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Singapore Math

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Mortal Math

Photo © Anon.

Few would disagree that the above math or science question has now gained deadly relevance or importance in this year’s cruel summer, especially during this week’s abnormally hot weather.

EcoMath 4 Everyone

Is it apt for math teachers to use this week’s extreme weather condition plaguing some parts of the planet to help some middle-school students brush up their Celsius-Fahrenheit conversion skills, and to challenge them with some real-world problems in the aftermath of climate change? 

A typical grade nine (or secondary three) ecomath question is the following:

On a certain day, the Celsius thermometer and the Fahrenheit thermometer registered the same numerical value for the temperature. Given that 86°F = 30°C and 104°F = 40°C, what was the temperature that day?

Post-Pandemic Holeydays 

Guesstimate how many tourists regret flying to some parts of the US and the EU at this time of the year—when popular tourist attractions are closed during the hottest hours to protect visitors from dehydration or to reduce the odds of their visiting an emergency room.

How much would tourism-related businesses in heat-stricken regions suffer financially this summer?

What percents of unlucky tourists would need to extend their “holidays” due to prolonged heat-related hospital stay?

The Polluters Preaching to the Poor  

Estimate the number of deaths in the animal kingdom resulting from our hotter planet, which is primarily driven by materialistic consumers in the developed world, who now hypocritically want to lecture the developing world about human-induced climate change and to some extent the naturally-occurring weather pattern known as El NiƱo.

Why should China, India, Indonesia, and other emerging economies listen to the West, which are historically responsible for the dire climatic situation we’re in today? Why must much-maligned totalitarian China and undemocratic others donate to international climate funds set up by “guilty” high-GDP big polluters to help poorer nations struggling with climate change?

With the world paying lip service on cutting down on oil and gas for alternative sources of renewable or clean energy to grow their economies, low yield of crops and the increasing risk of wildfires and floods, not to say, frequent electricity blackouts in poorer or corrupt developing nations, are likely to be the new (new) normal.

Heat Kills

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 700 people in the US lose their lives to extreme heat each year, with close to 68,000 people being sent to emergency rooms.

Guesstimate how many locals and foreigners, especially the homeless, the migrant workers, and the refugees, in all the global regions now experiencing a heatwave would find it hard to avoid a heat-related hospital visit this year. How many of them might fail to cheat death simply because of their helplessness or others’ indifference?

The Dodo Effect

The world has already warmed by about 1.1°C since the industrial era began and scientists forecast temperatures will keep rising unless governments and businesses around the world have the (political or moral) will to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

How many fish in rivers and canals, or seabirds and whales, would disappear or starve thanks to “global warring”? How many animal and plant species are going the way of the dodo in coming years and decades?

Singapore’s First Winter

Source Photo: © Anonymous

Way back in 2016, I’d tweeted tongue-in-cheek about Singapore’s experiencing her first winter:

Singapore's 1st Winter: Will fine dining up and more folks aspiring to be middle-class cause Singapore to witness its #Singageddon? #climate (1/25/16)

Fake News: Singapore experienced its first winter this week—tens of thousands of Singaporeans took no-pay leave when the temperature dropped to zero degrees! #climate #humor #zero #winter Source Photo: © Anonymous (1/14/18)

At the current rate in the global rise (or drop) in temperature, the chances of those of us (who’ll be blessed to live beyond the three-scores-and-ten lifespan) seeing snow in Singapore are anything but zero.

Environmentally & morally yours

© Yan Kow Cheong, July 16, 2023.