Everyday I ask the same questions over and over again: why are people doing this? Why are persons with education, money, intelligence, position, power, good intentions and other attributes that we consider "positive" allowing, and often enabling, the quality of our economy, society and non-human natural environment to deteriorate to such a devastating extent?
The answers that I generally come up with, answers that differ from the often heard "human nature", "greed", "Taiwanese" and so on, are that we lack the information and the means to process that information into viable action.
My first answer is that the information about how bad things really are has the potential to start a violent revolution. Few individuals with economic, social or political power want us to know too much about the connections between their wealth, status and power and the increasing misery of people, starvation, war, rich poor gap, climate destabilization and all the environmental conflagration that portends. The reasons are obvious. They have families, reputations and their own perceived needs to protect and maintain.
Government and industry have been deceiving the Taiwanese people for as long as I have been here, and I suspect for a much longer time. I am sorry to say that much of the deception has been at the urging and with the active aid of my home country, the United States.
What we forget so often in Taiwan, is that we are not alone. This sort of government industry deception, famously referred to by former US president Dwight Eisenhower as the "military industrial complex" has become a model for countries throughout the world – China, Germany, Mexico….. Name any country and you will be hard pressed to show that a government backed by the military is not becoming more and more dependent upon and integrated with business – as of the end of 2009 nearly 70% of US Pentagon employees are from the private sector – in of the current total US force in Afghanistan or approximately 189,000 personnel, 68,000 are US troops and 121,000 are contractors.
What makes Taiwan a little special is that we are relatively out of view for most of the world. This means that government officials, businesses, academics, and elected officials can get away with the rape and pillage of Taiwan’s land and people with very little scrutiny.
Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan is pleased to present the people of Taiwan, especially those people of Yunlin and other areas where the toxic titan Formosa Plastics has run roughshod over the land and people for so long with a true story about a courageous woman who watched her livelihood, her community, and her company of dolphins, sea birds and a million other forms of life, disappear as the government backed petrochemical industry came and destroyed her home.