Sunday, January 25, 2009










Reference: Global warming hitting all of Antarctica, Bangkok Post, January 23, 2009

It is claimed that temperature data not from 1957 to 2008 show that the whole of Antarctica including Western Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Eastern Antarctica, is warming due to greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels (Global warming hitting all of Antarctica, Bangkok Post, January 23, 2009). Temperature data from weather stations in Antarctica are available online from the British Antarctic Survey website (http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/gjma/). These data cover the entire time frame of interest from 1957 to 2008. The Antarctic Peninsula stations (eg. Faraday and Esperanza) do indeed show a warming trend but the eastern and central weather stations (eg. Amundsen-Scott, Halley, Mirny, and Dumont) show either no temperature trend at all or a slight cooling trend. These data are inconsistent with the claim that Eastern Antarctica, the bulk of the continent, is warming. We should also consider that known volcanic activity underneath the ice in Western Antarctica (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008) at the base of the Peninsula is absent in the global warming climate model so that whatever warming or melting the volcanoes may cause is attributed to greenhouse gases. The article also refers to the ozone hole over Antarctica and we note in that regard that the size of the ozone hole turns out to be not an effect of human activity but part of a natural cyclical phenomenon caused by shifting wind patterns in the upper atmosphere. It is likely that the loss of the ozone scare is what has driven the same scientists who once made a living by scaring us with ozone to shift their attention to carbon dioxide.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Thursday, January 22, 2009


















Reference: Thai firms not ready for climate change, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009

It is reported that "Southeast Asia is facing problems from rising sea levels that bring more frequent flooding in coastal zones and river basins" (Thai firms not ready for climate change, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009). It is noteworthy that none of these flooding events has been reported in the media. It should also be noted that there are several sea level measuring stations in the area that are monitorned by the University of Hawaii sea level center and these data are freely available online. I have examined these data in a time series from 1996 to 2008 and i have not found any trend in the data. Interested parties may evaluate the data for themselves. They may be found at http://uhslc.soest.hawaii.edu/.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand










Reference: Take a deep breath, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009

On the eve of the Chinese year of the Ox, Feng Shui masters have predicted that the coming year will be calm, feminine, and peaceful and that the stock market will stay put for a while but will rise in the long run (Take a deep breath, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009). All this is based on the absurd idea that the universe is made up of five elements, namely, fire, earth, water, wood, and metal and that the Chinese lunar year, though a flawed timekeeping device, is an meaningful period for fortune telling.

On January 19, 2008, Feng Shui masters had predicted a global shortage of potable water leading to a sudden rise in the price of bottled water. It didn't happen. At the same time the masters failed to get any inkling of the huge rise and fall in the price of oil, a global economic collapse of historic proportions, or of the dramatic changes in U.S. politics. We also note that the year of the Rat was supposed to give us abnormally high frequencies of earthquakes, extreme weather events, and "tall building disasters" and a huge and unusual discovery of diamond deposits. All of these predictions turned out to be wrong. What keeps these masters in business is that we tend to forget their miscues particularly those of omission, and remember only their rare freak hits.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand










Reference: Islamic party calls for ban on sexy pop star Rihanna, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009

Rihanna's crime is that her dress shows some skin on her upper torso mostly arms and shoulders, and yet, like Beyonce, Stefani, and Lavigne before her, the Malaysian Islamic authorities wish to stop her scheduled performance in KL in order to protect the morals of Malaysian Muslims (Islamic party calls for ban on sexy pop star Rihanna, Bangkok Post, January 22, 2009). Sheltering Muslims from enterntainers like Rihanna is only a short term solution and one that will have to be applied time and again for ever until they come up with a structural solution to the underlying problem. That problem lies not with the way performers dress but with the quality of faith and moral values inculcated in the Muslims of Malaysia. Adult Christians, Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus are able to watch these shows and still carry their faith and morals in their heart. Adult Malaysian Muslims should endeavour to build the same strength of faith in their belief system so that they are not so easily beguiled. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Wednesday, January 21, 2009









Reference: Rudd's APC proposal does not belittle Asean, Postbag, January 21, 2009

It may be true that it is not the intent of the Asia Pacific Community proposal to belittle Asean (Rudd's APC proposal does not belittle Asean, Postbag, January 21, 2009), but there is no doubt that should a powerful new Asian community of rich nations arise that sidelines Asean it will make Asean even less relevant than it is today. The APC, does pose a threat to Asean even if it is unintentional. Australia has apparently overlooked its closest Asian neighbors when it chose to identify more closely with Asia; possibly because the inclusion of Burma makes Asean too toxic to handle.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Tuesday, January 20, 2009








Reference: Note from the editor, September 1, 2008

In September 2008 the Bangkok Post raised its price citing rising newspirnt costs (Note from the editor, September 1, 2008). Now that newsprint prices are falling precipitously, should we expect a corresponding reduction in the price of the Post? 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand


Monday, January 19, 2009


















Reference: Coastline lost to rising seas, Bangkok Post, January 19, 2009

It is reported that an increase in coastal erosion observed this year in Phuket, Thailand, is due to rising sea levels caused by man made global warming (Coastline lost to rising seas, Bangkok Post, January 19, 2009). Phuket is on the Andaman side of the isthmus of Thailand. Nearby is the Koh Tapao sea level measuring station monitored by the University of Hawaii sea level database. The time series of these data from 1996 to 2008 do not show any trend. The oft repeated claim that the sea level is rising along Thailand's coastlines is not supported by the data. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Saturday, January 17, 2009























Reference: More rain speeding up glacier melt, Bangkok Post, January 17, 2009

The continued attempt by global warming alarmists to blame carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels for the accelerated flow of certain West Antarctic glaciers (More rain speeding up glacier melt, Bangkok Post, January 17, 2009) does not take into account the effect of active volcanoes under the ice (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008). Localized events may not be attributed to allegedly global phenomena.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand









Reference: Impressions of a Swiss nuclear power plant, Bangkok Post, January 17, 2009

While nuclear power may well have a place in Thailand's energy portfolio, the claim by the Ministry of Energy that the safety of nuclear power generation is assured because the Swiss have them and that if it is good enough for the educated and wealthy Swiss it is certainly good enough for Thais (Impressions of a Swiss nuclear power plant, Bangkok Post, January 17, 2009) is an ad hominem argument and an insult to the Thai people who are certainly intelligent and educated enough to evaluate the safety and utility of nuclear energy by themselves in the context of their own unique energy supply, demand, policy, and long term goals.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Wednesday, January 14, 2009










Reference: "2009 will be one of the five warmest years on record"

Their predictions for 2007 and 2008 having fared badly, the IPCC has now turned its attention to forecasts for 2009 to get some breathing room for new research funding at the Copenhagen meeting. For the record the mean surface temperature of the earth in 2008 was 14.54C, the lowest annual mean since the year 2000. The drop in temperature from 2007 to 2008 was 0.22 Centigrade degrees, a very significant difference, but it has been dismissed the global warmists probably because the change did not occur in the direction in which they needed it to happen. These prople are not sincere and unbiased scientists but people with an agenda and a bias for which they seek legitimacy and funding by scaring us and that is why the scare factor is more important than science in their global warming program.

Ch-am Jamal
Thailand

Tuesday, January 13, 2009








Reference: Greenland meltoff not so fast, Bangkok Post, January 13, 2009

Over the last two or three years we have been told over and over again that man made global warming was causing Greenland's glaciers to melt at an alarming rate and that by the year 2100 all the ice there will have melted causing a calamitous rise in the sea level that will inundate Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bangkok, New Orleans, and atolls in the Pacific (Worrisome cracks in ice, Bangkok Post, October 1, 2008). Now it appears that the extralpolation of a couple of years of data as a trend that will continue for a hundred years was scientific nonsense (Greenland meltoff not so fast, Bangkok Post, January 13, 2009) and that the accelerated glacier calving that had so alarmed the global warming people is just a localized and temporary phenomenon that cannot persist. That raises a troubling question. Are the global warming people bad scientists trying to do good or good scientists trying to do bad?

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Saturday, January 10, 2009









Reference: German geneticists concemn Nazi-era medical abuses, Bangkok Post, July 16, 2008

In the 1930s, scientists armed with the theory of evolution, set out to micromanage nature and thereby  to produce a superior race of humans by making sure that those with undesirable traits do not reproduce. Hindsight has allowed us to see the evils of eugenics (German geneticists concemn Nazi-era medical abuses, Bangkok Post, July 16, 2008) but we have still to learn that we are not the stewards of nature and that scientists are not always right. The hysterical "scientific" movement against carbon dioxide emissions gains legitimacy and support because we have forgotten that scientists can go berserk and cause more harm than good. History will judge the economic and environmental harm caused by the global warming movement as harshly as we now judge eugenics as its ill effects become increasingly apparent (Crime against humanity, Bangkok Post, July 12, 2008; Orangutans may be first great apes to die out, Bangkok Post, April 6, 2008). 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand


Friday, January 09, 2009








Reference: Few in Congress speak up for Palestinians, Bangkok Post, January 10, 2009

It is cruel irony for the US to accuse the Palestinians of militancy (Few in Congress speak up for Palestinians, Bangkok Post, January 10, 2009) when it is an impenetrable stone wall in their own Mideast policy that leaves Palestinians with militant groups as their only recourse. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Wednesday, January 07, 2009










Reference: Climate change forces skiers uphill, Bangkok Post, January 7, 2009

An article on climate change claims that 25 to 50 years from now global warming will have a measurable impact on ski slopes by melting snow at lower altitudes and forcing skiers to move uphill (Climate change forces skiers uphill, Bangkok Post, January 7, 2009). The article demonstrates a subtle shift in the tactics being employed by global warming scaremongers. First they have moved away from the idea that it is already happening and retreated to forecasts with a sufficiently long time horizon so that they cannot be proven wrong in their lifetime. Secondly, while we weren't looking, they changed their language from "global warming" to "climate change" as if to hedge their bet just in case things go the other way.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand









Reference: Condemned to single-sex life by climate change, Bangkok Post, January 7, 2009

The article on the tuatara (Condemned to single-sex life by climate change, Bangkok Post, January 7, 2009) is one of a slew of articles that subscribe to the thesis that climate change threatens biodiversity because it will reduce the number of species by causing some of them to become extinct. Yet, if one looks at the geological history of the planet, one fnds that in every prior episode of climate change, there has been, not a reduction, but a veritable explosion in the number of species. In fact, these explosions have forced biologists to revise the theory of evolution to include the idea that most of our biodiversity did not happen at random but at times of environmental stress that forced life to adapt to change.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Saturday, January 03, 2009








Reference: City governor candidates to improve night club safety, Bangkok Post, January 4, 2009

Other than the insanity of indoor fireworks, the major contributng factors in the Santika pub tragedy on New Year's Day incldued (1) an overcrowded indoor public gathering; and absent or inadequate (2) smoke alarm and sprinkler systems (3) emergency procedures (4) emergency exits and (5) access for emergency vehicles. It is also reported that (6) there was only one way out of the building (The big issue: only one way out, Bangkok Post, January 4, 2009). The fact that this particular public gathering happened to be in a pub is not one of the contributing factors that led to the tragedy and yet the response of the authorities has focussed completely on night clubs as if the the tragedy would not have occurred had function of the Santika venue been something else (City governor candidates to improve night club safety, Bangkok Post, January 4, 2009). All public places where these six factors could occur should be examined and audited for safety, not just night clubs. We spent our New Year's Eve in a wat with a thousand other devotees in a facility that was designed for no more than five or six hundred. There was only one way out. There were no emergency exits nor any emergency procedures or drills. There were no smoke alarms and no sprinkler systems. There was inadequate access for emergency vehicles as the wat was at the dead end of a narrow soi with hundreds of cars and food vendors parked willy nilly and enormous crowds shoulder to shoulder an chest to back moving about trying to queue up for food. Had there been any emergency situation at all it would have been a much bigger tragedy than the Santika event. To focus on night clubs as the safety issue would be a tragic mistake. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Thursday, January 01, 2009








Reference: Gaza strikes remind foes Israel has teeth, Bangkok Post, January 2, 2009

An oped piece from the New York Times (Gaza strikes remind foes Israel has teeth, Bangkok Post, January 2, 2009) represents Israel's failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006 as an inconclusive stalemate that alowed the Hizbollah to win "a great deal of credit among Arabs". In fact it won more than that. It won the war and humiliated the Israeli military whose fabled intelligence services grossly understimated the number and effectiveness of Hizbollah's rocket and anti-tank aresenal and their ability to engage in a protracted guerilla war in the face of overwheming force. If that were not so it would not be necessary now for the Labour Party, ahead of the upcoming elections in February of 2009, to put on a shock and awe display in the Gaza as a way of re-establishing Israeli military might.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand










Why so many older Thais celebrate their birthday on January 1

In the old days in Thailand, before they issued certificates of live birth at birth, the date of birth was first recorded when the child went to school or required a government document of some kind. At that point the parents were asked to declare a date of birth and, as was usual, if the parents could not remember the exact date, they were asked to simply declare the birth year and the birth date was then recorded as January 1 of that year. That is why so many older Thais celebrate their birthday on New Year's Day. Only now you know-ho the wrrest of the story.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand