Regarding the Nov. 19 editorial “Cut emissions without nuclear power“: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to renege on Japan’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gases is a major mistake in terms of protecting the environment and in terms of creating a favorable international attitude toward Japan.

To claim that Japan needs nuclear power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is not correct. It appears that the Japanese government and the media seem to have forgotten about the efficacy of energy conservation. Immediately after the terrible earthquake and tsunami the Japanese people conserved considerable amounts of energy. Yet government efforts to create a culture of energy conservation are being left out of the current discussion. Every home, pachinko parlor, convenience store and department store could cut energy usage dramatically without any major inconveniences.

Conservation and promotion of renewable energy sources would be sufficient to make Japan’s previous promises come true. I suggest that the government create an energy conservation department that would hire knowledgeable experts to meet with company owners and homeowners to make suggestions as to how to better insulate buildings, to reuse materials and to reduce energy. The government should provide necessary materials at cost to the public or it could provide tax breaks.

Such a program would provide useful employment, stimulate the economy, and reduce greenhouse gases.

greg goodmacher

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.

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