Turning Japanese? The Post Sure Thinks So

            The Japanese have gone so gung-ho with energy conservation that some parts of that nation have turned off heat and leave workers freezing at their desks. Rather than criticize what would likely be illegal were it tried in America, Post reporter Anthony Faiola lauded it, suggesting “perhaps no people serve as better role models than the energy-miser Japanese.”

            That wasn’t the story Faiola presented. Images of shivering workers, massive government regulation and enormous costs were commonplace in his February 16, front-page piece. “To save on energy, local officials shut off the heating system in the town hall, leaving themselves and 100 workers no respite from near-freezing temperatures,” he explained. The story said “rows of desks were brimming with employees bundled in coats and wool blankets while nursing thermoses of hot tea.”

            Even Faiola acknowledged that “energy conservation can have its drawbacks,” according to the Free Market Project. Buried near the end of the article was this negative: “Back in the cold town hall in Kamiita, for instance, more and more workers are coming to the office wearing surgical masks and taking preventive medicines to ward off winter colds.”

            The temperatures weren’t the only things that might Americans sick at the sight of the Japanese program. The energy saving regulations are increasing prices on all sorts of electronics, creating a demand for “energy-saving – but higher-priced – consumer products.’ According to Faiola: “The government has set strict new energy-saving targets for 18 kinds of consumer and business electronics.”

·        The left wouldn’t be happy: Although Faiola mentioned the Japanese following the greenhouse gas mandates of the Kyoto treaty, the article stated that they have invested billions of dollars into coal, much criticized by the green movement. As the article put it: “Oil was replaced in part by coal.”

·        No nukes? Faiola gave a passing reference to Japanese pursuit of nuclear energy, but rather than explain this further, he insisted that “experts say” that “Japan has had little choice but to turn energy efficiency into an art form.”

·        More energy efficient: The article described the Japanese as more energy efficient than Americans, but didn’t bother to mention that lack of land forces most Japanese to live in large metropolitan areas, limiting their commute.

            Not exactly an ideal prescription for success in the United States: sickness, high costs, regulation and hazardous working conditions.