Monday, July 26

Capturing Histories

Sent out this email to the wider Dasgupta clan. Lets see how this experiment works out.


I thought of sending this email to all the wider Dasgupta clan because I need help with this. I am going to try to do an experiment while Baba and Ma are here. I am going to give them 2 copies of the same book.

This is a book which helps in capturing the memories of a grandparent for their grandchild. All our respective parents are now getting quite old and we should try to capture their histories in Bangladesh, Nepal and Jubbly so that we can pass this on to our grandchildren. Once Baba and Ma have filled this out, I will get it scanned and put up on a dedicated website. I already have reserved a domain name,

But I need help, I am pretty sure that given their failing health, memory and eye sight problems and and and, they will need help to get this going. And that means that somebody has to volunteer to guide them through filling out this book. If we have some volunteers, I am happy to purchase more copies of this book and then send them back with Ma/Baba when they go back in September. Only thing is, I need them to be then scanned and then we will put it up on the website so that all our children can read up on their family histories.

Any volunteers to look at Jethima, Boro Pishi, Pishi, Itu, Choto Kaku and Kaki, and and and?

On a separate note, we have loads of old photographs but they are currently mouldering away in albums in various cupboards. I would like to propose that we try to scan them, send them to me, I will get a dedicated website constructed and pay for it, and then we have it all.

We are all quite busy at the moment with our lives, our careers and are spread out all over the world. What keeps us together is the sense of family and the history together. It would be regretful if we reach our old age and then think, damn, I wish I had captured my parents memories. Its already quite late, we have lost so many and their memories have gone with them.

What do you think of both ideas? Any volunteers for the first and suggestions for the second? If it is a question of cost of scanning, please do not worry, just take the albums to the nearest photographer, ask them for a cost of the scan of all the photographs and I am happy to assist in this. Only proviso, the photographer has to send the photographs to me via the internet or something. And will need people's assistance in identifying the people.

Sunday, July 25

A debate over climate change

We had a presentation on climate change in the office and I just want to pick up on one part of it. Here is the particular slide.

Let me explain the slide first. The X axis shows GDP growth while the Y axis shows the Emissions CO2 per capita. So you end up with (a) Lesser Developed, (b) Industrialising, © Industrialised, and (d) Low Carbon Economy. The last fourth quadrant being the nirvana land, yes?

So what’s the trajectory like? If we do nothing, then the red line is operational and we will keep on going up the increased wealth with increased emissions route. The parallel bottom descending lines from the red line to the dark blue line are due to green new deals, a climate change deal if you will. The top light blue line relates to a catastrophic climate event which will pull the entire world or the country back into lesser developed status while the yellow line exhibits what will happen if we have a technological breakthrough via carbon sequestration or some other fancy technology.

This is just an illustrative slide to show what potential trajectories there can be, but I have 3 issues

1. cost: This slide does not talk about what will be the impact of adopting the green deals or the geo engineering technical solutions. If you factor that in, then the optimistic blue line at the bottom will be pulled up sharply increasing the trend line. In other words, if a country like India has to actually pay for carbon storage or other carbon emission technologies, it can very well decrease its growth rate.

2. combination: There is a strong possibility that all four elements are simultaneously applied, we can have growth, we can have new green deals, we can have geo engineering and we can end up with a catastrophic climate event such as typhoons or cyclones or something like that. Then where do we go? In other words, the choice is frankly now out of our hands.

3. Other factors such as water shortage: What happens if we have a catastrophic non climate event such as volcanic eruptions? Or severe drought? or water shortage? What then?

I further pointed out that the cost of getting people to work on this via the private sector seems to be a bit wonky, the PE ratio’s of green tech companies are hovering around the 60-100 mark. That’s ridiculous. What on earth are those valuations telling me? That’s a clear and present danger of a huge bubble.

So I am going to sit this one out I am afraid, not very clear and until and unless there is more clarity, not going to invest in this sector. This doesnt mean that I am going to stop my attempts to reduce pollution and the like, that’s on the supply side but on the demand and fixing side? Jury is still out.