Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

In addition to other serious environmental issues caused by the presence of Formosa Plastics, Chiayi and Yunlin (as well as other counties along the western coastal plain of south-central Taiwan) are plagued by the reckless siphoning off of ground water for agricultural (and industrial?) use, with little or no consideration for future generations. The end result of this illegal aquifer over-pumping carries staggering implications (just as it is does elsewhere in the world, as described in books like Plan B 4.0). The land is literally sinking centimeters every year!


I took these pictures last week. I’m no engineer, but it looks like these technicians working under the shadow of Taiwan’s elevated High Speed Rail (HSR) track a few kilometers north of the Chiayi Station are concerned about this issue of sinking land too (Umm, I almost forgot, I used to be an electrical engineer, but that was many moons ago in a land far far away..).


From the pictures one can see what looks like small circular slabs which have been inserted above the square shapes to maintain the original height of the tracks. Anyone out there in blog land know anything more specific about precisely what’s going on?


Below are a few links to recent articles concerning the the threat of sinking earth in relation to the future of the HSR. I wonder which will come first, a major disaster, or the reclaiming of this land by the sea (underneath highway 61 a few kilometers to the west, many tombs can be seen which are underwater these days)? With work like the above going on, I wonder how safe riding this thing actually is???!!!

Sinking earth threatens Taiwan high-speed rail

Taiwan's fast rail saviour offers unpleasant buffer

Taiwan high speed rail 'sinking'