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on 7 May, 10:03

5 Reasons why “Under The Dome” is the big hit after “The Inconvenient Truth”

5 Reasons why “Under The Dome” is the big hit after “The Inconvenient Truth”
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It definitely is. If some of you vividly recall The Inconvenient Truth, the famous documentary on climate destabilization by Al Gore nearly 10 years ago, Chinese journalist Chai Jing’s new documentary “Under The Dome” has surely taken the baton. Hitting close to 300 million views over a week in early March 2015, the documentary claims to be the only topic on China’s social media platforms for three days straight. The film however, was taken down by the authority after that week. I am not a movie/documentary critique for sure! And as obviously seen, i don’t write any, but thus only means that i will write upon good reason to do so.

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Over 2 hours long, the film is a comprehensive look at pollution in China, air pollution particularly, and one of the high profile investigation the public has seen. To me, it is more than a typical TED talk like what Al Gore did with graphs and images, but Chai Jing’s journalist background and her personality have indeed complimented the film and fed the audience with sentiments and anxieties as she unfolded many investigations and life footages. Many who are deemed to be the eye opener to all of the chinese in China, that this is happening in their own backyard. Here are 5 reasons i found that justify my view why this is the next “Inconvenient Truth” (for china?):

1) Chai Jing’s role as a CCTV Journalist and Mother

It’s the charisma in her that elevated the documentary to a whole new level i would say. If you watched Al Gore presenting, you sense a politician speaking at a very affirmative and monotone pace, but Chai Jing’s talk throughout the 104 minutes documentary? Whole lot of variety. The same goes to the arrangement of the film. One can ride along how her arrangement of tone of voice and plots of the documentary that have brought them through the mix of feelings, anxiety? hopeful? guilt? or anticipation? At moments she stops, at moments she rushes through the facts and figures.

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Chai Jing is known for being determined and straight forward in addressing her queries.

Chai Jing has had more than 10 years working as a reporter under CCTV, the predominant state television broadcaster in mainland China. Wiki her HERE.Through her events of covering SARS and earthquakes, Chai Jing has earned her reputation of becoming an investigative reporter, this ties in well with the entire activism, advocacy and critical thoughts themed film. The many unprecedented access and footage of the journalist gained on the ground has given the boost on the film too.

But what brought the film to relate with a wider group of audience and close up personal, is Chai Jing’s personal sharing on how she embarks on this journey against air pollution, for being a mom. She shared on how her care and determination in getting a healthy livelihood for her love ones brought her to this path. Am sure this point has drawn a lot of audience to a personal level, as population in Beijing only enjoys half of the year having blue skies. She also admitted the state of naive she was to report the heavy smog in Beijing as Fog instead years ago.

2) Comprehensive (Why Who How When Where) investigation of the Air Pollution in China

The documentary can be rather long i would say, but it is for a good reason. There is a great diversity in presentation style that attracts various level of audience, the film starts off with an introduction to the air pollution generally, the effects of it, and moving on towards investigating the cause of it, and concludes with alternative solutions in respect to other great nations that had overcome the similar problems before.

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Chai Jing showing the air pollution particles being shown under microscope

She indeed has a lot of citations in the film, almost every plot of investigation has facts and figures from some academician or connection of hers. Though i did not thoroughly verify her claims, but one can be sure that her primary evidences, interviews, have spoken for themselves. Going through various interviews with individuals from industrial interests, energy conglomerates, and bureaucratic hurdles have magnified the urgency as a whole. But, one shouldn’t be investigating and taking her facts and figures too seriously, there is a good reason why so many projections being thrown into the presentation to elevate the seriousness of the presentation. Overall, you should be getting her message:

  1. Pollution has been slowly killing us over the past decade
  2. Majority of pollutants is emitted by burning Coal, very dirty and degraded coal in a very uncontrolled manner, and also transportation sector.
  3. Attempts to regulate emission has been ineffective, local environmental protection agencies are merely mascots with no enforcement authority, even being bullied by industrial players.
  4. The innovation solution is already here, natural gas, but the energy industry is heavily monopolized to not allow this to happen.
  5. There are many regulations already in placed in the system, but mostly vaguely created with no respect to the enforcement procedure.
  6. The ultimate aim? To bring awareness to the end user, the general public, to participate by actively reporting polluters to local agencies.

3) It’s Technically Discussed, yet Layman Explained

That’s the beauty i found. Chai Jing juggled the presentation within the thin line of being technical or general. With every statistics quoted from any sources, Chai Jing and the documentary as a whole will try its best to give a sound analogy for illustration, from graphs reflecting statistics and personal sharing with a mixture of humor and sarcasm! Better still, there are videos and animation to highlight the message. Similarly to Al Gore’s futurama animation of understanding Global Warming, Chai Jing’s film has animation on air pollution particles PM2.5 entering our lungs and taking over our immune system. Cute yet terrifying.

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The animation is shown via 10:40 onwards..

Chai Jing made it easy to understand. Given to range of audience in China probably will find it hard to picture the level of pollutants, Chai Jing gave an example such as showing the amount of air pollution particles her moisture tissue contains after being outdoor for 24 hours. She also showed some other activist having aerial photography of different cities across the years having very limited blue sky days. Though i have to admit that the later half of the documentary tends to be a bit dry, with a lot of statistics citing from documents and interview footage. At that presentation pace of Chai Jing, even the english sub titles are too fast to be read (for the fact that mandarin characters can condensed more message given the same amount of speaking duration as compared to english)

Chai Jing presented the illustration of savings in enforcing a more efficient engine

Chai Jing presented the illustration of savings in enforcing a more efficient engine

4) Inconvenient Footage

Nothing beats a documentary that has first hand record of any event on the ground or anything the authority has to say. Chai Jing has included several investigation and interview videos during her journalist days that definitely open up the eyes of many. These include some baffling answers from authorities and industrial players, as well as inconvenient scenes from the operation room as well as coal plant visit.

Interview with local authority

Some audience might not able to apprehend the level of answer from the local authority

Chai Jing also visually presented that china has burned more coal than all the other countries combined in the world. While her interviews also highlights, a complex situation that needs a sound idea to resolve the dirty energy industry. Among the problems highlighted is the usage of lower quality of coal and lack of authority enforcing environmental standards so that the coal plants will”wash” the coal to reduce as much as 60% in SO2.

First hand information from the relevant bodies proven facts right

The bigger problem lies in the power of environmental department to execute punishment, to order coal plant to close for example. Simply because job creation and energy demand is a clear priority and interest groups are protecting the industry.

 

Chai Jing's visit to Coal Fire Plant with local environmental authority shows huge flaw and non compliance

Chai Jing’s visit to Coal Fire Plant with local environmental authority shows huge flaw and non compliance

An interview with a young kid who admits that she has never seen blue sky

An interview with a young kid who admits that she has never seen blue sky

Footage on operation on lung cancer with black tar suspected to be coming from air pollution

Footage on operation on lung cancer with black tar suspected to be coming from air pollution

5) Bringing on the Conversation – Solutions

Chai Jing footage however, has also rode on the optimistic end. The fact is that many european countries have gone through the similar energy demand phase, and used coal extensively, with huge consequences on public health. Chai Jing interviewed several individuals in the America, in the UK, and conclude that these countries have moved on to cleaner production of energy (not to say zero carbon yet!) Natural gas and oil based energy country basically. She has also directly interviewed Environment Protection Agency EPA and other counterparts to understand the legislative system.

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But Chai Jing quoted that only 3 companies in China are investing into newer forms of energy, mainly due to lack of funding and monopolization of other competitors. She ended the film by introducing what the audience can do. Well hoping that what she addressed will bring on a new wave of change by educating the end users to speak out. She also shared using mobile apps to complain and to spread the positive vibe of change. She speaks that open disclosure is the foundation of public participation.

Mobile App

Chai Jing introducing the mobile app that has live reporting of the air quality of each power plant.

 Will China Move Forward?

I certainly do not know. Chai Jing did report that several efforts are already on the way. On the other hand, she has shouted out the summary of the current situation, cheap dirty coal that is violating existing environmental standards and affecting public health, thanks to greedy monopolized industrial players that are so powerful to intimidate the government. On one hand, i truly enjoy the plot and deliverable of the films. On the other hand, i do not know how is China responding to it. Let’s hope for the best.

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Because their future generation really need to know what a sky and a sun looks like. The Documentary with English Sub Titles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd9BIH2dk60

 

on 13 Sep, 17:09

#PEOPLESCLIMATE Picnic Talk! (In Conjunction with the Largest Climate March in History)

#PEOPLESCLIMATE Picnic Talk! (In Conjunction with the Largest Climate March in History)
Past Event Volunteer!
21 Sep
8:00 - 10:00
Stadium Merdeka

No Mic, No Dress Code, No Protocol, Just Great Ideas, Great People & Common Stand for the Climate Justice for the Planet. BREAKFAST WILL BE SERVED! (first come first served) Provide by ‘KL Vegans & Vegetarian Meetup’ http://www.meetup.com/KL-Vegans-and-Vegetarians/

RSVP here: http://world.350.org/malaysia/climate-picnic-talk-sembang-sembang/

Whether you are a politician, academician, consultant, activist.. or student.. or pet lover.. or vege lover.. Everyone is welcome to share their ideal Green Malaysia!

Read this http://peoplesclimate.org/global/
Watch this http://watchdisruption.com/

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As thousands will be marching across the street of NYC this 21/9 in conjunction with the Climate Summit 2014, we are joining in solidarity with a casual (but surely mind boggling!) picnic talk! So loosen up your typical weekdays and join us for an exciting Sunday in sharing & exchanging our visions for Malaysia’s Greener Path!

Tentative Program:
> Breakfast & Fresh Coffee
> Sharing by Jeffrey “Cycling KL Bike Map” on “cycling as a viable transport option” https://www.facebook.com/villagebicycles
> Music & Games

There will be a Cycling Recce after the picnic, click here if you are interested https://www.facebook.com/events/947034161990423/

Person to contact :
Gene : 016-596 2057
AY: 012-358 5453

VENUE: The Square between Victoria Institution and Stadium Merdeka, Along Jalan Stadium (GPS 3.139890, 101.701793) Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ZZBNb

on 6 Mar, 11:54

What you can do as a Malaysian to save the Selangor Forest Reserve

What you can do as a Malaysian to save the Selangor Forest Reserve
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The proposed degazettement involves 106.55 hectares of land from four forest reserves in Selangor, namely the Ampang, Bukit Seputeh, Ulu Gombak and Ulu Langat Forest Reserves. Two of the forest reserves, Ampang and Ulu Gombak, form part of the Selangor State Park and are important water catchments for the Klang Valley.

The Ampang and Ulu Gombak forest reserves serve as water catchment forests for major areas in the Klang Valley. The Ampang Intake plant supplies 19 million litres of potable water per day to 9,225 accounts in the Ampang area. The Ulu Gombak forest reserve is a catchment for the Klang Gates Dam. This dam reportedly supplies water to 80,000 households and business premises in the Klang Valley.

It is ironic that the proposal to degazette crucial water catchment forests comes at a time when water shortages are being reported in different parts of the Klang Valley and water levels in the Klang Valley dams are reported as dangerously low.

The SSP, the largest stretch of contiguous forest tract remaining in Selangor and the third largest park in Peninsular Malaysia, is an Environmentally Sensitive Area Rank 1. It forms part of Peninsular Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine and functions as the most important watershed for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. The gazettement as a State Park was to provide a higher level of protection status to the forests that are not only rich in biodiversity but provide crucial ecosystems services such as  water to a vast population of residents and businesses in the greater area.

So, as a concerned Malaysian, what can you do?

1) Write to the Selangor State Forestry Department
Voice your concerns and objections regarding the proposed degazettement to the Selangor State Forestry Department. Provide reasons for your objection. Submit written objections either in Bahasa Malaysia or English by 14 March 2014 to:

Pengarah
Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Selangor
Tingkat 3, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah
40660 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan

** A sample of the objection letter can be downloaded below

You can cc the letter to the Selangor Menteri Besar and the State EXCO for Environment (Please find their contact details in item no. 2)
Important: As this is a formal objection letter, please ensure that your full name and address are included in the letter. Anonymous letters will not be entertained nor counted as an objection.

b) Can the objection message be sent through email?
The notice does not provide an email address but based on the Forestry Department’s website, the Director does have an email address: yusoff@forestry.gov.my

If you want to email the Director (Tuan Haji Yusoff bin Muda), please do also make sure you send a hard copy of your objection to the Selangor Forestry Director’s office. The phone and fax numbers for the department are as follows:
Tel: 03-5544 7507 (ext 7490)
Fax: 03-5511 9961

Note: Four NGOs, Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Save our Sungai Selangor (SOS Selangor), Treat Every Environment Special (TrEES), and WWF-Malaysia, have formed a coalition to protect the Selangor State Park. We would appreciate it if you could send a copy of your letter/ email to the coalition at savetwns@gmail.com, so that we are aware of the number of objection letters that is being sent out.

c) Can I still object if I am not living in the affected districts?
If you are not a resident in the Ulu Langat or Gombak districts but as a member of the public you are concerned that forest reserves are being degazetted, especially water catchment forests and forests in a state park you can still object because you have the right as a concerned Malaysian citizen to do so.

2. What else can you do to save Selangor State Park?
Apart from writing to the Forestry Director, voice your objection on the KLORR/EKVE cutting through the Selangor State Park to the Selangor Menteri Besar and relevant State EXCO members. This is very important as State governments are the ultimate decision-makers on issues pertaining to forests as forests and land matters come directly under the jurisdiction of the state government. They have the power to reject the proposal for the KLORR/EKVE to cut through the forests and the Selangor State Park. Their contact details are as follows:

Menteri Besar
Y.A.B Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Abd Khalid bin Ibrahim
Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor
Pejabat Menteri Besar Selangor
Tingkat 21, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah
40503 Shah Alam
Tel: 03-5544 7013 / 03-5544 7022
Fax: 03-5519 0032
Email: khalid@selangor.gov.my

EXCO Environment
Y.B. Puan Wong Keat Ping @ Elizabeth Wong
Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Tetap Pelancongan, Hal Ehwal Pengguna dan Alam Sekitar
Pejabat Ahli Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri Selangor,
Tingkat 2, Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah,
40503 Shah Alam
Tel: 03-5544 7760
Email: elizabethwong@selangor.gov.my

** You can download the sample objection letters below.

Please ensure that your name and contact details (e.g address / email address) are included in the letter. There is a slimmer chance of anonymous letters being taken seriously.
Note: We would appreciate it if you could send a copy of your letter/ email to the Coalition for the Protection of the Selangor State Park at savetwns@gmail.com so that we are aware of the number of letters/emails that is being sent.

3. Is there anyone else I can write to voice my concerns?
– Yes, you can write to your respective ADUNs if you are a resident of Ampang, Ulu Klang, Melawati, Bukit Antarabangsa, Rawang, Kajang, Cheras and Sungai Long areas. If you have an active Residents’ Association in these areas, bring it to their attention and try to arrange a meeting with your ADUN and the state government to voice your concern. You could also bring it to the media’s attention.

– As the KLORR/EKVE is a Federal government project, you can also write to the Prime Minister or post your concerns regarding this project on his Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/najibrazak). The more letters/emails the State and Federal government representatives get from concerned public, the better will be the impact.

4. Is there anything else I can do?
–  You can help create awareness on this matter. Tell your friends and family members and ask them to voice their concern.
– Write to the media. It is simple to also email your concerns which you have voiced to the government to the media.
– Voice your concerns on social media.
– Post this information on your Facebook.
– Tweet about it, if you have a Twitter account.
– Post your concerns on elected representatives’ Facebook account. The Prime Minister, Selangor Menteri Besar and some Selangor State EXCO members have active Facebook accounts. Post your concerns there.

Some FB account links are as follows:
Y.A.B. Prime Minister
Y.A.B. Selangor Menteri Besar
Y.B. Selangor State EXCO for Environment

To know more about the park, visit:
http://selangorstatepark.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TrEES.Malaysia

Objection letters

on 27 Feb, 23:52

FiT and SAVE road show Exhibition and Workshop

FiT and SAVE road show Exhibition and Workshop
Past Event
8 Mar - 9 Mar
All Day
AMCORP MALL

F&S17

CETDEM is organising a 1/2 Day Energy Workshop at Hotel Armada on Sunday; 9 March from 8:30am to 1pm.

Registration for this workshop is Free of Charge. Participation is by pre-registration only and limited to the first 60 registrations. (Lunch will be provided to participants) Registration will be open until Wednesday 5 March.

This workshop is part of the FiT & SAVE Roadshow which is managed by CETDEM on behalf of SEDA Malaysia. You will get information regarding the Feed in Tariff programme and you will learn how to do an energy audit for your home.

A mini-exhibition will also be held at Amcorp Mall on Saturday 8 March from 10am – 5pm.

Please feel free to share this email with your colleagues.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Anthony Tan

on 16 Feb, 15:23

Malaysia’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (Draft), a Pride or a Pain?

Malaysia’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (Draft), a Pride or a Pain?
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The draft of National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) was posted on KETTHA’s web page on the 24/1/2014. It is a crucial draft plan that will present the instruments for a successful implementation of energy efficiency strategies in the country for a period of 10 years which is intended to address several barriers on energy efficiency. Personally i am disappointed with the draft, as it only aims for 6% reduction in energy demand for the next 10 years, and this excludes the energy for transportation sector which made up almost half of our total end energy usage.

A crucial benchmark comparison is Thailand’s 20 years Energy Efficiency Development Plan, where it aimed 20% reduction of its total energy demand by 2030. The NEEAP draft does not address crucial details on the agency/task force involved for the EE implementation and feedback mechanisms, the methods to fund more than RM 10 billion for EE in both private and public sectors, policy making, talent capacity building, and research on EE.  Several countries have shown the significant of emphasizing energy efficiency, as this leads to a reduction in peak demand and saved them billion of dollars by avoiding unnecessary power stations, and these funds are used for a better purpose.

The public, including YOU, needs to review this draft plan as it is crucial plan that will affect our economy progression, environmental obligations, and energy security. You do not really to question on the very technical demanding part, but by judging on the quality of a document for a national plan, there are some obvious comments to be made.

As subsidy for electricity will subsequently be removed, the energy efficiency market in Malaysia needs to be stimulated significantly by the NEEAP for the next 10 years as a mean to mitigate the impact of rising cost of living. The limited 1 month time allowance for feedback and the lack of NEEAP draft exposure to public are not deemed professionally done. I  hope citizens will practise their democracy in citizenship by questioning our countries’ policies by sending in their opinions to KETTHA by 24/2/2014.

The Juice of the Draft

In a nutshell, one could turn up in frustration and disappointment by looking on the depth of information of the plan. It sounds more like a draft plan that can be done by post-graduate students honestly speaking, i say this as i cannot help but to feel the entire draft report, which was delayed for years, are not professionally done taken for the fact that it is more of a ‘literature review’ of what is being done currently. which is known to many easily. I personally do not see this as a plan that will elevate the EE industry with the lack of details of implementation in the aspect of financial, human resource, agency job description etc.

NEEAPContent

I personally see this ‘action plan’ as more of a draft plan to draft on how do we produce action plan. I do not doubt the significance of starting off the plan of identifying our barriers towards EE as well as stating the principles of  the formation of this action plan. However, the lack of details is just a pain to realize that this action plan does not resemble any information but just like a collection of literature of what is done currently. I do not know the history of NEEMP/NEEAP specifically but i suppose there were several drafts before this being done by experts outside of KETTHA and somehow was flushed down the drain. Here are some of my opinions:

1) Not an Ambitious Plan At All

The NEEAP is a plan potentially to improvise the socio economics  situation of the nation, with more efficient of energy usage and lowering peak demand, thus taking off unnecessary power plants, this budget can be allocated for better purpose. The NEEAP is to be the document that will chart Malaysia’s EE journey for the next 10 years. That is long, also considering on the 4 years wasted waiting for this plan.

Screendump showing the identification of barriers and statement of 10 years planning

Screendump showing the identification of barriers and statement of 10 years planning

The next statement, will put your hands down. The first page of the plan has already resembled the mood of the plan, to harvest ‘low hanging fruits’, which translates into, doing easy cheap practical things only?

As shown on the first page of the report, "Harvesting Low Hanging Fruits"

As shown on the first page of the report, “Harvesting Low Hanging Fruits”

Thailand’s 20 year Energy Efficiency Plan (2011-2030)

One will feel how such draft plan is down the drain upon compared with Thailand’s 20 years plan. If you will go through the 83 pages 20 year EE plan prepared by Thailand’s Ministry of Energy, you would realize how detailed the plans are, with specific timeline chart, both short term (5 years) and long term, with specific plans laid out and scope of responsibilities by each ministry/agency. The best part of this energy efficiency plan is the inclusion of Transportation sector which has close to one-third of the total end energy usage, however with more emphasis on industry sector as it bears 41% of end energy usage, as Thailand is known for a product manufacturer driven economy country.

You can view and download the plan at HERE. I do not have much to critic on the plan, but as a benchmark to our current draft plan for NEEAP, the difference in both, ambitious level and execution details puts us to shame obviously.

2) ONLY a Pathetic 6

Screendump from Thailand MOE's 20 years EE plan showing the details

Screendump from Thailand MOE’s 20 years EE plan showing the details

% Reduction in Electricity (Not Energy!) Demand Growth

So as oppose to what we saw in Thailand’s 20 years EE plan with the ambition to reduce energy intensity by 25% in 2030 (which includes transportation sector), we see only 6% is the target of reduction in energy demand for the draft NEEAP. As indicated in the last page of the draft.

Screen dump from Draft NEEAP Last Page

Screen dump from Draft NEEAP Last Page

And to make matter worst, this 6% is excluding energy usage from transport sector, which is stated clearly that it only confines to electricity usage. It is fine to do a plan only for electricity usage if it is due to ministry/policy red tape factors, but the reduction of 6% is clearly not anywhere ambitious, does not sound anywhere near to our Malaysia’s so much pride for promising to reduce 40% of carbon intensity as per 2005 level announced in COP17. To make matters worst, how can we be proud of 6% energy savings compared to business-as-usual, while the electricity assumption is still increasing by 59% during the 10 years period of the plan

onlyelectricity

NEEAP only covers Electricity Usage.

The fact is that transport sector itself constitutes almost half of our total energy end usage. By watering down the ambitious target of NEEAP to only 6% reduction, this statistically only mean 3% for overall reduction energy usage.

Final Energy Demand by Sector. Red boxes indicate Residential, Commercial and Industrial demand. Source: National Energy Balance 2011

Final Energy Demand by Sector. Red boxes indicate Residential, Commercial and Industrial demand. Source: National Energy Balance 2011

3) No Details on Agency/Task Force In Control of the Implementation & Feedback of NEEAP

Various literature have shown the similar concern that the effectiveness of various policy and plans in Malaysia is often affected by the ineffective structure of ministries and agencies. It is expected that conflicts from relevant ministries and agencies would happen when they compete for land, energy, funding, legal and political support, and this often explains clash in job descriptions and explanations between agencies. There is no concrete information in the NEEAP stating on the details of the task force and job description, which is also needed to be elaborated across the timeline which consider in the implementation and feedback channel to the task force.

To make matters worst, there is no saying on how much authority this task force has, particularly across different levels of governments and ministries. There has to be a concrete plan solely on setting up the task force which is responsible to overview the nation’s energy efficiency development, as far as we know, there are so many ministries/agencies and as well as layer of government pertaining to any issue. The establishment of SPAD (land public transport authority) came in place, as part of GTP effort to centralize coordination, information and regulation pertaining to any matters on public transport is an example NEEAP can take into account.

4) Lack of Discussion on Policy Levels

While it is acknowledged that there are various Acts to allow KETTHA to promote efficient use of electricity such as Electricity Supply Act (Amendment) 2001 and Efficient Management of Electrical Energy Regulation 2008, and the latest Electricity Regulations (Amendment) 2013 to implement MEPS Minimum Energy Performance Standards, I believe there are many more needed to address the barrier for the implementation of the 10 years duration of NEEAP.

However, on the other side, i see this NEEAP as rather a standalone evaluation of EE itself, there are so many items pertaining to the concern of EE such as Transportation Plan, National Physical Plan perhaps.. there are no signs of the report finding other existing practices to complement to NEEAP or to be amended to do so perhaps? More interestingly, there is mention of lowering carbon emission of the nation by the NEEAP however there is no detail on how this ties in with our Prime Minister’s pledge at COP15 that Malaysia will reduce its carbon intensity per GDP  by 40% by 2020 as per 2005 level.

5) Lack of Details for Funding Strategy

While the NEEAP draft does mention on the crucial need for stable funding to ensure continuity of programs to ensure effectiveness in delivering the impacts, there is no further details on how is the government going  to ‘induce’ the private sector to fund RM9.5bil and also where are they going to source for the RM988million public funds for the 10 years period. The recent electricity tariff may have done well in addressing the issue with cheap dirty electricity. So how is this going to be done?

6) Lack of Elaborations of Consultation Processes and Editing Team behind NEEAP

There is no appendix nor attachment describing on the evolution of drafting NEEAP along the years, and also there are no names involved in the draft mentioned in the document. The public has the rights to know the draft plan is planned sufficiently by credible experts and  after several round of consultation to various agency/think tank/end users etc. As far as i have realized in APEC Peer Review on EE for Malaysia has been a useful document in reviewing the current status, challenges and constructive criticism on the aspect of EE here, there are not many recommendations out of the 41 options being taken into consideration.

7) No Key Initiative for Capacity Building

While the earlier part of the plan highlights that talent pipeline is an issue for the EE industry, there is no key initiative stated at the later part of the draft plan, even though it was identified as one of the 5 strategic actions. The lack of champion in Energy Efficiency poses a huge challenge as we have ambitious goals but the lack of experienced human capital to kick start the various programs for the next 10 years is something not being addressed by NEEAP. The strategic action did briefly mention that EE shall be a focus in tertiary education, workshops will be organized, which doesn’t mean much as there is no details on how to kick off this capacity building.

How do we address energy efficiency studies in our universities? Are we sure that the talent pool of lecturer at the academic level is sufficient  to cater such curriculum? Which institutes are able to cater these EE workshops? Are there any rebates/CPD by attending these seminars? There shall be a section of the Draft Plan addressing all these crucial basic concerns of capacity building.

8) No Key Initiative for Research and Development

Again, the same as point 7. No further details on RnD specifically, while the draft is just as simple as “universities and private entities are encouraged to enhance research in the field of  EE.” There is no single elaboration of how is this going to be done. What are the possible drivers to encourage quality research papers on EE in our universities? Can there be funds allocated for such RnD? Or perhaps will there be a new research center established solely for the purpose of centralizing NEEAP research efforts? The draft plan is seriously lacking of basic details like this to even justify it’s intended actions.

And i believe some can add up more opinions upon comparing with other countries energy efficiency plans.. and thinking that this NEEAP, is the sole document we have for our 10 years Energy Efficiency masterplan, we are in a serious matter as this draft plan is one of the many factors that determine our economic progression, environmental responsibility, and also energy security. I rest my case for now. Will look forward for next few rounds of outcome.

#While i am not a professional to judge things on the very surface, but as a Malaysian who are concern on the policy that will make the change in our environmental obligations, economic progression, and social welfare situation, i say that the public must be concern on such draft!

on 4 Feb, 12:17

Global Climate Destabilization – Still a Myth? A Personal Sharing

Global Climate Destabilization – Still a Myth? A Personal Sharing
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“How sure are you that the climate change is real? How sure are you that Global Warming is happening? Everything seems fine, why are you worrying?” I don’t know about some of you, but those are the common questions thrown to me, often when i start raising some flags on my Facebook on recent natural disasters or unusual weather phenomena happenings. But it is good because certainly you need solid evidence to prove it is right and not my just a single event of unusual weather event. While i know that i am very convinced that we are in the midst of facing the biggest problem ever since we stepped out from the caves, i do not dare to say that i am bold enough to do a public presentation like how Bill Mckibben always does, which never fails to amaze me for being a walking literature.

My Encounters

The first account of encountering this is James Martin’s “The Meaning of the 21st Century“, it’s the first book i read from cover to cover during my college years. It accounts the 16 mega problems mankind face that questions if our existence is well beyond 21st century, with most of the problem originated from the cause of bad management and absence of foresight, which includes Global Warming and Over Population well enough. Following up then, i started to get involved into activities particularly United Nations University, with one of its conference in New Delhi that shown me how does global warming sound like on the table of politicians. It is there that i saw politicians from surrounding 8 countries (India, Bhutan, Nepal. Afghanistan etc) coming together and debating on the water security of the region as various studies have shown that Glacier in Himalaya is retreating, thus a concern for the water supply for 1.5 billion people.

Climate Pattern Impact has to be Redefined. Credit to Polyp.org.uk

Climate Pattern Impact has to be Redefined. Credit to Polyp.org.uk

The problem of climate change is a complex context itself, particularly to the aspect of socio or geopolitics. It’s any nation greed to secure it’s food, water and energy security for the reason of economics well being, this made it even more complex. That’s why sometimes i am with the opinion that economics might be the death that we have invented for not accounting environmental damages in. I am certain for global climate destabilization because of the unfolding events happening around, sometimes i wish that i am a meteorologist to understand what is really happening. I don’t need to be a scientist to push the idea across, it’s true that you cannot judge on the evident of climate destablization by a single event alone, but we do have series of natural disasters, with increasing of frequency and intensity, that’s for sure. Certainly, you don’t need to be a scientist but a person who has stayed in the same place for dozen of years and to experience something different, the stories are well convinced.

Polar Vortex- January 2014

It became one of the most Googled word. Polar Vortex is the new buzzword for many Americans trying to break the mysteries on the extreme cold weather, the cold air jet stream that escaped from the Arctic sent down chilly weathers across US, Canada and Russia. Various researches are on going and currently focusing on the Arctic, reason being is that as the overall globe temperature increases (0.6 degrees since early 20th century), the arctic is the first place to reflect such changes in climate temperature.

Even Dr John Holdren, president Obama’s Science and Technology from the White House stated that extreme weather will be norm in the time to come.

“Whether this is normal randomness or related to the significant climate changes occurring in the Arctic is not entirely clear, especially when considering individual events. But less sea ice and snow cover in the Arctic and relatively warmer Arctic air temperatures at the end of autumn suggest a more wavy jet stream pattern and more variability between the straight and wavy pattern.”  As extracted from NOAA Website

Illustration of Polar Vortex 2014 and 2014. Credit NOAA

Illustration of Polar Vortex 2014 and 2014. Credit NOAA

The increase of heat content in the ocean is the concern

While some might think that ‘global’ warming’ is to feel the weather is getting hotter and hotter, it is definitely way more complex than that, various parts of the world have already seen how the seasonal climate duration is changing. The world is getting warmer, no doubt on that, it is not measure by air temperature, but the heat content is a more significant observation tool as the acidity also increases due to more intake of carbon from the atmosphere. NOAA recently wrote a piece citing on the increasing heat content in the ocean.

NOAASeaTemperature

Graph showing Significant increase in Ocean Heat Content as 21st Century Greets. Credits: NOAA

As we all know that liquid carries heat content far more than the atmosphere, with this, it can also affect atmospheric temperature and pressure significantly, causing stronger typhoons, or drier droughts. There are just so many signs that show global climate destabilization is happening everywhere by the means of extreme or off record weathers. While there are dozens of events happened for the past years, i managed to find this interactive chart to help you understand better exactly on what extreme weather i am talking about. Or VISIT HERE for the full chart.

 There are of course dozens of extreme weather events in 2013. North China and Russia have been impacted by heavy rains. More than 140 russian towns saw their worst flooding in 120 yaers. During July 21-22, 11 stations around Beijing broke historical rainfall records, damaging-suffering 1.9million people with 77 people dead, and economic loss of $1.5bil USD.

Australia recorded its warmest year on record. The warmth was also notable because it was widespread across the country, with every state and the Northern Territory ranking among their four warmest years on record (NOAA). The country recorded its hottest day on January 7 – a month which also saw the hottest week and hottest month since records began in 1910. And not forgetting also the bush fires that swept through New South Wales.

UK also experienced its coldest spring since 1962. And also not forgetting Typhoon Haiyan with the wind speed of 195 miles per hour and causing increase in wave by 13 feet, the off the chart-category of its own hurricane that took almost 2000 peoples’ live and displace half million population. It is also another event of evident that such catastrophic climate event will bring economic lost, mainly on agricultural damage. In total of $225 mil damage, philippines has to increase its imports on various agriculture by 10% to 20% due to vast agricultural and fisheries industry collapsed due to the disaster.

Before and After. Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Before and After. Credit: dailymail.co.uk

While all these extreme weather events are subjected to different debates and reasoning between scientists to debate about, to conclude if its an act of climate destabilization, i am convinced by the frequency and intensity of events certainly is paving its way for an inconvenient result. While some could have said Malaysia is save and free from natural disaster, we do see some signs, as no doubt that we are part of the global climate system. I once wrote that Malaysia is still safe, ‘for now’. We are in the vibe of economic development.. be it GTP ETP or whatever vision 2020, we do not see a pinch in our economic development yet, resulted from extreme climate events.

Because Malaysia is still Happily “Developing”

There are various countries facing heavy consequences from the global carbon emission. Carried out as an indicator name CCVI Climate Change Vulnerable Index, this map shows the 10 countries who are worst hit by extreme climate event as per early 2012 (Anna 2012). Typically, are those area with least developed and lack of infrastructure to encounter such events.

Climate Change Vulnerable Index - Malaysia? Still save for now?

Climate Change Vulnerable Index – Malaysia? Still save for now?

But yes we do see that the east cost (Kelantan,Terengganu and Pahang) has been receiving additional rainfall, especially last December 2013 with almost 100,000 people evacuated. It seems that the east coast is getting used to frequent flood due to heavier precipitation. The flooding event was the reason why i wrote back in early 2012 but never expected it to be happening and even worsen now. It seems so well that the evacuation centers are now well established and expecting for few more rounds soon.

Najib: Massive Floods Due to Climate Change

Najib: Massive Floods Due to Climate Change

I really wonder if he said that or it’s just the media interpretation. Will be interested to know on the methodology to prove on how the excessive rain fall event is tied with climate change. But look no further, a week or two ago we just got a happy news that this CNY will be celebrated with chilly weather, thanks to the wind being blown down from China and Russia. It is usual that January is the coldest month of the year, but the extra chill weather from China and Russia is passed down via north-easterly winds, making it colder. Faizal from GEC did suggest a linkage with the overall global climate phenomena (but yea was looking forward for a detail literature explain), but farmers who are involved in agriculture, who are deeply tied with weather condition did feel the pinch already with the extending of maturity period of their crops, thus affecting sales.

So back to the main question again is global climate destabilization a myth? The answer depends on you. And as on the account of numerous times of having this topic with Malaysians, my instinct tells me that most of us know what is global warming at the very scratch, which is ‘weather getting hotter’. Hmm! Of course there are much more to know about that.. including Donald Triumph himself..

donaldtrump

Looks like he missed Al Gore’s 101 Climate Change – The Inconvenient Truth

I can’t help but to blame on few things based on my observation, for the local Malaysian context, on why we all are still so lazy to take action:

  • Media Coverage and Accuracy

No doubt, but cannot be blamed on Media as a whole as well as there are not many extreme weather cases happening so far to be covered upon. (Owhh but there are dozens of environmental issues deserving attention but unfortunately not covered). My concern on media is not merely whether they are reporting on the event, but rather, on the information accuracy of it. I was disappointed during the flood that no further investigation or coverage was done into allowing the public to understand the heavy precipitation better, rather announcing which politicians or which agency is pouring in aid etc. No doubt also that media as a whole can turn things around by giving misinformation. Global Warming can be a very misleading word if the public, in general doesn’t take effort on trying to understanding the whole simple analogy of climate destabilization.

new poll from Yale University and George Mason shows that the percentage of Americans who don’t believe in climate change rose 7% in 2013 to 23% of the entire population.  While 63% of the general public believes that climate change is occurring, only 47% believe that human activities are to blame.  The poll also revealed that less than 50% of Americans believe that climate change will affect their lives, but 65% say that it could harm future generations. SOURCE

climatesummit

No doubt, i have seen people like this around.

  • Because Climate Destabilization hasn’t Affected us in $ yet 

Yes it is that simple, the government won’t take steps into climate change mitigation unless there is a sound economic value to it. And as per current economic model, cutting down the nation’s carbon emission will not help the countries in $ directly, unless there is a financial mechanism involving carbon already existed and being practiced by Malaysian Government then am not sure about. Geographically climate speaking, we are not as vulnerable as Philippines and Taiwan who are exposed to pacific ocean typhoons/hurricanes.. we are not a nation positioned in a huge land mass and constantly having ocean around us working as a heat capacitor ensuring minimal extreme temperature differences.. (theoretically speaking), we have yet to face hug extreme climate events that will affect our economy yet to grab our politicians’ attentions.

  • Religion

I once remember in a monthly social gathering with my ‘green’ friends, after the documentary, we had a discussion and someone said “It’s so hard to talk about climate change with religion centered people”. I think i could well relate to that, as many times i spoke about this to my christian friends, all they will just say is that “the signs are showing, it is all in the book of Revelation, Jesus is coming again! Repent!” And they will just respond by “Just Pray”. I do not generalize every christian and religion in this way, but the fact is that sometimes Religion can blind us so much from the world we are living in to move on with what Faith asked us to do with the scripture. Sometimes we choose to be in an enclosed place call “The Church” and fill our ears on sermons of sins, redemption and forgiveness, but not interpreting the scripture we behold to, to the daily life we are living in with the people around us. There are issues to be thought about outside here in the place He created.

So thinking that Climate Destabilization is somewhat true? Please question scientifically and fair, and if you do find that this is a journey of yours as a mankind to save your future generation, here’s a video for you.

Start rolling the ball, start questioning on what you learn on 350.org Do The Math HERE. IF you feel like you are keen and concerned to do something about it, do it from the very fundamental basic steps, save energy as simple as that, in a wide spectrum of application, from the house you live in, to the transport you use and to the food you eat. Feel like doing more for the activist movement? Then start it by connecting to like minded people, join MESYM’s monthly documentary session and start talking and start doing!

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