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Japan Starts Turning Green

March 4th, 2014 | Posted by theadmin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

There has been a noticeable change in attitudes in Japan since the events of 2011.  The earthquake and Tsunami obviously had a devastating effect, but it’s probably the disaster at Fukushima which were the real turning point for the Japanese people.   The change has been noticeable among both businesses and individuals with all sorts of ‘green energy’ projects springing up all over the country.

There have been cooperatives established by businesses and citizens to help create new energy sources.  In the city of Odawara, a group of companies have established an independent energy company to help provide an alternative to nuclear based plants.    They are focusing initially on solar energy, by installing panels in strategic locations through out the city, but also construction has begun for a large solar plant which is hoped will supply energy for around 300 households.

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There is a genuine drive to try and take lessons from the tragic events to make Japan a better place.  Japan was of course famous for it’s high growth rate at the turn of the last century, an economic boom that was largely supported by over consumption domestically.  The dumps and tips in Tokyo were full of one and two year old TV sets as the Japanese upgraded routinely in all manner of products.  But you can feel the change, the events of March 2011 and the decade of stagnation in the economy have made the Japanese think again of repeating the same mistakes.

If you watch  the Japanese media you’ll see a huge difference in attitude from the 1980s and 90s, although you’ll need some language skills and use of a Japanese proxy in order to listen to them.   This is a much different society,  one that has changed it’s priorities.   There’s a good hope that this change in direction will benefit green technology directly with an increase in research and development in this area.    We have seen all ready a Japanese firm generating electricity from the food waste of a noodle factory and the pulp from an nearby orange juice maker.

It’s not all good news on the environmental front though, there are still some who think the future needs nuclear power.   The Government is currently drafting it’s latest energy policy and nuclear certainly plays an important part in that.   Public opinion is definitely against this, stories of radiation poisoning which keep appearing are likely to polarize this view.

For more information on technology citations: please see here.

Campaigners for the environmental organisation Greenpeace have been criticising one of the world’s largest supermarket chains – Tesco. They claim that the supermarket in 2012 pledged to ensure that they only stock sustainably fished tuna on it’s shelves – but had broken that promise.

The group have said that Tesco is stocking budget tuna from the low cost supplier Oriental and Pacific. This supplier is believed to use large nets called purse seines, which are harmful to other sea life. There is some confusion over the claims though which the supermarket chain deny and the manufacturer claim is misleading.

The recognised sustainable way to catch tuna is by using a pole and line, the primary benefit is that no other creatures are caught by accident. Tesco has promoted it’s ethical standpoint on tuna fishing heavily so this accusation is extremely embarrassing.

The company who owns Oriental and Pacific tuna, claims that 85% of it’s tuna is caught using the ethical manner. However it did admit that the specific brand Tesco uses is caught using large nets. It’s unclear on what basis Tesco are denying the claims when the manufacturer had in fact confirmed it. Some celebrity chefs have called for consumers to boycott buying this tuna and the supermarkets who are supplying it.

There is a concern among many environmentalists that many companies are using green issues to promote their products and brands, but the reality is many are only paying lip service to the issue rather than actually doing anything about it. The example of Tesco seems to be very typical of the attitude of many large corporations who wish to promote an environmentally friendly image without any of the costs involved. It’s unknown what sort of effect this bad publicity is going to have on Tesco but the UK is a fairly environmentally sensitive market so it will be interesting to see. You can watch the news updates and coverage of this issue on the BBC site and the Iplayer application – this method allows you to hide your location and watch the UK only programmes over the internet. It’s merely a method of changing your IP address using proxies in order to bypass the many blocks on major media sites – check this out for more information.

Reducing your carbon footprint, and’s conserving your resources are key steps in becoming a contributing member to modern society. The waste created by electricity and heating in the home are major sources of carbon waste in our personal lives. More efficient windows and better habits with regard to lightbulbs, can help us do something small that, as a whole, has a great impact. Though the awareness campaign has been around for decades I’ll remind, it’s incredibly important to keep the lights in the home off when you are not using them. Today we see people who use televisions as there’re computer screens. While this gives your desktop more real estate to work and is also a waste of electricity if it is not being utilized. A great way to lower your carbon footprint when working is to use lower power portable devices like iPads and smart phones. These devices use a tenth of the power as a desktop computer but can offer the same connectivity and even help to streamline parts of your work.

Heating the home is a major issue for most of the world. When winter comes energy costs soar. The reason for this is simple, most people’s homes have poor insulation, to stay warm through the cold winter nights and blizzards, the boiler must be burning oil constantly. The carbon released from all the heating is going to greatly exacerbate the problem of global climate change. Which paradoxically can result in colder harsher winters for many. Most people who vote Republican don’t believe in climate change, but it’s as real as they are, even if we wish they weren’t.

When searching for flats to rent look for double glazing windows, doors that seal tightly, and carpets, all these things help keep heating and energy loss to a minimum. These tips could save you hundreds over a year.s

The impact of modern day warfare on the environment has becoming increasingly negative, especially over the past few decades. Experts have called this ecocide, or the killing of the environment. It has affected endangered species and humans alike.

Orange was sprayed in Vietnam in order to defoliate the jungles, and oil wells in Iraq were burned due to the extreme measures used during war. Habitat destruction and deforestation has been caused by the advancements in military machinery and explosives. For example, 35% of Cambodia’s intact forests have been destroyed by years of civil war. The issues are usually made worse by the fact that environmental protections are put on the back burner during times of extreme conflict.

Depleted uranium, which has long been used mostly by the United States for conventional munitions, missiles, and defensive military armor, has the ability to penetrate enemy tanks and other targets much easier than weapons made with other materials. The risk of exposure to depleted uranium to public health has been downplayed, including by inhalation of fine dust particles of this material. It is even suspected that soldiers and civilians who have been exposed to high levels may be at an increased risk for developing lung cancer and kidney damage as a result.

Another environmental issue that has happened as a result of war is the spreading of uranium oxide by way of two hundred stolen plastic barrels that contained the material. They were washed out and used improperly, such as for storing water, tomatoes, and cooking oil in them, as well as being put up for sale to other villages for transporting milk to different regions just because they need money. The material also had seeped into the ground and dispersed through the air. The Iraq national nuclear inspector predicted that potentially more than a thousand people could die from leukemia.

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Written by Bruce from DayJobNuker 

The simple answer to this question is an emphatic YES! Finances effect the environment both for the better and worse.  Unfortunately the bad side to this question is the profitability in oil production as a means for energy, which greatly destroys our Earth.  Perhaps if our country could find some sort of debt relief and then use the extra money to help fund programs to find a more renewable and sustainable energy source then things may start to look better.  Will this ever happen? More than likely not.  Once we can find a way to get out of debt as a country than we can start looking at the bigger picture.