Laws

Bangkok Pollution

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(615 Words)

Bangkok is polluted, the smoke filled air from the early morning commuters with their cars, coming from their brand new condos, making their way to work serve to highlight the dramatic contamination levels this city has reached. Recent news from the Pollution Control Department that Bangkok’s air has reached critical levels can only confound worry. Bangkok people have learnt to put up with the pollution and ignore the three main worries associated with it; new high rise buildings, abundance of cars and filthy air. These factors will be classified in this essay.

The first factor is the brand new condos and apartments line every street in Bangkok these days. These new building have sprouted out of the ground to collect more people into a smaller areas of Bangkok. The sad fact is, there are little or no zoning laws. These seductively built premises neatly situated within eyeshot of major thoroughfares maybe appealing for the commuter belt brigade of workers but on already congested toll ways, roads and little sois, there really is no room for 50 or more families in their sparkling new condos. There are definitely signs of an oversupply of condos in Bangkok. The Government has noticed this too and has dropped the bank lending of 100% to only 90% of apartments less than 10 million baht which had made it too enticing for speculators but this will not stop the builders as they change tack and move into other avenues to entice more people into Bangkok.

Another factor is that there is no day off for traffic. Cars and buses clog the city twenty four seven. Benzene levels over Bangkok are well over the general limit. Medical studies have proved that long exposure to benzene exposure brings on cancer but this information must be kept quiet. Euro 4, one of the benzene petrol distributors have said they will try to reduce the levels of benzene emissions from 3.5% to 1%. This in itself is a great idea but what about the past and Bangkok’s contact with the smog that envelopes the city everyday. To compound the problem, these Bangkok people keep buying new cars. The roads are littered with red number plates, even with all the expense car ownership incurs; as long traffic jams every morning still grow larger. Bangkokians still continue to see their motors as prestige items.

One last aspect of pollution is the air which may seem clean to Bangkokians, some of them actually think their level of pollution is normal, but the air is not clean, dust particles lay in the atmosphere. These dust particles which can only be measured in microns of measurement that float around exceed the normal rate of air quality. Ozone levels were also found to be 0.2 percent higher than normal and volatile organic compounds were double the normal rate.  Most of the 6.7 million residents are taking this air in. Plants and vegetation should help this but with not that many green areas the plants can’t give off air to cleanse and cool the area while the temperature keep rising. This heat is added to by the concrete building which retain their heat so Bangkok is still hot at night.

To conclude, there are many examples of the ways Bangkok is becoming more polluted. The truth is the Government should wake up to the dangers of air pollution but with the sheer vast amount of traffic on the streets of Bangkok it is going to a hard task. They have started the underground and BTS which unluckily invites construction but expansion of this transportation seems a distant dream and the sad aspect, Bangkok people must have given up on that vision too.

How are laws made in England?

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(846 words)

In an ever-changing world, people are forever coming up with new ways to enjoy themselves. On any given Saturday night in England, many revelers want to forget their cares and worries to drink vast amounts of alcohol involving pub drinking competitions that allow you to drink as much as you can in short periods of time leading to the winner being the last person standing. Although the regular guys and gals on the street have a wild time doing this, the Government does not see the funny side. This entails them bringing in laws to curtail the rise of alcohol-related deaths brought on by excessive drinking.  So, how does the Government stop this extreme behavior? Laws are made to give a sense of order and to show how people should or should not behave. The process of this law-making, namely through Government Bills, is not a completely straightforward process and must go through many parliamentary readings before it becomes law including a reading by the Lords and ultimately the Queen.

The first process is the formulation of the bill. This decides what is actually going to be written into the bill which is completed by ministers and civil servants although government lawyers will actually draft the bill. An Initial stage where the bill is called a Green Paper allows the bill to be shown to a wider audience which allows for discussion in the shape of a draft bill. Once this draft bill has been agreed on by ministers it enters into its First Reading in the House of Commons. Although draft by name the bill is not as rough as one may think, it is actually what the Government wants in its full content. Usually, this bill will pass within any amendments to it mainly due to the Government which has an overall majority in the House. What follows is the Second Reading as the bill gains momentum to the interest of more ministers where the finer details are discussed. This is the stage where wide-ranging discussion is made which can last only one parliamentary day depending on how controversial the bill is. It is also the stage where the Government opposition gets involved. The bills then move onto the committee stage.

A standing committee of 18 to 25 ministers now decides the bill at the committee stage. The minister in charge of the bill is included in this stage along with their junior ministers as well as the opposition with their juniors plus other MP’s and two whips each from the government. These people involved are considered to be experts in the topic being discussed during the committee stage. This committee stage will determine how important the bill to be passed to law is and requires 10 or 12 meetings chaired by a senior backbencher. They look at each clause in the bill, not the overall bill itself, and each member is allowed an amendment to the bill. This is where the bill may be defeated as too many amendments create major changes in the original bill. After this, the bill proceeds to the report stage which includes all MP’s reading through the bill with its amendments. At this stage also, amendments can be added. This stage can last from 30 minutes to several days. The bill is now ready for the Third Reading which is the final stage regarding the debate of the bill in the House of Commons. The overall content is discussed then moved onto the House of Lords.

The House of Lords can pass the bill fairly quickly where once this is done it goes to Royal ascent although the Lords can still make amendments to it, and again it is returned to the House of Commons for debate on the Lords amendments. The Commons can accept the amendments or dismiss them. This is where the bill can go to and from The Commons to The Lords until an acceptable compromise is reached. Only on a very rare occasion has the bill died at this stage but in almost every case it is ready for the Monarch to formally sign the bill so it becomes an act of law. The Queen still has the power to disagree with the bill although this is also very rare. The act is now given a date of implication and then becomes a law of the land.

After reading this paper the reader should appreciate that laws in England are not speedy acts to problems. Worrying situations may arise in England, but it has been shown in this essay the stages that a bill has to go through before it becomes law, quantifies the details included in the bill that make it resolutely agreed upon where all parties are content. Even though those people going into the pubs and clubs over England may question the integrity of the new law, they should realize that it was only passed for the well-being of the country as a whole, and hopefully will stop the thousand of people dying each year from alcohol-related deaths.