Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Rant) - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-12-2005, 12:43 PM   #1
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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Rant)

You may have heard by now of the terrible haze that has enveloped the West Coast of Malaysia, where I live. This is due to peat fires in Indonesia, as well as illegal burning of Indonesian forests to clear the land for development.

It is horrible. It is, literally, like breathing in smoke (and more's the pity if you're a non-smoker, asthmatic, etc) 24 hours a day.

At its worst, when the air pollution index shot over 500 (extremely hazardous), even shutting the windows and turning on the air-conditioning didn't work.

The smell of burning wood permeates the air. When you step out of the house, your eyes smart. Vehicles have to have their headlights on during the day and night. It is terrible.

And all because of greed, because of a government's lack of conscience, because of apathy. Indonesia apologizes to us every year. Yes, this happens EVERY YEAR, probably due to the agricultural cycles. Only this time it has become absolutely unbearable. To think that the Malaysian government has accepted the apologies time after time, for the sake of diplomatic relations.

I am so glad that some protest rallies were held yesterday re: the haze. If I had known about it earlier, I would have been there for sure. I am so mad at the Indonesian government and my own. Indonesia, for not policing illegal open burnings, and Malaysia, for keeping the air pollutant index a secret from us for so long because they didn't want to scare tourists away!

Grr.

Wherever you are, be thankful you are breathing in fresh air.


foray
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:47 PM   #2
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I'm going to Malaysia on the 7th Sepember!

Will it have cleared up by then?
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:50 PM   #3
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We are waiting for the winds to change; they predict the end of Sept. NO ONE REALLY KNOWS, I'm afraid, because it also depends on how much rainfall we get. Which is another reason the haze is so bad: it hasn't rained. Malaysia has proposed to help Indonesia with some "cloud-seeding" - inducing rain. I have no idea how that is done.

Edit: To be fair, the haze has not affected all of the West Coast. Places like Penang island, and down south Singapore apparently have blue skies (I've forgotten what that looks like ) and the East Coast, of course, is not affected.

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Old 08-12-2005, 01:00 PM   #4
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ugh, that's terrible...I didn't realize this happened every year.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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Ugh, I'd hate to have to live with that.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:49 PM   #6
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That's awful, foray. I know what it's like to breathe smoke--back in 2000 when we had the Los Alamos fires here it was horrible. A friend of mine had to leave town and live in a hotel until it passed because he became so ill and there were many others like him. Plus we didn't even know what we were breathing--the Native community won't let animals feed on the land near Los Alamos because they believe nuclear waste is buried there, and that's the land that was burning. It lasted for a couple of weeks, though, and isn't an annual occurrance. I hope it clears up soon. I did read something about it today.
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:23 AM   #7
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Breathing in nuclear waste

Seven people have DIED from this current haze. Respiratory problems.

In Malaysia, things get so ridick and crazy that it's constantly a matter of "if you're not laughing you're crying". At least people here haven't lost their sense of humour. For one thing, the haze has been a great conversation starter/rejoinder.

http://hazeinmy.blogspot.com/

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Old 08-15-2005, 06:42 AM   #8
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foray, I remember this yearly haze from my time in Indonesia. But that was almost 10 years ago! I didn't know it was still an issue. When I was going to school in Western Kalimantan (Borneo), that haze was so thick that you couldn't see across the campus. It made your eyes sting. Planes couldn't land. There was a lack of water too which made washing off that black sooty grime difficult.

From what I remember, it is normally the combination of no rain and largescale burning of agricultural lands. I also remember hearing that many illiterate farmers actually started burning their fields early (to prepare for planting) because they thought that the smoke would contribute to clouds which would bring on the much-needed rains quicker.

Anyways, foray. I hope that Malaysia and Indonesia can work out a lasting solution for this ongoing problem. I can also empathize because in the city where I am now living, during dry season we have horrible air quality. Something about how the city is located between the river and the hills, the air doesn't circulate and all the smoke from wood fires as well as the exhaust from ancient autos combined with fine silty dust that blows in from the Sahara...all mix to make a lethal concoction. I developed a chest infection and asthma last year, and I've NEVER had respiratory problems before.
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Old 08-16-2005, 09:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray


Seven people have DIED from this current haze. Respiratory problems.

foray
Isn't that grounds to consider them murdered by Indonesian citizens while their government does nothing?

If I was in the Malaysian government, I wouldn't stand for it. Even military action could be justifiable.
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Old 08-16-2005, 09:53 AM   #10
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Guys, hate to say it, but it isn't likely there'll be a solution anytime soon. Do you people know that your forests are being destroyed not to make way for development, but to provide China and Japan with raw material? Japan outlawed most of its commerical logging decades ago, after experiencing flooding and other environmental problems. She began a replanting campaing and today, 70% of the country is forested and protected by law. As regards China..THERE is the real problems. After experiencing simialr problems this past decade, China outlawed much of its commercial logging. Today, the forests of Indonesia, Thailand and esp Malaysia are being stripped to fuel the Chinese economic jaugurnaut. Esp Malaysia....something like 80% of Malaysia's forests are gone since 1990. Hate to say it, but your governments excuse and support this crime becuase they are strapped for cash....
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:17 AM   #11
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My government does not have a conscience.
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:07 AM   #12
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By the way, Teta040, this is not about illegal logging. They raze the land because it is the fastest way to burn off tall grass and brush and make way for palm oil plantations. It is a cheaper alternative to employing heavy machinery.

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Old 08-22-2005, 05:10 PM   #13
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I hate smoke. All forms of it. Eek.
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Old 08-22-2005, 05:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I hate smoke. All forms of it. Eek.
Me too!
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