The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday celebrated its 21st birthday, with Minister Steven Shen (沈世宏) vowing to carry on the hard work of his predecessors. Shen also vowed to combat global challenges such as the energy crisis and global warming.
During the ceremony, former EPA ministers Winston Dang (陳重信), Eugene Chien (簡又新), Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Chang Chu-enn (張祖恩) were in attendance and commended the administration for its efforts in cleaning up the nation.
“In the past 21 years, the number of days Taiwan experienced bad air quality has dropped from 17 percent to 4 percent ... The number of rivers with pollution levels over the standard have dropped from 14 percent to 6.7 percent,” Shen said, adding that the nation also led the world in recycling, with daily waste per capita dropping from 1.1kg to 0.58kg.
However, massive construction projects as well as industrial development have elevated Taiwan’s carbon emissions to a level that puts it on par with the top carbon emitters in the world, Eugene Chien, the EPA’s first minister, said.
“From 1990 to 2006, while England and Germany’s emissions increased by 17 percent, and emissions in the US increased by 14 percent, Taiwan’s emissions increased by 113 percent,” he said.
“Taiwanese are now more and more aware of issues in environmental protection. However, it is also important to collaborate and make exchanges with other countries on environmental matters, as the effort to fight global warming should be taken to the international level,” he said.
Citing the Pacific Greenhouse Gases Measurement project, Dang said that “environmental diplomacy is not difficult and would be immensely helpful not only for Taiwan, but for the world.”
In the project, Taiwan offered “the last piece of the puzzle” for a group of European and Japanese scientists who wished to monitor the Earth’s greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Taiwan did so by installing observational equipment on China Airlines passenger flights, thus providing data over the Pacific Ocean, which was data that the joint European and Japanese project lacked.
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain