Saturday, 28 May 2011

Buck passing

It is with some irritation that I  received the news from the university that they are cutting the term two weeks short to contribute to energy saving.

The economic rationalist in me says.... what about all those fees?
The scholar in me says....... but I enjoy my classes....
The cynic in me wonders....... why is it only the uni I study at and not the uni I teach at.

The realist in me is quite annoyed at what seems to be typical responsibility shifting.
There are no green curtains going up, there is nothing like Tokyo University's sustainable campus.  The toilets still have the toilet seat warmers going, in the cafeteria the other day the doors to the outside were open with the aircon on.
It is totally devoid of imagination, total buck passing, and so small picture.  Thousands of students sitting at home with thousands of aircons on rather than being at uni and sharing the same aircon... There has been no thought about efficacy, just short minded expedient decision making...  and isn't that what created the electricity problem in the first place?


Bryn said...

Was just notified today that everyone on the base is shifting to a 6a - 3p work schedule, to help conserve energy this summer. ?? Obviously I'm missing something, because I don't see how that will help anything.

What I DO know, however, is that it will cost me more money in daycare expenses! Right now I work from 8a - 5p, E leaves for school at 7:45, so I can get him off and be at work by 8a. Now, I'll have to put him in daycare before school, as well as after. They don't charge an hourly rate, just a flat fee, regardless of how long your kid is there, so since he gets out of school at 2p, I still have to pay for after care......I wonder if I promise not to use any electricity after 3p every day, if they'll let me keep my regular hours?

I could think of a bazillion ways to save more energy (they turned on all the central air conditioners on base today!!!!!) but I guess we all have to do our part :(

Cecilia said...

What! If they are doing that, why aren't they shifting the school times as well...

I am all in favour of doing my part IF it's logical and effective and not just doing something to be seen to be doing something...

I have resisted the urge to get the heater out again. :)

J.D. Gibbard said...

I, too, was perpetually annoyed by energy wasted in Japan by leaving outside doors open, idling engines, etc. For years I've been saying that I guestimate Japan could cut its gasoline consumption by 5% or more overnight if they just stopped all the pointless idling.

@Bryn, the 6-3 work schedule means working during the cooler hours of the day so there is less need for aircon at work. You bring up a valid point that people may increase total energy use by having all those individual ACs turned on at home. People need to be educated on how to reduce electricity consumption through smart scheduling, spending time in public cool zones like movie theatres, staying cool without aircon, etc.

Cecilia said...


On the upside here people don't use clothes driers.

I was out and about yesterday and hardly anywhere had aircon on. The Nezu gallery probably did, though it wasn't cold, the Pyramid building in Roppongi didn't - the art galleries there all had open doors, no aircon. In Omotesando most places had air con off inc. Prada.

The two notable exceptions were the ANA hotel bar and a second hand upmarket goods shop on Aoyama dori that had a big Louis Vuitton trunk in the window.

These aren't my usual haunts at all, just doing gallery cruising with a friend who was in town :)