Leah Temper, Supriya Singh, From Brick Kilns to Windmills—Building Natural Capital in India’s Rain Shadow, The Solutions Journal, Volume 1, Issue 5, September 2010, Pages 76-80 (https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/from-brick-kilns-to-windmills-building-natural-capital-in-indias-rain-shadow/) Abstract: The face of India’s rural malaise can be seen in the Bull's trench brick kilns that are widespread across the country. An outdated technology invented by a British engineer, they contribute 30 percent of the air pollution in the Kathmandu valley.1 The kilns, many of them illegal, dot the countryside, belching smoke, sucking up coal, creating drudgework for which people are poorly paid, and causing respiratory infections in workers and their children.1 But more than anything, brickmaking drains the environmental wealth of agricultural communities by mining fertile topsoil built up over centuries to feed the construction of skyscrapers in India’s burgeoning cities. The legacy left behind in the villages is large stretches of barren and useless land. To add to these woes, brickmaking consumes large quantities of water, compounding the existing shortage. The kilns represent the story of how the wealth of rural India (the soil nutrients, water, and air) is siphoned off to build … Topics: Community; Economy; Energy; Environment