Two noted writers on the environment on Thursday opposed, at a seminar on global warming here, any proposal to divert rivers, interlink them or construct too many dams across them.

Nagesh Hegde, a science writer and environmental journalist, and N.A. Madhyastha, member, Karnataka State Wildlife Board, said that if the flow of a river was arrested through dams, the sea would not get nutrients. It would turn the ocean into a desert, they said.

They came up with this observation after seeing the check-dams that have come up along the Nethravati and its tributaries in their catchment areas for generation of hydroelectric power, and taking into account the Government's proposal to divert the Nethravati.

Mr. Hegde said that the quantity of rainfall over the sea was less than what it was on land. The sea should get enough nutrients through rivers to keep the rain-cycle alive. He alleged that the coal and petroleum lobbies in the country were coming in the way of taking up research on production of power for mass consumption by other sources, mainly solar and wind. Hence, no significant research was happening in the country on generating power with non-conventional sources, he said.

“National and global consensus should stop coal and petroleum lobbies from exercising their powers,” Mr. Hegde said.

Mr. Madhyastha said that global warming was not a new development. But now, increased human activities were adding to this problem. The disappearance of frogs was the first indicator of climate change, he said.

Paucity of time

Both the writers could not present their views fully owing to paucity of time as the seminar was poorly organised by the Department of Biosciences of Mangalore university.

The inaugural session itself went on till noon. The two speakers had to cut short their presentations.

The welcome address consumed about 45 minutes and then after a tea-break, the venue of the seminar was shifted from the Biosciences Quadrangle to a classroom.

The seminar had been sponsored by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests through the Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishat.

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