The Taipei Times reported that the Humane Genome Project is providing more evidence that it is our environment, not our genes, which causes mental illness (“Mental illness revealed to be caused by environmental factors,” Oct. 18, page 9).
As the article makes clear, the solution to this problem is state-sponsored intervention. What will be the (predictable) response of “Tea Party” conservatives and right-wing bloggers? You’ve guessed it: denial.
Whether it is scientific evidence of global warming published in the top academic journals or overwhelming evidence that our environment is in serious meltdown, as reported last week once again at the international biodiversity conference in Japan, or yet more evidence that social and educational services increase mental well-being and quality of life, the recipe for denial is as predictable as it is harmful to society. This consists of the endless repetition of cherry-picked data or outright lies, insinuations of scientific conspiracies or claims that there is still a “debate” going on because a few scientists do not belong to the consensus of 99 percent of the world’s scientific community.
The Internet is the medium of choice for such willful ignorance. This nonsense is then repeated in blog after blog, ranted about on right-wing radio and television, or shouted out at Tea Party rallies, with the repetitious slogan: The government is the source of all evil!
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, global problems of smuggling, trade imbalances, nuclear proliferation, health and environmental deterioration, to name just a few, need to be urgently addressed.
Therefore, we need strong global governance backed up by interventionist national governments more than ever, as was pointed out in another recent article in the Taipei Times (“Global power structures a growing, but still distant future,” Oct. 15, page 9).
Taiwan would greatly benefit from strong global governance, guided by a UN system that recognizes the right of people to choose their own destiny. For many reasons, not least its strong dependence on international trade and diplomatic recognition, Taiwan’s government should be at the forefront of building strong global alliances the policies of which should be based on evidence, common sense, universal rights and protection of the global commons.
By becoming a shining example of a “responsible stakeholder” for global security, as Joseph Nye puts it, Taiwan could improve its international standing and the welfare of people around the world, at once.
For example, it should heed the advice of Jurgen Lefevere and unilaterally implement cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (“Can Taiwan join in the fight against climate change?” Oct. 17, page 3). This would demonstrate good will, improve Taiwan’s international clout, get its renewable energy industry growing, improve energy security, create competitive, high-quality jobs and encourage the economy to develop in a low-carbon, high-tech and sustainable way. What’s not to like about this? Even China is doing it.
South China Sea exercises in July by two United States Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers reminds that Taiwan’s history since mid-1950, and as a free nation, is intertwined with that of the aircraft carrier. Eventually Taiwan will host aircraft carriers, either those built under its democratic government or those imposed on its territory by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). By September 1944, a lack of sufficient carrier airpower and land-based airpower persuaded US Army and Navy leaders to forgo an invasion to wrest Taiwan from Japanese control, thereby sparing Taiwanese considerable wartime destruction. But two
This year, India and Taiwan can look back on 25 years of so-called unofficial ties. This provides an occasion to ponder over how they can deepen collaboration and strengthen their relations. This reflection must be free from excitement and agitation caused by the ongoing China-US great power jostling as well as China’s aggressive actions against many of its neighbors, including India. It must be based on long-term trends in bilateral engagement. To begin with, India and Taiwan, thus far, have had relations constituted by various activities, but what needs to be thought about now is whether they can transform their ties
As Taiwan is engulfed in worries about Chinese infiltration, news reports have revealed that power inverters made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co are used in the solar panels on the top of the Legislative Yuan’s Zhenjiang House (鎮江會館) on Zhenjiang Street in Taipei. However, what is even more worrying is that Taiwan’s new national electronic identification card (eID) has been subcontracted to the French security firm and eID maker Idemia, which has not only cooperated with the Chinese Public Security Bureau to manufacture eIDs in China, but also makes the new identification cards being issued in Hong Kong. There might be more
All lives eventually come to an end. Over the years, my friendship with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had its ups and downs. Lee’s passing was a heavy blow and has left me deeply saddened. We experienced a lot together and the memories have come flooding back. Lee was born several months earlier than me. During World War II, he was studying at Kyoto Imperial University, but halfway through his studies, he was forced to change his name and enter military service. I was studying at Tokyo Imperial University, but went into hiding to avoid military service, and I was later