The Role of Siam Paragon in Global Warming

Thailand has never been very keen on environmental issues, but this is slowly starting to change. There is a lot of PR going on now in Bangkok with various "green" campaigns to fight global warming. I am glad to see it, as Thailand has a lot of beautiful natural resources that are being abused by the rampant greed of the tourism industry. And Bangkok itself is certainly not pollution-free. Any progress in these areas are welcomed by me.

But one of the things that always sticks out in my mind is when some famous Thai person (sports figure or pop star or government official) says something like, "Global Warming is real! Everyone can tell that it is a lot hotter in Thailand now than it was when we were kids!"

I don't doubt that it feels hotter now than it did before. But is it because of Global Warming? I don't think so. According to Chongkolnee Yusabye, director of the Meteorological Development Bureau, the average summer temperatures in Tak province had risen from 43.7 degrees Celsius in 1983 to 44 Celsius last April (2006). So, say you were a 10-year old kid in Tak in 1983, you would have been 33 in 2006. Do you really think that you would have noticed a 0.3 temperature rise over those 23 years? Probably not.

But, I don't mean to say that people are lying when they say it seems hotter these days. I bet they do feel hotter. Why is that? I place the blame squarely on Siam Paragon. And the SkyTrain. And the fact that you have to wear a sweater anytime you go to a movie in Thailand because the air conditioning is guaranteed to be set to "freeze".

When some many homes now have AC in the bedrooms (as opposed to the case in Tak in 1983, I would guess), and when most office buildings and shopping centers and transportation are air conditioned, it really does make it that much hotter when you finally do step outside.

So is it getting noticeably warmer in Thailand due to Global Warming? I don't think so.

Are we getting noticeably more pampered and wimpy? There's no doubt!

Note: The figures from K. Chongkolnee was from the Nation newspaper's website at

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on March 27, 2008 11:12 AM.

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