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The drought affecting 63 of Thailand's 76 provinces is estimated to have destroyed more than 800,000 hectares of farmland and caused US$193.2 million in damage, with rice and sugar cane production severely hit.

According to Thai scientist Kansri Boonpragob who is vice-chair of a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the drought is due to global warming.

In this article in the Bangkok Post, Tara Buakamsri says Thailand needs to replace coal-fired power stations with renewable — solar, wind and geothermal — sources of energy. The use of coal-based power is common in Thailand, where its damaging effects on people's health and the environment are now well known.

Although some economists think developing countries cannot afford to invest in renewable energy sources, Buakamsri argues that inaction could have an even greater cost.

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