Saturday, September 18, 2010

Words Fail Me...

...From WWF

Live tiger found in luggage

Sedated cub was being smuggled with decoy tiger toys

Bangkok, Thailand. August 26, 2010 - A two-month-old tiger cub was found sedated and hidden among stuffed-tiger toys in the luggage of a woman at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Thai national was scheduled to board a Mahan Air flight destined for Iran when she had trouble checking in her oversized bag.

Airports of Thailand (AOT) staff suspected something amiss when they scanned the bag and x-ray images showed an item resembling a real cat.

Officers from the Livestock Development Department and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department were then called in to open the bag for inspection and discovered the tranquilized cub.

Read more HERE

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dirty Business Addendum

Way back in March, I had a bit of a rant about how the Selangor State government had decided to spend RM6.5 million of taxpayers money to state controlled Worldwide Landfills Sdn. close the Sg. Kembong landfill, when 18 months earlier Chief Minister, Khalid Ibrahim, had already authorised the rehabilitation of the same landfill by another, privately-funded,company called CLEAR. Some of the comments I got highlighted some factual errors in my research and accused me of being non-journalistic (which I don't claim to be). One person even asked if I worked for CLEAR (which I don't), but none of them dealt with the real issue I was raising, which was the squandering of rate payers money to do a job that didn't need doing in the first place.

CLEAR at work in February 2010 mining a section of the Sg Kembong landfill.

Screening the garbage to separate and reclaim reusable items and Refuse Derived Fuel.

Anyway insanity prevailed and on August 1st 2010 Worldwide Landfills officially assumed control of the Sg. Kembong landfill and began work to close it off and this is what happened...

Semenyih plant closed due to high levels of ammonia


PUTRAJAYA: More than 1.2 million consumers in four districts have been hit by water supply disruptions after the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant closed due to high levels of ammonia in water drawn from Sungai Kembong.

Read the full story here

I make no bones about being a rabid supporter of Waste to Energy technology, not because of any self- interest but because it makes sense. To begin with, landfills cost a lot: First of all you need to buy a piece of land, then you have to pay someone to operate the landfill, Further costs are incurred for ongoing maintenance and then even more money is required to close the landfill when it reaches capacity. In addition to the millions this all adds up to, there are the hidden costs in terms of the environment and public health.

Waste to Energy technology doesn't cost the taxpayer a single sen. it's a privately-funded initiative where revenue is created by converting garbage to Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and reusable items like plastics and metals. It eliminates the need for so many landfills as about 80 percent of the rubbish is reclaimed. This in turn reduces the amount of the landfill gas, methane, entering the atmosphere which has a positive impact on global warming.

Last December at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, pledged a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 2005 levels, provided of course, that Malaysia received transfer of technology and financing from the so called developed world.

Well, have I got news for you Mr. Najib! My friends in the garbage business have calculated that up to 13 percent of the overall 40 percent promised reduction could be achieved by adopting Waste to Energy technology nationwide. And, there's no need to import foreign technology or look for overseas investment as the technology we need to convert garbage to energy is already here and it's Malaysian.