Climate Justice


Is truth negotiable? No, for if it were, it would no longer be truth. Is science negotiable? Of course not, otherwise it won’t be science. But is justice negotiable? Very much indeed! The very process of arriving at justice is based on negotiation. Justice can be discussed, bargained for, modified or even reversed, depending upon how a case is fought or how mercy is sought.

Climate justice, like any other form of justice, is negotiable. Climate science, unlike other branches of science, is also negotiable. All put together, the issue of climate change has always been a subject of seemingly endless negotiations. The 21st Conference of Parties would continue with these negotiations at Paris in December 2015. The aim is to hammer out an agreement that would be acceptable to all parties.

In the meantime, individual countries including India have already released their plans and ideas about how they hope to achieve this. India’s climate change plan talks about climate justice.

The problem with climate justice is that the laws are non-existent, the evidence is hazy, there are no jurors, and the court consists of the litigants themselves, whose concept of justice is to extract as many pounds of flesh from each other as possible.

The talk of climate justice reminds me of a story about justice that is narrated in the Bible (John Chapter 8). The setting is the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, where Jesus is engaged in teaching people who have gathered to hear him. Suddenly, a group of religious scholars barges in along with a woman and they make her stand before him. They inform Jesus that she is guilty of adultery and under the prevailing law she should be stoned to death. Jesus remains calm and all that he says is, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” On hearing this, and being convicted by their own conscience, the people leave one by one. Jesus then asks the woman, “Where are all your accusers? Has no man condemned you?” She says, “No, Lord.” And Jesus says to her, “Neither do I condemn you, go, and sin no more.”

Climate justice lies in a promise by all countries to “sin no more”. But we do not see that happening. Most countries want many more years to continue with their climate sins before they can stop them. Some countries are willing to tone down the degree of their climate sins, like allowing the earth to warm by 2 deg instead of 4 deg over the next century.

Is there justice in nature? Not at all. God’s design of nature is based upon diversity and not on equity. Carbon dioxide is just 400 parts per million of the atmospheric volume, but it is driving the earth mad! Nitrogen is 80 per cent of the atmosphere, but it makes no difference. Yet nitrogen, oxygen, ozone, water vapour, carbon dioxide, all have a place in God’s scheme of things. Why should Cherrapunji receive 1100 cm of rain in a year and Jaisalmer only 20 cm? Is it fair? No, but we cannot introduce equity here. That is nature as God has given us.

For most people on earth, contributing to climate justice means planting a few trees or participating in a marathon on a cheerful holiday morning. For some governments, climate justice lies in making petrol cheaper and then enforcing a no-car day once in three months. This is not climate justice.

God allowed man to use his creation but man is misusing it. The “sin no more” command applies to the human misuse of God’s creation. If we do not heed that command or if we try to dilute it, or overlook it, God’s justice will be delivered in the fullness of time.

Second Edition of “Satellite Meteorology”

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SatMet Book Cover 2

My first book “Satellite Meteorology” was published in 2006. The publishers, BSP Books of Hyderabad, India, feel that is now time to bring out a second edition and they have invited me to write a more contemporary version of the text.

Some of my blog readers may have read the book and I would be grateful if they send me their comments and suggestions which I can incorporate in my revision, with due acknowledgement of course. If they wish to send me any literature or references, my email id is kelkar_rr@yahoo.com.

– R. R. Kelkar


300,000 hits!


300,000 hits

Journey of the Monsoon


The Sandarbha Society, Pune, publishes a bimonthly Marathi magazine called “Shaikshanik Sandarbha”. The issues contain articles that would be of interest to students, teachers and parents alike. The August-September 2015 issue of the magazine contains an article of mine titled “Monsooncha Pravas” that describes the journey of the monsoon. Click on the link below to read the pdf file.

Monsooncha Pravas

The Mystery of the Monsoon

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Dr David Suzuki is a Canadian academician, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Since the 1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio programmes, documentaries and books about nature and the environment. Most popular among them is the long-running CBC Television series, “The Nature of Things”. One of his recent episodes is about The Mystery of the Monsoon and it can be viewed online at 


Monsoon is India’s main source of fresh water. Despite the torrential deluge, massive flooding and loss of life, there is a palpable sense of elation as the monsoon storm clouds arrive. Part road movie, part spectacle, part human drama, The Mystery of The Monsoon is a cinematic exploration of the force of the monsoon and its unpredictability. With people’s very existence dependent on the monsoon, meteorology occupies a special place in India but even with satellite imagery and powerful computer models, scientists struggle to more accurately predict it.

Filmed across the Indian sub-continent and charting the huge system’s path as it surges toward and gradually engulfs every region of the country, The Mystery of the Monsoon introduces us to a remarkable array of individuals whose lives are in different ways entwined with the phenomenon. There are the meteorologists, who seek to contain the monsoon within an explanatory net of scientific analysis and rational forecast; there are the farmers and fishermen, who depend on and contend with the system’s godlike, life-and-death caprices; there are the citizens of Mumbai, where the monsoon’s arrival is felt from the slums to the stock market to the dreamscapes of the Bollywood film; there are the nature conservationists who are concerned with the monsoon’s impact on the country’s endangered species; and there is the ordinary Indian family, for whom the annual deluge is part of a rhythmic cycle, at moments unfathomably cruel and joyously affirming.

A still from the film showing Prof R R Kelkar explaining the monsoon

A still from the film showing Prof R R Kelkar explaining the monsoon


DD Kisan

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Launched on 26 May 2015, DD Kisan is a new 24×7 Doordarshan channel meant exclusively for Indian farmers. It has interesting, informative as well as entertaining programme content. But very importantly, it has two time slots at 8:30-9:00 am and 10:30-11:00 am reserved for Mausam Khabar.

This program begins with a daily weather update, which is fairly detailed and explains the weather situation over the entire country. Mausam Khabar is not just a display of weather data or graphics, but it also contains advisories tailored for different agro-climatic regions of the country. There are live comments by both IMD meteorologists and agricultural experts, who explain the agricultural significance of the current and expected weather.

In addition to the dedicated Mausam Khabar, which is telecast daily from Monday to Saturday, the DD Kisan channel has a continuous scroll that gives various kinds of information of interest to farmers, including evolving weather conditions.

R K Laxman on the Monsoon


The legendary cartoonist, R K Laxman, had the weather and the weatherman as two of his favourite subjects for his cartoons in the You Said It series.  Here are two of his cartoons that appeared in The Times of India, one in June 1962 and the other in July 1988.

RKLaxman on Onset of Monsoon RKLaxman on Droughts and Floods

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