Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Remembering lessons

By Nicole Hung

I am saddened to see the fearful and devastating disaster caused by Tropical Storm Mindulle.

Every time a typhoon or earthquake comes to Taiwan, people in this country work together to help each other. Unfortunately, it seems that people fail to remember the lessons learned in previous disasters. From the 921 earthquake in 1999, typhoons Xangsane in 2000, and Toraji and Nari in 2001 to the recent storm, people here have suffered beyond estimation. Some have lost their homes and even their lives. However, people still haven't learned to cherish the environment despite undergoing predictable miseries. The government and officials have advocated the importance of environmental protection, and some experts have warned of an imminent crisis if we don't exert our efforts to protect the environment properly.

Everybody should be held accountable for environmental protection. Lamentably, immoral businessmen and irresponsible landlords only want to make money -- at any cost -- without giving a thought to the environment. Some government officials have also neglected their duties by failing to enforce environmental protection laws over the past decade. As a result, natural disasters create endless calamity. Recovery and reconstruction will take an incredible amount of money and human resources.

What we should do after every natural disaster is remember the lessons we have learned and learn to better protect our environment. After all, we have only one Taiwan, and only one Earth. The issues of environmental protection cannot be neglected. Above all, education about natural resource preservation should be emphasized to everyone, including the policy makers and law-enforcement agencies.

Nicole Hung

Taipei

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