Summer 2011 seems to be characterised by two things: power shortages & heat, and radiation. Though that might sound like three, this summer power shortages and heat are conjoined twins sharing vital organs. With Fukushima dai ichi out of action Tokyo, and the whole of Eastern Japan, is on voluntary electricity rationing.There is a conspicuous effort to save electricity: lower lighting, some trains running at 80% frequency, less aircon, no aircon. Occasionally I still pass places with aircon blasting onto the street, but they are becoming much less common.
Like most hot summers there are cases of heat stroke, but numbers are probably up. There's a heatwave on at the moment - the minimum temperature lately has been close to the August average maximum - 29. On NHK last night there was a report that 270 people were hospitalised in Kanto (Tokyo and surrounding prefectures) for heat stroke and two people died - including an 81 year old farmer who was working in the fields. I am not sure why she was working in the fields in the middle of a 37 degree 100% humidity day - preferable to be inside with no aircon? The day before a junior high school boy died after collapsing in baseball training. Japanese school sports can have a reputation as being brutally excessive in demands placed on members...
NHK pushes the line that people die from heatstroke because they don't have aircon. or hesitated to use it, continually highlighting the paradox of saving electricity while not getting heat stroke. Aircon is a human right that we regrettably have to forego...
|A hot day yesterday - most of the country 30+ - there needs|
to be a 35+ category - yesterday many places including Tokyo
were above 35.
|25+ is a hot night. At midnight there were parts of Aichi and|
Gifu - Nagoya area that were 30+.
|Energy consumption graphed alongside the maximum capacity.|
Not a very big buffer zone.