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Regarding Stephen Hesse’s April 24 article, “After March 11, Japan must reconsider its energy options“: It is a shame that only now, because of the Fukushima nuclear power plant problems and the loss of its energy output, that many people are willing to reduce energy usage. We have known for years that energy production from fossil fuels and nuclear power creates health problems.

Now we are paying the severe price for the “convenience” of heated toilet seats, elevators and escalators that healthy people use to go up or down just one floor, computers that lazy people prefer to have on 24 hours a day, televisions on in many rooms, uncovered refrigerated or heated display cases in convenient stores and supermarkets, and excessively illuminated pachinko parlors, stores and vending machines throughout most cities.

Many people claim we need nuclear power, but it is not necessary. The simplest solution to meeting our energy needs is conservation. Who is responsible for the nuclear power plant problems? Responsible parties include not only the power company and its government overseers, but also consumers like you and me, who paid for the electricity and used it without complaining until deprived. Products are not produced unless they are sold and bought.

What can we do now? We should sharply reduce our energy usage and continue moderate energy usage into the future. Nonpolluting renewable sources of energy use must be mandated by the government and chosen by the people, too. It might also be a good time to enjoy the natural beauty of stars instead of artificially illuminated landscapes.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

greg goodmacher

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