Climate change in Taipei
I told you so!
Since my first letter to the Taipei Times (Letters, June 13, 2011, page 8), I have warned of the dangers of climate change in several letters, for which I have been called a “fraud” and an “eco-fascist.”
Now we have a new record temperature for Taipei (“Taipei bakes on hottest day in 117 years,” Aug. 9, page 1). If the proof is in the pudding, then the pudding is the melting asphalt of Taipei’s streets.
Since my last letter on climate change (Letter, April 14, page 8), the case has only become stronger.
There are now measurements published by the scientific journal Nature that the methane time bomb frozen in the soils of the Arctic tundra is about to go off. These huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide, will cause a positive feedback loop with unforeseeable consequences for the climate and economy.
Estimates of future climate damage go as high as US$60 trillion, according to Gail Whiteman at the Rotterdam School of Management. Food prices and other living costs will inevitably go up — lower and middle class, are you listening?
The equally prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published two articles, one showing that hurricanes will become more frequent, stronger and wetter, and another one that Boston, New York and Miami are threatened by rising sea-levels. For Taiwan this means typhoons flooding Greater Kaohsiung, Taitung and Taipei.
Due to all that climate change, polar bears have been found starved, but also some of Taiwan’s forests are starting to dry out. A recent expedition to the northeastern coastline by a team from National Taiwan University showed that subtropical forest trees are already dying of drought.
Climate change has even been linked to violent behavior — Egypt, Syria, Yemen, the death of Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), anyone?
However, climate change can also be seen as the opportunity of a lifetime, if you listen to US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. A carbon tax could spark business innovation, grow jobs and strengthen the economy. Is anybody listening in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government?
Anyway, here is my daring prediction: Within the next five years, the 40oC mark will be broken. Who dares to take on this bet? Because I will win for sure.
An outrageous dismissal of the exemplary Taiwanese fight against COVID-19 has been perpetrated by the EU. There is no excuse. I presume that everyone who reads the Taipei Times knows that the EU has excluded Taiwan from its so-called “safe list,” which permits citizens unhindered travel to and from the countries of the EU. As the EU does not feel that it needs to explain the character of this exclusive list, perhaps we should examine it ourselves in some detail. There are 14 nations on the list that have been chosen as safe countries of origin and safe countries of destination for
Filmmakers in Taiwan used to struggle when it came to telling a story that could resonate internationally. Things started to change when the 2017 drama series The Teenage Psychic (通靈少女), a collaboration between HBO Asia and Taiwanese Public Television Service (PTS), became a huge hit not just locally, but also internationally. The coming-of-age story was adapted from the 2013 PTS-produced short film The Busy Young Psychic (神算). Entirely filmed in Taiwan, the Mandarin-language series even made it on HBO’s streaming platforms in the US. It is proof that a well-told Taiwanese story can absolutely win the hearts and minds of hard-to-please
Drugged with sedatives, handcuffed and wearing a bright orange prison tunic, British fraud investigator and former journalist Peter Humphrey was escorted by warders into an interrogation room filled with reporters, locked inside a steel cage and fastened to a metal “tiger chair.” Humphrey recalls: “I was completely surrounded by officers, dazed, manacled and with cameras pointing at me through the bars. I was fighting for my life like a caged animal. It was horrifying.” Footage from the interrogation was later artfully edited to give the appearance of a confession and broadcast on Chinese state media. While this might sound like an
If anyone had harbored hope that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) was to bring about much-needed reform to his party, those hopes have now been dashed. The pathetic publicity stunt of the KMT’s short-lived “occupation” of the Legislative Yuan on Sunday and Monday last week failed on so many levels, it is difficult to know where to start. Seeing Chiang at the scene was disappointing and raises the question of why he allowed it to happen. The farce began when KMT legislators barricaded themselves into the legislative chamber. However, they were kicked out only 19 hours later, just in