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Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Hindu Editorial: Deal breaker

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The Hindu Editorial: Deal breaker



Title: Deal breaker 

(The U.S. retreat from the Iran nuclear deal has undermined the rules-based global order)

Context:- President Donald Trump’s decision to unilaterally pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal is a huge setback to multilateral diplomacy and the rules-based international order. 

The agreement, signed in 2015 by Iran with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the EU, curtailed its nuclear programme in return for withdrawing economic sanctions. It was reached after 18 months of painful negotiations. Under the deal, most of Iran’s enriched uranium was shipped out of the country, a heavy water facility was rendered inoperable and the operational nuclear facilities were brought under international inspection. 

In Iran, the moderate government of President Hassan Rouhani went ahead with the deal despite strong opposition from hardliners. Mr. Trump has just wrecked all these efforts, despite numerous reports, including from American intelligence agencies, that Iran is 100% compliant with the terms of the agreement. 

When the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally called, was signed, many had raised doubts about whether Iran could be trusted to comply with the terms. 
Three years later, unfortunately, it’s the U.S., which had initiated talks with Iran under the previous administration, that has acted in bad faith. 

Mr. Trump’s decision is not about nuclear weapons. If his administration was actually concerned about Iran acquiring them, it would have supported a deal that closes the path towards nuclear weapons for Iran. 

When the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally called, was signed, many had raised doubts about whether Iran could be trusted to comply with the terms. 
Three years later, unfortunately, it’s the U.S., which had initiated talks with Iran under the previous administration, that has acted in bad faith. 

Mr. Trump’s decision is not about nuclear weapons. If his administration was actually concerned about Iran acquiring them, it would have supported a deal that closes the path towards nuclear weapons for Iran. 

Instead, the bigger concern for Mr. Trump as well as Washington’s closest allies in West Asia — Israel and Saudi Arabia — is Iran’s re-accommodation in the global economic mainstream. They fear that if Iran’s economic profile rises, it will embolden it to increase its regional presence, posing a strategic threat to the interests of the U.S.-Saudi-Israel axis. 

Mr. Trump has always been a critic of the Iran deal, and the Islamic Republic in general. Now, by pulling out of the deal he has manufactured a crisis in an already tumultuous(उतार-चढ़ाव भरे) region. 

Final Words: 

The U.S. stands isolated in its decision. But the question is whether Europe and other powers will stick together to respect the mandate of an international agreement, or buckle under American pressure. If they do cave in, West Asia will be a lot more dangerous. 

Idioms & Phrases 

1) Out and out = Totally 
2) Cheek by jowl = Very near 

One word Substitution 

1) One who studies election trend by means of opinion polls = Psephologist 
2) A doctor who treats children = Paediatrician 


Title: Rethinking wind energy 

(Global research is slowly revealing its high indirect impact on the ecosystem) 

Context:- The bald tops of the Western Ghats are a pristine ecosystem replete with innumerable animal species and, apparently, an abundance of wind and windmills. 
As the country tries to achieve an ambitious renewable energy target of 175 GW, windmills have popped up in at least 65 sq km of forested area, with permissions for another 30 or so sq km still pending. This isn’t surprising given that India’s potential wind power map envelops the Western Ghats (from Kerala to Gujarat) and even large parts of the Eastern Ghats. 

While this has often led to expressions of concern over the environmental impact — these must be articulated in policy to prevent irrecoverable changes in the local ecosystem. 
Global scientific research has also highlighted the impact of windmills on wildlife. 

For example, in the first few months of 2018 alone, published papers have shown that in the Pacific islands, bat activity is as much as 20 times lower in areas with windmills. And in Texas(In US), there has been a staggering 77% decrease in redhead ducks in coastal ponds within windfarms. 

The situation may not be different in India. In fact, it may be worse considering the high levels of biodiversity in every square kilometre of forest. 

In Rajasthan, for instance, transmission lines and spinning blades have reportedly led to increasing mortalities of the critically-endangered Great Indian Bustard(Bird). 

In studies of wind farms from Kutch to Andhra Pradesh, direct collisions have been reported. 

In Karnataka, where over 6,000 acres of forest land have been diverted for windmills, anecdotal evidence suggests that many species could be affected. 

Apart from birds, even smaller rodents and mammals avoid these patches due to the constantly whirring turbines. In this predator-less micro-environment, the lizard population has increased, leading to an increase in competition and decrease in consumable resources. 

Final Words 

Only long-term research can reveal if these changes have led to cascading effects on insects, vegetation and the soil. Further, construction denudes forests, fragments them through access roads and transmission lines, and even raises the risk of forest fires.

Phrasal Verb

1) Ask around = To invite someone 

2) Ask after = Ask a number of people for information of help


Vocabulary words:

Undermine (verb) = Lessen the effectiveness (कम आंकना)

Unilaterally (adv) = Used to indicate that something is done by only one person (एकतरफा)

Curtail (verb) = Reduce in extent or quantity (कटौती)

Wreck (verb) = Destroy or severely damage (बर्बाद करना )

Embolden (verb) = Give the courage and confidence to do something (प्रोत्साहित करना)

Tumultuous (adj) = Making an uproar or loud (उतार-चढ़ाव भरे)

Pristine (adj) = In its original condition (प्राचीन)

Replete (adj) = Filled or well supplied with something (परिपूर्ण)

Innumerable (adj) = Numerous, countless (असंख्य)

Pop up (phrasal verb) = Appear or occur suddenly 

Articulate (verb) = Pronounce clearly and distinctly 

Anecdotal (adj) = Informal, unreliable 

Whir (phrasal verb) = Make a low, continuous and regular sound 

Jolt (noun) = An abrupt rough or violent movement (आघात)


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