August 29(Monday)

Looking squarely at the far-ahead future...

 

At today's party presidential election for the DPJ, Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Minister of Finance, was decided upon as the next DPJ president.  Tomorrow at the Diet he will be designated Prime Minister.  Mr. Noda has placed emphasis on shoring up public finances and other such matters thus far, and in light of his calm demeanor I have great expectations for him in uniting the party as well.

 

I myself was able to move forward smoothly with the procedures for stepping aside, with the passage by August 26 of all three bills that I had set as targets enabling me to resign: the second supplementary budget, the Act to Promote Renewable Energies, and the Act on Special Provisions concerning Issuance of Government Bonds.  I intend to be engaged in the promotion of renewable energies as my life work even after I step down from office.

 

Actually, with regard to renewable energies, ultimately I would like to create a "Green Things" political party.  This is because I believe firmly that what will save the earth and what will save humanity is "green things"―plants.  Why?  It is manifestly apparent when you look at history from the earliest beginnings of the earth.

 

Do you know what comprises the atmospheres of Mars and Venus?  It is in fact about 95% carbon dioxide.  Moreover, it is said that when the earth came into existence about 4.5 billion years ago, the earth's atmosphere was also more than 95% carbon dioxide.  Yet that has declined to less than 0.04% in the present day.  Why?  Entirely through the power of plants.

 

First of all, plant life (algae) arose in the ocean, where it is difficult to be impacted by the sun's ultraviolet light, which acts potently to kill living organisms.  Through the carbon assimilation of the algae's chlorophyll, carbon dioxide is broken down into oxygen and carbon, and oxygen was diffused into the atmosphere.  The O3 ozone layer arose from that O2 oxygen, blocking out ultraviolet light.  Plants developed on land and huge forests formed, with carbon taking solid form in the form of coal and so on.  In this way the current atmosphere developed, with ample amounts of oxygen as a component.  It was against the backdrop of this kind of environment that we animals first became able to exist.

 

Until we came to burn coal during the Industrial Revolution, the energies used by humans also came from plants, for the most part.  One scholar has made the provisional calculation that "if we were to use only one-eighth of the portion of annual growth of the earth's plant life and, rather than leave it to decay, were able to convert it all to energy instead, it would cover the entire amount of energy currently used annually by the entirety of the world's population."  As this would only be utilizing the process of emitting carbon dioxide, the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would not increase through this process.  In this way, it is plants―that is to say, biomass energy―that have a potential even greater than that of wind or solar energy.

 

In order also to incorporate this into the reconstruction efforts after the earthquake disaster, first, 100 million yen has been allocated within the second supplementary budget to cover the exploratory investigation costs for ten biomass power-generating stations that would utilize the wood in the rubble from the disaster areas, and then in the future use the leftover wood resulting from forestry operations.  I would like full-fledged operations to be addressed within the third supplementary budget.

 

--- Here in my last entry I wrote about a topic I enjoy, and with this, "Prime Minister Kan's Blog" will itself come to an end.  There were occasions at which I wished to say more about my own personal thoughts, and I believe that I spoke as frankly as possible within the extent possible in light of my position as Prime Minister.  I would like to thank all my readers for following this blog this far.



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