22 October 2015

A Walk In The Haze

Monday (19 October) was an evening to remember.

My friends and I attended a function in the western part of Singapore. When we entered the air-conditioned room, the latest (i.e., 7 pm) 24-hour PSI (west) was 125, the 3-hour PSI was 77 and the 1-hour PM2.5 (west) was 48 micrograms per cubic metre (equivalent to a 1-hour PSI of 91).

When the function ended two hours later, we found the air outdoors thick with haze.

16 October 2015

NEA's Stubborn Refusal To Publish 1-Hour PSI

National Environmental Agency ("NEA") has rejected calls to publish the 1-hour PSI, explaining as follows:

"Since April [2014], the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI), three-hour PSI and one-hour PM2.5 concentrations have been published hourly, on the hour, on the NEA website ….

The scale used to convert PM2.5 concentrations to the PSI has been derived based on health studies of exposure over a 24-hour period. This is why the NEA uses the 24-hour average concentrations to compute the PSI.

25 September 2015

GE 2015: How Mainstream Media Helped PAP

The mainstream media played an important role in People's Action Party's landslide win GE 2015.

Publicity for Government Programmes

In the weeks or months before GE 2015, Channel News Asia set aside about five minutes after its nightly news programme to explain what the Government had done in respect of:

▪ MediShield Life: how it makes hospitalisation more affordable than non-mandatory MediShield
▪ CPF LIFE: how its annuities provide retirees with a cash payout for life
▪ HDB flats: how they are supposedly more affordable

While there's nothing wrong with the mainstream media's explaining Government policies and programmes, MediaCorp (Channel News Asia's parent) seemed to think that viewers need to be told again and again over several weeks.

Coincidentally, the broadcasts seemed to have ceased shortly after polling day!

The Value of 1-hour PM2.5

The haze is back.

We have been advised to check the 24-hour PSI.

But take a look at the 24-hour PSI compared to the 1-hour PSI (based on the 1-hour PM2.5 pollutant concentrations) for the west region for the 48 hours starting 1 am 23 September 2015:

18 September 2015

Trumpeting The Distribution Of Masks

Channel News Asia reported on 15 September that the People’s Action Party ("PAP") team which contested and lost in Aljunied GRC in GE 2015 distributed masks to residents, especially the under-privileged.

Mr Victor Lye, chairman of the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol Citizens' Consultative Committee, said: "Originally, we were going to do our thank you to our residents, but we noted the haze situation getting worse. In fact this morning, we found out it might be quite bad this evening.

"Thank goodness for the rain in the afternoon, but before the rains came, we felt that between saying thank you to people and doing what we believe in [pause] we decided to do what we believe. So we decided to go to our own divisions and take care of the people."