Visitors to the North of Thailand will have noticed that a number of mountains are being completely removed. To find out what is behind this improvement, Private Tye interviewed Acharn Teemunny the President of the Flat Thailand Society.
Private Tye: What are the objectives of the Flat Thailand Society?
Teemunny: It is simply to make Thailand completely flat from Sungai Kolok to Mae Hong Son.
Private Tye: Does that mean that the whole of Thailand will be a rich and fertile area like the central plains?
Teemunny: Not exactly. Think more in terms of Libya or Arizona. Arizona is a great place and Phoenix is one of the world's fastest growing cities. A completely flat Thailand will make it easy to build more roads, chemical plants, factories and housing developments.
Private Tye: When was the Flat Thailand Society established?
Teemunny: Way back in the 1980s. At that time the mountains were covered by hideous teak trees and other hardwoods. They were full of vermin and dangerous animals including leopards and tigers. Fortunately, we found that the Singaporeans would buy hardwoods. So, our valiant loggers got to work and in a few short years had cleared almost all the teak from the Thai forests. This did not make Thailand flat, but it was a good start.
Private Tye: What happened next?
Teemunny: Trees grew back. Not hardwoods, of course (village entrepreneurs made make sure that any hardwood beyond four inches diameter would be cut out and sold), but useless wood - no good for timber or charcoal. We were very disappointed, but the agro-industrial companies and hill tribes came to the rescue. Slash and burn cultivation was re-invented and the trees cut down and replaced with maize for animal feed.
Private Tye: What about the cement?
Teemunny: Fortunately, Thailand's mountains are mostly made of limestone which is the principle component of cement. In 2012 Thailand was the the fourth largest exporter of cement in the world, exporting 11.47 million tons. With all the trees and wildlife removed nobody has any objection to removing the mountains themselves.
Private Tye: You said something about Arizona and Libya?
Teemunny: Yes, with the forests and mountains gone you can not expect much rainfall in the future. But what does this matter? We made 567 million US dollars in Cement exports in 2011. I reckon we can increase that amount tenfold which will more than compensate for the complete loss of rice exports.
Private Tye: You seem to have thought of everything, it is good to know that future generations will be well taken care of.
The League of Nations Forestry Exploitation Department (FED) has become concerned that Myus Kamoeyus (commonly known as “the illegal logger”) may soon become extinct in South-East Asia. The Myus Kamoeyus tends to be a shy creature but Private Tye managed to take this rare photograph of one two years ago.
The Myus used to eat only teak but more recently they have adapted to eating all hard woods. Previously, they could only be found down side roads and forest tracks. Now they can be spotted near main roads and human settlements. Wildlife enthusiasts are warned that the Myus is extreamely dangerous and will not hesitate to attack humans. It is particularly vicious if photographed while it is eating. The Myus is easy to locate due to their loud noise, a Brum, Brum, Bhurrr... sound which can be heard kilometers away. However, they have a maneuver, known as the “kickback” which renders natural predators, such as Forestry Officials, deaf.
FED told Private Tye that the Myus is critically endangered because there are simply no hardwoods left in South-East Asia. Apparently their habitat has been destroyed by other animals. In Indonesia by Parmolia Plantationus (the illegal palm oil planter) and in Thailand by Maizus Growus (the illegal corn grower).
There is also concern that animals that live in symbiosis with the Myus may also face extinction. For example the FED employs a small army of hacks to write 300 page reports (which nobody ever reads) about the Myus. However, Private Tye was assured that this is not the case. No environmental factor will ever stop the FED from producing vast number of reports that nobody ever reads, we were told.
The notorious climate terrorist “El Nino” is about to be apprehended according to Poophan Plod of the Drought And Forest-fire Team (DAFT). The Poophan told Private Tye that police forces in South-East Asia have been co-operating with special forces in South America and they now have El Nino cornered. “We know he's somewhere in the Pacific and we expect to make the arrest any day now” we were told.
“El Nino used to wreak havoc once every ten years, but now he is at it every year” the Poophan said. El Nino is solely responsible for the droughts in Thailand and the mud slides along the south American coast. Deforestation has got nothing to do with it, he assured us.
It is three months now since the government instituted the ban on all sales of coffee within 300 meters of any university or college. The measure was put in place to prevent brawls between rival gangs of technical students. Reactions from academics was mixed. Acharn Myloo of Barbarbabor University was pleased that students did not wake up during his lectures. He told Private Tye Magazine that after the ban “they would all have their heads down when I arrived in the theater and would stay fast-asleep until the bell”. However, the Rectum of Easygown University was indifferent. “Our students turn up to register and pay their fees, then we do not see them again until the Degree Award Ceremony” he told Private Tye.
Police response has not been very positive. We interviewed Poophan Plod, head of the Coffee Crackdown Squad (CCS). It seems that students are able to travel more than 300 meters from their campuses, they use cars, motorcycles, bicycles and some of them have even learned to walk. We hadn't expected this said Plod. Quite often the nearest coffee shop to one campus is also the nearest to another. So we get groups from two colleges in the same shop, once they are high on caffeine a brawl is the inevitable result. This did not happen when there were coffee shops near the campus gate.
But there is a much more serious problem. According the Poophan some students have begun smuggling tins of Birdy on to the campuses and making a fortune on this illicit trade. So much so, that these Birdy dealers have formed themselves into rival cartels and are now involved in battles for campus territory. Acharn Myloo is in despair because his students keep getting woken up by the sound of automatic weapons fire as the cartels fight it out.
The first of this year's forest fires have started. Again we can blame the phantom smoker. For the last 15 years we have watched the results of his activities. The fires always break out half way up the mountain. As there no roads or tracks up there he must be a skillful climber. Up he goes, and after about three hours climbing he stops for his smoke and stubs out the butt in a pile of dry leaves.The fires have got nothing to do with the fact that all the top canopy trees have been removed by loggers. If people would just stop smoking cigarettes there would be no more forest fires.