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The President's Green Column

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Before going into my next topic 'factor 4', I would like to summarize the contents of my entries so far.


Environmental problems are often being talked about by the mass media. However so, the media have been creating their own trend of environmental problems. At such, attention and effort given to the resolution of environmental problems based on what are being featured by the media is unlikely to bring fruitful results. I started this column hoping to question the urgency and severity of the various environmental problems.

1.What are Environmental Problems?

I would like to suggest the following definition.

'Problems caused by environmental changes due to human activities that greatly endangers the well-being of humans and the balance of our ecosystem.'

2.What are the most important Environmental Problems?

Scale of Damage: I have listed these 3 problems based on the following.? 'The number of people that faces life danger over a particular duration of time'.

'Insufficiency of Energy, Water & Food', 'Usage and Disposal of Radioactive Materials' and 'Rapid Global Warming'.

Environment Problems according to scale of damage.

3.What are the main features of the 3 main environmental problems?

The features of the 3 main environmental problems can be found in the graph below.
These problems are simultaneously linked. While listing them according to their priority, it is also necessary to work towards the resolution of all the problems in the long run.

The 3 Main Environmental Problems

4.What strategies should be given priority?

'There is a need to reduce Greenhouse Gases. There is a need to cater to the increasing demand for energy, water & food. Nuclear energy is scary'.

Under such a situation, I would like to propose the following.

  • ●As emergency measures, prevents the depletion of energy, water and food resources.
  • 1.Further development of oil, coal and natural gases resources
  • 2.Expand usage of nuclear power (Only for countries that are capable of risk management)
  • 3.Expand usage of natural energy (solar, wind and etc)
  • 4.Use bio-energy cautiously so as not to affect forest and food supply adversely.
  • Along with the above, work on saving resources.
  • 5.Use resources more efficiently
  • 6.As much as possible, reach convergence for measures 1 and 2.

5.What are the causes for these environmental problems?

'The main causes are as follows.
(1)Reduction of the world population
(2)Rapid increase of resource consumption per person

'Poverty' worsens the damage caused by these environmental problems.

Transition of World's Population(Estimated)

6.What are the strategies to solve the roots of cause of environmental problems?

(1)Reduction of the world population
(2)Minimize resource consumption per person
(3)Ease global poverty

egardless of the method, the reduction in human population is likely to affect the prosperity of human adversely and hence, remains as the most difficult problem. Personally, I think that it is most important to 'minimize resource consumption per person' and 'ease global poverty' while controlling the growth in population as much as possible.
The above is the summary of my previous entries.
In my next entry, I will like to introduce 'factor 4' relating it to the 'reduction of resource consumption per person' and the 'easing of global poverty'.

15 Feb 2009 Hironobu Matsui

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