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A recovering China faces worst floods in decades

Jack Burton

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A recovering China faces worst floods in decades | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: CNN
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As China is still reeling from economic impacts of Covid-19, a new struggle has ensued as the nation is now seeing the worst flooding in decades which have destroyed the homes and livelihoods of millions. The devastating floods have impacted 38 million people.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Management, some 2.24 million people have been displaced, with 141 people dead or missing. Authorities have raised the country’s flood alert to the second-highest level in a 4 tier emergency response system. Chinese President Xi Jinping describes the flood control situation as “very grim”. Some of the worst affected areas include the regions that were hardest hit by the coronavirus, just months after they emerged from strict lockdown measures.

Covid-19 has dealt a historic blow to the country’s economy. GDP shrank 6.8% in the first quarter, the first contraction since 1976. In May the country promised 3.6 trillion yuan (around 16 billion baht) in tax cuts, infrastructure projects, and other stimulus measures, as part of an effort to create 9 million jobs and blunt the fallout of the pandemic. The flooding is likely to complicate that effort.

While summer flooding is common in China due to the seasonal rains, this year is especially bad. Some places, water levels have reached their highest since 1998, when massive floods killed more than 3,000 people. 443 rivers have been flooded nationwide, 33 of them rising to the highest levels ever recorded, according to the Ministry of Water Resources. The majority are in the vast Yangtze River basin, which flows west to east through the densely populated central provinces.

“Compared with before, this year’s rainfall was more intense and repeatedly poured down on the same region, which brought significant pressure on flood control.”

In the central Hubei province, which accounted for more than 80% of all of China’s coronavirus cases, historic levels of rainfall are causing widespread floods and landslides. More than 9 million have been affected in the province of 60 million, causing 11.12 billion yuan (50.4 billion baht) in economic losses.

A recovering China faces worst floods in decades | News by The ThaigerA recovering China faces worst floods in decades | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: CNN

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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Thailand

Thailand Post to upcycle parcel boxes into furniture for Border Patrol Police School

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand Post to upcycle parcel boxes into furniture for Border Patrol Police School | The Thaiger
PHOTO: beartai

The Thailand Post is going to turn its parcel cardboard boxes and paper envelopes into tables and chairs for students at the Border Patrol Police School. The postal service says they’ve already received 10,000 kilograms of used boxes and envelopes for the upcycling project.

People can send used parcel boxes and envelopes back to Thailand Post to be collected for the furniture project. President of the postal service Korkij Danchaivichit says discounts and promotions are offered through the 9.9 online shopping campaign which promotes the reuse of the packages. He says some local online marketers have already hopped on board.

“It is a win-win situation for all… First of all, suppliers use compostable paper parcels that are eco-friendly; also 9.9 online shopping enhances the economy, and finally, we (Post Office) get to collect the reusable paper parcels and turn them into furniture to supply schools.”

The campaign ends on October 31. Korkij says he’d like to invite more people, online retailers and businesses to send back their used parcel boxes and envelopes.

SOURCES:Xinhua| Nation Thailand

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Environment

Alcohol banned at national parks after complaints of trash and drunk tourists

Caitlin Ashworth

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Alcohol banned at national parks after complaints of trash and drunk tourists | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Alcohol is now banned at national parks after tourists allegedly got drunk at a waterfall and others left a load of trash by their campsite. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has updated other park rules to make sure parks are kept clean and the wildlife isn’t disturbed.

Just last week, trash left at a campsite at Khao Yai National Park was boxed up in a parcel and sent back to the campers. Thailand’s Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa says he will blacklist certain tourists from national parks if they litter or cause damage to protected areas.

“We kindly ask every tourist to put garbage in the provided areas because the garbage that you left may kill wild animals that come down around the area looking for food. In this case, we purposefully collected all your rubbish in a box and sent them to your home as a souvenir as a lesson to not litter anywhere ever again.”

Other tourists were allegedly drunk and making a lot of noise at the Namtok Samlan National Park, Varawut says. He says both groups of tourists face charges for their actions.

Here are some of the revised rules…

  • Alcohol is banned at national parks for the time being
  • Loud noise is not allowed after 9pm and noise must be stopped at 10pm
  • When renting a tent, tourists must provide identification, address and phone number

“Those who break the rules will be asked to leave and may face legal actions as well as being banned from other national parks. Camping equipment can also be confiscated.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Posted by TOP Varawut – ท็อป วราวุธ ศิลปอาชา on Friday, September 18, 2020

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World

Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50%

Caitlin Ashworth

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Richest 1% responsible for twice the amount of carbon emissions than the poorest 50% | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Alexander Popov

The richest people in the world, who make up just 1% of the population, are responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. A study shows that the “1 percenters” make up twice as much carbon pollution than the poorest half of the world. Some say the poor are the least responsible for climate change, but have to deal with most of the negative consequences.

In a 25 year study led by Oxfam, researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute found that wealthy countries were responsible for using up nearly a third of the Earth’s carbon budget. The study was conducted from 1990 to 2015, when annual emissions grew by 60%.

Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organisations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty, founded in 1942 and led by Oxfam International. It is a major nonprofit group with an extensive collection of operations.

63 million people made up the richest 1% of the world. Since 1990, they have been responsible for 9% of the ‘carbon budget’. The carbon budget is the maximum amount of greenhouse gases that can go into the air before temperature rises to catastrophic levels. 3.1 billion people make up the poorest half of the world’s population. The carbon emissions growth rate of the rich 1% was 3 times more than the poorest half of the world.

There’s not just an economic inequality between the rich and the poor, according to the head of policy, advocacy and research, Tim Gore. He told AFP the research shows the world’s “carbon inequality.”

“It’s not just that extreme economic inequality is divisive in our societies, it’s not just that it slows the rate of poverty reduction …But there is also a third cost which is that it depletes the carbon budget solely for the purpose of the already affluent growing their consumption … And that of course has the worse impacts on the poorest and least responsible.”

Carbon emissions have decreased since the pandemic. But just a few months doesn’t take away the damage that has been done for years. Temperatures are still on track to rise several degrees this century. Although the 2015 Paris climate deal was set to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, emissions have continued to increase.

“It’s clear that the carbon intensive and highly unequal model of economic growth over the last 20-30 years has not benefited the poorest half of humanity… It’s a false dichotomy to suggest that we have to choose between economic growth and fixing the climate crisis.”

Some say the global economy needs to prioritise “green growth.” If not, the decrease in pollution during the pandemic will have a very small and insignificant overall impact on climate change. Some say carbon emissions affect the poorest nations the most who don’t have enough resources to fight natural disasters possibly brought on by the rising temperatures, like wildfires and droughts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | AFP

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