Monday, 12 October 2015

Conversations over the weekend - All about the Haze

"So Indonesia has finally decided to admit that they need help to put out the fires."

"Ya. We all dem stupid."

"Huh? Why you say that? We put out the fires good for us, what! Then no haze!"

"Ya, that is what they want us to do for them. We dem stupid."

"But it is good that they finally agreed to accept our help, right?"

"Finally, your head ah! They 'finally' accept our help because NOW they want the fires to stop burning! They only burn the forest to clear the forest right? They clear the forest so that they can turn the forest into Palm Oil plantation right? So how to plant when the ground is still burning? Every year they start burning during the dry season. Then when the rains come, the fires go out. Then they plant their oil palms. But this year, is the Kanina effect or something --"

"The El Nino effect."

"Correct. The Lau Kannina effect so no rain. The fire keep burning. Si liao lah. How to plant the oil palms? Fortunately, got gong-gong neighbours willing to put out the fires for them."

"Maybe. But then what can we do? Don't help them to put out the fires? Then more haze for us?"

"Like you always say, 'Dem if you do it. Dem if you don't do it.'"


"Oi! You know the haze dem dangerous one leh! Every haze particle you breath can cause cancer one leh!"

"Ya. That's why we hate the Indonesians for poisoning us."

"We should sue!"

"So easy meh? Then, everyone would have sued. The problem is the damn Indonesians can't even stop the ones responsible for setting the fires, you want to sue? Sue who? Even if the Indonesian govt identify the forest burners, you sue them, they will say, 'how you know the smoke you breathe is from my fire?' So you try to sue the whole group of them. They they will say, 'so what harm have you suffered from breathing in the smoke?' What are you going to tell them?"

"Got proof that the smoke can cause lung cancer!"

"All that science has is a measure of risk. If you breathe X amount of smoke - that famous PM2.5 thing - then there is an increase risk of lung cancer."

"So cannot sue meh?"

"You know [our friend] the smoker? Smokes like a chimney every day of his life? No cancer. Then [our other friend], so healthy, exercise everyday, doesn't drink doesn't smoke, got lung cancer. At 45."

"So you mean...?"

"All the smoke you inhale increases your chances of getting lung cancer. It doesn't mean you will get lung cancer. And even if you do get lung cancer, there is no proof that it is because of the smoke you breathed. Like our healthy friend. His lung cancer may be from all the vehicle exhaust he breathed while jogging along the road 3 times a week."

"But it cannot be safe to breathe all the smoke right?"

"Of course it's not safe. It's not healthy. But if you just spend 3 hours outdoors with the PSI at 350, what are you supposed to do? Go to the A&E? Go to the Polyclinic? And tell the doctor what?"


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