To the Editor – Mailbag
NASA’s Terra satellite maps of “Carbon monoxide over
Southeast Asia” show most of northern and northeast Thailand in the
highest regional concentrations of 180 to 220 ppbv of carbon monoxide from
biomass burning (Refer http:ear thobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages),
for the period of January 20-30, 2005. The high concentrations were coming
mainly from forest fires. As we all know from recent group suicides in
Japan, carbon monoxide kills.
It seems the present programmes on the issue of air
pollution in Chiang Mai (as reported in Chiangmai Mail 12/2/2005) are
failing to raise awareness of the regional pollution issue, which of course
adds to the Chiang Mai specific urban pollution problems. The satellite data
show that we are slowly poisoning ourselves! Anyone who has descended into
Chiang Mai airport at this time of the year has surely noticed the clear air
above 3,000 meters altitude and the grey muck (the air we breathe!) that the
plane descends into on landing. I advise overseas visitors to enjoy Chiang
Mai – but breathe as little air as possible while here.
Surely our teachers are failing! The older generation is
not going to change their air polluting habits easily - until they are
gasping their last breath from carbon monoxide poisoning and dust particle
inhalation. Start with the school kids who will breathe the air for another
50 years! Teachers today, you have such wonderful teaching tools available
on the internet. Aren’t you ashamed that you are failing to get the air
pollution message across?