Bloviating and Global Warming

Climate Change notes from all over:

» Is hot air a greenhouse gas? Or just ear pollution? | GreenTech Pastures |
How does a nation that holds so much American debt consider itself poorer than the U.S.?“ you might ask. And are we measuring American wealth by national debt or per capita wealth? We do still lead the league here in America for energy used per person. Just consider what it takes to air condition Phoeniz or Las Vegas. Despite China’s newly gained #1 spot in total greenhouse gas emission, they’re still far behind us in per capita greenhouse gases

Strangely enough, Japan is trying to change their culture to reduce the use of air-conditioning. If I had to live in Tokyo, Phoenix, or even Texas without AC, I’m not sure I would be able to work in an office. It’s bad enough in Chicago in the summer….

Sebastian Moffett writes:

Salarymen Shed Their Ties And Endure the Shame On Steamy Summer Days TOKYO — Late last month, the presidents of Japan’s three biggest banks gathered to make an important announcement: They were abandoning formal attire for the rest of the summer — and insisting that their 1,630 branches nationwide keep office temperatures at a steamy 82 degrees Fahrenheit in order to conserve energy. In a formal ceremony in Tokyo, young women in cotton kimonos splashed water from wooden buckets on the baking ground — a traditional way to cool it down without using extra power.

”I want the banking world to get together to promote Cool Biz,“ said Mitsui Sumitomo Banking Corp. chief Masayoshi Oku, lined up with two other bank presidents and the environment minister — all with open-necked shirts and no jackets.

Cool Biz is the latest stage in Japan’s aggressive campaign to lead the world in reducing energy use. Japan already uses less energy per dollar of output than other major economies. But the government is eager to do more. If all offices raised their temperatures to 82 from 79.2 degrees between June and end of September, when the hot season ends, it says Japan could reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by up to 2.9 million tons over the summer — roughly the amount caused by six million households in a month.

…. Some experts say Cool Biz is too hard on the body. Kozo Hirata, a physiology professor at Kobe Women’s University in western Japan, has studied the interaction of clothes and skin and says 82 degrees can be comfortable only if you’re thin, naked and stay still. Any physical activity warms up the body, and even light clothing hinders the skin’s natural cooling mechanism. Because fat is an insulator, he says, just an extra millimeter under the skin makes a big difference. For overweight people, 82 degrees ”is impossible,“ he says.

But there is growing social pressure in Japan not to complain. In fact, too much air conditioning is now seen as shameful — the equivalent of unnecessary trips in gas-guzzling automobiles.

Good for Japan, but I doubt this would catch on in the US.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on September 11, 2007 8:12 AM.

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