Local Opposition Rises Against Fracking Infrastructure Proposal

Tom Salamone of Minisink, New York addresses a rally in front of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission on Nov 15, opposing a natural gas compressor station being built in Minisink. Credit: Asha Canalos

Tom Salamone of Minisink, New York addresses a rally in front of the Federal Energy Regulation Commission on Nov 15, opposing a natural gas compressor station being built in Minisink. Credit: Asha Canalos

My article for InterPress Service a couple of days ago:  Local Opposition Rises Against Fracking Proposal

By Beena Sarwar 

BOSTON, Massachusetts, Nov 27 2012 (IPS) – Efforts to promote the use of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of obtaining oil and natural gas, face stiff opposition from researchers and citizens who say that in its present form, the technology’s risks far outweigh its worth. Continue reading

People for peace: 8th PIPFPD Joint Convention, Allahabad

PIPFPD 7th Joint Convention, New Delhi 2005: Pakistani ghazal queen Farida Khanum with then Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran at a reception at Hyderabad House. Photo: Beena Sarwar

My curtain raiser on the Eighth Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) Joint Convention being held in Allahabad, India, Dec 29, 2011-Jan 1, 2012 (slightly shorter version published as an op-ed in The News). When the name was being decided, the Indians insisted that Pakistan should Continue reading

“Better green than gas stations!”

Christmas trees instead of cars. Yeah.

We’re not exactly into the whole commercial holiday scene but it seemed like a good time to get a little tree to decorate for the season and put out to grow for the rest of the year. So we got ourselves to Ricky’s Flower Market. We’d often passed this inviting looking urban nursery, bursting with flowers and potted plants in warmer weather, incongruously tucked between two heavily trafficked roads at Union Square, Somerville, MA. Now it’s full of Christmas trees. We pulled into the parking spot (bonus) and after some deliberation and discussion with Ricky, the owner, chose a sweet little Dwarf Alberta Spruce (a hardy species indigenous to the New England and Canada area, we learnt), in a pot. Here’s part of our conversation with its surprise tidbits: Continue reading

Remembering Saneeya Hussain on her birthday

Here’s a note I sent out to the Saneeya Hussain yahoogroup yesterday, Aug 13th, her birthday – please do check out the link about the Saneeya Hussain Trust:Saneeya Homepage

Dear family and friends of Saneeya, scattered all over the world, this huge community of caring and committed people working in all kinds of ways to make the world a better place in their own ways

Here’s to Saneeya – we’ll always miss her. It is wonderful that the Saneeya Hussain Trust is up and running. Please do check it out at http://www.saneeyahussaintrust.com/ – The Trust has already done a lot of valuable work in terms of helping young girls obtain an education.

Several months ago I wrote a chapter for a forthcoming book on environmental journalism being published (eventually, we hope) by Sage, India. It focuses to some extent on Saneeya and Nazeeha had it posted to the SHT website for those who are interested
http://www.saneeyahussaintrust.com/PakistanChapterforSageIndiaAug08.pdf

I finally made a blog (on which I post my own articles and other material that I also send to my issues yahoogroup) – have linked the SHT to it also. I’d encourage all those of you who maintain blogs or websites to do the same.

That’s all for now from hot and muggy Karachi

beena

Smitu Kothari – rest in peace

Smitu Kothari
Smitu Kothari

Just heard the sad news from Rani (Khawar Mumtaz) in Lahore about Smitu Kothari’s sudden and unexpected departure from this world.

Last I met Smitu it was in 2004, when I interviewed him about his late friend, the Pakistani activist Omar Asghar Khan, for a documentary commissioned by Asia Foundation broadcast on Geo TV. During the same trip I interviewed his father Rajni Kothari, a meeting he facilitated, for another documentary in the Asia Foundation/Geo TV series, on Eqbal Ahmad.

Besides being an ardent environmental and freedom of information activist, Smitu was one of the earliest and most genuine advocates of Pakistan-India peace. May he rest in peace.

His cremation is at 4 pm today in Delhi. Deepest condolences to his aged father and his family, including a 12-year old daughter.

p.s. Found this news item which gives some details…
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/77983.htm

Environmentalist Smitu Kothari dies of cardiac arrest

New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Smitu Kothari, 59, one of India’s leading
social and environmental activists, died of a cardiac arrest early
Monday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Kothari was editor of the Lokayan Bulletin published by the Lokayan
group which promotes dialogue between NGOs and the rest of the world.

He also co-edited Ecologist Asia with other environmentalists
including Vandana Shiva, Claude Alvares and Bittu Sahgal and has been
a visiting professor at Cornell and Princeton universities.

P.S. March 27: Amit Sengupta’s obituary on Smitu in Hard News – excerpt:
“Now, that he has become bark and sky and earth, and now that the saline waters are still soaked inside the eyes and hearts of his father, wife, brothers, friends, strangers and comrades, it’s the tree of life which must hold his eyes and his mind, like leaves, flowers and seeds, as his legacy of regeneration, retreat and resistance”
http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2009/03/2772

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