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President's Message (Jim Koshi)
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Earth Day

Energy Savings

Germany has worked forcefully to achieve its role as a leader in the global environmental movement according to an article on the Green Revolution in the January/February 1995 issue of Sierra.

The German passion for environmental protection was fueled by the widespread damage to the country's forests caused by air pollution coupled with the Chernobyl incident and other fears of stratospheric-ozone depletion. The country is convinced that its environmental regulations will stimulate the development of a wide range of new "green" technologies that can be marketed globally as the demand for them increases.

Innovation has combined research programs and the use of technologies found elsewhere to develop programs such as the two-pronged approach aimed at developing pollution-control systems superior to factory smokestack scrubbers, as well as better ways to use scrubber waste.

Efforts to improve energy efficiency and environmental technologies which reduce costs and create a profitable world market are likewise found in Japan, Sierra reports. Taking the long-term view, Canada, Japan, and Germany have strong laws and aggressive programs which battle against pollution of air, water, and soil. For example, in Germany, regulations are now being implemented to force drivers out of gas-guzzling cars and onto energy-efficient public transit. Inner cities are being systematically closed to auto traffic, while highway, bridge, and other tolls are being raised; long-term "green passes" for public transportation are sold in all of Germany's major cities, the article states. Commuting by train slashes both fuel consumption and air pollution by up to 75 percent compared with cars, and 90 percent compared with airplanes.

Further information can be found in Green Gold: Japan, Germany, and the United States, and the Race for Enviromental Technology, by Curtis Moore and Alan Miller, published by Beacon Press, 1994.

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