There are frequently letters in PostBag asking why Thailand isn't doing more to advance green, renewable energy when in just the past few years both solar and wind energy have become far more efficient. For example, the price of solar panel prices has dropped dramatically. If you figure in the actual costs of pollution to society, green energies are already cheaper and will become ever more so.
However, Thailand deserves much more credit that it is getting. According to the International Energy Agency, Thailand is already the regional leader in the green energy industry. Early this year, Southeast Asia's biggest wind energy farm _ Hua Bong 2 & 3 _ was completed in Nakhon Ratchasima, capable of producing 207 megawatts of electric power, with very little press coverage. There are more such projects coming on line over the next three to five years.
The Thai government is also making tariffs and the overall tax structure favourable for wind and solar energy producers.
Thailand is the regional leader now and is moving forward toward its stated objective of relying on 20% or more green energy by 2020.
Paul A Renaud
IT'S STILL THE ECONOMY, STUPID
With regard to Voranai Vanijaka's commentary last Sunday, ''Income tax could become Thailand's great equaliser'', in his book Second Treatise of Civil Government, Nobel winning economist Friedrich Hayek wrote: ''The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom ... where there is no law, there is no freedom.''
In this context, Voranai should be commended for his views on the lack of equal application of income tax laws in Thailand.
The famous quote from Bill Clinton ''It's the economy stupid'' pretty much sums up the case for everyone living in Thailand to pay their fair share. For a country to flourish everyone should follow the rule of law, especially when it comes to money and taxes. People working in all sectors should pay their taxes for the common good. Strengthening income tax laws will not only bring transparency but also accountability. Those who make more should pay more. And those at the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder should realise that if they do not pay, they cannot play.
Dr Kuldeep Nagi
Assumption University, Bangkok
FIRST, FIND THE TARGET
New Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng has vowed to press on with his predecessor's hasty school curriculum reform efforts despite criticism that haste makes waste. I suggest that the minister follow the advice in Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, one of which is ''Begin with the end [goal] in mind.''
All agree that our education system is in dire need of reform. Mr Chaturon rightly says: ''The ministry alone can't improve the education system, so cooperation [with the private sector] must be promoted.''
But I don't see a consensus on our goals. For example, I suggest that most school directors don't appear to know that, as Bertrand Russell once said: ''Education should have two objects: first to give definite knowledge, reading and writing, language and mathematics, and so on; and secondly, to create those mental habits which will enable people to acquire knowledge and form sound judgements for themselves.''
Mr Chaturon himself stressed that cooperation is essential to success _ but he's not going to get people to buy in by cramming orders down their throats.
Instead, he needs more participation from stakeholders, including educators and potential employers, to obtain consensus on the goals of education, and on what must be done and in what sequence.
Then they must agree on key performance indicators of achievement, and independent monitoring and reporting of progress towards those indicators.
Once we know the target, we can aim, then fire.
DOG DIET DEBATE RAGES ON
I was a bit horrified to read Soi Dog Champion's letter in ''PostBag'', ''Soi strays love veggies''. Anyone who feeds a dog onions, grapes or nuts of any kind needs to have his head examined. Any dog owner, any vet or any visit to the internet will tell you that onions, nuts, grapes, plus a few other foods will kill a dog as quickly as a piece of chocolate. Beware of this kind of advice from those who actually feed dogs without knowing the results.
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