發文作者:Albert Tzeng | 2007/12/06

Taiwan: A Recycling Legend with Notorious Carbon Emission Record- Call for Greater Participation

I came across a number of articles this weekend that I want to share.

 

The first one is a Washington Post article by Julia Ross, an American author stayed in Taiwan for one year on Fulbright grant, about how she obtained a renewed appreciation of environmental protection from Taipei’s strict recycling practice. ‘Living in a place where I was expected to use what I bought and recycle every last yogurt cup and juice box,’ she wrote, ‘left me with a new appreciation for what clean streets mean in a civil society, and the realization that I’m responsible for everything I consume.’ I am really proud that Taiwan could be a place delivering such an awareness.

 

Constrated starkly with this, however, is Taiwan’s record in cutting down its CO2 emission. The second article Ispotted is a Times article titled ‘Can we save the world by 2015?’ Though it’s not directly related to Taiwan, but it provides an alarming context for us to reflect what Taiwan should do.

 

I’ve long been concern with ecological issues, but a recent event did revive my appreciation of this issue. It was a speech by John Urry (Lancaster) last Sat on the topic ‘sociology and climate change.’ Yes, climate change may not sound like a typical issue to be studied in sociology. It seem to be a issue for earth science experts and alternative energy researchers. However, as John reminded, the subject matter is never a purely scientific/technological one, and various social issues – such as modes of consumption, living and transportation- do play crucial role in deciding the amount of greenhouse gas emission. And consequently, social studies could and should play an critical role in investigating the cause of the problemas well as potential remedies.  

 

John didn’t provide a research agenda in his speach, but I believe that the gist for his talk is to invite a greater degree of particiaption in combating the problem of global warming. This is something shared with the third article, the Nature (Oct 2007) article ‘Time to Ditch Kyoto‘ by Gwyn Prins (LSE) and Steve Rayner (Oxford). Prin and Rayner basically argued that Kyoto has been proven to be a failure  "not just in its lack of success in slowing global warming, but also because it has stifled discussion of alternative policy approaches." Indeed, the public discourses popular in Taiwan seems to have rendered Kyoto the ultimate tool, and leaving the task of combating-climate change to the hands of a group of experts and UN delegates. But as Prin and Rayner wrote, "there’s no silver bullet" and we better look for a "silver buckshot," i.e. a combination of various attempts from various levels. This, then, will be a game for all of us to join- to think, to dicuss, to envision and to make efforts. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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