Opinion / OP Rana

Op Rana

Op Rana is a senior editor with China Daily’s opinion department. He has a particular focus on international politics and environmental protection.

Population boom and the green dilemma

[2009-07-24 07:47]

In our insane quest for development, and sane but disconcerted efforts to fight climate change, we seem to have forgotten the problem posed by booming populations. The rate at which the world population is growing would render development useless and nullify our efforts to save the environment.

Hillary out to prove a political point

[2009-07-18 08:10]

Persuading the divided coalition government in India to sign an end-use verification deal for defense supplies from America is seen as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's top diplomatic priority during her visit to that country.

Tiger, tiger, not burning so bright

[2009-07-10 07:52]

Imagine an animal adapting itself to frostbiting cold, desert heat, sultry swampy mangroves, dense tropical forests, mountains, river valleys and seacoasts. It's man, okay. But another animal has done so, and without the help of a roof over its head, without clothes and without tools, modern or ancient.

O Buddha, lead us to the green light

[2009-07-03 07:54]

Of late, a journalist friend in India has been bombarding me with forwards. Most of the files are jokes, some new and interesting, others old and stale. Just a couple of days ago he forwarded me something that I would like to share with readers. It goes something like this:

Whales, science and the politics of politics

[2009-06-26 07:53]

It's funny more whales will be killed as long as the world goes on debating the pros and cons of whaling. The world knows how important whales are to marine ecology and, by extrapolation, to ecology as a whole. But who's going to explain that to the politicians? I mean, you need to explain things to someone who's ignorant. You must have heard about the adage: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

For want of a hummer of green tunes

[2009-06-19 07:46]

When a Chinese company acquires a Western counterpart, there is a shared sense of pride here. Our hearts swelled when Lenovo took over IBM's PC division four years ago. But we felt slighted when CNOOC's bid to take over California-based Unocal fell through because of political resistance. More recently, we felt cheated when Rio Tinto scrapped a deal with Chinalco.

How long before we become ETs?

[2009-06-12 07:49]

It's irritating to hear the phone ring when you are rushing off to work, especially if it's the landline. It can be infuriating to hear a voice trying to sell or promote something when you pick up the receiver. I've suffered such an experience many a time, so I tend to ignore a call on the landline at such times. But this one sounded different - the ring was the same, it just sounded different to me. I picked up the receiver, more so because I was not rushing to office.

Can we treat our daughters with respect?

[2009-06-05 07:52]

A civilization could be judged by the way it treats its women. These are words of Swami Vivekananda, an Indian thinker. Back home, Chairman Mao Zedong ensured that women were treated with the dignity they deserved by adding his weight behind a Chinese saying: Women hold up half the sky.

Train ride into ecological uncertainty

[2009-05-29 06:49]

Nature has always influenced history; it has given birth to civilizations and nurtured them. Rivers, valleys and mountains determined the demography of a place before humans snatched away this task and began playing hide and seek with nature. Patient and forgiving, nature understood the needs of humankind, and at times even welcomed us to trample its most sacred of laws. We burnt coal in our furnaces and engines to power the Industrial Revolution. We cut mountains, dug tunnels, built bridges, harnessed rivers and blocked the sea. Vehicles sped through valleys and deserts, trains trundled through wilderness, and planes tore through the skies, guzzling billions of tons of fossil fuel.

How a DVD player reduces fish stock

[2009-05-22 08:07]

I have deferred buying a DVD player for the past two years for fear of not getting enough of my favorite food: fish. Let me explain, borrowing an idea from UK Labour MP Barry Gardiner. The demand for DVD players, cell phones and computers has led to widespread mining of the metal coltan, or columbite-tantalite, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That in turn has led to a drastic drop in the numbers of mountain gorillas and elephants because wide swathes of forests have been cleared for mining coltan. Deforestation has released huge amounts of carbon dioxide stored in trees and plants into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. Global warming threatens to raise the sea level, killing marine life that includes my favorite food.

Ecology in the time of global economic crisis

[2009-05-15 09:23]

A "failed system" is how John Bellamy Foster describes capitalism in his presentation to the International Conference on the Critique of Capitalism in the Era of Globalization, held at Suzhou University in Jiangsu province in January.

Consumerism and politics of waste

[2009-05-08 07:50]

Documentary films have never been in fashion. But for almost 90 years, committed documentary filmmakers have been enriching the language of cinema.

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