Climate Change in Japan
It is clear that there are many problems caused by climate change around the globe. For the Inuit people there is a complete change in their way of life. Each individual’s way of life is valuable and it is our duty as citizens of the world to protect each other. In late 2015 there was a plan made for the next 10-15 years in how to handle climate change. Mother Jones states, “The historic accord, known as the Paris Agreement, includes emissions-slashing commitments from individual countries and promises to help poorer nations adapt to the damaging effects of a warming world” (McDonnell and West). World leaders are not required to respond to scientific decisions about global warming, and are holding other countries accountable for their actions. Japan has signed and ratified this agreement, which is important given than over 3% of the worlds greenhouses gasses originate from Japan.
Exploring water.org is interesting and hits very close to home for me. Water.org provides very affordable loans for families to be able to have access to the valuable clean drinking water at home. The church I have grown up in does something similar and donates all money raised through Christmas to Living Water International. Over the past decade we have donated millions of dollars to invest in fresh water wells in the poorest areas of the world. Local contractors are hired to complete the projects with volunteers from around the world. Fresh water to communities is critical for health and education. Neither Water.org or Living Water International have worked in Japan, but they do work in other parts of Asia including places like India and the Philippines.
According to the Japan Times, “akuya Nomoto, an Environment Ministry official, noted at a 2013 symposium that climate experts were predicting the country’s average temperature would rise between 2.1 and 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. The rise will bring severe weather patterns, including heavier rains and floods, which is predicted to affect Japan’s most basic crop: rice” (Johnson). While these changings temperatures may not be temperatures never seen before in Japan, they will affect these important agricultural resources. Not only are land based agriculture affected, but the seafood industry will also be affected. This is a major negative for Japan.
I looked into one of the first NGOs in Japan to work on environmental pretection. Friends of the Earth’s website states, “FoE Japan’s main campaigns are on climate change and energy, forest protection (in particular promotion of sound forest utilization in Japan, and forest conservation in Russia), reform of Japanese and international financial institutions (in particular the new Japan Bank for International Cooperation), and environmentally friendly housing”. The Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011 lead to a decision to phase out nuclear power in Japan. Unfortunately, the government, despite the support for the phase out by the people, repealed this law. Friends of the Earth is working in Japan to phase out nuclear energy in exchange for renewable energy. Protection of the Japanese people is the first step now and for years to come.
All over the world communities are affected by climate change is increasingly different ways. It is important that world leaders are working to combat this problem, but it is also important us as individuals work ourselves. We can make changes in our own day to day lives by walking more, sharing rides, washing clothes in cold water, and taking shorter showers. This list is endless. Additionally, if the government is not going to listen to our immediate concerns we can reach out to companies directly expressing our concern and how important their compliance is to us. Additionally, we can donate time and money to NGOs and non-profits all over the world that are working to make changes. It starts with each of us.