That sinking feeling

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Lots of Asian cities have problems: sinking revenue, sinking currency. And then there’s Bangkok, which is just … sinking.

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The city is sinking as much as two inches a year. And there’s good reason. Bangkok is built on a swamp, and rising sea levels have left the swamp less able to absorb rainy season runoff. But experts lay blame primarily on overuse of groundwater, which is cheap in Bangkok. So cheap that 2.5 million cubic tons is pumped out of the ground per day, about twice what’s considered safe. The ground sags as a result.

Proposals to raise the cost of groundwater, currently only half the cost of tap water, have been ignored in the past by a government unwilling to alienate industry, the biggest groundwater consumer. Under pressure from the local press, a handful of city officials have finally taken up the issue. But they’d better hurry: At the current rate, the Thai capital will be underwater by 2050.

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LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

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