3Back from the brink

Resolving Taiwan’s environmental problems

The experience of most countries since the Industrial Revolution started in the nineteenth century has been for states to strive as hard as they could for industrial (manufacturing) growth, regardless of the cost, because it is industrialization that brings the fastest and greatest economic benefits – in job creation, wealth generation, and national power. The cost, however, is often high, especially in the early period of the process – in increased socioeconomic inequality, harsh labour and living conditions, and, as observed in Chapter 2, mounting environmental problems, especially in overcrowded, burgeoning cities. An intriguing question is: what finally causes a state to recognize ...

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