From the New York Times today: Japan, already a leader in conservation, consumes about half as much energy per capita as the United States, according to the United Nations Population Fund. But asked to step up conservation efforts in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, the country has come together to reach - and surpass – reduction targets.
So how do they do it: Government e-mails are sent to subscribers’ cellphones alerting them to when they need to cut back, local governments are holding contests soliciting conservation ideas, households are cutting back beyond the hours during which conservation is in effect, and companies have shifted days off to weekdays, told employees to dress down for comfort, and monitor real-time power use.
More importantly, they see the sacrifice as a matter of national pride and cohension.
Let us learn from the Japanese.