Friday, March 09, 2007

A Burning Question? Tell it to the Birds.


Okay, I said I wasn’t going to mention the smog anymore but it really has to be publicised so that people know what they’re letting themselves in for if they come to Thailand, especially the north. Above is a satellite picture of Thailand and surrounding countries. The grey is the smoke resulting from thousands of fires. The red dots are the fires themselves and they must be whopping fires to be seen from the satellite. Burma and Laos appear to produce more fires, thus smoke, than Thailand but if you live here in north Thailand the effects on one’s respiratory system is devastating.

The photo above is one of the fires we produce in Thailand and it might not look so big and dangerous but when you get hundreds of these fires in close proximity the result is a virulent smog. This picture was taken at Huay Tung Tao and it was, as the local firefighters said, a controlled burning. Have you ever heard anything so daft? They said it as if, because it was controlled, it wouldn’t produce any harmful effects. Controlled or otherwise the resulting smoke produces the same effects as the illegal fires and that is a poisonous smog. There are areas all around the lake that have suffered ‘controlled burning’ and I honestly can’t see the reason for it. It’s not as if they are going to grow anything and within a few months the area will look the same as before, beautiful. Thais just don’t seem to like things that grow naturally, brown is the colour of choice! In the meantime people with respiratory ailments will be dying off, and Thais seem to be alright with that, it’s the natural way of things. Well it may be but look at the longevity figures for Thailand, they don’t even reach their seventies, and that is not the natural way of things, that is due to gross negligence on the part of the Government and local officials.

And to end on a happier note, you can turn the beast into a beauty and imagine a morning mist where there is nothing but poison in the air

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