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Issue 14

Issue XIV: Editor’s Note

With the leaders of the world – most of whom chosen by us – preparing to meet at the critical Conference of Parties 26 (COP26) gathering in the first weeks of November, this axis of environment and politics, is one whose outlines are becoming increasingly apparent. Before we get to unpacking what may be in store there, maybe it is wise to take a glance at the politics of the environment at large. The new generation strives to demand more; we ask for accountability from our leaders, expect our institutions to be fairer, and recognise that the effect of climate change has not been equal on all. There is a politics to most things around us – by acknowledging this and by asking the right questions, we make our own politics more just. 

As student-journalists training for the world at OpenAxis, it is our responsibility to bring to you this spirit of inquiry in Issue XIV, the second of our several issues, entirely on environmental matters. 

2021 saw a historic federal election in Germany, with the country stepping into a post- Merkel world and climate change, becoming an influential marker. Aritro Sarkar explores how the ‘climate elections’ in Europe’s most powerful economy could shape the climate conversation for Germany and the EU. 

Cefil Joseph Soans connects the worlds of a ground up conservation movement in Kerala with the global shift in data modelling access and analyses why this could be significant.

Stepping into the cultural realm, Rishita Chaudhary celebrates Rachel Carson’s masterpiece Silent Spring, as it approaches 60 years of publication, by taking stock of contemporary climate literature. 

Ishita Ahuja speaks to three young Indian climate activists to understand their politics as individuals and as representatives of the Global Climate Strike movement, out in full force again on October 22, 2021.

Meera Anand in Open Axis Recommends speaks about a song and a web series and their connection with us and the changing natural world.

Manufacturers say bookings are up for electric scooters in India in October 2021. Is this disruptive enough to trigger mass market EV adoption? Cefil takes an analytical route to see if this is indeed the way to address pollution. 

With the recent release of Amitav Ghosh’s sequel to the Great Derangement, Mehak Bhargava reviews The Nutmeg’s Curse. What are the arguments it makes to demonstrate our fundamental dependence on the environment and its role in shaping human history?

What kind of power exists at the intersection of art as a medium and the street as a stage, set against a climate crisis backdrop? Devanshi Daga tries to find out by speaking with some artists.

The Skin of Chitwan, part of the “Indigenous Pasts, Sustainable Futures” project of the Nepal Picture Library, goes beyond the news tidbit to offer a visual history of dislocation, from a terai forest in Nepal.

With Beijing’s September declaration of ending its funding for new coal projects abroad, Anushree Pratap explores what this means for several developing nations.

-Anushree Pratap, Aritro Sarkar, Cefil Joseph Soans, Isha Pareek

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