Re:How to really fix the economy... and the Earth
- As a Japanese-English translator, I frequently have to translate
reports to shareholders or potential investors issued by Japanese
companies. It is striking that every one of the reports I have
translated contains a section on how the company is using less energy
than the previous year, recycling x percent of its used products,
replacing environmentally unfriendly raw materials, and reducing its
waste stream by y percent. It doesn't matter what the company
manufactures: it boasts about its environmental efforts, down to
keeping its offices warm in summer and cool in winter and making all
the workers unplug their office equipment when they go home for the day.
Oh, and they just opened another train line in northern Tokyo to serve
a previously underserved area. I think I may have already mentioned
the bicycle parking garages that began turning up at major train
stations about five or ten years ago.
Forty years ago, Japan was notorious for Minamata disease and
unbreathable air. They're not perfect by any means, but they're a
great example of what a nation can accomplish if it makes
environmentalism a priority.