Fri, Mar 14, 2014 - Page 8

Get up to speed on cycling

The Taipei Times should properly cover bicycle racing in Taiwan. The nearly finished 2014 Tour of Taiwan has several UCI top-division teams and numerous second and third-division teams, as well as several Taiwanese teams, but it has garnered only minimal coverage in the paper’s news section — a dynamic it shares with the Taiwan KOM Challenge — and not a word thus far in the sports section.

The paper does a great job of covering European professional cycling, for which I am grateful. However, the paper is missing a tremendous opportunity to cover a sport followed by many Taiwanese as fans and active participants in local races. Also, given Taiwan’s position as the world’s No. 1 bicycle manufacturer, this race warrants coverage on that basis alone. Please consider increasing the paper’s coverage of future races — the Taipei Times is missing a great opportunity to share with the nation world-class sporting events in Taiwan.

Tom Simonson


Fisherman vs atomic energy

Last week, the Bureau of Energy said that even if Taiwan does not start operating the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City, there will not be an energy shortage due to the efforts to save energy. This statement blows a big hole in the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ lies.

I am not sure about other industries, but the impact of nuclear power plants on the fishing industry is significant. In Kenting, the coolant water discharged by the Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant on the Hengchun Peninsula has killed a lot of coral reefs, so that the catch for fishermen like me is shrinking every year. Even worse, Chinese fishing boats often use trawls or even poison or electricity, which makes it difficult for fishermen and people in other related industries to survive.

Last week saw some news to be happy about. The abalone farming industry has successfully planted new abalone along the north coast. The question is how they will continue their farming if the fourth nuclear power plant becomes operational and starts discharging large volumes of wastewater.

The energy bureau’s report said that its statement that there will not be a lack of energy was based on strict energy savings in the business community. It is the government’s responsibility to manage private businesses, otherwise one cannot help but wonder how a small nation like Taiwan can shoulder the environmental cost.

The news of test runs at the fourth nuclear power plant shows a complete disregard of the general public and future generations. That is why last week, thousands of people defied the bad weather and took to the streets to protest against nuclear power in an attempt to monitor the government.

The mistakes cannot continue to happen.

Hsia Wen-tung