Man at His Best

The Weekend Roundup: Mother Nature Is Pissed

Earthquakes, water rations, Sarah Palin dismisses climate change and an Indonesian minister argues that Singapore needs to up its haze combating game. Sorry, Indonesia. Noted.

BY Zul Andra | Apr 18, 2016 | Culture


1 | Haze blame game strong

Over the hot and sticky weekend, Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry (and Double Conundrum), Siti Nurbaya, questioned Singapore’s role in combating transboundary haze. With a straight face, we assume.

“There is really no need to comment too much on the part Indonesia is currently playing. However, with all due respect to my Singaporean counterpart, what are they doing? And where has it got them?” she was quoted in as though the spirit of Mother Nature had compelled her.

This makes us want to unleash a Harrison Ford—which he did on her predecessor, Zulkifli Hasan, that almost had the actor deported. Perhaps, the only thing Singapore could do is to complain less and do more with clamping the supply of illegal palm oil into Singapore-listed companies. Kidding, ain’t no one got time for that when you are busy debating whether Rui En should be forgiven.

Last year, The Guardian reports that tens of thousands of hectares of forest has been set ablaze in Indonesia, half-a-million respiratory infections were filed and the PSI index in Sumatra and Kalimantan reached a high of 2000. Nasty stuff. This annual slash and burn event has been labelled as a “crime against humanity”—just as much as the inaction.  

2 | Malaysia’s water supply runs dry

85,000 residents and users in Johor’s Kota Tinggi and Mersing districts start water rationing today. The heatwave, which is starting to piss people off in a major way, has caused dams and rivers to turn as dry as jokes made by insufferable politicians.

With a maximum of 250 million gallons of water running through our local pipes from Johor, we too are facing a dent in our water supply.

But fret not, people who shower 10 times a day. Although Johor is one of Singapore's “four national taps”, we can still depend on the other three sources: local catchment water, NEWater and desalinated water. Yum.

3 | Sarah Palin dismisses global warming and challenges Bill Nye the Science Guy

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” Palin opined during the premiere of Climate Hustle—an anti-climate change film that she endorses. “He’s a kids’ show actor. He’s not a scientist,” she said of the Science Guy who has been working with NASA, holds several patents and is the face of the Chabot Space & Science Center.

The former Alaskan governor, who also endorses US presidential candidate Donald Trump, stands by her position that climate change is a way for government, business leaders and scientists to control power. She was also quoted to say that “parents should be vigilant against attempts at mind control [of their children].”

We do believe that global warming has gotten to her head.

4 | Japan and Ecuador recovers from devastating earthquakes over the weekend

The death toll has reached over 300 as Japan’s Kyushu Island and Ecuador were rocked by a devastating earthquake. Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 and magnitude-7.0 quake in Ecuador and Japan respectively were not the worst in the nation’s history but rescuers are fighting against time through equally deadly aftershocks—378 in Japan alone. While Pope Francis offered his prayers to the victims of both quakes, tens of thousands from the armed forces and fire departments in both countries have been activated.

5 | Saudi Arabia and Iran disagreement will see oil prices plummeting further

Oil producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met in Qatar yesterday to discuss freezing oil production to stabilise prices that have been plunging in the last 18 months. Y’know, because people need to make money and all that.

Attended by Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and other OPEC members, the boys weren’t all that happy that Iran wasn’t around. Iran did not send a representative since they are busy recovering from economic sanctions lifted earlier this year.

The Saudis—the world’s largest oil exporter—would put a cap on their output only if all members agreed. Iran, on the other hand, will only agree to the cap once they reach pre-sanctions production level—which they can.

At its highest in 2008, oil prices were USD140 a barrel. Today, it’s USD40 a barrel. A barrel of laughter for consumers.