Last semester, students in the Paragraph Writing 2 Class at Shibaura Institute of Technology wrote essays proposing changes that Japan should make for the sake of the environment. Their essays were very good! Starting today I'm publishing some of their essays. I've put footnotes in brackets because I can't format them correctly. Other than this I have not edited these essays at all. The first essay is by Kou. Enjoy!!
Fossil fuels will run out in the near future, but we mightily depend on fossil fuels. In addition, we don’t have many natural resources. So we depend on imports from abroad for almost all of our energy resources. In the near future, Japan might not be able to get an adequate amount of energy. We must find alternative energy sources. In my opinion, Japan should actively support the study of biomass energy. There are two main reasons for this. First, biomass energy is made of easily accessible materials, such as garbage and wood. Second, biomass energy can help solve environment problems.
First, biomass energy is made from biomass such as leftover food, animal manure, and wood. Therefore, we can easily get materials without depending on imports. For example, Sweden is the oil-poor country and depends on oil imports as Japan. However, through the two oil crises of the 1970s Sweden changed policy. In the mid-1990s, they focused on biomass energy. In 2004, one-fifth of electric consumption is provided by biomass energy based on woody biomass (1). Besides we can reduce waste disposal costs by using biomass. Biomass energy is very helpful for recycling resources.
The second reason why Japan should support the study of biomass energy is that it leads to reducing carbon dioxide. Biomass energy emits carbon dioxide when ignited. However, this carbon dioxide is absorbed and transformed into organic matter by plants (2). This means that biomass energy doesn’t influence increases and decreases of carbon dioxide. Biomass energy is also very helpful for a prevention of global warming. In Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Denmark, the penetration rate of biomass energy is over 10%. On the other hand, it is very small, less than 1% in Japan (3).
Japan should support the study of biomass energy right now after the example of these countries, because biomass energy might be able to solve global warming and energy problems. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act.