regular-article-logo Monday, 04 December 2023

Letters to the editor: Wildfires are warning bells about another mass extinction

Readers write in from Calcutta, Howrah, Hooghly, Madhya Pradesh, and Jamshedpur

The Editorial Board Published 10.09.23, 08:34 AM
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Douse the fire

Sir — If we were to think that the Anthropocene is the first time that global warming has brought about drastic changes in flora and fauna populations, we would be mistaken. A recent study at La Brea Tar Pits in the United States of America has unearthed fossils which reveal that a sudden rise in human activities, temperatures and forest fires led to the large-scale extinction of animals like dire wolves, sabre-toothed cats and ground sloths around 13,000 years ago. The wildfires wreaking havoc across the world are thus warning bells about another mass extinction unless climate change is tackled urgently.


Karim Ansari, Calcutta

Endless tussle

Sir — The public fracas between the governor and the state government of West Bengal is reprehensible (“Governor appoints officiating VC again”, Sept 7). The conflict will only harm students in state-run universities. Neither the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, nor the governor, C.V. Ananda Bose, should hamper the academic careers of students because of a power struggle. Educational standards in the state have already deteriorated considerably in recent years. The powers that be should stop squabbling over such issues.

Mrinal Kanti Kundu, Howrah

Sir — The escalating tussle between C.V. Ananda Bose and Mamata Banerjee is unhealthy for the state and will affect its educational system (“Will resort to sanctions: CM on VC appointments”, Sept 6). By unilaterally appointing vice-chancellors to various state universities, once again, Bose has needlessly cast aspersions on the ability of senior professors. Such misunderstandings should be swiftly resolved.

Jayanta Datta, Hooghly

Sir — It is shocking to hear the language that the education minister of West Bengal, Bratya Basu, has used against the governor (“Registrars threatened: Bratya”, Sept 9). His behaviour goes against the expectations from a Bengali bhadralok. He should choose his words carefully while addressing someone occupying a high constitutional office.

Avinash Godboley, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh

Sir — In the hours following the governor’s video statement claiming that the VCs he had appointed had faced threats, the education department of the state government sent letters to some of the ex-VCs asking for proof of such harassment. Significantly, the letter also warns that should they fail to produce corroborating evidence, C.V. Ananda Bose’s statement would be considered libellous. The quarrel between the state government and the governor, who is also the ex-officio chancellor of state universities, shows no signs of dying down. Caught in the crossfire are the poor students as higher education in Bengal seems to have come to a standstill.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Equal rights

Sir — Mexico, the country with the second-largest population of Catholics in the world, has recently decriminalised abortion in a landmark judgment for women’s rights. The head of Mexico’s Supreme Court, Arturo Zal­divar, stated that the denial of the right to abortion vio­lated the human rights of women, especially in cases of rape. How this decision is received in the rest of Latin America, where many continue to hold a conservative outlook, remains to be seen.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Fighting fit

Sir — It is heartening to see that the 43-year-old Indian tennis player, Rohan Bopanna, had reached the men’s doubles final at the US Open a few months after making it to the mixed doubles final at the Australian Open with Sania Mirza. Even though he lost, his fitness and stamina are proof that age is just a number.

M.N. Gupta, Hooghly

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