Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Convenient Route?

Here in Taiwan it’s our first week back at work after the Lunar New Year break. Oh, I’ve forgotten my manners. Xin Nian Kuai Le! to you all and all the best for the Year of the Golden Tiger. Now, with the New Year wishes out the way let’s get back to going back to work and the Convenient Route. That word ‘route’ needs to be said in the British way, as in ‘root.’ Yeah, I know that’s rather weak but hey it’s my first day back on the job.

Officials, executives watch premiere of climate change film

That’s what the Taipei Times tells us all the government big wigs and top business executives where doing on their first day back at work. That sounds promising. Is change afoot? Something happen over the New Year? Did the Ghost of Environments Past pay the heads of the five branches of government a late night visit? Is EPA Minister Shen Shu-hung pulling an Ebenezer Scrooge? Well, whatever happened this does seem like a good way for the 'powers that be' to start the new year…or so I thought.

I read the opening sentence. “The heads of the nation's five branches of government, as well as top business executives, were invited to watch the premiere of '±2°C', a documentary on climate change in Taiwan, at the Butterfly Pavilion in Taipei last night.” So far so good! Let’s read on. “TV commentator Sisy Chen, the producer of the film,…Sisy Chen and climate change!!! What? You’ve got to be kidding me! Slippery talk show host and sometimes bench-crossing politician Sisy Chen doing something on climate change? Yes, Sisy Chen has made a documentary on climate change. My first thought was Sisy Chen is trying to reinvent herself as Taiwan’s Al Gore. I started to read a little further and there it was in black and white. “Chen said she had seen several documentaries on climate change, including An Inconvenient Truth by former US vice president Al Gore…

People can change. Perhaps I’ve got it wrong. Maybe Sisy’s seen the light. Perhaps she watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and while she was sleeping that night the Ghost of Environments Future came to her. Well, if she’s for real, whatever it was, “You go girl!”

I’ve not seen her documentary so can’t honestly comment on it. However, Sisy’s slippery reputation is well known so I can't help being suspicious. It’s going to take some doing to rid herself of that "she'll say anything as long as the money's right" reputation she has. Speaking to some folks who have seen her documentary I’ve been told that there are some errors in it and that it appeared as nothing but a greenwashing gimmick to them. So does this mean Sisy has jumped on the green bandwagon to revive her political fortunes and taken a new convenient route back into the limelight as Taiwan's new green queen? If this is the case, time will tell. But for now, let’s give Sisy the benefit of the doubt.

Sisy, if you’re for real. How about taking a stand? How about speaking out against all that west coast “development”? You know. The projects that are going to cause considerable increases to Taiwan’s already shocking emission levels and make the Taiwan pink dolphins go extinct...the Kuokuang Petrochemical project and all the other developments in Mailiao with Formosa where the cancer rate is already six times the national average. Also, the new TaiPower power plant, and the Erlin development of the Central Taiwan Science Park. How about it Sisy? How about making a real stand for the environment ?

Taipei Times: Officials, executives watch premiere of climate change film

Also see:
Fatalities of the Limelight III: Sisy Chen, Hired Gun for Sale or Rent

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