Showing posts from June, 2015

Eco Links For June, 2015

June has been an interesting month with some wonderful rain and not-too-hot temperatures, mostly. I thought I should try to revive this "Eco Links of the Month" idea I foolishly started a while back. Do suggest news or blog posts that you think I should cover here on Kurashi - 10 years of blogging, no less! WNN: Plan sets out Japan's energy mix for 2030 A plan setting a share of 20% to 22% for nuclear power in Japan's energy mix by 2030 has been approved by a consultative committee. While scaling back fossil fuel use, the plan also calls for an expansion of renewable energy sources.   The long-term energy supply and demand outlook subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the draft report on 1 June.   The report, by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), says that total energy demand in Japan will increase from 940 TWh in 2013 to 980.8 TWh in 2030.   In 2013, LNG accounted for 43.2


The very word "drought" should be a clarion call for change - we cannot live on this planet and just rely on minerals and fossil fuels - we need water more than anything else. Japan has plenty of rains - this time of year we have the tsuyu, rainy season - and it comes with abundant wonderful storms, and the rice paddies do well, and my veggies are (mostly) happy. Not so great in North Korea, or parts of Australia, or California... What about California? From Earth Justice: The historic drought has dredged up old feuds over who can lay claim to water in a thirsty state. As the powerful lobby for the agricultural industry—which currently consumes 80% of California's water supply—cries for more water to be pumped to their farms in the arid regions of the Central Valley, just who would be left high and dry? (And don't miss the latest drought news at the Thirsty Thursdays blog series.) Wow.  California's Drought Homes with b

Kurashi Review: Children Of The Tsunami By Patrick Sherriff

It's not journalism, not fiction, and certainly not your usual travel book. Patrick Sherriff has written an acute account of his recent trip to the coastal areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Add watercolours and you have a great little book that helped me remember that there is still a world up there, a couple of hours north of the comfort zone that is Tokyo, that hasn't recovered, but the people are doing their very best to cope. Children of the Tsunami is an e-book, easy to order for $0.99 or an oversize paperback at $6.99 from all Amazon sites including here at .  and , or get the paperback directly from  CreateSpace . You can also sign up for Patrick's mailinglist (details below). Background - Patrick drove up in 2011 with emergency supplies, like many of us did, trying to help wherever we had contacts or the need was the greatest. Now, he went back on a more leisurely trip, with wife and two daughters,

US Congress Sinks Fast Track, TPP

It could still rear its ugly head but for now, US Congress voted down a package of bills that would have given the White House "Fast Track" authority. Without it, there is no way other countries will engage in serious negotiations with the US about trade. I watched the debate live and followed the live blogging, it was a great show. Having followed the TPP discussions closely, including Wikileaks and heard arguments for and against, it feels like a relief - for now. Japan and other countries need to have much more discussion about these massive trade negotiations and think hard about the impact on people's lives. But for now, the American "Asian Pivot" has largely failed. Not much is expected to happen during the rest of President Obama's term, and it will take time before another president can regain the momentum. Which is a good thing, as far as I am concerned! Politico: Hou

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (Yume to Kyôki no Ôkoku)

If you like anime and wish to know more about the hardships and creative trouble that go into making epic films, do enjoy this documentary about the Ghibli Studio. Anyone been the the museum? I like how anti-nuclear he is, and of course, anti-war. So,, what is Miya-san a proponent of...?

The Ocean Cleanup

Have you heard of the plastic garbage in the oceans? Well, 20 year old Boyan Slat is trying to do something about it, and he is getting support to do it in Japan. May 20, 2015 he and his crew started a project near Tsushima Island, to try to capture some of the crap left by humans in our seas. If this works out, the plan is to scale it up. The ocean currents, passing the island towards the deposits around 30,000 m 3 of trash onto its shores every year. Currently, this garbage is manually collected, costing about US$5 million each year. The coastal pilot will be catching trash before it reaches the shoreline, potentially saving cost. This, combined with the suitable wave/current conditions and the local hospitality, makes Tsushima the perfect testing location. This will get interesting. Tsushima is part of Nagasaki, Kyushu and a major tourist destination. Go out on the beaches and you can't avoid seeing the plastic crap washed ashore. Very embarrassing then, if tha

TPP - Read All The Documents! Online! Now!

Quickly before it is too late... ;)