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Thailand not so bad

So many letters to PostBag are negative, complaining about the government, military coups, the bureaucracy, the judicial system, inequality, immigration regulations, Section 112, incompetent Covid management, and much more.

And I am as guilty as anyone else in this regard.

But today, as I do every day at about 6am, I took my two dogs and walked along Mae Ram Phueng Beach in Rayong. My young pup bounded down the beach and crashed into the sea, before she was out of her depth and swam back to shore. The older dog plodded along the sand, happy to be out for her morning exercise.

And then just a few second before sunrise, the entire sky turned into a kaleidoscope of pink, orange, grey and hints of red. It only lasted a few minutes until the sun poked its head above the horizon and turned the sky into its normal shades of blue, with white and grey clouds.

Then I realised that every day dawn dons a different dress. Sometimes black and brooding, with just a steak of yellow sunlight showing through the ominous clouds; at other times wearing a yellow top, with a hint of amber at the hem; or an inversion, with grey clouds above a tangerine horizon reflected on the sea below.

And I thought to myself: "What the hell? For all its faults, where else would I want to live?"

DAVID BROWN


Nuclear no answer

Re: "Nuclear power the answer," (PostBag, Nov 14).

"Climate Realist" suggests that power needs to come from low or zero carbon sources, and this can come from massive investment in nuclear power. Too many questions here, firstly, I doubt that even the extracted minerals mined and other difficult sourced materials for a high-tech massive reactor is anywhere near low carbon.

Then there is fuel, uranium I believe, which is mined and regularly transported across vast land and sea areas. More "low carbon" emissions here?

Even if they were clean emissions without waste disposal problems and decommissioning problems the time taken to build new reactors would make it obsolete before it was finished. It would be outwitted by cheaper and more efficient renewable energy even well before 2030.

WATSON


Bill flop inevitable

Re: "People's charter's fail first reading," (BP, Nov 18).

If Wednesday's vote -- whether to accept the bill as proposed by the civic groups, in its first reading -- was conducted without the Senate taking part, this "people's charter" amendment bill would have failed to make it through parliament anyway.

And since the bill required the support of at least one-third of the Senate, or 83 votes -- only three out of the 250 senators or so gave the nod to it.

Add to that the inappropriate language and the egotistical manner in which the bill was presented by its three inexperienced presenters -- it's easy to see why the proposed bill flopped.

Lastly, to prevent coups from happening in our country, we need to study why they happened in the past. Nothing comes from nothing.

VINT CHAVALA


Stop climate panic

Re: "Climate change is a health crisis," (Opinion, Nov 5).

With all due respect, I suggest former prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, stick to writing about topics she understands, perhaps to situations closer to home.

Ms Gillard launches her essay on the health challenges of climate change by claiming that the 2020 monsoon floods in Bangladesh that spread over a quarter of the country's land mass are evidence that climate change is already harming human health.

What Ms Gillard overlooks is the fact that, on average, nearly a fifth of Bangladesh is flooded every year as part of the natural annual processes that have taken place for millennia, and that in many years the natural flooding covers more than one-third of the country. So, flooding of one-fourth of Bangladesh in any given year is rather weak evidence of climate change.

Ms Gillard stresses the imperative for people to adapt to climate change, without acknowledging that, over centuries, Bangladeshis have learned perfectly well how to live with the annual monsoon floods -- which are, in fact, vital for enriching the country's fertile farmland with regular silt deposits.

I fully support Ms Gillard's call for the world to do more to limit future climate change and build resilience for dealing with the inevitable negative impacts that are to come. But, scientists and politicians should be honest about the real threats and not erroneously attribute events that have been naturally occurring for thousands of years to climate change.

The real threats of climate change are scary enough; we don't need to mislead people in our quest to encourage action.

SAMANEA SAMAN


Jabs will get better

Re: "What's going on?," (PostBag, Nov 17).

I agreed with the letter writer's constructive criticism which cited Ray Ban's frequently intolerant comments which he has routinely directed at a number of letter writers who have questioned possible shortcomings in our current first-generation vaccines against the coronavirus.

Both Covid-19 as an illness, and the treatments which are being developed for this illness, are all relatively new to the entire world, so it is not only natural that people have questions, but it is also all but to be expected that some unforeseen vaccine problems will probably have to be worked out.

While I am supportive of developing newer and better Covid vaccines, I personally view Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen, Sputnik 5, Sinovac and Sinopharm as something like a "Model T" of Covid-19 vaccines which can do amazing things and change your life; but also like Ford's Model T, they also have major shortcomings which will probably only be refined as development continues through the years.

Alas, anytime three particular Bangkok Post letter writers dare to publish any of these first-generation vaccine problems (which I, myself even endured personally), Ray Ban seems to practically outright deny that these new vaccines could have any unexpected bugs.

It is rather like a salesman trying to tell me that all the problems I heard about the Yugos he is selling actually was "fake news".

JASON A JELLISON


Use stats properly

Re: "Vaccine worse than disease?," (PostBag, Nov 7).

Michael Setter's letter is incredibly misleading. He is right that most of the people who died from Covid in September in the UK were vaccinated, but this is a case of choosing one's information. When a population is mostly vaccinated then clearly there will more deaths among the vaccinated people than the unvaccinated.

A more accurate assessment of the value of vaccines is to look at the deaths between January and July this year. Nearly 58,000 deaths and all but 600 were from unvaccinated people. Of the 600 vaccinated the majority had only one vaccine.

Vaccines do not entirely prevent people catching Covid but they very clearly reduce the chance of dying from Covid.

The information that Mr Setter used was probably from Alex Berenson's video who I believe is an anti-vaxxer and will slant his information to suit his beliefs.

Statistics are great but only if you interpret them correctly.

TIM WILSON


Rethink line names

Re: "Plans for new 'Grey Line' gather steam," (BP, Nov 13).

I want to caution the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) about the implications of its practice of colour-coding the names it gives its transportation lines.

When I read the reference to the Grey Line, I immediately assumed that the line would be used exclusively by grey-haired people -- that is, by the elderly.

If this logic were followed, the Red Line would be reserved for communists, the Orange Line for monks, the Green Line for environmentalists, the Yellow Line for East Asians, and the Brown Line for passengers of tawny hue.

You will notice that there never has been, and never will be, a Black Line, because the colour black is regarded as opprobrious in the Land of Smiles.

The whole system of naming transportation lines needs to be rethought. I propose that the names should glorify icons of Thai culture. So we would have the Rama I Line, the King Narai Line, the Sunthorn Phu Line, the Money Is God Line, etc.

To preclude conflict, none of the lines should be named after anybody still living. So the naming of the Prayut, Prawit, and Anutin lines should be postponed until the current bearers of those names are safely dead.

I commend this idea to the phuyai at the BMA who are in charge of such things. But, like most of my ideas, I have no doubt that uncomprehending elites will sneeringly consign this one to the garbage bin.

YE OLDE PEDANT


The Airbnb scam

Short-term Airbnb rentals in Thailand for under 30 days are illegal.

Those of us living in riverside apartments are now bearing the brunt of these short-term tourists who use the facilities we pay for, trash public areas, hog the pool and gym and have questionable health status.

Condos simply ignore the rules and it is time to crack down again.

These short-term rentals are also taking business away from long-suffering hotels.

Apartment managers are in on the scam and know which owners rent and who Airbnb stayers are.

The government should make it mandatory to display signs stating Airbnb is illegal in condos and on websites.

FRUSTATED CONDO OWNERS RIVERSIDE


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