production and the circular economy.I was struck by the book on a personal level too. I wheezed my way through the pollution of the late 1980s and 1990s. I could never run or play sports. I was rarely allowed ice-cream. My constant companion was a Ventolin inhaler. My childhood played out in an era before asthma became an epidemic, so it was hard even for my talkative self to share with anyone the isolating, scary space I inhabited several times a year. My otherwise rational parents were so fed up of my respiratory miseries that they dragged me at age 11 to pop in the famous fish of Hyderabad, believed to cure such ailments. Reading The Great Smog of India as an older person, who fights both air pollution and asthma, I caught myself tearing up a few times. Not for myself, but at the thought that all these years later, many, many more children live-and even die-in that isolated space where your mind watches your de-oxygenated body fight for another chance.That’s why I especially value that Singh uses his data with flair to exhort us to panic. To push the government to act, because only governments can move things at the scale we need today. He doesn’t say it, but he alludes to it-neglecting air pollution will put us on the path of becoming a failed state.You’ve reached your article limitSign in to keep reading India TodaySign inSign up NOW to get:Premium content on Aaj Tak HD ChannelUnrestricted access to India Today magazine contentGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byManisha Pandey Tags :Follow Siddharth SinghFollow WriterFollow Author Breathless Nation | BooksSingh uses data with flair to exhort us to panic, to push the government to act against air pollution.advertisement Nextlast_img

Former bishop of Liverpool knew about child abuser 20 years before he

The former bishop of Liverpool knew about a child sex abuser 20 years before he was brought to justice, it has emerged, as a judge criticised the church for threatening a complainant with prison unless he withdrew his allegation. Bishop James Jones, who has since chaired inquiries into the Hillsborough disaster and Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal, was bishop of Hull in 1997 when he was told by a young man that he had been abused by Canon Terence Grigg, then a rector at St Mary’s church in Cottingham, Yorkshire.Earlier this month Grigg, now 84, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for 14 sex offences against victims as young as 10, though he was acquitted of the charge relating to this complainant. At his sentencing Judge Jonathan Rose said Grigg had been the “beneficiary” of the Church’s treatment of the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons.   The Church “not only refused to pursue the complaint that he made to the Bishop of Hull but turned that complaint against him with the threats of litigation and imprisonment of which we have heard, so that he withdrew that complaint because he was so fearful of the consequences of doing otherwise”, the judge told Hull Crown Court. Bishop Jones went on to become bishop of Liverpool, a role he held between 1998 and 2013, before retiring and becoming honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of York. He told the Daily Telegraph that he had no part any threats of litigation or reprisals against the complainant, and only became aware of these during Grigg’s trial.  He said he had encouraged the complainant to put his allegations in writing and that documents held at Bishopthorpe, the Archbishop of York’s palace, showed that he took it seriously, passing it on to then-Archbishop David Hope. “I am appalled by Mr Grigg’s crimes and very distressed for the victims of his sexual abuse who have been betrayed by the church,” he said.  Lord Hope resigned his role as an honorary assistant bishop in the diocese of Leeds in 2014 after a report found that he had failed to report a different priest’s sexual offending to the authorities. At the time he denied suggestions that he had covered up allegations against former dean of Manchester Robert Waddington, saying he believed the cases were being dealt with by individual dioceses. A spokesman for the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team said: “Our first concern is for the survivors who were abused by Canon Grigg and the suffering they endured. “We apologise for this appalling abuse of trust which should never have been allowed to happen.”As our policy states, in all serious safeguarding situations a lessons learnt review must now be carried out to inform the church’s ongoing safeguarding work. “This will include a full review of files and we will comment further when this has been completed.” Earlier this year Bishop James Jones chaired the  Gosport Independent Panel’s inquiry into the deaths of a number of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial HospitalCredit:Dominic Lipinski /PA Earlier this year Bishop James Jones chaired the Gosport Independent Panel's inquiry into the deaths of a number of elderly patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital We apologise for this appalling abuse of trust which should never have been allowed to happenChurch of England National Safeguarding Team Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more