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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2012 Chiang Mai


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Educating them in composting ain't going to work. At least it would work, though it was said tongue in cheek. hit-the-fan.gif

It's all well and fine to joke about the problem but it's a problem that needs to be solved and that takes solutions, education I reckon is a large part of the answer but what are the other parts?

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No, nobody is evacuating.

The issue for me, as nikster pointed out eloquently in a previous post, is that it is not the smoke/smog/dust that is most bothersome.

It is that this is directly derived from mistaken and damaging human behavior.

I am from California USA originally, where we have earthquakes, forest fires and other misc. nature caused disasters on a regular basis.

Even the occasional tornado and mudslide...the latter almost took my life one time.

I understand the limitations of budget, etc. in addressing this problem in Thailand. I also understand that this is not something strictly due to indigenous people who are burning. I've read myriad articles on this topic, including an excellent series in Citylife by a Brit author who investigated the burning practices of rural folk around CM.

Yes, the various ethnic minorities do burn forest undergrowth, often to clear the forest floor to make it easier to hunt, collect mushrooms, etc. But largly they are (and have always been) good stewards of the forest resources.

In addition, there are many large (absentee) "land owners" who are illegally appropriating land, often in protected areas, and burning them off for commercial purposes. Anyone who reads the Thai press knows all about the "influential persons" who have through corruption grabbed national park land and built resorts, planted para rubber plantations, etc. Because often times these people are politicians, or wear a uniform of one kind or another, or come from a local politically powerful clan in a certain area....they have impunity to do these things. The penalties are laughable, but never mind that.....these people will never be charged or see the inside of a courtroom, ever. It's sort of like the US West in the 1850's, when the only law enforced was by the gun on your hip, and how many hired guns you had to back you up. My point here is that it's not just the hilltribe folks doing this burning, it is also powerful vested interests clearing land for illegal purposes. Including the neighboring countries.

Rant over, got my room air filter running, A-OK here.coffee1.gif

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So, how high can this (ug/m)^3 go until evacuation would be in order?

Thailand or "the real world"?

Well, I was thinking CM, which is "the real world" at the moment. laugh.png

Sorry, I thought you were asking when would the order for the evacuation of CM be given.

If it's just you, & no ties to keep you here, the answer is "yesterday". Head for the beach.

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So, how high can this (ug/m)^3 go until evacuation would be in order?

Thailand or "the real world"?

Well, I was thinking CM, which is "the real world" at the moment. laugh.png

Sorry, I thought you were asking when would the order for the evacuation of CM be given.

If it's just you, & no ties to keep you here, the answer is "yesterday". Head for the beach.

I would, if it wasn't for the If. laugh.png

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When I pull up the "Manual Report" for Chiang Mia City Hall from the Aqmthai.com website I'm getting far different readings then the chart on the home page.

No wonder my lungs ache.

The one on the main page is the moving average. The Report chart are peak readings at that hour. Just saw the 300 then it dropped back to 200 in the next hour and just before it it was 219. Suspect a glitch or someone lit up a cigarette next to the machine. biggrin.png

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http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2011/02/04/rubber-planting-and-military-state-making-military-private-partnerships-in-northern-burma/

A lot of the fires on the map seem to correspond with border areas over in Burma and Laos. Not unlikely this has something to do with the Chinese push for large agribusiness in these areas. See article above.

20 years ago you had burning in the hills and people even burnt their rubbish in the city but you never had a dense smoke haze such as this.

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When I pull up the "Manual Report" for Chiang Mia City Hall from the Aqmthai.com website I'm getting far different readings then the chart on the home page.

No wonder my lungs ache.

The one on the main page is the moving average. The Report chart are peak readings at that hour. Just saw the 300 then it dropped back to 200 in the next hour and just before it it was 219. Suspect a glitch or someone lit up a cigarette next to the machine. biggrin.png

The 24hr average for Lamphun (a68) is 194. That's not very far away :(

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Had there been any doubt that Thailand itself is a significant part of the problem (a supposition being that Myanmar and Lao were mostly to blame), the satellite plus overlay (thanks!) certainly dispels it.

Only carrots will work. Villages must have mechanized equipment to replace fires' job, and farmers some benefit from using that gear. Schools to teach agribusiness and longevity. What has Viet-Nam done, I wonder??

Edited by CMX
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There is a reaction from the authorities .... hasn't anybody seen it ...?? They are so wonderful... anyway here it is =

CHIANG MAI: -- Smog has been widespread across the northern provinces, particularly Chiang Mai Province. The air quality is lower than the clean air standard index, and the public health department is now preparing masks.

Chiang Mai Province has been covered with heavy smog caused by fires for weeks. According a report from the Pollution Control Department, air pollution has measured at 129 points, which was higher than the pollution standard by 100 points.

Yesterday, the air quality index was at 109 points. Meanwhile, dust particle index should not exceed 10 micron or PM 10, but it has been gradually increasing.

Deputy Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Official, Surasing Wisarutrattana, said regarding the wildfire causing heavy smog and dust in Chiang Mai Province, that if there is no rainfall within 2 to 3 days, the dust density level may reach above the standard, at 120 micrograms per cubic meter. Furthermore, it may affect people with respiratory problems.

Surasing affirmed that officials are helping by preparing masks for local residents. All of the hospitals and related agencies have been ordered to prepare to relocate locals out of the areas if the situation worsens.

Meanwhile, Lampang, Lamphun, Phayao, and Phrae provinces are facing the same pollution problem. The dust density PM 10 was above the 120 micrograms per cubic meter, which is also higher than the standard index.

BUT HEY ...let's not stop the daily burning or do anything about that ... !!! Provide masks ... That will solve the problem .... Wild fires....??? Pffff!! ... What rubbish once again .... There was 1 in the past 2 weeks.... 1...!!

That map should be posted everywhere on the internet,it is a disgrace that this is going on here in Thailand so long with very little action from from the authorities.Forgt the terrorist warnings,this smog is much more dangerous and to many more people,

Roll on the rain!

What action would you suggest?

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In Saraphi which is always the worst area for burning especially along the 121 ... no sign of sun other than a slight glow once in a while for about 5 min..... very gloomy and the worst I have seen in 5 years .... very depressing and really enough to make you hate the bloody authorities for not seing this or doing anything about it and being totally oblivious ... and more annoying is to see that the Thais themselves don't even seem to notice it or give a dam_n...! Shit what is wrong with these people !! Now is when they should be protesting and rioting but Duhhhh!!! One of the labor staff doing repairs on my property told me he couldn't sleep for 2 nights because of the heavy burning in his Moo Ban .... even with his mask on ... when I asked him what was he going to do about it all I got was a Blank Look ... !! Duhhh ... what can I do about it ....???!!!

Anecdotal, but today (Feb 17th) seems like the worst yet. No sign of the sun until 8.30 and as I write the scene outside has a sickly dull orange glow that reminds me of countless post apocalypse movies. Your reporter in Nong Hoi.

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Are you kidding ... I am living here for 5 years now and the burning keeps starting earlier and earlier every year ... Hell, it started in October 2011 here in Cm as soon as the flooding was over and there was no more rain .... not as bad as it is now but started then in any case.... previous years started only in Feb / March then became Nov , then became Nov/ Dec and now this year started in Oct and has now escalated till now and in a furious unseen way ... have not seen in 5 years the likes of it for the past 2 weeks ... it is in fact scary....!! I have guests here right now from Canada and they are just hacking away and find it so difficult to breathe to the point where I had to go out and buy Inhalers for them .... It is really bad !!!

First burn season in Chaing Mai and today is the first time I've seen it like this. Is THIS what it's like through the whole burn season, or is today worse than normal?

Also, where are you guys getting the satellite burn images?

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A lot of Thais understood from the "news" that the rainy season would be early this year hence early burning. But this is really beside the point , they shouldn't be burning anyway. It was kind of predictable after the wet year last year though, there's way more to burn.

The government officials are often the worst though and the only time when people think about is when its like this, as soon as the first rain comes it will be forgotten completely again.

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And the reason being ??? Thai Lungs can tolerate more pollution ...???

PM10 - 50ug/m^3 in 24 hour period for 35 times in a year.

This mean we are over the limit every year, no ?

European standards are not the same as Thailand standards as was pointed out in the initial post on this aspect.

Edited by annabel
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There is a basic underlying problem though, in that no one thinks its in their control to stop it. At the very least they should be having some kind of incentive on the village level for a smoke free zone.

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