NPR reports on Japan and the Kyoto Protocol
Japan reduced CO2 emissions by about 1.4 million tons last year, in part by cutting back on air conditioning. This was made more comfortable by dispensing with the business suit and tie culture.
However, extensive commercial building and increases in transportation are making it difficult for Japan to meet its promises for the future.
Also in Japan, the solar energy industry is turning a profit, but remains expensive- this is keeping some consumers from switching to a solar system.
The above three articles from NPR (National Public Radio) shed light on progress and difficulties in a country that long ago recognized the Kyoto Accord and subsequent Kyoto Protocol, which address CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases and global warming.
Meanwhile, Diane Rehm‘s 10 am October 2, 2007, show on NPR dealt with rising food costs and the effect of corn-ethanol on the environment and society. While I didn’t hear the whole show yet, I did not find myself agreeing with some of the guests’ support for corn ethanol and its supposed economic benefits. In particular, one guest seemed to be skirting the issue by talking about reduced CO2 emissions instead of total energy costs when comparing the use of corn-derived ethanol (mixed with gasoline/petrol) in an automobile vs. gasoline/petrol alone. However, I still need to do more reading of current research before giving a complete answer.
© James K. Bashkin, 2007
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