Gayathri Vaidyanathan ::

Part 2: Activists say solar can power India, but politics and economics of coal win out

A failed solar experiment in the village of Dharnai has underscored the challenges of going solar in India. Photo by Gayathri Vaidyanathan. DHARNAI, India — One year ago, environmentalists hailed this tiny village as the future of clean energy in rural India. Today, it is powered by coal. Dharnai, a community of about 3,200 people […]

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Part 1: In India, climate change takes a back seat to coal-powered development

SINGRAULI, India — Here at the foot of a mountain of coal mining debris live 150 people in one of the most polluted places on Earth. The air is dense with coal dust and other particulates. The drinking water source is a spring that emerges from the coal dump. When the rains come, landslides from […]

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A roaring economy is hitched to a galloping coal addiction

JHARIA, India — Night falls here by 5 p.m. and people stream into the open-air market to catch the latest political news. They have much to discuss, because elections are currently on in the state of Jharkhand, which is famous for three things: corruption, a home-grown terrorism threat called Naxalism, and this area’s economic life, […]

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