Archive for October, 2009

Winter Smog Has Come Back in UB

By , 26 October, 2009, 2 Comments
Smoggy Days of Winter Has Arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Mongolians have a word for winter in UB: “ugaar”.  The word is made of two words “utaa” meaning smog and “agaar” meaning air.  This pretty much sums up the winter feelings of many in UB: smoggy air.
This is now my third winter in Mongolia since I came back to my home country “to gain International experience” (we’ll cover that another time). In any case, each fall and at the onset of each winter the issue of smog in Ulaanbaatar comes to the forefront of citizens, media, and politicians alike.  It’s not a pretty sight.  With 100,000 families living in “gers” (traditional Mongolian yurts) all around UB to the East, North, and West and burning coal and whatever they can find to stay warm, the air is filled with these toxic fumes and the air becomes smoggy.
Here are some photos from January 2008, but believe me things are still the same here… even after “all the hard work and effort” by the politicians and everyone else involved.
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I will add that Ulaanbaatar is not very humid and has slight breeze, so very often these smog are cleared, especially during the day.  And, without folks in “gers” smoking everyone else in the city and without some of the automobiles with horrible smog, Ulaanbaatar would be one of the cities with the cleanest air in the world.
Without any sarcasm, if everyone who are involved and who are not currently involved with this issue takes a stronger stance in helping the city as a whole have a better air, we can ALL have a city with awesome air.  All of our children, friends, family, and guests can live and breathe without putting up with this smog.
A special thanks to everyone who really are trying to make a difference in this area.

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA – Mongolians have a word for winter in UB: “ugaar”.  The word is made of two words “utaa” meaning smog and “agaar” meaning air.  This pretty much sums up the winter feelings of many in UB: smoggy air.

Winter smog in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

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Nuclear Energy Law Quietly Passed

By , 22 October, 2009, 1 Comment

After 18 months of negotiations and wrangling over a nuclear energy law, the Mongolia State Ikh Khural (Parliament) quietly passed the Nuclear Energy Law (NEL) in July of this year.  During a recent public forum on the NEL sponsored by the Mongolian National Mining Association several members of Parliament admitted the law had been proposed and passed in less than two weeks during July.  This, of course, begs the question of why a law that regulates such an important and potentially dangerous sector was passed so quickly and presumably without much input from other stakeholders in the nuclear sector in Mongolia.

Why a law that regulates such an important and potentially dangerous sector was passed so quickly…

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