Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Nation needs innovators

The crushing financial burden that the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration is leaving to young people is the crime of the century.

With the lowest wages for graduates ever, young people are faced with the inevitable consequences of the rapacious greed that has infected every part and party of Taiwan.

It is time for Taiwanese students to demand a better level of education from their teachers.

Physics and chemistry students should be demanding that their teachers explain how the element thorium can be used to build small modular molten-salt reactors that can safely create localized energy while also destroying the appalling mountains of nuclear waste that have been building up over the years.

Taiwan more than anything needs a sensible approach to farming and energy.

It produces only 23 percent of its own food, which is shocking, considering the number of farmers (and rich landowners) who are paid taxpayer money to not grow crops.

Apart from food, nearly all of the nation’s energy sources are imported, like oil and coal.

For fast-track thorium development in universities, an award should be given to the Taiwanese college that produces the best design. Bring back the days when “Made in Taiwan” actually meant something, and leverage the nation’s amazing innovation abilities and value-added knowledge.

It is time to get moving. The global economy is more fragile than ever, and China is clearly an “irresponsible stakeholder.”

If shipping lanes were to be disrupted through financial collapse, natural disaster or war, half of the people in Taiwan would starve within two weeks.

Industrial hemp could be a solution to increase exports and boost employment. It can reduce deforestation by being used to make paper, cloth, biofuel, some medicines and “hempcrete” — an all-green concrete substitute. Hemp grows four times faster than trees do and rejuvenates the soil. Students should look into this and start asking their teachers questions.

Students have opportunities through 3D printing and Taiwan’s amazing pre-fabricated building industry. Vocational-technical students should be finding out more about this, and perhaps why Nikola Tesla’s secrets are still being held by the US.

Paradigm-shifting breakthroughs are needed in Taiwan.

Humankind will, one way or another, learn to adapt to a future where unlimited supplies of fossil fuels will not be taken for granted.

Given all of the above and taking into consideration climate change, the first country that makes a self-sustainable move will be the winner.

If Taiwan can deregulate electricity generation and sell superficies rights to roads, enough bond-buyers near E-Da World theme complex in Kaohsiung could build a sufficiency of solar panels to keep the ice rink frozen in summer, but only if there is a plan for people to invest productively in IT projects.

Students everywhere should read Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt to learn how the economy works. They would also learn what the lines are between government intervention and a free-market economy based on individual choice.

Torch Pratt

New Taipei City

Damage overvalued

The Executive Yuan plans to seek compensation from the protesters who broke into the Executive Yuan on March 23 (“Student donations illegal: ministry,” April 10, page 1). Outrageously, the allegedly damaged items’ combined worth is NT$3 million (US$100,000). Anyone perusing the brief list will note that it basically consists of office furniture: “four timber doors, 13 windows, a refrigerator, a photocopy machine, a fax machine, a cabinet and some tables and chairs.”

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