Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Energy awareness

Apparently Chinese government workers were ordered to go without cars, elevators and air conditioning today as part of an awareness campaign about saving energy.

The report, in the official China daily newspaper, (well, apparently - I can't seem to find the original article) said that China's 7 million public servants consume about 5 percent of the country's total electricity a year, equal to the electricity consumed annually by 780 million farmers.

China is undergoing incredible economic growth - I keep hearing how Asia is developing serious air quality problems as a result of the dramatic increases in car ownership and use and because of unregulated emissions from all sorts of industries. The massive growth combined with a huge (and in some areas, very dense) population is creating serious environmental issues including acute pollution crises, as well as energy shortages.

I wonder what would happen in Canada if our government decided that all of our civil servants should all do without cars, elevators, and air conditioning for a day? ... of course, a real-life energy shortage kind of made that choice for a whole bunch of us two years ago: that would be the famous blackout.

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