Newspaper article China Post

Energy Conservation Key to Tackling Climate Change

Newspaper article China Post

Energy Conservation Key to Tackling Climate Change

Article excerpt

Maybe you've watched videos of polar bears swimming endlessly in the ocean. Or perhaps you've seen statistics of soaring emissions of human-related carbon dioxide (CO2) responsible for the greenhouse effect. Or maybe you've just noticed how much hotter it has gotten over the last few years in Taiwan. Either way, we are all aware that climate change is a huge problem worldwide. The evidence all points in the same direction: global temperatures are steadily increasing. And it seems that we can't do anything about it. Statistically, Taiwan is getting much hotter. On Aug. 8, 2013, Taipei's temperature reached 39.3 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature in Taipei in 117 years. Another indication of the magnitude of global warming is that hot weather resulting from summer heat attracts typhoons, like the three tropical cyclones that wandered in seas near Taiwan earlier this month.

Living comfortably in our day to day lives, however, it is difficult to imagine how climate change can impact future generations. But it is exactly all these things that allow us to live comfortably that are further deteriorating the climate. Today, we are used to air-conditioning, convenient transportation and mass production of every product, for which we rely on the Earth's resources. Major developing countries such as India or mainland China are emitting huge volumes of CO2 in order to continue developing their industries. In this sense, climate change is no longer just an environmental or technological problem; it is also a political problem. The world must together have the will to combat climate change. But how exactly do we achieve this feat? Who will have to make some concessions? Maybe it is the problem of the public sector, the private sector or the ordinary people? Obviously it is everybody's problem, with the exception of schoolchildren.

Human concentration slows significantly in a closed space with temperatures above 33 degrees Celsius, which leads us to the problem in most local schools. Many Taiwanese local schools do not have air-conditioning, so students have been suffering through classes and tests in blistering weather for too long. Besides lowering concentration and performance in school, the hot weather also results in high health risks, such as heat stroke. …

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