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Japan's Tipping Point: Crucial Choices in the Post-Fukushima World Paperback – November 1, 2011
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On May 5, 2012 Japan shut down the last of its 50 nuclear reactors after the Fukashima disaster.
Japan, like the rest of the world is at a tipping point: it can go renewable or continue on its fossil/nuclear path. Pendergrast traveled through post-Fukashima Japan to survey a wide range of small-scale renewable energy projects. Tipping Point is unflinching in looking at the political and economic obstacles facing each of these projects. As I read the book, I could not help thinking that Pendergrast had found and reported on dozens of real reasons for hope. Although none of the renewable energy projects was in itself a single 'magic bullet' to solve Japan's energy crisis, when combined they may offer a profound opportunity. If Japan chooses to go renewable, each of these small projects shows a proven way to implement a workable solution within the Japanese culture and political system.
Tipping Point is a important book about a subject of critical importance to the entire industrialized world. As I read it I couldn't help but think that Japan and the world was fortunate to have a gifted reporter like Pendergrast on the scene to report on these options, and assemble them into one, short readable book. Coincidentally, all the solutions that Pendergrast describes are equally valid in other industrial nations.
I found the book surprisingly optimistic because it shows what can work, and what has worked. The question now is, will Japan accept this challenge? Will we?
He emphasizes the several methods of energy conservation, generally underused, available to the Japanese. He also addresses the nuclear station meltdown following the tsunami several years ago.
This is a very worthwhile book. It is not a page-tuner. But a reporter's first-hand account ought not be. And it is an account of a nation with advanced technogies (some of which have gone wrong).