Thursday, August 20, 2009

Changing Light Bulbs At Miyajima To Reduce CO2 Emissions

I like how the shrine at Miyajima, south of Hiroshima, has replaced all the light bulbs in its lanterns, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 34.3 tonnes a year.

The 900 year old shrine is no stranger to the elements, having been hit badly by a typhoon as recently as 2004. No matter, shrines in Japan are frequently rebuilt as way to preserve and maintain purity, using wood from forests that are especially designated and protected.

But if sea levels were to rise as predicted, the entire 900 year old structure would not survive.

The lanterns are not lit all night long, just for a while in the evening, as tourists enjoy a walk along the beach or a quiet supper in the restaurants nearby. Many weddings are also held here, and a trip to Hiroshima is not complete without a visit. "I want to spread CO2 reduction from Miyajima, getting people to understand what will happen if polar ice melts," said the head priest to journalists at the light bulb changing event.

Photo from Nikkei Net, read more over at Treehugger.

The oceans are already rising. Global average sea level rose about 17 centimetres in the 20th century, and the rate of rise is increasing. The biggest uncertainty for those trying to predict future changes is how humanity will behave. Will we start to curb our emissions of greenhouse gases sometime soon, or will we continue to pump ever more into the atmosphere?

Even if all emissions stopped today, sea level would continue to rise. "The current rate of rise would continue for centuries if temperatures are constant, and that would add about 30 centimetres per century to global sea level," says Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "If we burn all fossil fuels, we are likely to end up with many metres of sea level rise in the long run, very likely more than 10 metres in my view."

New Scientist: Sea level rise: It's worse than we thought


Isis said...

I love Miyajima's Itsukushima Shrine. Nice to know they are taking this action.

Land for sale - Colorado Rocky Mountains....

Tom O said...

A contribution is a contribution.

Visited it in summer of 1990, had a fantastic oyster soba lunch on the isle too. 900 years and now under threat, it has come to this. Many Pacific islands must see the evidence directly. And threateningly.

'How humanity will behave..'?? We're in this mess already, and now China is on the industrial-upgrade war path. And thats just taking into consideration all the coal power stations.

One would think that people would be thinking our their childrens' future in all of this. But, in this country anyway, the ubiquitous 'school run' is still alive and kicking. Why walk your child the ten minutes to school and chat about the coming day when the 4 x 4/SUV can do the trick can do it seconds. And keeping the engine running while waiting outside the school, not such a good call.

Anyway, to finish on a positive note, well done Itsukushima - it all helps.

Dakoota said...

Not a Bad Idea!
Light Bulbs