Thursday, August 25, 2005

Taiwan's Enviro-Spies

The Christian Science Monitor writes:

Portuguese sailors in the 15th century named Taiwain "Formosa," meaning "beautiful island." But on most days, it's hard to even see the mountainous island through the shroud of smog. So the government is fighting back, tightening environmental rules, and enlisting an army of citizen sleuths to spy on Taiwan's biggest polluters.

These environmental spies are armed with binoculars, notepads, and digital cameras, and have been tasked with snooping around small businesses and big corporations alike to make sure they're putting their toxins and trash in the right place.

Deputizing volunteers to be enviro-snoops is just the latest effort by Taiwan to curb the pollution that has accompanied its rapid development over the past 50 years. It's also indicative of an emerging civic activism in this young democracy.

No comments: