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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Who turned off the sun?

This is what it looks like every morning when I drive to work.

Basil has got his fog lights on, by the way, but they don't seem to be doing much.

The first time I drove in fog, I kept using the windshield wipers because I thought my windscreen had gone misty from the cold weather.

Sometimes, it clears up by the afternoon - but it always returns in the evening when I'm driving home from work. Which is pretty scary, because I have to drive through a stretch of farmland which has no road lighting.

So...all of you in Southeast Asia who are experiencing the effects of the haze - I think of you all every day when I drive to and from work. Perhaps driving through fog is hazardous, but at least I can get out of the car, and all I'm breathing in is water vapour - not soot.

I actually did a project on the Singapore Haze for my module in Public Health and compared it to the London Fog. There's a pretty significant morbidity and mortality rate associated with bad air quality, which is why Singapore was always so keen on reducing air pollution and has pretty strict rules about particulate matter emissions from factories and vehicles.

My sympathies are with those who already have pre-existing lung conditions like asthma, and the poor kiddies who don't have air-conditioned classrooms. I had to do my A-level exams in an open air hall during the worst of the haze many moons ago, and it was horrible.

On another note, here's something else about the photo you see above: there's a gantry in the distance with flashing orange lights. You can't actually read what it says until you're almost under it but it actually says:

Well, thank you very much for the warning, folks.


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