In an effort to increase public support and participation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet goals set by the Kyoto Protocol, Japan's Enviromental Ministry turned off its heating this week.
The weeklong shutdown, which began Tuesday, comes as Japan lags far behind its Kyoto Protocol pledge to cut output of gases believed to be warming Earth's atmosphere to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2010. In 2004, the last year for which statistics are available, output was up 7.4 percent from 1990.
The ministry's "Warm Biz" campaign urges Japan's bureaucracy and businesses to bundle up with sweaters and scarves to cut down on energy use.
"It's actually not that cold. We're all keeping warm from the heat of our computers," ministry spokesman Masanori Shishido said, but admitted he has taken to wearing thermal underwear. Temperatures in Tokyo on Thursday were 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
"We can't make hot tea any more, but I get a coffee at Starbucks during the lunch break," he said. "I think we're setting a good example for the rest of the country."
I can't imagine the same reaction in this country. Long underwear to work in the office? Now that is hard-core. Japan's investment in renewable sources of energy, and conservation has reduced the resource-poor country's dependence on foreign oil from 75% to 50%. We could stand to take a lesson from the commitment of these Japanese workers to cut emissions, and reduce energy use.
Link: AP via ENN.com
(Image plucked from Duke Athletic)