Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lead poisoning haunts Chinese smelter communities

FENGXIAN, China (Reuters) - Chinese provinces have begun shutting lead smelters for environmental checks, after hundreds of children tested for high levels of lead in two separate cases this month.

At least three lead smelters in Henan province and two in Shaanxi province, with a combined capacity of about 6 percent of China's annual production, were ordered to temporarily halt operations in recent days, officials said.

The closures came after parents protested at a lead and zinc smelter operated by Dongling Group in Changqing, Shaanxi Province, and at a manganese smelter in Hunan this month.
China's pollution and lax product safety standards have long been a source of tension and unrest, particularly when residents of pollution hotspots -- dubbed "cancer villages" because of high disease rates -- feel they are being ignored.

Lead poisoning is endemic among villages near Chinese smelters, interviews conducted this weekend showed.

In Shaanxi's Fengxian, where smoke billows from a Dongling Group zinc smelter, two wan and listless toddlers tested with high levels of lead in their blood earlier this year. Villagers requested but did not get testing for 30 other children.
"These problems are really common actually. It's just that the Dongling case in Changqing got some attention," said a villager surnamed Tu. Older villagers developed circulatory problems and some workers at the plant got too sick to work.
"This environmental pollution is not unique to Fengxian. It's all over."
Lead poisoning due to air and water pollution from poorly regulated smelters and mines haunts the valleys of the ore-rich Qinling range, in a poor and remote part of China.
The problem dogs heavy metals bases in Hunan, Henan, Yunnan and Guangdong provinces. Closing polluting plants has pushed the industry to poorer areas where any investment is welcome.

The shift to poorer regions echoes the migration of the lead smelting industry to China over the last decade, as stricter environmental laws forced smelters in richer countries to close.
China's output of refined lead rose nearly 20 percent in 2008 to 3.26 million tonnes. Output feeds the Chinese battery industry, the world's largest, which then exports worldwide.
The casualties of China's heavy metals industry only get attention when officials respond to cases too large to ignore.
In late 2005, two of China's largest zinc smelters shut temporarily after cadmium contaminated the Pearl River Delta and the Xiang River, sources of drinking water for millions in Hunan and Guangdong Provinces. Cadmium hurts kidney and lung function.
Elevated cadmium levels also showed up in tests of children near the Dongling Group's lead and zinc smelter in Changqing.
Children are most vulnerable to lead poisoning because they are still developing, but smelter workers also fall sick because they absorb it through their skin. Ingestion of large amounts of lead may result in anaemia, muscle weakness and brain damage.
"My dad couldn't stand it any more, so he quit working. It got so he could only work 20 days at a time, then he would have to stop," said a young woman surnamed Zhang.
"Dad's tummy would always hurt. When it's bad, he doesn't want to eat and has no energy."
Zhang's husband now works at a different smelter after her family's employer, Shaanxi Nonferrous Metals Holding, halted work at its 50,000 tonne Wenjiangsi lead smelter earlier this month.
Workers at the Wenjiangsi plant said the plant's internal clinic regularly treats workers who get to the point that they cannot work. They resume work when they feel better.
"It's not a problem if you drink a lot of alcohol," said a young man in a blue work uniform.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Persiapan Menjejakan Kaki ke Universiti Taqwa

Setiap kali Ramadhan menjelma, ramai dari kita yang berazam untuk melakukan ibadah dengan tekun. Sudahkah anda mempersiapkan jadual diri dan keluarga untuk mengharungi bulan ini dengan penuh manfaat ?

Untuk Ramdhan kali ini elok rasanya kita merancang masa sebaik mungkin dengan pengisian program yang bermanfaat. Bulan Ramadhan adalah kurniaan Allah SWT yang tidak ternilai bagi kita. Jadual menghadapi hari – hari dalam bulan ini perlu disediakan.

Perancangan Ramadhan kali ini ;-

Masa untuk bertadarus.
Masa untuk bertarawikh.
Masa untuk bersahur.
masa untuk berbuka.
masa untuk menulis.

Bagi mereka yang berkeluarga besar dan mempunyai anak yang ramai sudah pasti akan ada pelbagai karenah anak – anak yang timbul. Semuanya sebagai cabaran buat kita. Yang penting kita bijak mengurus masa dan mendidik nafsu. Bulan Ramdahan diumpamakan sebagai bulan tarbiyah, pendidikan dan universiti taqwa.

Mempersiapkan diri untuk memasuki universiti taqwa ini perlu ada peancangan yang rapi. Masa sebulan tidak akan kita sedari sekiranya tidak ada perancangan yang baik dari kita. Dalam perspektif alam sekitar lestari, inilah masanya untuk mentarbiyah dan mendidik diri mengamalkan gaya hidup kesederhanaan serta mengurangkan penjanaan sampah.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Green Power

THOMAS L. Friedman wants to save the world. The Pulitzer prize-winning journalist believes that only the United States can and should be the one to lead the world out of the current mess it’s in: climate change (“hot”), the pressures of globalisation (“flat”), and overpopulation (“crowded”), all of which cause their own sets of problems.

It’s an arrogant assumption, especially since the US is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world (China is now No. 1 on this hot list).

The American Government has also been known to hamper the efforts of environmental organisations to reduce gas emissions – like when it refused to ratify the Kyoto Treaty in 2001.
Friedman’s insistence that the US be the nation to lead the charge will cause some readers to roll their eyes, but his argument is persuasive even if it is off-putting. He reasons that since people around the world are trying to emulate the American way of life (a life built on the foundation of oil energy), naturally the United States can inspire these American “carbon copies” to a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.

The act of predicting human behaviour is dicey at best, and Friedman doesn’t offer many convincing reasons why and how the world will follow a more energy-prudent US. After all, Friedman does state that overhauling a country’s energy system could take trillions of dollars. Not all nations have that kind or money.

One wonders why Friedman doesn’t present other options, such as cooperating with countries like Japan, which have been far more successful in building a sustainable lifestyle. Or, why can’t a bloc of countries beside the US lead the way instead?

A possible answer is that Friedman’s environmentalism seems to be wrapped in the red, white and blue of American patriotism, and the book is written from that point of view. This makes it a chore to get through Part II of the book, How We Got Here, where he explains the world’s various conundrums. Not only is it preachy at times, but non-American readers may find it difficult to relate to this section.

But the odd thing with Friedman is, although you may disagree with his point of view, you’ll read on because he does have some good ideas and interesting points to convey. His wealth of stories and anecdotes, from elk-hunting Montana hunters to olive farmers in Cairo, makes a fascinating addendum to the heavy facts he presents – even if, at times, it feels like unnecessary padding.
Thankfully, the rest of the book is a much easier read as Friedman tones down his flag-waving with solutions that most of us can relate to.

Part III: How We Move Forward is inspirational, and has an almost dream-like quality, especially the chapter, The Energy Internet, When IT meets ET, in which Friedman imagines what sustainable-living America could look like. He even dreams up solutions to conserve the flora and fauna and combat terrorism.

But underlying his optimism and exhortations that change must happen “now or else” is his worry that America’s many industry lobbyists and vested interests will prevent his solutions from coming to fruition. Delay, he says, will only make things worse.
Which brings us to Part IV: a surprising chapter on how China is trying to take tough measures against pollution. It’s a refreshing take on what is supposed to be the most polluting nation on Earth, as very little is ever mentioned about China taking any active steps to correct the problem.

For example, in June 2007, China’s State Council actually ordered all Government agencies, associations, companies and private owners in public buildings to set their air-conditioning no lower than 26°C.

Although there are many hiccups in China’s efforts to be more sustainable (Friedman calls China’s effort a “work in progress that bears careful scrutiny”), he seems to admire the effort, and even wonders what will happen if (gasp) America becomes “China for a day”!
Friedman believes that the US is filled to the brim with “all sorts of wacky, wild, and wonderful energy innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists”. With all that in place, what he calls the “Code Green revolution” is just waiting to take off. But the obstacle, to his frustration, is the US Government and various lobby groups which seem oblivious or unwilling to utilise this resource.

How nice it would be, he says, if the Government could be as authoritarian as China for a day – and impose all the necessary regulations for a cleaner, more sustainable energy system – and then return to its cherished democracy the next day?

In the end, Friedman shares the same view as environmentalists the world over. There are solutions to the world’s massive problems. However, applying them is going to be the biggest problem of them all

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Opening Statement By NRE Minister

Oleh :Y.B. Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas Tempat :
Hotel Armada, Petaling JayaTarikh Ucapan :15 June 2009
Speech by
YB Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia at the
Opening of The Climate Change

Yang Berusaha Mr Gurmit Singh, Chairman, Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia (CETDEM);

His Excellency Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands,

Yang Berusaha Puan Aziyah Binti Mohamed, Deputy Secretary-General 1, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment,

Yang Berusaha Mr Anthony Tan, Executive Director, CETDEM

His Excellencies,

Representatives from the Diplomatic Missions,

Distinguished guests and participants,

Members of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon,

1. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate and thank the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia (CETDEM) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their joint efforts in organising this important Climate Change Seminar. I understand that this event is the third jointly organised seminar since 2007, in conjunction with World Environment Day.

2. I am privileged and honoured to be here this morning because this is the second consecutive year I am officiating the Climate Change Seminar in my capacity as Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. This occasion indeed provides me the opportunity to share with you my Ministry's views and position on the issue of climate change. At the same time, the presence of His Excellency, scientists, researchers, policy makers and representatives from the industry and the academia at this auspicious occasion reflects the continued importance of the issue of Climate Change and its implications for all of us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

3. We are gathered here not to debate whether the world is facing serious threats from the phenomenon of climate change. There are enough scientific evidences to show that climate change is real and its impact is going to affect all of us. It has also been proven that this phenomenon is attributed mainly to the significant increase in greenhouse gases emission especially carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, thereby causing unprecedented increase in global temperatures. According to scientists and experts increasing global temperatures can cause rise in sea levels, melting of glaciers, more intense storms and droughts. Already, there are signs of these occurrences in many parts of the world posing serious threats to humanity.

4. One could just imagine the disastrous consequences for mankind this climate change phenomenon is going to bring about if we do not take the necessary measures to overcome it. The global ecosystems, water resources and agricultural production could be severely disrupted and drastic changes to the weather coupled with high rainfall and temperatures can trigger the spread of diseases and affect our health. Scientists believe that the catastrophic events in recent times such as the Hurricane Katrina, cyclone Nargis, Sichuan Province earthquake, the Australian bushfire and Johor floods were all caused by global warming and climate change. And we also witnessed the emergence of the world’s first climate change refugees involving 1,500 residents living in the Carteret Island in Papua New Guinea which is experiencing sea level rise of 10 cm in the past 20 years. Experts predict by 2080s, between 50 million and 200 million people will be displaced from their homes directly because of climate change.

5. Recognising the threats of climate change to the future of mankind and survival of this planet, the global community through various international conferences and convention reached a consensus that there must be commitments and targets to reduce greenhouse gases emissions as well as address other issues related to climate change. The most well known is the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 whereby developed countries agreed to reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 5% compared to the year 1990 with each country’s emissions target to be achieved by the period 2008-2012. Then we gathered at Bali in December 2007 and adopted the Bali Roadmap including the Bali Action Plan which involves negotiations aimed at agreeing to a new set of emissions targets to replace those in the Kyoto Protocol and acknowledged that “deep cuts in global emissions will be required to achieve the ultimate objective" of avoiding dangerous climate change. The Bali event was followed by the Poznan conference in December last year to once again reiterate the need and urgency to take concrete measures including providing sufficient funds to vulnerable poor and developing countries to tackle the climate change issue.

6. Unfortunately critics have dismissed these conventions and conferences as mere rhetoric and a waste of time. Is there truth in these allegations or is there still hope in the forthcoming Copenhagen meeting in December this year?
It is disheartening to note that the much talked about Poznan conference last year failed to live up to our expectations. We went to Poznan with the hope that the developed countries will take ownership and spearhead global efforts to combat the issue of climate change. But the results of the Conference were rather disappointing. Not only did we fail to get the developed countries to fulfil their commitments to deeper emission cuts but they also were also not willing to provide the necessary funds to developing and vulnerable countries to finance concrete projects and programmes aimed at adapting to climate change.

7. If this stalemate continues, I am afraid nothing much can be achieved at Copenhagen in December this year. Are we going to repeat the rhetoric of Bali and Poznan in Copenhagen? Will the developed countries sincerely take the lead in resolving the many contentious issues that hinder the achievement of the goals and targets of Kyoto, Bali and Poznan? Are we practicing what we have been preaching especially principles such as common but differentiated responsibilities as agreed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the polluter pays principle? Will the developing and poor countries ever get the required level of support in terms of finance, technology and capacity building from the developed countries to help them in the global climate change agenda? These are the fundamental issues we need to address first if we are to have a meaningful and fruitful meeting in Copenhagen. Let us not fail by default or it will be too late to save the one and only planet for mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

8. Notwithstanding the above contentious issues, Malaysia has and will continue to support global efforts to combat global warming and climate change. We are not lying idle or doing nothing about the threats posed by climate change. We in fact concur with the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations that there is 90 % certainty that anthropogenic or human activities are responsible for global warming. As a responsible citizen of the global community, we as a nation feel we are duty bound to play our part in the efforts to reduce global warming and contribute to the larger agenda of resolving the issue of climate change.

9. Malaysia is very serious in tackling this issue within the context of sustainable development. We have formed the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change which is chaired by the Prime Minister to formulate policies and measures on climate change. We are also drafting the National Climate Change Policy to ensure a climate resilient development that fulfils national aspirations for sustainability.

10. Despite being a non-Annex I country and contributing only about 0.6 % of the total carbon emission into the atmosphere, Malaysia has consistently shown a high level of commitment to reduce these emissions. In this respect, one area we are indeed proud of is our commitment and ability to maintain our forest cover above 50 % of the total land area of the country. In fact currently about 60% of our land area is covered by forests. We have been able to achieve this through our policy of sustainable forest management (SFM). We believe this is a tremendous achievement that can help us fight against global warming and in mitigating climate change as forests are important carbon sinks. And we want the global community to take note of our efforts in forest conservation so that we are not accused of allowing irresponsible deforestation and illegal logging activities.

11. Apart from that, we are also emphasising and encouraging the use of clean and energy efficient technologies. In this regard, the establishment of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technologies and Water in April this year is a further testimony to our efforts to combat climate change. This also clearly demonstrates that climate change issue is now high on the agenda of the Malaysian government. We are also progressing well in the implementation of environmentally sound projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). We have so far successfully registered 49 projects with the CDM Secretariat in Bonn Germany and these projects can contribute to the reduction of more than 3.3 million tonnes CO2 equivalent. I am proud to say we currently rank 5th among the countries in the world, which have registered their CDM projects with the CDM Secretariat.

12. To further stimulate the development and use of Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) activities and technologies, the government has introduced several fiscal incentives such as pioneer status, investment tax allowance and import duty and sales tax exemption for equipment used in energy conservation. Amongst the specific incentives provided include:

Ø exemption of 100 % import duty and 50 % excise duty on new hybrid CBU cars;

Ø tax exemption on companies’ income earned through trading of Carbon Emission Reduction (CER) certificates obtained from the implementation of environmentally sound projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and

Ø Investment Tax Allowance on expenditures for energy conservation and energy saving initiatives such as the development and use of solar, wind bio fuel using palm oil.

Ladies and gentlemen,

13. The Climate Change negotiations are an ongoing process. On the negotiations in Copenhagen in December, I wish to re-emphasize that the developed countries should continue to take the lead in addressing climate change. Developed countries, having first occupied the environmental space in the process of developing their economies, have a historical responsibility to address climate change. They also have financial and technological resources and capabilities to address this issue. The current global financial crisis has demonstrated the capacity of the developed countries to raise trillions of dollars in overcoming the challenges of the financial crisis. Surely, as climate change is a more serious issue than the financial crisis, the developed world could upscale its financial commitment to the developing countries to address climate change.

14. Otherwise, it is difficult to see a successful outcome in Copenhagen. This is largely due to the fact that the first and most pressing need of developing countries is the need for socio-economic development. In fact, without socio-economic development, developing countries would not be able to address climate change effectively. As such, efforts at determination of a global goal on carbon reductions must not infringe on the inalienable rights of developing countries to continue on their development path. More so developing countries which have contributed least to the climate change have been the most adversely affected by climate change.

15. I wish also to clarify and reiterate that developing countries including Malaysia have been taking national actions to address climate change. As such, we do not support proposals aimed at imposing legal obligations on developing countries to address climate change. Our stand is that the Bali Action Plan (BAP) provides the basis for nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) that developing countries will take. With the support and enabled by technology, financing and capacity building from developed countries, developing countries can take on more NAMAs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

16. The challenges arising from Climate Change are many. Time wise, we find ourselves less than half a year from Copenhagen COP15. Thus this one-day seminar with the theme “Copenhagen COP 15: Great Expectations?” is indeed appropriate and timely. The seminar is also significant and in line with the theme for this year’s World Environment Day “Your Planet needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change”. During this seminar, we hope to hear about the concrete actions that have and will be taken on Climate Change.

17. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a successful seminar. I was informed that the Diplomatic Dialogue has taken place earlier this morning. I believe this Diplomatic Dialogue presents us with a unique opportunity to hear from our colleagues from the various diplomatic missions on the major threats they face, the actions they have and will take, as well as their expectations for the Copenhagen meeting. I am also informed that a panel discussion will take place later this afternoon, and I hope all the participants will be able to share their views and suggestions together with those of the panellists.

18. I once again congratulate and convey my appreciation to CETDEM and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for successfully organising this seminar. I also would also like to thank the speakers and participants for their valuable contributions to this important event. The Malaysian Government certainly welcomes the efforts taken by CETDEM and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in organising this seminar and we are pleased to see this collaboration continue in its present form as an annual event. I am made to understand that His Excellency Ambassador Lody Embrechts, is due to leave Malaysia very soon to take up a new posting. I wish His Excellency all the best in his new posting.
19. On this note, I declare this Climate Change Seminar 2009 "COPENHAGEN COP15: GREAT EXPECTATIONS? " officially open.

Thank you.

copy from NRE website

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Perginya Tokoh Pencerahan Gerakan Islam - Allahyarham Al-Ustaz Syeikh Dr. Fathi Yakan

Sewaktu di Universiti dahulu buku Apa Ertinya Saya Menganut Islam karya Allahyarham Al-Ustaz Syeikh Dr. Fathi Yakan menjadi rujukan kami gerakan pelajar Islam. Membaca tulisan beliau sudah pasti amat menyentuh hati. Dikala semangat kian merudum, membaca tulisan beliau memberi semangat dan motivasi untuk melaksanakan kerja – kerja Islami dengan lebih kuat.

Tulisan beliau bukan sahaja menjadi rujukan di Malaysia malahan negara – negara lain, idea dan pemikiran beliau menjadi ‘pembimbing’ kepada aktivis Islam hari ini. Membaca karya beliau merupakan suatu kemestian bagi generasi muda kini.

Beliau telah menulis lebih kurang 35 buah buku, beberapa karya utama yang menjadi rujukan pendukung gerakan Islam seluruh dunia ialah Bahtera Penyelamat Umat Dalam Kehidupan Pendakwah, Permasalah dakwah dan Pendakwah, dan Ke Arah Kesatuan Gerakan Islam. Tulisanya telah diterjemahkan kedalam pelbagai bahasa utama dunia.

Pada hemat saya beliau merupakan tokoh “Pencerahan” gerakan Islam seluruh dunia. Beliau ke Rahmatullah pada hari Sabtu 13 Jun 2009 bersamaan, 19 Jamadil Akhir 1430 Hijrah yang lalu. Beliau turut memberikan sumbangan yang sangat besar perkembangan politik di timur tengah terutama sekali di tanah kelahirannya Lubnan dan dalam gerakan menentang kezaliman Israel terhadap umat Islam di Palestine dan kawasan sekitarnya.Semoga rohnya dirahmati oleh Allah s.w.t serta ditempatkan di kalangan orang-orang yang beriman

Pemergian beliau sukar untuk dicari ganti. Tokoh reformasi umat yang menyuluh jalan kearah kebenaran dan keadilan.

Al Fatihah.

Dan orang – orang yang berjihad untuk (mencari keredhaan) Kami, benar – benar akan Kami tunjukkan mereka kepada jalan-jalan Kami. Dan sesungguhnya Allah benar – benar beserta orang –orang yang berbuat baik ( Surah Al – ankabut 69)

Monday, June 15, 2009

How To Deal With El-Nino

Department Of Meteorology reported that El-Nino phenomenon will hit our country in the next few months. It is heating phenomenon which occurred at sea surface temperature each year in East Pacific Ocean near external coast of Peru. It furthermore could lead to the series of chain ‘climate change’ in worldwide. The impacts was the heavy rain in some area in other areas, long drought will happened.

As such, we should increase our sensitivity to know the current issues of El-Nino's phenomenon and make the better preparation. The issue is, have we take lesson of what was going on the past 10 years (1997/1998) during this phenomenon hit our country?

Department of Meterology on last April reported, temperature readings exceeding average maximum temperature of that month. Highest temperature which recorded for period 1 to 28 April 2009 is 36.1 degrees Celsius in meteorological station Petaling Jaya in 17 and 18 April. It is the highest temperature ever recorded. This phenomenon is stated to have happened as much as 12 times since 1951-1952 and last in 1997-1998. In 1998, highest temperature is 40.1 degrees Celsius recorded in Meteorology Station Chuping in 9 April 1998.

Year 1998 recorded is the highest temperature with 50 percent of high temperature being recorded. Water supply crisis in Lembah Kelang and haze problem be the big issue. At that time, South-East Asian countries namely Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand also suffered the same impact. Hot weather also step up climate sensitive diseases like cholera, dengue fever and malaria. El-Nino's phenomenon alleged is global phenomenon which need to be handled together among the countries.

Some scientist assuming that El-Nino phenomenon have closely relation with global warming. In spite of that, society should alerted on this phenomenon's impact to mankind and environment. This phenomenon is alleged having chain effecr, it is quite worrying to environment and human activity.

At least, there are three main effects would be felt if increasing temperature during El- Nino phenomenon occur. Firstly, effect to human health. When hot weather continuously happened, it is expected would lead to cause disease like cough, flu and heat stress.

Secondly, hot conditions will encourage to increase evaporating rate process from water catchment areas. Consequently, it would bring to water supply crisis. Water catchment areas such as dam, lake and river is worried will suffer depreciation caused by high evaporation rate. If this happens, action such as water rationing in some feasible region possibily to be made. Furthermore it will give impact on daily human activity. Some industry also use water as sources for products manufacturing process. Then, industry also predicted would received this impact.

Thirdly, dry environment could encourage occurence of fire. Usually fire occurs because of human action. Dry field area can burn easily if cigarette which still fiery thrown away to the dry area. Landfill also could release methane that potential in causing spontaneous fire.

What worrying, fire incident which occurred would result haze problem. During El-Nino 1997/1998, air quality badly affected by haze. It occur because of forest fires in Sumatra and altogether cause transboundary air pollution. It would also affect tourism sector.

Hence, society having important role in effort to help governments in handling the effect of El-Nino phenomena. Attitude "do not care" would only invite bad consequences. As sign of caring society, we should unite to do enough preparation.

Firstly, we should sensitive to listen current development of weather condition. Over the radio news, television, press and website as the important references.

For example, to know about weather forecast and Air Pollution Index, Department of Matereology Malaysia at http://www.met.gov.my and Department Of Environmental Malaysia at http://www.doe.gov.my can be made as main references. Both of this websites are very informative on environmental issue. Department of Environment website helps us to know Air Pollution Index's level (IPU). The available information help the people to plan their daily activities.

Secondly, during occurrence of hot weather, we should avoid from doing any activity which could cause fire. Inflammable material must be kept well while open burning activity such as burn rubbish, construction wastes and agricultural wastes should be avoided. This to avoid occurence of air pollution which can cause haze to environment. In case of fire happened, society needs to report the incident to the authority immediately.

Thirdly, in case of haze, society needs to take realistic action such as wearing mask when going out from home and get immediate health treatment if problems such as cough, difficulty breathing and fever are identified. At the same time, public also need to avoid away from doing outdoor activities that could expose to unhealthy air.

Fourth, to mitigate water crisis effect during El-Nino phenomenon, water saving must be practice start by now. Water consumption for bath, washing vehicle and washing clothes need to be limited. In the same time, people need to provide water tank to save water in facing any eventuality in the next few month.

Preparation on facing El- Nino phenomenon sometimes considered unimportant by some people. During phenomenon 1997/1998, many people grumble because lack of water supply and hazy problem. Many people blaming the government, which look not serious to make enough preparation to face the phenomenon.

Actually, people need to change their attitudes.This is because issue related with environment is the responsibility of all. We should be prepared to face it and together helping the government.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Vehicles Tarnishing Clean Air

The first manufacture four stroke motor vehicle is started in year 1885 by a mechanical engineer Karl Benz from Germany. In the early development of automobile industry, it’s mostly stimulated by discovery of internal combustion engine.

The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidiser (usually air) in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine the expansion of the high temperature and pressure gases, that are produced by the combustion, directly apply force to a movable component of the engine, such as the pistons or turbine blades and by moving it over a distance, generate useful mechanical energy.

Undeniable human today really depend very much on vehicle as to facilitate them for many activities. Vehicles assist human in transporting essential goods and building material for development purposes. In mid 1900s scientists and engineers have combined their expertise in order to produce various type of vehicles such as taxi, lorry, motorcycle and bus to aid human business and transporting goods.

Nowadays, there are approximately 60 international companies worldwide involved in vehicles market bussiness including our national vehicle PROTON. Various vehicles model were created all over the world, with various popular brand such as Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Hyundai, Ferrari, Fiat and Volvo. Vehicles industries expected achieving valuable return about 400 billion Euro in a year. Worldometers reported, currently there are 600,000,000 of vehicle in the road worldwide. Increases in the amount of vehicles actually bring are greater impact on air pollution especially in urban area.

Air pollution in the urban area are identified contributed by motor vehicles such as taxi, bus, motorcycles, van and lorry. In year 2007 in Malaysia, number of vehicle is found increases drastically. Total passenger vehicles found grew by 6.9%, motorcycle 6.4 %, goods vehicles 4.4%, buses 5.6% and taxi 2.5%. Total registered vehicles over Malaysia until year 2007 reach over 9 millions.

The ratio between vehicle and population is about 1:3 (vehicle : population). If the vehicle rate constantly increase every year, we may face with ‘vehicles dumping’ problem in the near future. Vehicles was one real necessity to every Malaysians, however its good if we could thinking other alternatives for our sustainable future.

The issues is very though and difficult to be solve in a short time. This is because most of vehicles that have been used now very depending on petroleum fuel namely diesel and petrol to generate energy to move. Fuel is burn in the motor vehicle engine furthermore would release air pollutant through exhaust. Actually there are few type of air pollutant such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Without realize, actually motor vehicle that we use everyday is a major contributor to air pollution. Increase in the amount of vehicles every year would certainly add more air pollutant load in the atmosphere. Apart from that, it also contributing in traffic congestion problem. In our country's such as in Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kajang and Shah Alam seem never lonely of bustle and traffic congestion.

Estimated as much as 90% vehicles in Malaysia use petrol fuel while the rest 10% uses diesel fuel. The emmision of air pollutant to the air also would invite health problem to people and affect air quality. For example, particulate matter that emitted could bring interference on respiratory system and contribute to cancer. Particle having size less then 10 microns extremely dangerous to human health.

Carbon monoxide also could result those who smell be dizzy or faint and can be inimical life if smell in high concentration. Carbon monoxide found in high concentration in the urban areas. Carbon monoxide emancipate by incomplete combustion process from motor vehicles. Sulfur dioxide also could bring the acid rain formation. Acid rain resultant could threaten living organism including plant and animal on earth. While nitrogen dioxide resultant from vehicle smoke discharge could disturbing eye comfortness such as felt smarting and sizzling.

Environmental Quality Report 2007 showing that air pollutant substance emission from motor vehicles in Malaysia increase constantly. Carbon monoxide as much 1,743,917 metric tonnes, hydrocarbon as much 361,239 metric tonnes, nitrogen dioxide as much 393,407 metric tonnes, Sulfur dioxide as much 4,504 and particulate matter as much 11,005 metric tonnes.

Seven major possibility identified on how vehicle could emit air pollutant superfluously.

Oil pump in vehicle modified not according to specifications vehicle engine maker, this may occur during maintenance conducted. Consequently oil is pumped superfluously into engine.

Injector does not serviced or maintained properly. While inside injector damaged engine or clogged would affect spray fineness oil into engine.
Air filters resides within possibility engine clogged and this will block air flow to engine. While leaking air filters would allow dirty air encroached engine.
Engine block occur it futhremore effect of continuous usage and cause power pressure loss consequently affect burning method in engine.
Exhaust pipe contain black dirt and soot coated in exhaust pipe wall. Its going out with exhaust gas.
Vehicle carry excess goods will giving excess stress to engine and this cause oil are required in great amount and smoke/air pollutant is emmitted excessively.
User snaking vehicle engine with wrong method. This can happen if driver late to change gear and creating oil surplus came into engine.

In the context of environmental regulation in our country vehicle emmission are controlled by Environmental Quality Act 1974. In this legislation smoke emission standard permitted for diesel vehicles should not exceeding 50 Hatridge's Smoke Unit (HSU) or 50% ambiguity (opacity).

In viewing serious air pollution problem that associated by millions of vehicles, concrete action must be taken. To keep our air is clean for all living. Traffic planning aspects, control through legislation, environmentally friendly transportation and vehicle need to be implemented seriously by all party. In short it requires a holistic approach with putting reduction of air pollutant as a target of Malaysia environment performance indicator.

In traffic planning context, it requires systematic management. Highway which linking a town with other need to be outlined neatly so that vehicle traffic flow able to proceed smoothly and road safety. From the context of legislation, enforcement on vehicle smoke emmission need to be carried out continuously. Vehicle air emmision testing complex must be build to facilitate society to test their own car.

Users also should reliazed their responsibility to service their own vehicle. Vehicle which always been serviced would stay in good condition and had low potential to release air pollutant superfluously. The selection environmentally friendly fuel as an example for air pollution solution. Natural gas can be used as vehicles fuel. It found having high complete burning level and give low pollutant discharge to atmosphere. Apart from that new vehicle by using battery as energy generation need to succed nicely. Battery is used as entire energy generator in believe could overcome completely air pollutant emmision problem. Justify Full

At the same time other facilities such as commuter train and LRT need to be improved urgently. This aimed is to accommodate public beside can lessen air pollution problem that contributed by million motor vehicles. If public transport system could be increased their efficiency, of course we able to reduces total vehicle smoke emmision to the air.

Increase in the amount of vehicles in nationwide triggered traffic congestion problem. It also contributed to air pollution in our country. Motor vehicle number increase will add more air pollution problem. We actually have many best choices and alternative Air confer upon for us highly valued, we should do something to protect it.