Saturday, 21 August 2010

Environmentalists For Shame

These people are fucking stupid. I will not put it any more politely than that. Yes, if you care about the environment, this is the right tactic to adopt - buying the land and defending it with direct action tactics - which is similar to what I advocated should have been done to help the farmers in Miaoli County earlier this summer. Two points: first, if birds are more important to you than people, then you are fucking stupid, and second, if you will not defend the private property principle, by for example standing in solidarity with the Miaoli farmers, then you should expect to have your 1000 hectares expropriated right out of your sorry ass just as soon as KPTC can buy itself the right politicians, administrators and judges. Stupid fucking idiots.


Apropos your report today (Saturday 21st August) by Loa Iok-sin on the attempt by an environmentalist group to purchase up to 1000 hectares of land in Changhua County to prevent the construction of a petrochemical plant, perhaps you could send another staff reporter to ask the Miaoli County farmers what they think of the fact that, whereas 50,000 people are apparently prepared to act to save birds and pink dolphins, none of these people were similarly prepared to help save them and their farms from expropriation.

Shame on these environmentalists.

To hold up a bird or a dolphin as of greater value than another human being - which is the only calculation that could possibly account for the comparative inaction of these 50,000 people when the Miaoli farmers were having their land stolen by the government - does not bode well for the future of Taiwan. Such people had better not dare to speak of "human rights" in my presence.

Is it not also heavily ironic that the very tactic which these people have adopted - the purchase of land - itself presupposes the integrity of the principle that property be privately owned, i.e. the very principle that these people stood back and watched the Miaoli County government trample upon just a few months back?

For shame - and may it stick to their souls like petroleum and never wash off.

Yours freely,
Michael Fagan.

(Sent: Saturday 21st August 2010. Published in the Taipei Times Tuesday 24th August 2010) Update: this letter seems to be getting an unusual degree of exposure as the viewing figures have already surpassed the 1000 mark and are still rising even though it was only published yesterday. In my experience, the viewing figures for letters usually trail off around the 800 mark, but only after a week or so of them being published.


  1. The land purchases in Changhua seem to be obvious targets for expropriation. I've been asking people about that possibility, but so far no response.

    To care about the environment is to care about humans, Michael. It's not birds OR humans but birds AND humans.

  2. Oh sure of course, but come on Turton, the point is that these 50,000 people *could* have taken concerted action to back up the Miaoli County farmers, just as they are acting in concert on their environmental values now, but they didn't did they? They sat back, watched it happen on TV, said to themselves "oh dear, how sad" and then changed the channel. They deliberately chose not to stand up for their fellow human beings in a case in which they were directly violated by the power of the State, and yet they are choosing to stand up for a bunch of gay dolphins; the externalities aspect to their reported motive is very much second fiddle here. It is thoroughly contemptible.

  3. I think the farmers wouldn't agree with you. Why don't you go out there and ask them? If you had been to the protests you would have seen the farmers and the f#%&@ing stupid environmentalists (your words not mine) side by side. They've been fighting this together for years. Those environmentalists’ lawyers have been representing the farmers in the effort to stop the land seizures. Nothing new. Look at the lawyers in the 2008 ruling which cancelled the 2006 EIA. Did that legal team not include Lin San-Chia and Lawyer of Record Chen Bo-jhou? Funny, weren't the stupid environmentalists standing together with the Houli farmers fighting this back in 2006 when the controversial EIA was passed as they still are. It's about humans and dolphins. They need each other. To preserve the way of life of the farmers in Houli, Erlin, Miaoli they need to stop the petrochemical developments. The farmers need their farms but they also need clean water and fields free of deadly toxins. The fishers and fish farmers have the same needs. Do you think the farmers are opposed to the purchase of this land? If you do you really have no idea of what's happening. Apart from trying to drive a wedge between the farmers and their environmentalist allies, just what have you done to help the farmers of Houli, Erlin, Miaoli?

  4. Fool. The environmentalists may have supported the farmers, but they were doing it wrong. You don't play by the rules on something like this by throwing your money away on goddamn lawyers you moron - you stand *against* the law, and with 50,000 people standing against the law the government would most likely back down or start the politically suicidal process of getting violent and throwing asses in jail.


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