October 31, 2005

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Liao's Hydrogen Bomb

Over the weekend, I mused on how unfortunate it was that legalized gambling brokers like Ladbrokes or Paddy Power did not exist in Hong Kong. Because if you follow sports leagues in any European country, one of their favorite bets is which manager in the league will be the next to get sacked. The Hong Kong Jockey Club would never countenance this, of course, but I would love to be able to bet on which 'minister' of Donald Tsang's cabinet under the 'accountability' system will be the next to get fired.

Speaking of fired, let's turn now to the wonderful subject of coal-fired electricity plants in our midst thanks to China Light and Power. My money on the next sacking would be on Sarah Liao (can be re-arranged to spell: ALO ASH AIR), who appears, during her tenure as the environment chief, to have overseen the worst increase in pollution experienced by any developed city, anywhere, ever. Shout it after me: HONG KONG'S AIR IS A DISGRACE AND AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. And despite her attempts to say otherwise, a great deal of it is generated locally.

What is her solution to Hong Kong's smog problem? Hydrogen cell cars, according to this article in the Standard. Unfortunately, hydrogen fuel cell cars are about two decades away from viability. This, by the way, is the same woman that claimed that the pollution would get better this year thanks to new scrubbers installed in Guangdong factories.

It appears that perhaps in her haste to find the culprit in the room, Ms. Liao is ignoring the huge bloody dinosaur in the corner. Given that we, the Hong Kong tax- and bill-payers are spotting the local power companies a guaranteed 15% profit margin, it seems the least they could be compelled to do by the government is to move their electricity generating plants to less polluting fuels. Hong Kong's population is paying their bills, and the power generators are killing them in return.

Methinks in response to that, Ms. Liao might propose some cold fusion plants - still, sadly not expected to make it off the drawing board for the next century.

posted by HK Dave on 10.31.05 at 08:05 AM in the Environment category.


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