King Rama IX and the solution to global warming
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
It is undeniable that December is the time for celebration and relaxing for everyone. The same goes for this year when Thai Meteorological Department declared that the weather will truly be cold, which is coldest at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 at 7-8oC where as the lowest temperature in Bangkok will be 15-17 oC. Many people are excited because it is long known that Thailand has only three seasons, hot, hotter and hottest. Although it is always hot, there is something that can get people excited. What is also important is that December is the month Thai people are waiting for as 5th December is the Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Thailand’s Father’s Day.
What mentioned above may not seem to be relevant. However, experts, scientists and representatives from civil society were recently discussing about future of the Earth that is slowly burning from the most drastically increase in temperature in the world’s history in the “UN Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile. The main reason is because of the accumulation of carbon dioxide gas, one of the greenhouse gases that is now above the limit that the world’s system can control and balance. That is why I wonder what King Rama IX, who is well loved and respected by Thai people, had said about this. As he was a developer who fought against poverty for his people, it is impossible that he would have not been interested about something related to his missions.
From what I have researched, I found out that he said about global warming 30 years ago on 4 December 1989 to people who visited and blessed him on his Birthday Anniversary at Dusidalia Hall, Chitralada Royal Villa. The details were about global warming, invention for renewable energy and energy recycling. So, I would like to bring about his royal words as follows,
"....Recently, I thought or received information about one thing, which causes trouble for the whole world. It is the trouble that everyone has to face, but not everyone gets to know. Sometime someone knew about it and then became noisy, causing even more trouble. This trouble has also been said before. It is about the world’s environmental condition. All seniors, juniors and people who live in Europe, America or Asia talk about this.Land will be flooded by sea water rise because of environmental changes because there is too much carbon in the air that causes the condition like greenhouse. The world will get hotter. Then ice may melt into the sea. As a result, land with low sea level like Bangkok will be flooded. That is why I’m interested how could this happen and I have gained information that the increase of carbon dioxide in the air is from fossil fuel burning and combustion."
His Majesty then said about the amount of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere, the statistic about forest, the advantages of trees to absorb carbon dioxide, the ocean to accumulate this gas as well. He pointed out that the solution is to “burn less and plant more.”
Moreover, the King added that global warming is the world’s problem, and Thailand needs to prepare for it as below:
“…Saying like this, you may be confused because now it became the world’s problem. As we used to talk about our country but now we talk about the world. It is the responsibility that we have, so it is true that we need to talk in the global level. When Thailand grows up, we will be known as a stable and good country. We must have more responsibility to the world, and I believe it will be good things for our country.”
When I read the whole speech of His Majesty the king, I realized that he deeply studied about this and had accurate information as well as solutions for the country long before. That is to “reduce consumption” and “rely more on renewable energy.” He warned us long before the government or other agencies realized about the problem many years later. He was also probably the only king at that time who talks about global warming thoroughly. For global warming 30 years ago, most Thais didn’t know about it. At that time, “greenhouse effect” may be similar and more familiar term because it explains directly how the world’s temperature changes. But when temperature increases, the world doesn’t only face heat but also unbalanced ecosystem, climate instability and untimely seasons. Natural disasters occurred more severe and frequent. The term ‘climate change’ was then established. So, it can be seen that King Rama IX had long vision. He saw that consumption behavior and energy policy will definitely increase the severity of drought and flood of the country. That is why he always emphasized the importance of water and land resource management.
His speech on that day also emphasized on global warming, water resource management as well as sustainable development and sufficient economy to avoid overconsumption because human’s activities are all caused by energy in many forms. Do you still remember? The determination to follow the footstep of His Majesty the King and to change lifestyle to be sufficient as according to the King intention…Do you still remember?
For this coming New Year, what can we do to help this world, which is like our “home”, to be with us for long time? Exploit other living beings to the least. Reduce and stop unnecessary consumption. Live on the basis of sufficiency. If everyone seriously do this, small power will be united to be enormous power that can make the differences.