Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Giant Extinctions and Elusive Ghosts

We heard about it a few nights back - over a really nice dinner. Our friend reported that it took an Australian journalist to write about it in a UK magazine to bring us news in our very own backyard.

As a developing country with a closet full of issues, including poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, communalism, corruption, pollution, environmental destruction, species extinction - that we do not deal with - there are some matters that we urgently, immediately, commit to, without due thought, process, or public involvement. The latest appears to be a clearance given to search for highly elusive elementary particle, the neutrino, and to do this right within our highly sensitive, greatly diminished and fragile ecosystems in the Nilgiris. India-based Neutrino Observatory(INO)will involve a 100,000 tonne neutrino detector covering over 2 kilometers of tunnels right through vital elephant corridors in the Nilgiris. Usually, these extremely elusive particles "are searched by detectors in huge ice-caves in the polar regions or at the bottom of the deep sea.". We, however, with our moronic national wisdom, have thought it fit to not only join the hunt, but also hunt in our own tiny, eco-senstive, and rich, bio-diverse backyard with certain, and irreversible losses to forests, habitats, species.

Will the committee that saw it fit to accept this proposal please stand up, and take a bow? Will the scientists that proposed this ridiculous search please doff their caps that we may all see there is nothing under there? Is there no where else for you to take your mindless games? And don't we, the citizens, have a right to know, to stop this foolhardy $167 million USD project, and say " Thank you, but, no, thank you" - we would rather keep our forests, elephants, tigers, leopards, plants, birds, amphibians, species instead of maybe, just maybe, find a neutrino in a distant future.

Please learn more here and protest here.

This topic was also covered in this excellent Tehelka article, more than a year back.

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