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Shibuya

Bangkok air pollution

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Yes, Shibyao, you're right. The air in Bangkok is terribly bad and polluted.
Cars, trucks, mopeds and motorcycles pollute the air with their exhaust fumes. Dense clouds of exhaust gases consisting of fine dust, carbon dioxide,
carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide - and what else do I know - drift through the street canyons of Bangkok.
This is a poisonous cocktail that is harmful to the lungs and health.

I was often and long on the road in Bangkok; mainly at the hot spots of traffic: along Sukumvhit, Silom, Ploenchit and Ratchdamri (Erawan Shrine).
I noticed the enormous strain on my lungs from the dirty and exhaust polluted air.
Even at Sanam Luang and Chayo Praya one notices the strong pollution of the air in one's own lungs.

I have no solution for this problem.

Unless: Abolition of the combustion engine, no coal and oil power plants.
So the ban on burning fossil fuels.
But where else is the energy to come from?

 

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https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/air-pollution/dangerous-air-quality-returns-to-bangkok-readings-up-to-233-today

 

Unseasonal, poor air quality has descended on Bangkok and surrounding suburbs threatening people’s health. The problem, which filled the headlines at the end of last year, has returned to parts of the capital over the weekend.

Readings up to 233 have been recorded this morning, well in excess of the 50 micrograms per cubic metre safety level. That means that the general air quality is now ‘very unhealthy’ (chart below).

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A Thai friend of mine is asthmatic, and the rasping noise they make during those first few moments from leaving an air-conditioned building to stepping out into the Bangkok air is quite disturbing. It can’t be good for any of us.

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Absolutely shocking again today. Visibility as bad as yesterday and a nasty feeling in my throat. 

I was hoping we might get a bit of rain today to clear it, but no luck.

 

whats it like in Pattaya this week?

might have to go there for “health reasons”

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It's a massive problem.  In India and China alone there are over 3 million deaths attributed to air pollution (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-11-09/air-pollution-kills-the-most-people-in-these-countries).  Economists, that dismal science call it an externalization or something like that.  Basically the cost of your business is externalized, that is socialized in that the tax payers pay the cost whilst the industry reaps the profits - sounds familiar?

When China started to close down rare earth mines there was an enormous outcry in the Western media.  They said pretty soon you won't be able to buy a phone or a computer thanks to China (fear).  They cast doubt on the reliability of supplies (uncertainty and doubt).  And they played on the name rare because you were meant to believe on China has them (misinformation).

The reality is rare earths are one of the most abundant mineral in the entire earth's crust.  The name rare was simply a description of how much of the minerals were present.  Not much, so hence the name rare.  In order to mine rare earths accordingly it takes vast swathes of land that could be otherwise used for arable purposes.  If topsoil isn't stockpiled properly - which again takes up a lot of space, it will simply be destroyed.  If water isn't regularly tested and monitored before it's allowed to be released it will pollute everything downstream. 

So China, not out of wanting to be a good global nation finally realized that if they can't feed their own people they wouldn't have much power anymore.  The obvious thing to do was to can rare earths.  Almost the same for coal.  I laugh out loud when I hear people praising China for their green initiatives.  They are literally doing it for their own survival.  The amount of arable land is something like 2 squared meters per capita. 

Going a bit off topic here but all this bullshit about China becoming a superpower is the media wanting you to think that.  Their first attempt at building an aircraft carrier was a farce.  There is a good reason they are encroaching on the little isles that are in the international seaways.  It's a trial balloon and the West should address this immediately.  The moment China faces economic sanctions all their power evaporates. 

Anyhow sorry for such a long post, and pretty much off topic.  We are pretty much all paying for the vested interests in fossil fuels to get the most return on their capital.  It's infuriating, you might watch a BP ad and think you're watching a Greenpeace ad.  Both organizations I equally despise btw. 

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18 hours ago, Nasiadai said:

Yes, Shibyao, you're right. The air in Bangkok is terribly bad and polluted.
Cars, trucks, mopeds and motorcycles pollute the air with their exhaust fumes. Dense clouds of exhaust gases consisting of fine dust, carbon dioxide,
carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide - and what else do I know - drift through the street canyons of Bangkok.
This is a poisonous cocktail that is harmful to the lungs and health.

Traffic is obviously one cause of pollution, but traffic is generally constant year-round, and is not the main contributing factor when the pollution levels get really bad. I gather that the main cause is burning of crops.

The pollution was really bad early last week and I see that it's been even worse this week. The sad part is that there is no reason to think that the problem will be addressed any time soon.

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If you get a stagnant air mass, then the air pollution can build up to high levels. Crop burning is usually done during the dry season.

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Yeah I remember something like ten years ago there was outrage by city people because of all the crop and rubbish burning going on in the north of the country.  It seemed like the whole country was blanketed by smog.  All the water that hits the north picks up the flotsam and jetsam including chemicals and plastic which then flow south. 

These problems aren't intractable.  With education, better waste management, composting etc.  it can all be addressed. 

The problem with traffic can be mediated in the meantime with better emissions standards.  I know that sounds laughable but it could be addressed initially by only allowing the sale of new cars and motorbikes to stricter standards.  Hybrid vehicles are gaining popularity rapidly in the West simply because they're use less fuel, which is becoming much more expensive year upon year. 

Having said that, Thailand have made enormous leaps forward with their world class BTS and MRT systems.  When I got on the train from the airport in Sydney to the city I was ashamed of how old, dirty and debilitated it was in comparison.  I've heard they have plans for high speed rail to Udon Thani as well which would be a very welcome alternative to flying. 

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