CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 09th-December, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


09th Dec, 2017

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When every breath kills {Health Issue}

(The Hindu)


Context

This article talks about the health issue caused by pesticide spraying in farm field

Why in news?

In the cotton belt of Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district, pesticide poisoning through inhalation has caused 21 deaths in three months.

Pesticide Image result for effect of pesticides

It is a chemical or biological agent (such as a virus, bacterium, or fungus) that deters, incapacitates, kills, or otherwise discourages pests. Target pests can include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes(roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, cause nuisance, or spread disease, or are disease vectors. Although pesticides have benefits, some also have drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other species.

Uses

Pesticides are used to control organisms that are considered to be harmful. For example, they are used to kill mosquitoes that can transmit potentially deadly diseases like West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria.

They can also kill bees, wasps or ants that can cause allergic reactions. Insecticides can protect animals from illnesses that can be caused by parasites such as fleas. Pesticides can prevent sickness in humans that could be caused by moldy food or diseased produce.

How pesticides work?

Pesticides are often applied by spraying, fumigating and baiting. However, not all pesticides kill the target pest. Some act in other ways, for example

  • repel or lure the pest into a trap
  • sterilise the pest to prevent them reproducing
  • cause leaf drop without killing the plant
  • boost the action of another pesticide, for example, piperonyl butoxide adds to the effectiveness of pyrethrum in some insecticides.

‘Contact’ pesticides are absorbed through the pest’s body surface. Examples include

  • tetramethrin used in household fly sprays
  • bipyridillium herbicides such as paraquat that are used on weeds

People come into contact with pesticides in many ways

  • When pesticides are used in and around our homes and gardens
  • When pesticides are used on our pets
  • When we work with pesticides
  • When pesticides are used in our communities or in our environment
  • When pesticides are used on the food we eat

The risk of health problems depends not only on how toxic the ingredients are (Pesticide Ingredients), but also on the amount of exposure to the product. In addition, certain people like childrenpregnant women and sick or aging populations may be more sensitive to the effects of pesticides than others.

To reduce the risk of health problems from pesticides there are several things you can do

  • Identify the least-toxic way to control your pest; learn about Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
  • Always read the pesticide label first! Select the appropriate product for your site, method and goals.
  • Read all precautions and warnings on the label prior to use. These are intended to help you prevent harmful exposures.
  • Take steps to minimize your exposure, even when using low toxicity pesticides.

The law prevails {Environment}

(Indian Express)


Context

NGT’s order on Art of Living rightly asserts the fundamental principle of green law — polluter must pay

In news

The National Green Tribunal has closed the matter of the World Culture Festival held by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living (AoL) in March 2016, which had degraded the Yamuna floodplain in Delhi. It has held that AoL has damaged the ecosystem of the plain and that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had wrongfully permitted it to conduct the event.

NGT direction to DDA

The DDA has been directed to evaluate the damage and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s organisation must pay for the restoration of the flood plain. AoL had put up Rs 5 crore pursuant to an earlier order, but will now have to pay on actuals.

Flood PlainRelated image

It is a generally flat area of land next to a river or stream. It stretches from the banks of the river to the outer edges of the valley.

A flood plain consists of two parts. The first is the main channel of the river itself, called the floodway. Floodways can sometimes be seasonal, meaning the channel is dry for part of the year. The floodway of the Todd River in Australia’s Northern Territory, for instance, is an ephemeral stream, meaning its channel can be dry for months at a time.

Beyond the floodway is the flood fringe. The flood fringe extends from the outer banks of the floodway to the bluff lines of a river valley

Geology of a Flood Plain

Formation of flood plain

 There are two major processes involved in the natural development of flood plains: erosion and aggradation. The erosion of a flood plain describes the process in which earth is worn away by the movement of a floodway. Aggradation (or alluviation) of a flood plain describes the process in which earthen material increases as the floodway deposits sediment.

A river erodes a flood plain as it meanders, or curves from side to side. The massive lowland flood plain of the Amazon River, for instance, is carved with hundreds of oxbow lakes that document the meandering river and its tributaries over time. Oxbow lakes are formed when a meander, or bend, in the river is cut off from the river’s mainstem. Features such as oxbow lakes and seasonal wetlands are often a part of flood plains created through erosion and deposition.

A meandering stream can contribute to a flood plain’s aggradation, or build-up in land elevation, as well as its erosion.

The process of subsidence, in which the elevation of a delta may sink due to sea level rise or human activity, often offsets aggradation in the flood plains in these areas. The huge aggradation of sediment around the Nile delta, for instance, is subsiding due to the rising level of the Mediterranean Sea.

People and Flood Plains

Floods are usually seasonal and can be predicted months ahead of time. This predictability can make flood plains ideal locations to develop urban areas. Rivers provide both a natural transportation network and source of water for irrigation and industry. The relatively level land can be developed either as agricultural fields or sites for habitation or business.

The three most ancient civilizations on Earth all developed on fertile flood plains

  • Mesopotamia
  • Harappan civilization
  • Egyptian culture 

 

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