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Taiwan's environmental struggle : toward a green silicon island

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轉寄 列印
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From an environmental perspective, Taiwan not only ranks as one of the more polluted places on earth, it also has a unique mix of factors that account for the island’s relatively weak standing on the environmental front. First, the island is relatively small in proportion to its population so the impact of humans upon the environment is more intense than in less densely populated places. Second, the island experienced a highly successful economic transformation in the last 50 years that produced one of Asia’s genuine ‘miracles’ of modern development, in terms of improvement in per capita income and overall quality of material well being for its citizens. The process, though, involved rapid industrialization and urbanization, and breakneck mass consumption, that inevitably resulted in rapid escalation in degradation of the island’s fragile air, water, and land, and produced some of the worst environmental pollution to be found anywhere in Asia. Third, the island suffered for more than 40 years under an authoritarian one-party government that ran the island virtually unchecked in terms of development policies and allocation of the island’s physical resources. The result was that abuses to the environment were buried under the rhetoric of higher priorities in the government’s ongoing struggle with the Chinese government in Beijing. In short, the environment had to wait. In this book Jack Williams and Ch'ang-yi David Chang examine the causes of Taiwan's environmental predicament, engaging in Taiwan's unique geological, geographical, demographical, political, industrial, historical and economic circumstances with a view to what can be done to improve Taiwan's environmental future.

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