Thailand under Water 5: the Worst, the Best and What In-Between

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Thailand under Water 5: the Worst, the Best and What In-Between

I started writing about impacts of sea water encroaching into coastal lands and farms about a week ago. I found it quite difficult to put numbers into scenarios and I promised to give numbers so we can all ponder and calculate the scales of impacts. You see what I have written so far was about events in Physics. They follows natural (or physical) laws and we can measure with tools or estimate with some formulas according to certain theories. But when we come to deal with social, political and economic events then we find so much uncertainty and we don't have enough (data and understanding in) statistics to forcast the future. Theories in socio-polico-economics are like software products they often include indemnity clauses such as 'no warranty' 'fit for a purpose', 'damages to hardware', 'loss of data', etc.

We know a famous economic law of demand and supply which sets the price of a widget at the intersection of demand and supply curves. In real world markets, demand are raised by 'advertisement', 'brand', 'association to some identities', and so on so that the price can be set higher than on a 'free market' demand curve.

We have heard about political interventions that aimed purposedly at solving people's issues and/or implemented fast-trackedly with borrowed money. The policies often ran into all sorts of problems, abandoned and replaced by innovative policies. Often there were no investigations into the failed policies, the failed projects, the operators, the methodologies,... No assessment of failures and no attempts to 'learn and to prevent' further wasting of national resources. Corruption is also a major concern in political processes.

[ Climate Change and Thailand

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By Danny Marks Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 33, No. 2 (2011), pp. 229–58 >
political community.

Simultaneously, higher levels of education,access to the media, income levels, social and physical mobility andpolitical organization also contributed to empowering the masses andmade them more cognizant of their own political interests.

Duringthe past couple of years, at the grassroots level, the Red Shirts haveskillfully organized sustained resistance and raised doubts about thefairness of the traditional structure of Thai society.

However, the establishment, which most commentators identifyas the monarchy, military, and bureaucracy, continues to upholdtraditional values. The military has been the key power broker since2006. Increasingly under challenge, the traditional centres of powerare aggressively protecting their interests by stressing traditionalvalues as the core of national identity. Over the past several years,academics, NGOs and journalists have helped create space forcultural and social change by questioning these traditional values,official state narratives and government policies. Most recently, theRed Shirt movement has carried forward this process of culturaltransformation by criticizing members of the Privy Council, proudlycalling themselves prai (commoners), criticizing double standards andmarching from rural areas to Bangkok, the centre of power.While the fact that neither side is willing to compromise bodes poorly for an end to the political crisis in the near future,the protracted turmoil positively reveals a high degree of politicalactivism and grassroots level organization. In addition, examples frommany countries show that once the masses demand better treatmentand a greater stake in the polity, they were eventually incorporatedinto the mainstream. This transformation occurred violently insome places and peacefully in others.

Thus, the recent turmoilportends a long-term evolution of Thai democracy and a higherlevel of accountability. What also bodes well for the future is that,as during many times in the past, Thailand has been able to invokelong-standing traditions of harmony and compromise.The future maturation of the Thai democratic process, ongoingcultural transformation and higher level of accountability will helpThailand respond to climate change. Grassroots organizations will be better organized to demand that politicians implement policiesthat will lessen the impacts of natural disasters. Some local NGOs,such as Palang Thai and the Sustainable Development Foundation,are already lobbying the government to become more energy efficientand enact more sustainable policies....

On social and cultural fronts, we have another kaleidoscope to find possible patterns and (statistical/historical) data to support our forecast. Can we predict a hot blog. a hit song, a must-watch video clip, a well-liked picture? Nevertheless, we will limit ourselves to 'neutral and objective grounds' like: Costs due to repair/maintenance and lost/reduced income or benefits. In details we can look at:
cost to rural communities of declining population, tourists trade, ...
loss of business (both existing and potential)
cost of rural restructure when farms become unprofitable
increased health problems due to stress on families affected by change.

So, we can consider possibilities in optimistic and pessimistic ways. And we may give detailed (sub)possibilites some chances of occuring as we project them. They are many possibilities of 'in-betweens'. (Those who love multi-verse theories will say 'each with probability from 0 to 1' and each is dependent on 'factors' or 'conditionals'. ;-)

This is enough as a preamble to how to work out impacts of sea water level rise.

No I am not going to enumerate details. You can do that if you want to ;-)

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This announcement came across my email today. It gives easy access to climate data worldwide. (With another news that the world price for coffee has risen by 7% -- sp, coffee fuelled map lookers beware. ;-)

...another update to CAIT 2.0, WRI’s Climate Data Explorer! We’ve recently published all of our international greenhouse gas emissions data on the Google Public Data Explorer, which uses the Gapminder technology from Hans Rosling’s famous Ted Talk. This platform enables you to explore the history of emissions in a much more interactive way through maps and other dynamic charts. ...

[Go to <> and tick the box for Thailand to get a comparison with other high flyers in Asia.]

The data includes our expanded time series of international emissions that covers more than 160 years of emissions data and 50 years of socio-economic data. The strength of the Google Public Data Explorer is that it shows many dimensions of socio-economic and emissions developments at the same time.

Visit the Google Public Data Explorer <>
now and discover all the new ways to interact with CAIT 2.0 data!