Singapore’s highly successful economic evolution in an era of irrational global climate alarmism propaganda

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

Singapore is an independent city/state republic located on the coast of the Straights of Singapore between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea at the southern most tip of the Malay Peninsula.

The Republic was created in 1965 and since then has undergone at times a tumultuous but more recently a significant and spectacular economic, land development, educational, residential, commercial and industrial business evolution.

This evolution has been made possible by the massive and successful efforts to increase its available land by reclaiming these lands from the sea and powered by increased fossil fuel energy driven economic development.

Singapore’s highly successful economic and energy evolution has predominately occurred during the same time period as the global climate alarmism propaganda campaign shenanigans which have been underway over the last 30 years.

Today Singapore has a population of about 5.6 million people the majority of which are of Chinese descent who enjoy a vibrant and growing economy that is focused on further development of reclaimed land from the sea with still further economic benefits being derived from these lands.

Singapore’s land development growth through reclaiming land from the sea has increased the area of the city/state by about 25% or some 34,000 acres with plans underway for yet an additional land growth of 13,850 acres by the year 2030.

The graph below shows the reclaimed land achieved thus far colored in pink and the additional land under reclamation actions colored in red.

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Additionally Landsat 5 satellite comparison photos shown below clearly document the extensive growth in Singapore’s land area as seen from 1989 (left side photos) through 2017 (right side photos) during this about 30 year period.

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The growth of the industrial and manufacturing center created on the reclaimed land island of Jurong (photos center area) and the expanded and new harbor facilities (photos left side area) are clearly shown in the comparison photos below.

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The creation of the huge Changi International Airport complex (photos right side area) on reclaimed land is presented in the photos below.

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Singapore’s huge land reclamation development projects from the sea have largely occurred during a time period where climate alarmist propaganda proclaimed that coastal sea level rise is accelerating based upon speculation and conjecture derived through the use of unproven computer models.

Singapore has two established long time period tide gauge measurement locations with the longest record going back to 1970. These tide gauge data measurements are shown below.

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These tide gauge measurement data reflect no coastal sea level rise acceleration and show a steady rate of coastal sea level rise of between about 8 to 12 inches per century at these locations.

Singapore’s reclaimed land development criteria require that these lands need to be brought to an elevation base height of between 1.25 to 2.25 meters above the highest measured tides at these development locations.

Obviously Singapore’s planners don’t have much confidence in the California Coastal Commissions scientifically unsupported climate alarmist speculation of a 10 foot sea level rise (3 meters) by the year 2100 here in California.

These reclaimed lands have undergone many tens of billions of dollars in new development which include new industrial and manufacturing facilitates, a major new international airport, new multistory housing apartment complexes, commercial and industrial harbor expansion and new hotels, office buildings, shopping centers, etc.

One of the most spectacular of these new developments is the Marian Bay area near the city center at the mouth of the Singapore River Basin shown in the photos below which include the giant Singapore Flyer observation wheel, the huge 57 story, three tower, platform topped Marina Bay Sands Hotel hovering over this development area along with hundreds of acres of park lands (Gardens by the Bay) with canopy covered glass domes and Supertree Groves that are spectacularly lighted in the evenings.

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Powering this evolution has been the dramatic increased use of fossil fuels primarily petroleum products and natural gas imported from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia.

Singapore has been increasing its primary energy consumption over the decade between 2006 and 2016 at an annual rate of 4.9% per year with 99.7% of this energy from fossil fuels.

Singapore’s electricity use is growing at about a 2.7% per year rate and is derived 97% from fossil fuels with natural gas being the primary fuel which is used in Cogeneration plants, CCGT’s, steam turbine and peaking power plants.

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Singapore has more than 2,100 solar PV facilities located across its territory that provide 0.8% of its electricity capacity and 0.2% of its electrical energy.

Singapore has increased its yearly CO2 emissions in the period from 2006 to 2016 at an annual rate of 4.5% per year.

Since 2007 Singapore CO2 emissions have climbed from 151.4 million metric tons per year to 226.7 million metric tons per year an increase of 75.3 million metric tons per year which is about 1.4 times greater than California’s government mandated CO2 emissions reduction target that Californians have paid many billions of dollars to achieve.

It is refreshing to see the government of Singapore focused on addressing the primary issues that most challenge our world today which deal with fighting poverty and improving the education and health care opportunities for its peoples instead of wasting massive resources on politically contrived climate alarmism propaganda schemes which not only fail to address these important issues but instead further aggravate them.

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67 thoughts on “Singapore’s highly successful economic evolution in an era of irrational global climate alarmism propaganda

  1. Singapore never dallies on the insignificant. If there is a problem, they solve it. That is how people and countries progress. Like crime. When I traveled there for a major oil company, the ex-pats there said you could withdraw $50,000 from an Instateller, wave it above your head screaming how much money you had, walk home and be assured that you would make it safely. If you were robbed and the thief was caught, he was executed within days. Swift and sure execution of the sentence makes crime essentially non-existent.

    • Yup, gives Swinging in Singapore a whole new outlook, especially when the death sentence is a hanging. Not much petty crime or corruption there, not even chewing gum which will get you caned.

      • It seems that on the opening day of a new railway system the opening was delayed 3 hours as the doors wouldn’t close. It turns out someone had put some gum on the electric eye of one door. The king then outlawed bubble gum. A guy that worked for us lived on Singapore his whole life and said if you had gum just for yourself it wouldn’t be a big deal. However if you had a quantity and was selling it you would go to jail. Any drugs over a small amount is punishable by death, clearly spelled out on posters at the airport customs as you enter the country. It is an amazingly clean, safe and prosperous country.

        • ‘The king then outlawed bubble gum.’ ??? Lee Kwan Yew never made it to King – jay Prime Minister.
          Singapore has been very carefully not to draw attention to itself as an affluent nation. Its per capita GDP is about that of Australia, and its GHG emissions higher. Not just gas fired electricity, but also oil refining and a thriving petrochemicals industry.
          It was considered some years back whether they should be sponsored to membership of the OECD, but they did not wish to highlight their affluence in the region.

    • And it is a clean place. I spent a couple of days there in 1978 – and was told that if I was caught discarding a cigarette butt on the street, there was an instant fine of $50. Funny that – but there weren’t any cigarette butts to be seen (and that was in the days when everybody smoked cigarettes)!!

    • You have to have a “right” to operate a motor vehicle – these things are in short supply and effectively auctioned off every year – cost about U$ 25000 for a 5 year permission then comes licencing. insurance etc.

      So no mopeds – if you’re rich enough to pay for a permit your drive something high end.

      The public transport and taxis are very efficient and cost effective but mopeds etc, are to all intents and purposes banned.

      A taxi driver can’t even drive his taxi to work and back – only to the depot.

      There is no rush hour on the roads in Singapore – that you would notice.

      • As I recall, drivers must affix a device to their car which triggers sensors located over key motorways, not unlike the sensors on some of our bridges and toll roads. So, in general the more you drive around, the higher your usage tax. Certain routes and times of days may be more cost-effective.

        • Yes you have a device that charges you. Its actually pretty cool.

          not sure many americans would be happy with the licence fee however.

          or getting caned for makingout with your girlfriend in public

  2. Good article but please correct the opening – it’s Strait not Straight!
    Trust me, I’m a pedant!

  3. Singapore is a small place with not much democracy, why bother?
    Two events of note:
    – finally some solar activity, four solar-geomagnetic storms in the last 24 hours
    – M 7.0 earthquake Peru
    and if you choose to believe it
    – hottest ever Australian summer

    • When you see success, you should learn from it.

      Singapore has benefited from having a benevolent dictator. Hard work, honesty, ingenuity, and initiative are rewarded. Corruption is harshly punished.

      I would say that the worst thing for a society is when the citizens see that the corrupt get away with their shenanigans. Singapore doesn’t have that problem. Now that Lee Kuan Yew is gone, we’ll see what happens.

      • It’s been said that the best form of government is a benevolent monarch. Trouble is, when the benevolent monarch is gone, what then?

      • dictatorships, corruption and banana republic are usually part of the same sentence. Singapore appears to be very rare exception even if they grow bananas there.

    • From 22 Feb to today (1 March), the sun has been officially “spotless.”
      These solar-geomagnetic storms were wind and electron fluence events from a large coronal hole(CH909) that transited its earth-facing position 2 days ago. Just more solar minimum. No spots. No active regions.

      For example 4 days ago (Monday, 25 February):
      http://www.solen.info/solar/images/AR_CH_20190225.png

      CH909 was directly facing Earth and no spots last Monday. The solar wind at 1 AU was a leisurely 286-347 kps and a very low Ap index of 1.0. Yesterday it had shot up to 470-611 kps and Ap went to over 22. It takes 75 hours for a 550 kps high fluence event to reach 1 AU (1.5E+08 km).

      From this Ap spike, I would expect globally that mesoscale storms to intensify above forecast levels this weekend. Such as the Low pressure over Intermountain West will intensify its snow making and wind. Huge avalanche potential in the Rockies and Utah’s Wasatch Range by Sunday and Monday.
      https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/basicwx/98fndfd.gif

      But thankfully a humongous delivery of needed snowpack to the Upper Colorado River water catchment areas. The Upper Colorado River snowtel network already shows all of the Colorado River catchment areas well above 100% and still climbing. Great news.

      • Hi
        Any possible terrestrial effect of coronal holes tends to be ignored when considering influence on the global temperature, cloudiness or precipitation, in favour on the sunspot index, more so considering predominance of coronal holes at the time of the SSN minima.
        Ap and Kp indices register the occurrence but there is no daily data distinction between the SSN or CH origin, at least not as far as I know; just simply S or C associated with the daily values would do.

        • Regardless of the reason (Solar AR flare-CME or by a CH solar wind-elecron fluence) for Ap spikes, the geomagnetic disturbance jump definitely has an almost immediate intensification effect on large low pressure storms. That pattern is very clear in the Atlantic Basin hurricane records, but that association seems to work only during ENSO neutral/near neutral (ENSO ONI between +0.7 and -0.7) conditions. ENSO ONI is currently ~+0.5. So this latest Ap spike should be in-play for storm intensification through the next 3 days.
          Don’t ask me what the connecting physical mechanism is. I do not know. But the pattern is clear.

  4. I always loved to visit Singapore. They do the right thing for the people without being bothered by green Marxist firebrands. Luckily there are still places like that.

  5. As the people of Singapore are mostly spending their own money, they are being sensible on estimates of sea level rise. The California Coastal Commission is dealing with other people’s money, so they have differing standards.

  6. Singapore is just about the only city in the world where you can walk anywhere and feel perfectly safe.

    It also quite remarkably still has fairly extensive rainforest areas on higher ground, carefully kept intact to safeguard freshwater supplies

    • We have lived in Singapore, and I agree, crime is low, and the streets are quite safe. We also lived in places like Saudi Arabia, and the streets are even safer there. What they also share in common, is that it is not safe to oppose the ruling political powers. Singapore has shown what a rather totalitarian, but fairly benovolent government can achieve, but the freedom to walk the streets safely has come at the cost of other freedoms.

      • Someone I met back in the 80’s, who was working in Singapore at the time, described it as the “nicest little police state you would ever want to see”.

      • but the freedom to walk the streets safely has come at the cost of other freedoms.

        And what good are those “other freedoms” if you are confined to your home out of fear of being severely cripple or killed when walking the streets, at work, at home or spending a leisurely day/evening at the park?

        • Give everyone a choice between South Chicago and Singapore – where would they live? Chicago has strict gun laws so it must be safer. /sarc

  7. I first visited Singapore in the early 70s and I returned every chance I had because the place was clean and safe. People have rights but they understand their rights are other peoples obligations and vice versa.

    I also enjoyed the food…….mmm.

    • And to give credit where due, some of the best food in the world. Indian, Malay and Chinese cusines, and the best of it is the cheaper stuff—street food which would make you deathly ill in India is safe in Singapore, due to uncorruptable inspections and more chlorine in the water than a swimming pool. Fish head curry, dumped onto a banana leaf for a plate on the sidewalk is as good as it gets!

  8. I have worked for a company based in Singapore for the last 15 years and visit fairly regularly. It is an expensive place to visit: my benchmark is the price of a pint of lager in an Irish bar and that is about $15. In the high end hotels the price is closer to $25 or even more. I like to sit there and watch the world go by and every day after work the population seem to walk by with their latest expensive purchases from the countless malls. It works. Capitalism, eh?

    • It’s been 50 years now. In 1969, the Katong District – south-east coast – had fill material added to the seafront. I was able to walk out on it and photograph the apartment building we were living in. Digitized that slide and it’s currently one of my desktop photos. Memories.

      Prime Minister Lee and his Peoples Action Party swept all 40 seats in Parliament in the first election. There was a meeting of Commonwealth Prime Ministers scheduled in London. The then Australia Prime Minister stopped over in Singapore and attended an official Dinner. It was televised. Both PM’s gave speeches. The Australian – an ex-fighter pilot – spoke. PM Lee – an Oxford graduate spoke. My thought – as an Australian – is this the best we can do?

      Beer? The Kangaroo Club was the place – great steak sandwiches as well…..

  9. I was there in the 80ties, Novell and PCB design projects, great food, a little spicy but great. While I was there the News channel was interviewing a mother about her daughter being sentenced to death for being caught packaging drugs. The mother said she didn’t understand why her daughter went astray but she accepted her daughters sentence and said she would be missed. Every ones attitude was the sentence was just, she knew better and they would feel the same if a family member was caught dealing drugs. In the USA a man was just executed after 30 years of delays, makes you wonder.

    • When I was there a Dutch engineer was executed for when drugs were found in hidden in his bag at the airport. He claimed some Nigerians he was working with put them in his bag and had evidence to support it. The Dutch consulate requested an investigation, but they simply executed him that week without looking into the possibility. The next time I flew Singapore Airlines I aked them to inspect and certify my bags drug free before boarding. They said they don’t offer that guaranty.

      • I always only fly with a carry-on bag. If it’s never out of my possession (except running through the scanner while I observe) there’s virtually zero chance for intrusion. Now I will add the precaution of going through my bag before leaving my hotel for the airport.

  10. So, Worst Case Scenario: 4 mm / year of sea level rise over the next century = a little over one foot of SLR. Conclusion …. Run the other way!!!

    Singapore has more than 2,100 solar PV facilities located across its territory that provide 0.8% of its electricity capacity and 0.2% of its electrical energy.

    Conclusion …. Run the other way!!!

    • The second sea level graph for Sultan Shoal has a distinct step feature around 2010, it makes you wonder if it was an Earthquake or possibly the Reclamation work they are doing caused it.
      If that graph was split at 2010 it would not show 3.26mm/Year, in fact since that point it has been declining.

      • A C Osborn,

        Going from memory (not going to search right now), wasn’t there an El Nino in or around 2010? And being on that huge land mass between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, I’m somewhat familiar with the effects of EN/LN on the US, but what are their effects in the western Pacific?

  11. Well modern-day Singapore was built by engineers, not by a committee of scientists. Therein lies the difference.

  12. I was in Singapore in 1969, and back then it was the cleanest, most modern city that I visited in the far east. That includes Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Yokohama, Olongapo – Philippines, and others. It was the only city that didn’t have a pungent odor too. It was modern, but not by today’s standards. They were just finishing up the Singapore Hilton when I was there, – the largest hotel there at the time. I have fond memories of Singapore, and it was also very safe back then too.
    I just checked it out on Google Earth, and some of the panoramic views are just spectacular…! I would recommend checking it out…!
    As the saying goes: “Join the Navy and see the world”.

  13. Believe you can have the same economic growth (location helps) and more liberty. I like crowed noisy streets with a little edge.

    Point that they are not falling over themselves to destroy their economy in the name of weathers gods is well taken.

  14. Seems like the Zhonghua care little for the western screams about the imminent end of the world. They just keep on building coal fired plants, reclaiming ocean bottom at a height of two meters above current high tide, building cities and roadways at a rapid pace using hydrocarbon energy sources from fracked NG to Australian coal.

  15. The fools, don’t they realise the whole country will be inundated by rising sea levels by 2050.

  16. Began visiting Singapore early 1970’s and then living and working there and and offshore on Batam mid 1970’s.
    The development was really ramping up then. Viewing the skyline from Batam it was possible to see it change almost on a daily basis. I am a great admirer of LKY and what he achieved firstly bringing order to a society at risk of disintegration in the 1950’s, and then the rapid development based on his view that what any country, wishing to succeed, needed more than democracy was discipline. By that he meant every individual needed their own personal discipline, and that before they can expect to exercise their “rights” they needed to have met their obligations.
    Twice I have gone from a developed nation to an emerging nation, first when I went from Australia to Singapore, the second time when I returned home.

  17. 2nd try. Please remove if double posted

    Began visiting Singapore early 1970’s and then living and working there and and offshore on Batam mid 1970’s.
    The development was really ramping up then. Viewing the skyline from Batam it was possible to see it change almost on a daily basis. I am a great admirer of LKY and what he achieved firstly bringing order to a society at risk of disintegration in the 1950’s, and then the rapid development based on his view that what any country, wishing to succeed, needed more than democracy was discipline. By that he meant every individual needed their own personal discipline, and that before they can expect to exercise their “rights” they needed to have met their obligations.
    Twice I have gone from a developed nation to an emerging nation, first when I went from Australia to Singapore, the second time when I returned home.

  18. This evolution has been made possible by the massive and successful efforts to increase its available land by reclaiming these lands from the sea

    OMG!!! What are they thinking (running around in circles & pulling out hair)???!! Don’t they know the sea is rising exponentially? All their efforts will be swept away in just a few yrs. Anyone living on those reclaimed areas, or in fact anywhere in Singapore, are going to drown en masse. Scientists tell us this!!!

    /sarc

    • I don’t know if tropical cyclones hit there, but I would be a bit worried about a tsunami in that region.

      • It would be virtually impossible for a tsunami to hit Singapore – at least 97% impossible, more like 99.997% impossible.

        Singapore is protected boy a string of islands West, South and most of the east. North lies Malaysia. The only decent stretch of open water is the eastern entrance to Singapore Strait, but the whole of the South China Sea is shallow.

        The plate boundary is south of Indonesia, so tsunamis would head south from Indonesia – the mass of Java and Sumatra would block them heading north.

        No worries, mate!
        No worries, Na

  19. Singapore is an amazing place – no natural resources except the talent of its people, and politicians who plan and then act with the goal of wealth creation for all its citizens.

  20. Singapore has 90% home ownership. Been there many times. A fantastic example of what can be achieved. Go at Christmas new years if you get a chance.

    As they say singapore is a fine city. They fine you for this, they fine you for that. Everyone jokes about it. I had the feeling everyone sees it as a small price to pay for prosperity and everything running smoothly.

    Singapore politicians get paid a lot and run the country like a very efficient and profitable corporation.

    Our politicians get paid a fraction and you get what you pay for. Most of our pols spend their days trying to dream up ways to raise money from special interest groups. paying lip service to the voters only come election time.

  21. Those sea level graphs must ne bogus. Everyone knows the seas stopped rising on 9 January 2009.

  22. I’ve been in Singapore a few times – I even chewed gum and took a sip of water on the Tube train and was not fined! – and I have my wife’s relatives living there. The official line of the government is all about climate change, but the actions are different; Singapore keeps burning waste for energy, for example.

    Yes, cars are heavily restricted and that’s not something I am a fan of. But compare the road traffic there with the hellish nightmare of Jakarta, and the severe restrictions appear to make sense.

  23. The thing about Singapore’s success is that it is very small in area. There is no requirement to maintain hundreds of miles of roads, railways, power lines etc. going from city to city through the countryside, so more of the wealth is available for the citizens to keep.

    And is Bugis Street still going? I haven’t been back since 1972.

    • I’ll be interested to see if you get any replies.

      Also the Champagne Club and the Ritz….. (1968/1969) United Geophysical Corp – on board the “United Geo 1” for six months, then Borneo for 18 months. Known at the time a ‘Feathers’. (Due to the face fungus…..)

  24. Singapore is not subject to major earthquakes being far enough away from the “ring of fire” to make these events quite small. Likewise it is not subjected to tsunamis as demonstrated during the December 2004 major earthquake and tsunami that destroyed so much of Indonesia and other countries in this region but had no impact at Singapore.

    In our visit to Singapore this January we found it to be one of the most enjoyable, spectacular and beautiful cities in the world.

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