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11.What are the strategies to tackle major environmental problems?

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11.What are the strategies to tackle major environmental problems?

The President's Green Column

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11.What are the strategies to tackle major environmental problems?

In my previous entries, I have presented information regarding the 'Insufficiency of Energy Resources, Water and Food', 'Usage and Disposal of Radioactive Materials' and 'Rapid Global Warming'.

In this entry, I would like to consolidate possible strategies to tackle the major environmental problems I have mentioned.

Strategies to tackle major environmental problems and its effect.

In the chart below, I have listed the main strategies possible against the 3 main environmental problems and analyzed the effects of various strategies on each problem.

(記号の説明)
◎ 大変効果がある。  ○ 効果がある。  △ やや効果がある。  × 逆の効果がある。
? どのような効果や影響があるかわからない。  - 影響はほとんどないと思われる。

(Breakdown of analysis)

1.Expansion of energy generation by various resources (Nuclear power, coal, Natural gas, Solar, Wind & Water)
Conditions of calculation as of below
Effect on 'Rapid Global Warming'
When used in replacement of petroleum, if the amount of CO2 emitted is more than that of petroleum, 「×」.
If the amount emitted is between 10%~30% less than that of petroleum, 「○」and 「◎」when CO2 emission to reduced to 1/5 or less.

Reference:
Graph 'How does nuclear power contributes to reduction of CO2 emission' from the entry 'Usage and Disposal of Radioactive materials
Effect on 'Insufficiency of Energy Resources'
When the amount of resource is less than that of petroleum, it is marked as「△」.
When it is of the same amount till up to 3 times of petroleum, it is marked as 「○」 and when it is 5 times of petroleum,「◎」.

Reference:
Data 'How much energy are we left with?' from entry 'Insufficiency of Energy Resources'. Graph 'How does nuclear power contributes to reduction of CO2 emission' from the entry 'Usage and Disposal of Radioactive materials'.

2. Bio-fuel
As opinions vary as to whether CO2 emission is being reduced or increased when bio-fuels are being increased, I give it the benefit of doubt with「?」.
3. Abolishment of rules for exportation of food
There are countries that set rules for exportation of food to prevent insufficiency in its domestic market. This adversely affects the insufficiency of food supply globally.
Upon the abolishment of such limitation on exports, insufficiency of food around the world can be eased. However so, it is also highly likely that this would lead to the insufficiency of food supply in the domestic market of the country that has abolished such rules. At such, it has been concluded to be「○/×」.
4. Change of diet from meat to vegetables
In the process of beef production, large amount of grains and water are used. A change from meat-based to vegetable-based diet ease the insufficiency of food and water. Hence, its effect is marked as「△~○」.
5. Easing of Poverty Issue Together with insufficiency of water, food and energy resources comes
the inflation of prices. The poor in Africa and Asia are expected to be most affected and lives may also be endangered. At such, although the easing of poverty situation does not resolve the problem of insufficiency, it is capable of minimizing the damage. Thus, I have concluded its effect to be「△~○」.

Conclusion on strategies to tackle environmental problems

1. Strategies that requires immediate action
I believe that it is important to not depend on any single strategy but to carry out various strategies at the same time for the best outcome.
However so, for those strategies that are marked with「×」and「?」, it is necessary to be extremely careful with its implementation.
2. Strategies to prevent damage People in poverty are the first to be affected by the insufficiency of energy resources on the global scale.
Before solving the environmental problems, I think that the poverty issue should be first tackled to minimize damage.
3. Strategies to completely resolve problems in the long run

(1) Control of population
(2) Control of resource consumption per person

In other words, the 'rapid growth of population' and 'enormous increase in resource consumption per person' are the major causes of the current environmental problems.

In my next entry, I would like to introduce the 'factor 4' ideology. According to 'factor 4', wealth can be doubled to ease the poverty issue while resolving the problem of insufficiency of resources.

15 Jan 2009 Hironobu Matsui

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