Next time you see a sleeping Japanese, do not wake him . . . he is saving the planet. The Japanese government has launched a campaign asking people to go to bed and get up extra early in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Of course, it is not clear what carbon footprint will be left by the likely increase in births associated with forcing couples into their beds for longer periods.
Putting the ribbing aside, the fact is that the Japanese government (unlike our own) is trying to move aggressively to deal with carbon emissions and global warming as scientists warn that we may be approaching a point of no return.
The article below notes “[t]he amount of carbon dioxide emissions potentially saved from going to bed an hour early was the equivalent of 20 per cent of annual emissions from household lights.” One culprit identified by the government is late night television, which consumes a great deal of energy.
The Japanese environment ministry is seeking to meet a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent from 1990 levels within the next decade.