Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nobel laureate from Taiwan says that more than slogans are needed to fight climate change

As the world heats up, minute degree by degree, Taiwan's Nobel
laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (Chemistry Prize, 1986)
says we need to go back to simpler lifestyle and ''slow down''

webposted by Danny Bloom, August 9, 2010

TAIPEI -- Lee Yuan-tseh won the prestigious Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1986,

and someday he might garner another award -- the Nobel Peace Prize --

for his important and heartfelt advice for stopping

global warming in its tracks.

Will future generations face destructive

and life-threatening climate chaos in the distant future? Let's hope


But in order to avert natural disasters and mass migrations in

search of food and fuel on scales unimaginable in the future, Dr Lee

believes the world needs to drastically slow down and dramatically go

back to a simpler lifestyle.

This is not your average wide-eyed climate activist speaking, nor an

end of the world survivalist. It's Lee Yuan-tseh, Nobel laureate from

Taiwan, global thinker and visionary. Born in 1936, the son of a well-known

Taiwanese artist, he's been around the world a few times and has dined with major

players -- and he knows what he's talking about.

In a recent email interview, Dr Lee said he

believes that global warming is much more serious than most scientists

had previously thought and much more serious than the world today is aware of.

He said he believes that Taiwan's 23

million citizens need to cut their per-capita carbon

emissions from the current 12 tons per year to just three, and the

same deep cuts are needed worldwide in all nations, adjusted for size

and population, of course.

Dr Lee said that fighting global warming will take more than a few

slogans, more than turning off the

lights at night in large cities for an hour once a year, and more than

merely cutting meat consumption.

"We will have to learn to live the simple

lives of our ancestors," Lee said.

Without such efforts, he said, Taiwanese will

be unable to face future generations and say they did all they could

to avert climate chaos worldwide. It's not

just a problem in Taiwan, it's a planetary issue, of course.

Will anybody in Taiwan or overseas listen to Dr Lee? For most people

today, his words will go unheeded, if not unheard. But his remarks are

printed here, in visible ink on paper (or with pixels on

a digital screen) in the hope some people will "get it" and work to

make Lee's ideas take root.

A Nobel Peace Prize for Lee Yuan-tseh of Taiwan for his urgent appeal

about how to fight global warming and climate change? It could happen.

His words, and warnings, are heartfelt.

Listen to this man. He's 75 and he cares about the future.

Dr Lee said he likes to quote Charles Darwin who once wrote: "It is

not the strongest

of the species that will survive, or the most intelligent; it is the

ones most adaptable to


Lee believes that time is of the essence. "If the environment changes

faster than the time required for

a given species to

evolve, the likely result will be extinction," he says. "With the fast changing

climate and the rapidly

deteriorating ecosystem of today, the human species [must try] to

slow down environmental change, or a fate of extinction might be inevitable."

"We know what needs to be done," Lee says. "We cannot wait until it is too late.

We cannot wait until what we value most is lost."

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