Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Pollution harms everyone

We are one of many orchid growers in Pingtung County who are spoiled with the free source of sunshine provided to our plants.

However, this is changing as heavy pollution has taken over the south, never allowing for a clear view of our beautiful mountains. Our foreign customers find the pollution both shocking and depressing, and would prefer to stay in their hotel if they had a choice.

Each time they visit us, we need to ask them to imagine a majestic mountain range behind our nursery, as it is normally not visible at all.

They cannot even imagine there being a mountain, as they cannot fathom pollution capable of reaching this point in the first place.

Not only is the pollution affecting the health of every person in the south, but it may also be turning away the tourists, who come all the way to Taiwan to see nothing but pollution covering what used to be breathtaking sceneries that originally made Taiwan Formosa.

They return home with delight to their clean air and blue skies with a memory of gray polluted Taiwan. Thank God they have wonderful memories of colorful orchids, Taiwanese tea, delicious tropical fruit, friendly people, but their trip would have been so much more impressive without the pollution disguising the beautiful Taiwan that they are missing.

Our customers in Tahiti and Hawaii are lucky to be so far away from China, and especially not to have an industry poisoning their islands. It is very unfortunate the impact that Taiwan has on the world gradually bringing itself on a similar level as neighboring China that is only partly responsible for the pollution in Taiwan.

Over the past 10 years of living in Taiwan it is clear that pollution is only worsening. It is time the government seriously consider measures to clear up the polluted skies of Taiwan. Not only will it affect the agriculture and tourism industries, but gradually other sectors too.

Alex Raymond

Pingtung County

Building an agricultural army

By far the best community service substitute for Taiwanese males no longer required to carry out military service would be farming.

In comparison with the manufacturing sector, agricultural laborers work in a low-value, low-income industry. For this reason, the number of agricultural workers is falling, while their average age is increasing. This has led to a shortage of people available to plant crops and manage the nation’s woodlands.

The agricultural industry is of paramount importance to any nation’s continued existence. Although there is little money to be made, it is vital that the skills, knowledge and land management practices built up over generations are maintained without interruption.

The reason is simple: No amount of advances in technology, human endeavor or invention of newfangled gadgets can escape the fact that humans cannot feed on computer chips: agricultural produce is still needed to put food on the table.

If this government has any vision at all, it must set aside funds to create an “agricultural army.”

This would not only ensure the continued survival of the industry, but crucially, it would provide an opportunity for youngsters to connect more deeply with their native soil.

Hsiao Yi-chen

Yilan County

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