ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sustainable Agriculture in Maharashtra: Can the State Budget Offset Climate Vulnerability?

Losses faced by farmers due to consecutive drought years, frequent hailstorms, and unseasonal rain in the past decade were compounded by successive floods during the 2019–21 monsoon. The need to embed climate-resilient practices into agricultural interventions by the government was more acutely felt. Against this backdrop, this article looks at whether the Maharashtra budget has allocated adequately to sustainable agriculture and other community-based agricultural infrastructure development in the recent years. Data show that budgetary allocation towards sustainable agriculture schemes and other long-term, community-based infrastructure development programmes have fallen short. Although these schemes build long-term climate resilience of agriculture and allied sectors, allocations so far have been skewed towards short-term relief. Apart from refocusing on budgetary allocation for community-based infrastructure development schemes, directing attention towards allied sectors and wage employment is equally necessary to increase farmers’ income sustainably.

Sustainability: A Pressing Priority for Sustainable Development Goal-13

The Earth is a place where humans interact with living and non-living entities to live peacefully. If it is compromised in order to satisfy our own demands, the ecosystem may become unbalanced, which would put an end to human existence. Everyone is aware of the existence of climate change, but climate action policies need to view the problem from the lenses of both the affluent and the poor. According to one viewpoint, persons who rely on luxury goods may choose to deplete the ecosystem. But those who rely on it for basic needs are left with little to no choice. The unsettling fact is that only a small portion of the population benefits from society's overall prosperity, leaving the majority in poverty. Therefore, achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 requires a comprehensive strategy, especially in light of the fact that it is organically linked to other SDGs and cannot be done in isolation.

Tackling Existential Threats through the ‘Nukes-for-Climate Swap Agreement’

Two critical existential threats are analysed in this article—nuclear proliferation and climate change. By depicting the escalating nuclear arms race and the geopolitical tensions fuelled by it, the dangerous trajectory of current global policies towards increased weaponisation is emphasised. Central to the discussion is the striking contrast between the substantial investments in nuclear weapons and the glaring lack of funding for climate change mitigation initiatives. The core of the article lies in its innovative proposal—the “nukes-for-climate swap agreement.” This strategy advocates for the gradual reallocation of resources from nuclear weapons development to climate change initiatives.

Climate in Free (Market) Fall

Throwing light on the complex and technical negotiations, the key issues under discussion at COP27 that would shape the future international carbon-trading regime are analysed. By allowing for unrestrained confidentiality and doing little to resolve accounting issues, such as double counting, COP27 worsens the inherent problems associated with carbon markets and allows for secretive carbon deals with little regulation and accountability.

Green Capitalism and Growth

Growth for Good: Reshaping Capitalism to Save Humanity from Climate Catastrophe by Alessio Terzi, Harvard University Press, 2022; pp 368, $29.95.

Political Economy of (De)Carbonisation

There is a high correlation between wealth and greenhouse gas emissions. Changing geopolitics over clean energy is replacing fossil fuel-based global power structures. Climate change is the new colonialism. Fossil fuels remain the most strategic commodity and are critical to national and international politics.

 

Weather Uncertainties and the Strategy to Raise Farmers’ Income

In India, rising weather uncertainty has caused large-scale damage to crops in the last two years. In order to lower such risks, the cultivation pattern should move away from highly intensive input usage towards low-risk optimal input usage wherein a reasonably good level of overall crop production and returns per acre could be generated. The analysis based on unit-wise household data of farmers during 2018–19 shows that only 1% of farmers use optimal inputs. By shifting cultivation towards optimal input usage pattern, the revenue could be increased by 70% and the average income of the farmers by 90%.

Crop Insurance and Rice Productivity

The factors affecting the demand for crop insurance are analysed and its impact on the yields of smallholder rice producers in eastern India is assessed. Using data from a large farm-level survey from eastern India, a positive and significant impact of crop insurance on rice yields is observed. The robustness of the findings are tested after controlling for other covariates and endogeneity, using propensity-score matching and endogenous switching regression models.

Youth, Climate Change Navigating a Warming Future

One antidote to climate doomism is highlighting the importance of collective action and a non-zero sum perspective in combating climate change.

Anthropocene in the Himalayas

The Living Mountainby Amitav Ghosh, HarperCollins India, 2022; pp xiii+35, ` 399 (hardcover).

Entangled Lives: Human-Animal-Plant Histories of the Eastern Himalayan Triangle by Joy L K Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2022; pp xiv+363, ` 1,256 (hardcover).

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