Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Climate affecting typhoons

After reading the Taipei Times’ reports (“Chaos as Philippine schools fail to reopen after flood,” Oct. 6, page 1, and “Low-carbon future is world’s only option,” Oct. 10, page 9), I have great sympathy for those victims’ ordeal.

Here in Taiwan, we are not exempt from similar disasters. Weather chaos looks like a natural catastrophe, but it is my belief that the main cause of climate change is global warming. A global deal on climate change is urgently needed to safeguard the world.

Global warming is an alarming wake-up call for all. Its consequences could be the destruction of our planet, as has been depicted in The Day after Tomorrow. Unfortunately, we have continued burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests, which increases greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases cause global warming, resulting in the melting of polar ice caps and rising sea levels. Some countries, such as Bangladesh and the Maldives, could be submerged.

In order to prepare for this crisis, the UN has subscribed to the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to control production of greenhouse gases.

Even though the UN initiated the project to protect the planet, it urgently needs the cooperation of all countries. After all, we have only one Earth, and it’s everybody‘s responsibility to save it.

STEVEN CHANG

Sanchong, Taipei County

Obama deserves prize

While many people were shocked by the news that US President Barack Obama was selected as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, I think that Obama has deserved the prize since the first day of his presidency.

When Obama delivered his inauguration speech, he sent messages of love, hope and peace to the world.

In his other speeches, we learned that he resents people who use violence and respects people who care for the welfare of all mankind. He has called for unity and is reluctant to increase troop levels in Afghanistan.

Obama is the first standing US president to deliver a speech in Cairo, and the first to advocate peace and unity in the Muslim world.

One of the most severe critiques is that the nomination came two weeks after Obama became the US president. I think this issue should be measured against the quality of time spent in office rather than the quantity of time.

It is hard for us to deny that “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics,” as the Nobel Peace Prize committee said.

MANDY CHOU

Taipei

Reading goes digital

With Amazon’s Kindle e-reader soon to become available in Taiwan, and with many other e-readers coming out soon from various firms, I wonder if in the future the English-­speaking world might need a new word to differentiate the kind of reading we do on computer or e-reader screens from the kind of reading we do on paper surfaces.

I have heard a few new terms being bandied about on blogs and the Internet: screen-reading, browsing, skimming, scanning, even “diging” (for digital reading).

Reading is “reading,” of course.

However, we might not be “reading” the new-and-improved newspapers and magazines and “books” of the future. We might be “screening” them. Even the Taipei Times.

CELIA BERTIN

Taipei

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