I was not always a person who is concerned about our environment. The reason for the change in my attitude is probably similar to that of many other people.
September 2006, I was on a plane to Dubai when the video 'An Inconvenient Truth' happened to shown on Channel No. 1 of the 200 odd channels available. As I happen to be having difficulties sleeping that night, I starting watching in order to kill time. However, I became really engrossed in Mr Gore's presentation and still remember myself watching till the very end.
Although I was very impressed with the contents and method of presentation by Mr Gore, it was then only known as some minor documentary film in Japan. In the next month, this film was screened in USA and in January of 2007, to my surprise, screened in Japan (despite only at limited places). It did not occur to me that Mr Gore would be awarded with the Nobel Prize for this film.
Thanks to the coincidence of watching this film on the plane, I became conscious of the crisis our environment is facing. Upon returning to Japan, I started to read up on books and surf on the Internet to find out more.
Although global warming is indeed a critical problem, there is no doubt that there are other environmental problems too. Attempts to deal with a single problem may turn out to be a dangerous act and I began to think that putting into consideration various critical environmental problems should be how we face this contemporary crisis.
In addition, I also share my sympathy with concepts such as Factor 4 and Factor 10 and the Natural Capitalism ideology. Furthermore, I began to question how the GDP percentage affects the living of people especially in developed countries like Japan. After watching the Legendary Speech at Rio by a 14 years old girl made me even more affirmed that for the sake of our children and our next generation, it is my mission to do my part for our environment.
Nevertheless, the more I read and find out, the more I am assured that this is indeed a very difficult and complicated problem we have in front of us.
I will be writing my personal findings and opinions into this column about once or twice a month. It would be my pleasure if this column can be of any reference as to how we should be dealing with our environmental problems.
31 May 2008 Hironobu Matsui