Rather than fixing the cause, Bangkok tries to spray its smog away using water cannons

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/29/rather-than-fixing-the-cause.html



The last time I was in Thailand I can recall that it smelled like the the tuk tuks were running off of kerosene.


Yes enforcing actual emissions standards for vehicles is the correct solution, but it’s going to take years to implement at great pushback from the population. As a temporary measure this seems like a plausible idea, although I’m dubious about the sugar and the scale at which they’re doing this.


Sadly, last time I was in Thailand it was democracy that was burning.


So now instead of just polluted air they also now have more polluted water and land? Sounds like a well thought out plan /s.


Seems like the same solution as the guys who suggest adding particulate in the upper atmosphere to eradicate global warming. They just happen to own a company that would do it.

But nobody has seemingly said to them, “I don’t want to breathe more particulate matter.”

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
– Upyours Sinclair


If they run small diesel engines, then probably. Kerosene is cheaper (at least here).

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Uh oh. Sounds like the city don’t know what the city is getting.


Recently, Bangkok was trying to encourage street vendors to sell food on foot paths. If you block your footpaths, fewer people are going to walk, and more are going to drive, causing more pollution.

One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble (or asthmatic anyway) …

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I expect the thought process was a bit like this. (Wow, you can’t say ■■■■■ Von Lipwig here)

‘I trust the day goes well with you? Up until now, that is?’

■■■■■ looked around, sorting hastily through the Post Office’s recent little problems. Apart from Drumknott, who was standing by his master with an attitude of deferential alertness, they were alone.

‘Look, I can explain,’ he said.

Lord Vetinari lifted an eyebrow with the care of one who, having found a piece of caterpillar in his salad, raises the rest of the lettuce.

‘Pray do,’ he said, leaning back.

‘We got a bit carried away,’ said ■■■■■. ‘We were a bit too creative in our thinking. We encouraged mongooses to breed in the posting boxes to keep down the snakes…’

Lord Vetinari said nothing.

‘Er… which, admittedly, we introduced into the posting boxes to reduce the numbers of toads…’

Lord Vetinari repeated himself.

‘Er… which, it’s true, staff put in the posting boxes to keep down the snails…’

Lord Vetinari remained unvocal.

‘Er… These, I must in fairness point out, got into the boxes of their own accord, in order to eat the glue on the stamps,’ said ■■■■■, aware that he was beginning to burble.

‘Well, at least you were saved the trouble of having to introduce them yourselves,’ said Lord

Vetinari cheerfully. ‘As you indicate, this may well have been a case where chilly logic should have been replaced by the common sense of, perhaps, the average chicken. But that is not the reason I asked you to come here today.’

‘If it’s about the cabbage-flavoured stamp glue—’ ■■■■■ began.

Vetinari waved a hand. ‘An amusing incident,’ he said, ‘and I believe nobody actually died.’
-Terry Pratchett, Making Money


Oh sure, but when I shoot at a hurricane, they call ME crazy.


Sugar water you say??


well…to be fair…the west doesn’t have diesels that meet regulations…

On the sweet front, all I can think of is the bugs…don’t bugs like sugar?

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Obvious solution: sell food from the middle of the highway.


“I don’t want to breathe more particulate matter.”

Are you… one that regularly breaths stratospheric atmosphere?

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I’m definitely not an expert on the relevant physics; but I’m surprised that someone would think that viscosity is the value most worth prodding at that scale.

Even well into the ‘small, but quite visible’ scale you can see that surface tension is a fairly big deal with water. You don’t get droplets and meniscuses and water striders and such without it.

Are there sub-10nm particles that merrily punch through both surfaces of a water droplet, plus the intervening water; but would be stymied by the incrementally more viscous sugar water in an otherwise equivalent situation? Seems like a very narrow window for atypically energetic particles.

My naive impression would be that you’d get a capture in most cases where the target could be induced to collide with your droplet at all(though if it resists wetting you might actually want a surfectant to reduce surface tension); and you’d be much better off trying to increase the odds of that happening; say by using the electrostatic spraying techniques that give all your particles a bit of static charge.

Is my intuition about this scale totally wrong? Did someone else’s intuition tell them that ‘more sticky means more capture’ despite that being closer to true at larger scales?