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Paying the Kyoto Protocol price

Japan is learning that after the fun of pretending you're saving the world, comes the drudgery of living up to your pointless promises. The Asahi Shimbun reports:

Shut off the lights when you leave the room! Get out of the shower, now! Turn off that TV! Turn that air conditioner down! Put on a sweater if you're cold!

Sounds like dad and mom in a bad mood, right?

Nope, it's just Big Brother, with the Kyoto Protocol on his mind.

The international pact aimed at curbing global warming went into force in February. So, the government finds itself under pressure to fulfill its commitment of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 6 percent below Japan's 1990 level by 2008 to 2012.

Since every little bit counts, the Environment Ministry has decided that households should do their part to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Officials have even come up with a 3-billion-yen advertising blitz that will start this spring. With its helpful tips, the ministry hopes to wean individuals from their energy-wasting ways.

...As part of the campaign, the ministry will call on individuals to sweat for the cause: People should dress for the summer weather and preset air-conditioner temperatures higher at home and the workplace, officials said.
No word on whether the Environmental Ministry itself is planning on cutting back its own energy use. Generally, rule-makers in any nation tend to feel that their own actions should be exempt from the restrictions they place on the common folk.

As it turns out, the Mainichi Daily News reports that Japan's ministers and politicians are going to lead by example on this one. So they're not being hypocritical, just pointless.




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