Cutting Carbs…Our Carbon Footprint, That Is…

So now that I have internet, that means I need to find a job. Good thing I am in a the startup, social enterprise and nonprofit capital of the world! I’ve started to dip my toes into the market and have a few interesting leads – I even found a canvassing job! (No, I didn’t apply.) Here’s to hoping that this holiday season brings some resignations in the social enterprise field around Bangalore.

I’m looking to transition into the solar energy field, which is reaching a critical mass in India and is near and dear to my heart. Over 300 million people in India are currently without electricity. Not only would solar energy allow them to improve their basic quality of life and take steps to end the cycle of poverty, it would greatly reduce the amount of kerosene which is currently used to provide light. Many of these people live in extreme poverty, in single-room dwellings which typically house 4-5 people. Burning kerosene causes potent fumes inside the home – some studies equate it to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Even ignoring the effects to the ozone for a second, imagine what it is doing to a set of lungs. It’s easy to see how being born in an environment like this puts up so many obstacles that we in the developed world don’t even have to consider – but I digress. Solar is what’s coming for increased access, lower cost and reducing pollution and I want to get on board.

As an interesting side note, India was called out at the Climate Change Conference this week in Paris. India has been painting a story of poverty and lack of electricity to the world, however they have quietly been increasing their coal production and have a goal of becoming second only to China in 2020. When questioned about it, Ajay Mathur, spokesperson for India said “Mea culpa. Many of us did not even think that it needed a lot of national attention.” What?? He went on to say “We thought the figures are there, the numbers are there if anyone wants to do the maths then they could do it. All of this is in the public domain. We didn’t realise that we had to add up the numbers, put them there, draw graphs, and tell people this is what is happening.(source) India is arguably one of the biggest polluters and have little desire to take an active role in reducing their footprint. I was looking up some facts about coal production in India, and I quickly learned that India contains the biggest coal producing company in the entire world – Coal India. I had no idea. Move over Monsanto and Exxon, I have found a new villain to add to the ranks.

I guess we know who sponsored Mathur’s ridiculous response. Such a long way to go – job security for my potential, new job I suppose!


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