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Mridula Ramesh
Articles by Mridula Ramesh

Heat and rust: Mridula Ramesh writes on the red sand desert in Tamil Nadu

The dunes of Teri Kaadu serve as a time capsule of how climate change can alter history, move oceans, erase cities. It is now changing again. Trees are being planted, water sucked up by invasive species. There’s likely an equivalent story unfolding near you, and a different lesson in each.

The water-guzzling Prosopis juliflora is invading parts of the region, while in the desert trees such as neem and cashew are being planted. (Photo by Mridula Ramesh)
Updated on Jun 03, 2024 03:44 PM IST

Forbidden forest: Mridula Ramesh, on the alien invaders in our midst

Some foreign tree species, like the African baobab, are bountiful. Others, like the Prosopis juliflora, were brought here for byproducts, have grown to dominate landscapes. And, as tussles over water intensify, have morphed into villains.

The baobab within the school campus in Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu. This tree swells up and stores water in the monsoon, almost like a well. (Image courtesy Mridula Ramesh)
Published on May 04, 2024 04:16 PM IST

Heading into a dry run: Mridula Ramesh, on water

Dams, protests, siltation, lost trees all play a role as water goes missing. What can we do to prepare for a new reality, amid climate change?

Villagers in Shahapur taluka, Thane, gather around as tankers arrive to empty their contents into an empty well. (HT Archives)
Published on Apr 06, 2024 05:01 PM IST

Who pays to keep your batteries charged?: Trade-Offs with Mridula Ramesh

Cobalt is central to the making of rechargeable batteries. As demand rises, mines are expanding. They are hazardous, toxic. Is there a better way?

Miners move bags of cobalt at a mining site in Congo. In 2023, this country supplied three-quarters of the world’s cobalt, with children as young as six working in such mines. (Getty Images)
Updated on Mar 04, 2024 12:49 PM IST

The great defrost: Mridula Ramesh, on the perils of a melting Antarctica

It's been a rapid slide for the continent of ice, which was expanding until 2014. Mridula Ramesh on an ancient past, near future,and trade-offs to be made today

Sea ice reached a new low last year – the fourth new low here in seven years. The continent of ice is crumbling at its edges. One of these chunks is A23a (see aerial view above). The world’s largest iceberg – about four times the size of Delhi – is currently drifting and melting into the Southern Ocean. (Courtesy Ian Strachan / Eyos Expedition)
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 12:34 PM IST

After fumes, fire, flood, will hope bloom in 2024?: Trade-Offs by Mridula Ramesh

We can be guided, this year, by a simple truth: Change is wrought most profoundly by how we act. What we choose to do; buy (and not buy); and what we vote on.

A haze obscures the skylines of Dubai, where sandstorms have been intensifying, in December; Agra and the Taj Mahal, in November; and New York, amid raging wildfires in Canada, in June. (AFP, ANI, Getty Images)
Updated on Jan 06, 2024 07:18 PM IST

Faith has a role in climate action: Mridula Ramesh, in this month’s Trade-Offs

Some aspects of climate action ask us to consume less. Economics can be an awkward envoy for this message. Faith asks us to step lightly, see divinity in all.

The Deluge by Irish artist Francis Danby (1793–1861). A flood surges as a red sun sets to the left, and a shaft of moonlight picks out Noah’s ark in the background. (Wikimedia Commons / Tate London)
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 07:26 PM IST

Chandrayaan lessons to solve stubble burning

An air pollution-free Delhi is possible. The first step is to streamline paddy cultivation. Science, administrative will, and startups can make it happen.

The air quality continues to deteriorate in Delhi. ;(HT Photo/Arvind Yadav)
Published on Nov 10, 2023 10:52 PM IST

Darn it! It is fashion’s time to repair: An essay by Mridula Ramesh

There are lessons to be learnt from Swadeshi, and why Gandhi was so concerned with fabrics. Follow that thread all the way to our ties to cotton, carbon today.

Why is radical rethinking vital? Growing plant-based fibres such as cotton consumes 55 to 99 billion cubic metres of water per year worldwide (not counting rain water), or roughly as much as all households in India use in a year or two. (Images: Adobe Stock and Midjourney; Photo imaging: Puneet Kumar)
Updated on Nov 10, 2023 07:48 PM IST
ByMridula Ramesh

What’s the next course?: Mridula Ramesh on the future of sustainable food

If food production were a country, it would be eclipse China as Earth's top carbon polluter. Food waste is a bigger climate villain than coal. We must fix this.

 (HT Imaging : Puneet Kumar)
Updated on Oct 21, 2023 01:37 PM IST
ByMridula Ramesh

Trade-Offs: How to eat, dress, live and work in a changing climate landscape

A new monthly column by Mridula Ramesh aims to contextualise daily decisions – all the way from the personal (how to move around) to the political (how to vote)

A representation of choices, their impact and alternative futures, generated by Midjourney.
Updated on Sep 02, 2023 05:25 PM IST
ByMridula Ramesh
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