This is a book that India needs now.
It is fantastically well researched – how the researchers went about gathering their data and drawing correlations from multiple sources is as fascinating as their conclusions.
It gently highlights the absurdities of the well-intentioned Indian state:
Ordinarily, one places solar plants in the path of direct sunlight. This one was placed in the path of visitors
It is full of examples of how we focus on the metrics, rather than on the principle. Ban plastic bags! Increase the fines for polluters!!
It ties in how government policy and public apathy suffer from lack of data – or ignorance of the data that we have – or an active attempt to not measure data that matters.
It tries to quantify what we are losing out because of pollution, in terms of health and productivity. But, as the author himself acknowledges, the calculations are very conservative (and still frightening!). Who knows what the cost of missing millions, missed opportunities, missing einsteins, and physically underdeveloped populace is?
This ties in directly with the pollution monitoring project that we’re doing at AlgoAsylum, so this is something that I can use to get people energized!