Lipstick on the PGCC gorilla


The PGCC developers talk about building a zero-carbon city, but they don’t tell us about the scale of carbon emissions during the years of construction.

It might be worth looking at what people in the know are saying about large so-called “eco-projects” elsewhere.

Check out this excerpt from The Georgian, Issue 1, 2007. The Georgian is the magazine of the Georgian Group, a national charity in the UK dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and gardens. Every year, the group is consulted on over 6,000 planning applications involving demolition or alterations.

Lipstick on a gorilla

Nowhere are the contradictions of building these eco-homes better illustrated than in Dalston, East London. The Victorian theatre there, and adjoining late Georgian houses, were recently demolished to make way for a transport interchange, as part of a regeneration exercise loosely linked to the 2012 Olympics. The development contains homes complete with wind turbines, and the tower blocks will have ‘green’ roofs. As the propaganda has it, the whole exercise is environmentally sustainable. But once construction starts, more that seventy-five lorries will be arriving at the site daily, for several months. The Carbon Trust estimates that the carbon emitted in building the reinforced concrete slabs alone will be something like 15,000 tonnes, equivalent to the Greater London Authority’s carbon emissions from electricity use for the next twelve years – or the amount that would be emitted if the mayors of London and Hackney flew across the Atlantic and back continuously from now (2007) until 2045. – Robert Bargery, editor

You still think it’s going to be “zero carbon”? Aren’t we having wool pulled over our eyes?

This makes the Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s call to fast-track the approvals process all the more irresponsible. What we really need is a thorough, detailed, independent EIA process.

As if that’s not enough, the heightened seismic activity in the region should be a major source of concern. We should be avoiding high-rise towers as far as possible, not building 37 more towers. Experts are warning of a “big one” – a major earthquake – coming soon in the region.

Check out this excerpt from an AP report published in The Canadian Press:

The latest quakes, together with the 9.0-magnitude temblor in 2004 and an 8.7 quake in early 2005, deeply concern experts.

The fault, which runs the length of the west coast of Sumatra about 200 kilometres offshore, is the meeting point of the Eurasian and Pacific tectonic plates, which have been pushing against each other for millions of years, causing huge stresses to build up.

“There is a strong indication this foreshadows the big one,” said Danny Hillman, an earthquake specialist at the Indonesian Institute of Science. “We all agree there is an 8.5 or stronger earthquake waiting to happen.”

That sounds like a clear warning. Does the PGCC sound like a brilliant idea now?

By the way, I would like to acknowledge all those concerned Penangites who have been feeding me information and facts to counter the PGCC media propaganda.

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i think the zero carbon deal is complete bullshit. according to, through this project, there will be 10,000 jobs in office available. with the amount of people going to and fro in their cars, i can imagine how zero carbon it would be. not just for the area, but also for the whole of penang including the mainland. cars in traffic jams cause emissions that ultimately breaks down ozone gas, thinning the already fragile ozone layer. If it really was indeed meant to be zero carbon, then they should also be targeting to decrease the need for cars. i… Read more »


in japan they have tremor-resistant buildings. The PGCC can still go on. But I think the project is not going to benefit people of Penang as there will be more congestion.
It is still going to go on, because Pak Lah thinks “Yes, yes build more ring roads, high-rise buildings and bridges. Bring in the heavy traffic! I don’t care, I live in Kepala Batas….”