Monday, November 30, 2009

County Elections: The lack of 'green' candidates

A shot from elections past: Getting an campaign van ready to hit the streets. Note the size of the speakers.

A shot from elections past: A drum on the back of a campaign van.

It's almost midnight in Taiwan and tomorrow's on-line edition of the Taipei Times is up. An article titled Vote for 'green' candidates, activists say caught my attention.

On Saturday 5Th December, county elections will take place for the election of city mayors and county commissioners and for the past few weeks, all across Taiwan, we've been subjected to the deafening racket of campaigning 'a la Taiwan' style.

Campaigning in Taiwan involves fleets of noisy election vans roaming the streets broadcasting their candidate's propaganda at ear-shattering volumes that are well in excess of noise pollution laws. Often candidates will stand on a rickety platform atop a van screaming into a microphone and subjecting all and sundry to their views of the world, the alleged shortcomings and vices of their opposition, and strings of promises of what they will do if elected.

The candidate's van is usually followed by several other vans and cars. The other vans will be broadcasting prerecorded political propaganda while the candidate is still screaming into the microphone. While this is going on, folks perched atop another van will be letting off firecrackers. Sometimes gongs, drums and flutes accompany the din of the firecrackers. Bear in mind that this often goes on late into the night and resumes first thing in the morning. Several different motorcades launch simultaneous attacks on the same areas resulting in the most unbelievable noise levels and disruptions to the flow of traffic. These motorcades are followed by legions of campaign workers that chant and cheer while accosting locals and thrusting little packets of tissues and pamphlets into the hands of anyone they can lay their hands on. Enthusiastic campaign workers are not above entering any shop or house that has an open door. Often the cheering campaign workers are supported by a speaker van broadcasting the cheers of a prerecorded crowd. Also, every available lamppost, pole and wall are covered in election posters, banners and flags.

Most people one speaks to loath the noise of elections but would never consider banding together and trying to do something about it. This so often is the case in Taiwan. The people just shut up and don't speak out. People are angry about the noise. They are angry about pollution. They are angry about corruption and mismanagement but they tolerate it all. They never appose the system. Is this the legacy of almost forty years of Marshal law and the product of an education system that discourages individual thinking and the questioning of authority?

Taiwan has a tragic legacy of greedy and corrupt politicians that lack moral accountability and responsibility. Global warming and combating the effects of climate change feature highly on the political agenda in most parts of the free world now. Taiwan's lack of commitment to sustainable economics and the reduction of emissions is in direct contrast to that of most other democratic free nations. This lack of commitment to doing anything about the environment and sustainable economics is evident in the lack of any stand on these issues for almost all candidates. In the present legislature many feel there is only one legislator that has any credible track record of really standing up for the environment. Reality on the ground in Taiwan is that the politicians feel no pressure at all to have to start considering the environment and sustainable economics and until they do, nothing is going to change.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taiwan Pink Dolphins in the Taipei Times

Two letters appeared in the Taipei Times yesterday with reference to the Taiwan Pink Dolphins. The first letter, titled Preserving our environment was written by Bruno Walther, a visiting assistant professor of environmental science at Taipei Medical University. He comments on the Erlin Science Park, the Taiwan Pink Dolphins and the "growing realization that the economy and the environment are intricately linked."

The second letter was from Robin Winkler, a Taipei-based lawyer and founding director of the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association [Robin Winkler's letter follows Bruno Walther's letter on the letter page]. Robin clarifies some points made in a previous Taipei Times article to avoid any confusion over the protection status of the Taiwan Pink Dolphins.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swimming Channel for the White Dolphins? A Sudden Burst of a Marvelous Idea from Ma Government

A translation of a recent article that appeared in the China times. The translation is courtesy of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association's translation department [material in brackets added by translator for clarification].

China Times, 7 November 2009

Swimming Channel for the White Dolphins? A Sudden Burst of a Marvelous Idea from Ma Government

Rong Hua-yi/Reporting in Taipei

Premier Wu Dun-yi acknowledged that the effluents from the Central Science Park Fourth Stage would go “directly into the ocean”, however, conservation groups and Democratic Progressive Party legislator Tien Chiu-Chin yesterday raised doubts about this, as it would mean a serious breach of the near extinct “Chinese White Dolphin’s” habitat. In order to address this the Ma government has come up with the “marvelous idea”: consideration of a “construction a special water lane” and training the dolphins to swim away from the pollution. Problem is that in the assessment of the local experts “there will be a very high degree of difficulty”.

Conservationists yesterday made a plea for the Chinese White dolphin [aka Taiwan pink dolphin] yesterday, including the chairman of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group, Peter S. Ross, and the chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Cetacean Specialist Group, Randall R. Reeves, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association chair Robin Winkler, and John Tsai chair of the Changhua Environmental Protection Union.

The Chinese White dolphin, also called the “Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin”, and known as “Matsu’s Fishor baiwua” in Taiwanese [?], is classified by the Forestry Bureau as being in the highest category of protection, and inhabits shallow seas near to the shore, there are currently about 90 animals remaining; they are active in the coastal waters from Miaoli to Chiayi, they are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Critically Endangered, facing life threatening factors of polluted water, lack of fresh water, land reclamation, fishing nets, marine noise, lack of food, starvation.

The Forestry Bureau of the Council of Agriculture Specialist LIU, Cyong-lian stated that the planned destination for the Central Science Park’s pollution discharge was in the area where the Chinese dolphins are active, and that an interagency committee under the Executive Yuan had met with Kuokuang Petrochemical, local and foreign experts to discuss how to mitigate the impact on the dolphins, with one possible solution having been offered being to “build a dedicated channel for the dolphins to swim through”.

Assistant Professor Otto Li of the Institute of Marine Affairs at National Sun Yat Sen University pointed out that getting the dolphins to “obediently use the swimming channel”, while there are examples in other contries, but they used natural fjords whereas Taiwan lacks such geological formations and would require it to be entirely constructed by humans with a very high cost and no precedent. Furthermore, the dolphins won’t necessarily be so obedient and experts on animal behavior think this is impossible.

中國時報  2009.11.07



 行政院長吳敦義承諾,中科四期汙水將「直接排入海中」,但保育團體與民進黨立委田秋堇 昨日質疑,此舉會嚴重破壞瀕臨滅絕的「中華白海豚」棲息海域。為解決此問題,馬政府曾一度「突發奇想」,考慮「築一條專用水道」,訓練海豚游水道以避開汙 水,只是國內外專家評估「難度很高」。

 東台灣海峽白海豚技術顧問工作小組主席羅斯(Peter S. Ross)、國際自然保育聯盟鯨類專家小組主席瑞維斯(Randall R. Reeves)、台灣蠻野心足生態協會理事長文魯彬、彰化環境保護聯盟理事長蔡嘉陽等保育人士,昨日為中華白海豚請命。

 中華白海豚又稱「印太洋駝海豚」,俗稱「媽祖魚、白魚吳」,林務局列為一級保育動物,以近岸、淺海為棲息海域,目前僅剩約九十隻,活動於 苗栗到嘉義沿海,生育率低,被國際自然保育聯盟(IUCN)列為「瀕臨滅絕」生物,面臨汙水排放、缺乏淡水、填海造陸、漁具誤纏、水中噪音和糧食不足、飢 餓等生存危機。





Sunday, November 8, 2009

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin habitat in Taiwan: Report of an international expert panel convened in Taipei, Nov 2-5 2009

Below is a brief report released after the 2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop.

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin habitat in Taiwan:
Report of an international expert panel convened in Taipei, Nov 2-5 2009

Taipei (November 5, 2009): An international panel of scientists convened in Taipei to propose boundaries for priority habitat for a critically endangered population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in Taiwan. With fewer than 100 individuals remaining, this isolated population is found in the shallow, nearshore waters of central western Taiwan. These dolphins are threatened by pollution, noise, bycatch in fishing nets, and habitat changes caused by reduced release of water to estuaries and land reclamation.

The panel was convened at the request of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG), a scientific body with 17 national and international experts on marine mammal biology and ecology. The panel spent three days drafting a plan to describe and propose priority habitat, considered as necessary to their survival and recovery.

The expert panel will be delivering its manuscript to a scientific journal for review and publication shortly, thereby enabling wide international review of the proposal. While this work focused on preparing a scientific rationale for priority habitat for this dolphin population, it is hoped that government, industry and non-governmental sectors can use the proposal as a basis for enacting protection measures.

Briefly, the panel proposes a priority habitat area with boundaries to the north of the Danshui River estuary down along the western coast to just south of Tseng-Wen River estuary. The boundaries will extend from the shoreline (relative to the lowest high tide of the year) out 3 km (relative to the lowest low tide of the year), or to the 30 m depth mark, whichever is further from the shore. This priority habitat area includes all waters within which there have been confirmed sightings of these dolphins, as well as areas to the north and south and further offshore that are deemed ‘suitable’ for dolphin use based on known habitat preferences.

The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins of Taiwan will go extinct in the absence of immediate protection measures which target fisheries, water use, construction, waste discharge, and noise-producing practices within this priority habitat area.

The Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group was pleased and encouraged by the progress made by numerous government agencies in considering the plight of this dolphin population, and looks forward to further dialogue and information exchange among all parties. The ETSSTAWG remains freely available for expert consultation on any scientific question concerning these dolphins and their habitat.

For further information contact:

- Dr Peter S. Ross, Chairman, Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG) (

- Dr Randall R. Reeves, Chairman, IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group (

Also see:
2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop

Taiwan's Humpback Dolphins face extinction

SMM Conference, Québec City: Workshop - Critical habitat delineation for critically endangered Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Taiwan

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Taiwan's Pink Dolphins face extinction

A Taiwan Pink Dolphin mother and calf: photo courtesy of FormosaCetus Research and Conservation Group.

Following yesterday's press conference at the Office of Legislator Tien Chiu-Chin on the preliminary findings of 2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop, the Taipei Times has run an article titled Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin faces extinction. International scientists, amongst other things, voiced concerns over the Erlin Science Park project that was given the green light by the Environmental Protection Administration last Friday.

Save the Taiwan Pink Dolphin Blog will publish the findings of the 2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop as soon as they are made available to us.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Press Conference Invitation: International Seminar on the Conservation of the ETS Humpback Dolphin


International Seminar on the Conservation of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin

Matsu’s Fish, (Sousa chinensis, ETS Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins, or the Taiwan White Dolphin ) is an important indicator of the ecological resources of Taiwan’s surrounding oceans. On account of the increasing and severe environmental degradation that has and is occurring in their habitat, this species is facing extinction. Based on the most recent scientific studies done this year only between 60 and 90 Taiwan White Dolphins remain.

The tragic fishnet entanglement and drowning death of one of the animals discovered on the beach in Miaoli County in late September 2009 is but one more reminder of the severe danger of losing this population of animals that have were designated CR, or critically endangered, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in August 2008.

Although the Taiwan government has begun to pay attention to the research that has been done on the Taiwan White Dolphin, however a number of large-scale development projects have been slated for the area in and around the animals’ habitat, projects that constitute a serious danger to the population’s survival. The conservation of the Taiwan’s White Dolphins has been accorded serious attention by the international community of cetacean conservationists and scientists. Ten of the world’s leading experts were in Taiwan from the second through the fifth of November 2009 to hold meetings and produce a manuscript on the Taiwan White Sousa.

This was the third such meeting of these scientists since their first meeting in 2004 following the scientific discovery of the animals along Taiwan’s west coast in 2002.

The primary purpose of this meeting was to discuss the range of ETS Sousa’s critical habitat of the and provide resolutions that can be used by all parties in Taiwan interested in conservation of the animals as an important reference for their work. In addition to being an opportunity for international cetacean conservation scientists to convene, discuss their research and produce a manuscript on the dolphins and their habitat, it also provided a platform and unique opportunity for Taiwan government agencies, academic organizations and civic conservation groups to exchange views on conservation.

The office of Legislator Tien Chiu-Chin, Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association and the Taiwan Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union are jointly holding this press conference to invite the members of the international cetacean scientist community to share their preliminary findings and to issue a declaration concerning the conservation of the ETS Humpback Dolphin. Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau has kindly provided complimentary copies of its recently completed film on the Taiwan White Dolphins. All media and those with an interest in conservation are invited.

Sponsor: Office of Legislator Tien Chiu-Chin, Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union
Time: 6 November 2009, 10 am
Venue: Room 202 of the Hung Bldg. Legislative Yuan (please enter through the main entrance on Chung Shan S. Rd. No. 1 (Jhongshan S. Rd.)
Program: 0940 arrival; 1000 opening by Legislator Tien and introduction of guests; 1010 report on the manuscript proceedings; 1020 update on Miaoli stranding; 1030 Forestry Bureau’s conservation efforts; 1040 Declaration and signing; 1050-1200 dialog among local and international conservation interests

Contact information: GAN, Chen-yi (Ah Gan) 0982-225613

09:40-10:00 簽到
10:00-10:10 田秋堇委員致詞,介紹與會單位及代表
10:10-10:30 「白海豚國際保育工作會議」結論發表
10:30-10:40 林務局發表白海豚保育工作成果
10:40-10:50 簽署白海豚保育宣言
10:50-12:00 與會單位與國際學者保育意見交流

聯絡人:甘宸宜 0982-225613

Also see:
2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin habitat in Taiwan: Report of an international expert panel convened in Taipei, Nov 2-5 2009

Taiwan's Humpback Dolphins face extinction

SMM Conference, Québec City: Workshop - Critical habitat delineation for critically endangered Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Taiwan

2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop

Dr. Peter Ross of Simon Fraser University (Canada) and chair of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG) opening the 2009 ETS Sousa Habitat Workshop in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday, 2nd November.

Monday, 2nd November saw the start of the 2009 International Eastern Taiwan Straight Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin Habitat Workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. This workshop follows on two previous international workshops held in 2004 and 2007 and a workshop on critical habitat delineation held at the Society for Marine Mammalogy's 18th Biennial Conference held in Québec City, Canada last month.

A workshop was held on Monday morning after which manuscript meetings and writing sessions followed for the rest of the week. Participants aim to produce a manuscript on important habitat requirements for the critically endangered Taiwan Humpback Dolphins. A press conference will be held on Friday.

A summary of Monday morning's workshop follows:

2009 International Eastern Taiwan Straight Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin Habitat Workshop

Welcome by Robin Winkler of Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association.

Participants introduce themselves.

Opening and introduction to the ETS Sousa by Dr. Peter Ross, chair of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG).

Habitat characteristics of Sousa chinensis in Taiwan by Chou Lien-siang, National Taiwan University.

Investigations on the ETS Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin by John Y. Wang, FormosaCetus Research and Conservation Group.

Land use and sustainable development in Taiwan coastal areas, Chien Lien-kwei, National Taiwan Ocean University.

Update on habitat threats to the Sousa, Kan Chen-yi & John Tsai, Matsu's Fish Conservation Union.

Sousa Conservation Statutes, Liu Chiung-lien, Forestry Bureau.

Fishing regulations in the range of the Sousa, M.C. Wang, Fisheries Bureau.

Wrap up and close by Peter Ross.

The 2009 International Eastern Taiwan Straight Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin Habitat Workshop was sponsored by the Eastern Taiwan Strait Sousa Technical Advisory Working Group (ETSSTAWG) and Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association. In addition, the workshop was co-sponsored and supported by Winkler Partners; Matsu's Fish Conservation Union; FormosaCetus Research and Conservation Group; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong; Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society; and Humane Society International.

Also see:
Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin habitat in Taiwan: Report of an international expert panel convened in Taipei, Nov 2-5 2009

Taiwan's Humpback Dolphins face extinction

SMM Conference, Québec City: Workshop - Critical habitat delineation for critically endangered Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Taiwan

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The saga of the CTSP Erlin Science Park and the Kuokuang Petrochemical Project

A local resident holding up a protest sign outside the Environmental Protection Administration during a hearing on the Erlin Science Park last month.

Some interesting comment on the CTSP Erlin Science Park project from the Taiwanwatch blog. An English translation of their article appears below. A shortened version of this article appeared in Apple Daily.

The Folly of the Forth Stage Expansion and Kuokuang Petrochemical Project
By Xie and Lin

Despite repeated criticism, on 13 October the contentious environmental impact report of the fourth stage expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park was finally granted provisional approval. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) maintains that the environmental impact assessment examination was conducted professionally, and was not granted provisional approval due to pressure from the developer, the Central Taiwan Science Park Bureau of the National Science Council. Nevertheless, the 13 October extension meeting of the fifth preliminary examination and the 31 October Environmental Impact Assessment Committee meeting were conducted behind layers of security blocking out locals that would be harmed by the development and opposed environmental organizations, clearly demonstrating that the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee was not free from strong pressure from the administration.

In a press release, issued during a break in the fifth preliminary examination meeting, the EPA noted that the project developer, the National Science Council, revised its original development plan in order to address misgivings of the public and environmental organizations regarding the preliminary examination process; therefore it was fair and reasonable that the Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan convene a council of the various concerned ministries and commissions in order to discuss and confirm the feasibility of the latest development plan revisions. Before the extension meeting of the fifth preliminary examination, Premier Wu Den-yih revealed the council’s conclusion regarding the revised wastewater drainage route; specifically, the wastewater would not be discharged into the Zhuoshui River or the old Zhuoshui River bed, but rather diverted to an estuary or offered to Kuokuang Petrochemical Company for cooling purposes (see report in Commercial Times, 3 Oct. 2009). Curiously, the revised drainage route did not appear in the developer’s explanation of the environmental impact report or in the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee’s records, and the first line item of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee’s preliminary examination conclusion report suggests a mysterious meeting of minds among the developer, high-ranking administrative officials, and the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee. If high-ranking administrative officials and the developer actually respect the environmental impact assessment process, all details regarding how the revisions were drafted and evaluated should be made public and resubmitted to the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee. However this glaring defect remains unaddressed and extraordinary clairvoyance or providential coincidences emerged in the preliminary examination conclusion report. This being the case, tell me please, what happened to the independence of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee? And what happened to the rights of the public to be informed and participate in policymaking?

It has long been the case that officials presiding over economic issues and elected politicians use their authority to push through development plans or policies that have not undergone environmental impact assessment and flout national land planning regulations. Without consulting those citizens whose rights and interests will be affected, they make promises to potential beneficiary businesses and stakeholders, and then resort to various forms of political manipulation to force the EPA and Environmental Impact Assessment Committee to toe the line. The fourth stage expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park is a classic example. Such a myopic political agenda and an economic development policy that flouts environmental evaluation not only threatens the independence of the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee, but also tramples on the environment and the rights and interests of the people and threatens national development.

Still more lamentable, even in the wake of Mother Nature’s warnings, the proponents of these shortsighted projects have not paused for reflection. After the “flooding of 88” [flooding that came with Typhoon Morakot beginning on 8 August 2009], not only have climate change-induced disasters left Taiwanese in a state of heightened anxiety, but they continue to ravage people all over the world. In this state of affairs, the newly installed Minister of Economics, Shi Yansiang, remarked at a business affairs meeting earlier this month, “In the future, every development project will be prioritized according to those ‘issues of most importance’” (meaning priority will be given to the fourth stage expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park, Kuokuang Petrochemical Company, and the fifth stage expansion of the Sixth Naphtha Cracker Plant), with the primary goal of increasing opportunities for employment. His address entirely ignored that the economic and environmental impacts of these development projects are also “issues of most importance.” To continue ignoring these “issues of most importance” will create obstacles to dealing with climate change and result in the loss of an ideal opportunity to begin developing in a more sustainable fashion.

The fourth stage expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park will primarily increase production capacity of TFT-LCDs and semiconductors. These two industries of “most importance” not only nearly collapsed under the assault of the financial tsunami, but will continue to face increasingly destructive international competition. The expansion will definitely not create more employment opportunities and a more stable socioeconomic situation. This is not a Blue Ocean Strategy. Furthermore, the environment and health risks that will come with it—various poorly understood toxic pollutants present in gaseous emissions and wastewater effluents, consumption of water resources, greenhouse gas emissions—will be difficult to bear, especially considering the site of the expansion plan in Changhua County. This water deficient region is already suffering surface subsidence due to over-extraction of groundwater. The project will not only take hundreds of hectares of farmland that help prevent floods, retain groundwater, and sequester carbon dioxide and turn them into cement lots with impermeable surfaces; but will also pump 4800 tons of groundwater daily (in the short-term) and transfer 66,500 tons of water daily from agricultural water resources drawn from the Jiji diversion weir (in the medium-term). In the long term it is planned to use 160,000 tons daily from the Dadu diversion weir, which is still only in the planning stages. If this project doesn’t exacerbate surface subsidence and render coastal areas more vulnerable to climate change-induced rising sea levels and increasingly frequent and violent extreme weather events, then it will force more agricultural areas to lay fallow, reducing national self-sufficiency and threatening food security.

Agriculture, an essential and foundational industry totally dependent on the weather, will be most affected by climate change. The government is not considering strengthening our agricultural industry’s ability to cope with climate change through conservation of water resources and reducing consumption in order to guarantee sufficient water for agriculture and daily use; but on the contrary repeatedly rolls out development plans that will exacerbate climate change and weaken agriculture. Increasingly precious water resources are being proffered to a minority of manufacturing businesses to squander in an attempt to maintain a tenuous grip on global luxury product markets. Could this be anything but suicide?

Climate change is already an urgent threat, and we have little time to effectively address it. If humanity is to avert imminent dangerous climate change, immense transformations must be carried out including dramatic shifts in industrial development and energy infrastructure. Before 2050 greenhouse gas emissions must be approaching zero, and before the end of the century we must achieve negative greenhouse gas emissions—the emissions that we continue to pump into the atmosphere today must somehow be physically removed. This arduous mission also offers enormous opportunities for economic development, however, and is a turning point for more environmental friendly development. This is an opportunity to create a renewable energy-based, highly efficient economy, and throw off our reliance on imported fuels such as oil and coal. This not only will increase our energy autonomy, but will greatly reduce the emission of numerous pollutants. Only a system that can meet our basic needs with local resources and relies on sustainable, locally produced energy warrants the label “Taiwan’s Economic Development Blue Ocean Strategy.”

Unfortunately, following the financial tsunami our government continues to emphasize investment of increasingly scarce resources in large-scale, greenhouse gas-intensive development projects, not only swallowing up vast resources necessary for the radical shift of our economic system, but intensifying the difficulty of averting dangerous climate change. The direct and indirect emissions of the fourth stage expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park will amount to 10,950,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually, equivalent to about 4% of our current total national emissions. Added to the emissions of Kuokuang Petrochemical, the fifth stage expansion the Sixth Naphtha Cracker Plant, and the Dragon Steel project which has already passed its environmental evaluation, Taiwan will increase total emissions by 16%, more than the current emissions of the transportation, residential, or commercial sectors. In other words, every Taiwanese could stop driving or stop using electricity at home and the reductions would still not equal the emissions added by these heavy development projects! Could the government actually not understand that the more we increase our emissions today, the greater will be the burden of decreasing them tomorrow, the greater will be the dangers posed by climate change, and the less capable we will be to deal with them. If we don’t change our direction of development today, tomorrow we may not have the chance or the resources.






以中科四期這個主要是為了擴張面版業與半導體業的開發案為例,這兩個重中之重的產業不僅在金融海嘯來襲時幾乎不支倒地,未來更持續面臨高度且惡性的國際競爭,絕非吸納就業、穩定社經局勢的藍海策略;而其所帶來的環境與健康風險,包括廢氣與廢水中多種不明毒性化學物質的排放、水資源的耗用、溫室氣體的排放,卻是難以承受的。尤其該開發案的場址選在彰化這個因為水資源短缺且超抽地下水導致地層持續下陷的缺水區域,不僅讓數百公頃原本可以 滯洪、涵養地下水以及吸存二氧化碳的農業用地成了水泥鋪面,且規劃於短、中期使用自來水(每日0.48萬噸,來自地下水的抽取)及調用農業用水(每日6.65萬噸,來自集集攔河堰),長期則使用八字都還沒有一撇的大肚攔河堰(每日16萬噸),其後果不是造成地層下陷的惡化,使沿海地區更無力抵禦全球暖化所帶來的海平面上升危機以及頻率與強度越來越大的暴雨等極端氣候事件,不然就是造成更多的農田被強迫休耕,降低國內糧食自給率而危及糧食安全。


氣候變遷的危機已迫在眉睫,而我們已無多少時間可以有效回應:展望不久的將來,人類若要避免危險的氣候變遷,必須進行龐大的轉變,包括產業發展與能源基礎設施的急遽轉型,以在2050年前趨近零排放,同時更必須在本世紀前達到負排放,把今日人類排放的二氧化碳從大氣中抓下來。不過這艱鉅的任務亦提供了龐大的經濟發展機會,且是對環境更友善的發展契機:讓我們有機會發展成一個以再生能源為基礎並擁有高度能源效率的經濟體,以擺脫對石油與煤碳等進口燃料的依賴,如此不僅能提高能源自主性,更能減少相當多的污染排放,這 種立基於在地基本需求以及在地能資源的永續利用,才是我國經濟發展的藍海策略。

然而,政府卻在金融海嘯過後,依然強勢引導國內更形拮据的財務資源大舉投入高溫室氣體排放的開發案,不但排擠了經濟體急遽轉型所需的龐大經費,更加劇了我們避免危險氣候變遷的困難度:中科四期直接與間接的溫室氣體排放量達1,095萬噸二氧化碳當量,約為目前全國年排放量的4%左右,再加上國光石化、六輕五期與已通過環評的中龍鋼鐵,我國將因此增加16%的溫室氣體排放量,已高於交通部門或住商部門的排放量佔比 ;也就是說,全國老百姓都不要開車,或者生活上都不要用電,也抵不了這幾個重開發案的排放增量!政府官員難道連這都不明白,今日我們溫室氣體排放的越多,未來我們的減量負擔就越重,所承受的氣候變遷風險也會越大,因應的能力也會越弱;今日我們的發展方向不改變,明日我們可能連改變的機會與資源都沒有了。


1. 〈環保署要求給環評委員獨立的審查環境〉,環保署新聞稿,2009年10月6日。

2. 〈中科四期廢水排放 有解〉,工商時報,2009年10月3日。

3. 〈吳揆促建 友達二林廠 國光石化〉,蘋果日報,2009年10月2日。

Also see:
Leave Taiwan's future a clean Chuoshui River

Stop the CTSP Erlin Science Park; Protect Farmers, Fishermen and the Taiwan Humpback Dolphins.

Update: Stop the CTSP Erlin Science Park - Protect Farmers, Fishers and the Taiwan Humpback Dolphins.

Taiwan Humpback Dolphin Extinction Guaranteed by Ma and Wu’s Cat in the Hat Economics?

Black Friday for Erlin - The EPA once again strikes a blow against the environment

All three effluent discharge proposals for Central Taiwan Science Park development will lead to pollution of humpback dolphin habitat

More protests at the EPA against the CTSP Erlin Science Park

Taiwan's Humpback Dolphins face extinction

EPA responds to local fisherman's Erlin criticisms