From Publishers Weekly
Fahn, a longtime environmental editor for the Nation, an English-language Bangkok daily newspaper, bases this study of the precarious state of Southeast Asia's environment on his own research. Focusing on Thailand, Fahn demonstrates how industrialization and the expanding economy turned Bangkok, Thailand's capital, into a congested, traffic-choked city, with dangerously polluted air. The sharp increase in tourism has resulted in overdevelopment of formerly pristine beaches, the destruction of coral reefs and a construction boom in golf courses that require enormous amounts of water (a scarce resource) and ground chemicals that leach into and pollute the surrounding water supply. In nuanced and nonjudgmental language, the author examines how unrestricted logging so decimated Thai forests that timber began to be illegally smuggled from Burma. While the writing is dense, Fahn clearly explains the complex environmental problems in Southeast Asia. Although regulations exist to protect Thailand's environment, government corruption has weakened their enforcement. With a large poor population, Thailand lacks a substantial middle class that, in developed countries, can successfully advocate for cleaner air and water. The author also points out that Asia as well as Africa and Latin America will suffer the most from a worldwide warming trend. According to Fahn, the best hope for the world's environment lies in global cooperation.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Fahn clearly explains the complex environmental problems in Southeast Asia." -- Publishers Weekly
"This well-written publication offers many interesting anecdotes about Thailand." -- Choice
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