Friday, August 12, 2005

Outsourcing forests to India


PUNE: Farmers in Maharashtra are all set to cash in on opportunities offered by carbon credit trading, a scheme aimed at setting the wheels in motion to reduce green-house gas (GHG) emissions globally, following the signing of the Kyoto Protocol by 141 countries.

A Pune-based non-governmental organisation, 'Friends of Carbon' (FoC), has already brought together 5,000 farmers to exploit the option, which permits a developed country to meet part of its targeted emission cuts by funding tree plantations in developing countries like India, for carbon sequestration.

According to the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, which came into effect in February 2005, developed nations have to reduce their GHG emissions by an average of 5.2% below their 1990 levels by 2012.

Says Shekhar Kadam, who is in charge of the financial and commercial aspects of FoC, "Plantations are one of the best solutions to curbing damage from GHG emission.

But the expenditure for that in developed countries is high." So, companies there can fund plantations in countries like India, where the costs are low, and in turn take credit for the carbon absorbed by the trees.

Farmers need a minimum of 50,000 acres to begin trade in carbon credits. "This system will be a bonus for old plantation owners. Along with the standard yield from the trees, they will also be able to now earn through carbon-credit trading. Improvement in quality of soil is an additional benefit," he says.

Ninety per cent of the funds FoC earns will go to its farmers. Five per cent will go to its associates around the country and the remaining 5 per cent will be used to pay the International finance corporation, which will act as a mediator and facilitate interaction with developed countries like Japan and others in Europe.

The quantum of funding will be based on the tonnage of carbon absorbed. This is calculated taking into account factors like age and height of trees and canopy cover.

Kadam claims that the mango tree is one of the best variety. The current average rate for a tonne of carbon is around $4 (Rs 174). "We have started allotting district-wise franchisees all over Maharashtra.

We also have added associates from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh," Kadam adds.



Thursday, August 11, 2005


29.Nov.2005 - 02.Dec.2005
Bangalore Palace

Check details

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

There are no thinkers in India: Naipaul

Source: IANS. Image Source: IS

New York, Aug 9: Nobel Prize winning author V.S. Naipaul says that India and China "will completely alter the world" although he bemoans there "are no thinkers in India".

"It's a rather calamity of India today that there are no thinkers. A big country, a powerful country of a billion people. There are no thinkers in India. What is important today is the economic development of India and China that will completely alter the world," Naipaul told The New York Times in an interview.

In contrast "nothing that is happening in the Arab world has that capacity", Naipaul said, adding, "It has capacity for mischief. They are spreading their little wars to Indonesia, the Philippines and all these other places. But that's just mischief. What's happening in India and China will bend the world and will change it forever."

Naipaul, whose writings about the world of Islam and its troubles have been considered prophetic, had a sobering view of the Sep 11 terror attack on America. "What happened on Sep 11 was too astonishing. It is one of a kind, can't happen again. But in the end it has had no effect on the world. It has just been a spectacle like a bank raid in a western film. They will be caught by the sheriff eventually but they'd raid a few banks," he said.

On the Arab world he said "intellectually it is a great tyranny. Because it is a tyranny people's can't grow intellectually and be on the level of the world they envy. But it has always been like that. Religion has always been a tyranny and it becomes an expression of state power."

Full Story

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Cool Stuff & WOW Technology @ ESRI UC 25

Written by gisuser
Wednesday, 03 August 2005

In no particular order, the following are just a few things that I saw and heard about at ESRI UC 25. In my books they definitely come under the category of “cool” or “wow” technology… enjoy!

(aka. “eden”) See

FME Suite 2005 See

MapLogic See

Georesults Mobile

Earthware 4.0

ESRI Image Server See

Touch Table See

GIS Portal ToolKit

GeoExpress 5.0 See

Complete Image See

GeoMarc See

Silicon Graphics (sgi) See

Trimble Recon See

MobileMapper CE See

Matrox high performance graphic cards See

Geographic Imager See

Trimble Outdoors See

CitySphere See

ImageConnect See

Full Story

Friday, August 05, 2005

Want to put together money for something ? Use

Today I bumped on an interesting website called It has an intersting mechanism to collect money using paypal or credit cards for a specific purpose.

This has already been covered on sites like slashdot. Many open source projects are already using this website to raise money for specific purpose.

It will be interesting to use this service for some fundraising. Let us see when the opportunity comes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Next Petroleum

With oil prices going through the roof, so-called biofuels are at last becoming a viable alternative to gasoline and diesel.

By Stefan Theil,Newsweek International

Aug. 8, 2005 issue - A couple of years ago, when the cost of oil started to soar, Joel Rosado didn't think twice. The owner of an air-taxi service in Mineiros, Brazil, with a fleet of 12 planes, he needed to do what he could to contain fuel costs—he spends 20 percent of his revenues each year on 300,000 or so liters of fuel. So he rang up aircraft-maker Embraer, put in an order for the latest-model single-propeller Ipanema plane and tanked up—with alcohol. Flying on ethanol (a form of alcohol) distilled from sugar cane slashed the fuel bill for his Ipanema by 40 percent, at no cost to performance. Now Rosado is buying another brand-new Ipanema and plans to convert his 11 other planes to alcohol, too. The only problem: Embraer, the world's first manufacturer of ethanol-fueled planes, now has so many customers that there's a two-year wait list to convert gasoline engines to alcohol. Embraer is now looking into converting the T25, a military-training turbojet, to alcohol. "At this rate," says Embraer executive Acir Padilha, "the gasoline motor is headed for extinction."

Its demise is not restricted to the air in Brazil. The country's sugar-cane fields now feed a network of 320 ethanol plants, with 50 more planned in the next five years. Most of Brazil's 20 million drivers still tank up with fuel that is cut with 25 percent ethanol, but a growing fleet of new-generation (flex-fuel) cars can run on straight ethanol, which goes for as little as half the cost of gas at every service station from downtown Rio to the remote Amazon outback. To keep up with demand, local sugar barons and giant multinationals will invest some $6 billion in new plantations and distilleries over the next five years. And Brazilian ethanol tankers are plying the seven seas, supplying fuel-hungry countries like South Korea and Japan as they begin to diversify away from oil. No wonder there's talk of Brazil's fast becoming "the Saudi Arabia of ethanol."

Unlike oil, however, no one country dominates the market for ethanol and other so-called biofuels. In the United States, the use of ethanol made from corn has surged, thanks to new clean-air man—dates and a fat federal tax credit. Production is almost as high as Brazil's, doubling since 2001 and already replacing 3 percent of all transport fuel. The energy bill passed by the U.S. Congress last week will double ethanol production again. In Europe, Germany has become the world's biggest producer of "biodiesel," a high-performing, high-octane fuel—the German variety is made from rapeseed—that is cutting into sales of regular diesel at the nation's pumps. In more than 30 countries from Thailand to India, Australia to Malawi, crops as diverse as oil palms, soybeans and coconuts are being grown for fuel. Venezuela, Indonesia and Fiji announced biofuel initiatives just last week. They hope to emulate Brazil, which is revolutionizing both the countryside and the auto industry.

Full Story

Jump start for solar? Car race shows potential

Tapping the sun, students drove 2,500 miles from Texas to Canada

By Miguel Llanos Reporter MSNBC
Updated: 7:48 p.m. ET Aug. 3, 2005

TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY — Mile after mile along this stretch of Canada's main highway, the faces of the farmers, truckers and oil workers who turned to look had the same dumbfounded expression, as if asking: What the heck were those? UFOs on wheels? Stealth fighters with their wings clipped? Supersized remote-controlled cars?

No, the contraptions were race cars powered by the sun and the ingenuity of students from 18 universities in the United States and Canada.


The university teams were competing in the North American Solar Challenge for a trophy and the bragging rights to having won the world's longest solar car race.

They weren't salesmen for solar cars. In fact, experts say solar cars won't be viable for many decades to come, if ever. But the cars and last month's race showcase recent advances in technology and demonstrate the promise of solar energy.

Students and experts talk of using solar cells to assist cars, perhaps providing energy to cool off the interior on a hot day while a car is parked. They're even more excited about solar energy for homes and other buildings in regions where there's plenty of sun to go around.

Full Story

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Spirit of Mumbaikars

Mumbai has witnessed one of the worst rainfall nightmare in Indian History I guess. Of course it was Hishest Rainfall in the Indian History. But still mumbaikar manage to keep their spirits high. Evey city has its own chemistry, psycology, culture etc. And mumbai has certain qualities which we all should appriciate.

Here is an email form my friend in Mumbai. This was in responce to my worried email to him, after he could reach office after a gap of almost a week.


I'm back in office after a week's compulsory break. On Tuesday, 26th, it took 5 hours to reach from SEEPZ, Andheri to Happy Valley, Thane. I had to walk 6-7 KMS only with couple of buses and first time in life I travelled by Truck! Probably I was very much fortunate compared to other people's terrible conditions of reaching home only day after or late night ..early morning following day.

Yesterday and day before yesterday were also bad but thanks to alert and proactive administration nothing worst happened!

Anyway, what ever worst happens in is always sure about one thing ...spirit of common people .. Never say die ...Never wait for Government to do something!

We were lucky being in Thane. Except for one day we had proper supply of water. No power cut.

Unfortunately, lack of electricity caused stampede due to rumours and I hope electricity will be restored soon in low lying part soon.

There were many tragedies and probably some yet to unfold.

Unfortunately, not only in Mumbai but heavy rain lashed in many cities of Maharashtra specially Konkan region, West Maharashtra.

Anyway, on the positive side, we had the privilage to see record 94.4 CM rain in one day and how it feels.

People realize their strength when they go through bad phase and I hope it is the end of bad phase!

Cheers for Mumbai people's spirit!



Monday, August 01, 2005

Largest Indian Open Source Event 2005

Much awaited announcement of dates of the Largest Indian Open Source Event, (formerly know as Linux Bangalore) for 2005 have come today. The event will be held on 29th and 30th November and 1st and 2nd December 2005. The name of the event, Venue and Call for participation will be announced soon.

Keep a watch on the wiki page of the event.