Tag Archives: Japan

No deal on plastics.

The recent G7 meetings ended in disaster, and it was especially bad as far as the struggle to eliminate plastics from the oceans is concerned. The United States as well as Japan refused to ratify an engagement on that issue while Canada and most European countries agreed to sign a new charter against pollution from plastics.

The new charter would attempt to recycle 100% of all plastics by 2030 as well as developing alternatives to the use of plastics. By recycling more less plastics would be found in rivers as well as in the oceans.

It seems that the United States objected to putting numbers in this charter. In other words, it was the same old thing from the Americans. Still, the trend is clear, countries know that we have a problem with plastics and something must be done, sooner rather than later. Hopefully Americans as well as the Japanese will come around to face the facts. Japan especially should sign the charter eventually as they consume large quantities of products from the sea and would be impacted if less fish is captured.

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Flooding in Tokyo.

Because of global warming the city is more vulnerable than ever to flooding, and this despite spending billions of dollars on an underground system supposed to control those flood waters.

In the past three decades rainfall that measures more than two inches an hour has increased 30%. It seems that global warming is to blame for these intense rains in a country that is already among one of the wettest in the world.

On top of this, rising oceans makes the Tokyo area vunerable to storm surges and yet people and industries still want to settle near the waterfront. Pumping groundwater as also led parts of the city to sink by almost 15 feet in the past 100 years, thereby increasing the risk of these storm surges.

If one adds increased rainfall with the potential for destructive earthquakes and tsunamis, Tokyo is one of the riskiest city to live in. And the risk will not diminish in the future. Add to these woes the fact that the government is now heavily in debt and has an aging population one can see the financial challenges in making Tokyo secure, now and in the future.

 

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