The Rammifications of Thought

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Monday, October 09, 2006

API levels redefined

Yes the haze has come back to haunt us again. It was not long ago that I posted an entry about it, and thought all would be well after that short spell of smoky season. But boy, was I wrong.

I just read that the air in PJ hit API levels of up to 130 today, an indication which probably not many people will comprehend, assuming that most of them aren't properly trained to grade the air quality, people like me.

0-50: Good
51-100: Moderate
101-200: Unhealthy
201-300: Very unhealty
>300: Hazardous

The problem with this scale is that it is overly simple, if not utterly boring. How unhealty exactly is the category "Unhealty"? Does it mean you're going to get a cough, a mild sore throat and should probably stay indoors for most of the day? Or would it be some serious shit like developing chronic bronchitis and having your lungs collapse?

Based on my observations of the current situation, I'd say there would be a totally different class of definitions to differentiate between these varying API categories, which I humbly present below.

0-50: Indonesia's being nice. Either that or their entire forests must have burned down and they have nothing else to incinerate. Air is breatheble, no masks required and children are encouraged to go out more. Adults stay in and work, as usual.

51-100: Our gov must have pissed off the neighbour, resulting in a large amount of their petroleum being used for suspicious purposes. Occurences of coughing and sneezing increase. Doctors get more patients, face mask vendors get brisk business, and air filter dealers have a killing.

101-200: Indonesia runs out of water. Respiratory diseases strike like a plague; shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma. Companies get a record high MC's and the doctors themselves are sick from the air. Outdooor activities are cancelled, football fields are empty, and tourist attractions are giving amazing promotions.

201-300: Now we're really in for it. Years of abusing Mother Nature and now it's coming back to us. Chronic diseases start to develop, hospitals see a higher intake of patients. Visibility is approximately the distance between your porch and the backyard, nothing beyond. Genting loses its attraction as people are literally living in the misty highlands.

>300: We declare war on Indonesia. Schools close down, parents get even sicker due to the constant need to tend to the children. Outside the streets are empty, shops are closed. Vacations are cancelled, medical appointments made. The nation gets ready for the next catastrophe.

>500: Whee! Declaration of emergency stage. Everyone stops working and stays at home writing wills. Indonesia is bombed and ceases to exist.

Doesn't that make you consider the haze more seriously from now on? :D


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