By JUDIT KAWAGUCHI
Professor Kunihiko Takeda
Professor Kunihiko Takeda, Ph.D., is vice-chancellor of the Institute of Science and Technology Research at Chubu University and one of the world’s leading authorities on both uranium enrichment and recycling. The 65-year-old is also a bestselling author of books with titles such as “We Should Not Recycle!” “Recycled Illusions” and “Why Are Lies Accepted on Environmental Issues?”
I am a teacher before I am a scientist. In the first year of university, I talk about the concept of dedication, which students don’t seem to know at all. For them, studying is something they do for themselves, but really it is what we do to contribute to others’ lives.
Recycling is rubbish: It eats more energy and creates more waste than burning our garbage in high-tech incinerators. The most efficient way of getting rid of garbage is burning it all together. Why? Because in raw garbage, plastics turn into their own fuel so you don’t need to add anything else. Aluminum and steel should be recycled, though, as we need less energy for that than to produce them from scratch.
Fear is a very efficient weapon: It produces the desired effect without much waste. Global warming has nothing to do with how much CO2 is produced or what we do here on Earth. For millions of years, solar activity has been controlling temperatures on Earth and even now, the sun controls how high the mercury goes. CO2 emissions make absolutely no difference one way or another. Soon it will cool down anyhow, once again, regardless of what we do. Every scientist knows this, but it doesn’t pay to say so. What makes a whole lot of economic and political sense is to blame global warming on humans and create laws that keep the status quo and prevent up-and-coming nations from developing. Global warming, as a political vehicle, keeps Europeans in the driver’s seat and developing nations walking barefoot.
Criticizing previous ideals is natural. In the 1930s, militarism was considered best; in the 1960s, mass production and mass consumerism. Then in the 1990s the main topic was the environment.
Look beyond what governments tell you. Some praise ethanol as a substitute for oil, but making fuel out of corn makes sense only if you want to increase the price of corn and fuel at the same time. In order to grow corn, one needs lots of fuel and once the corn is ready, instead of becoming a nice meal, it gets picked and turned back into fuel again. This is just a way to purposely create a food and energy shortage until only the very rich can afford to eat and move.
Getting married is easier than getting divorced. Same if we have a bowl of rice and a bowl of soybeans: It’s easy to mix the two but very hard to separate them. For water and red ink, it is next to impossible. It should take the same energy to mix and separate things but it does not: This is the rule of entropy. Now imagine the whole Earth from space and you can see entropy at work: Pet bottles, newspapers and cars are scattered around, and recycling is an attempt to put all the groups together again.
Consumerism marketed as environmental consciousness is the worst. Take the “My Hashi” campaign for example (buying and carrying reusable chopsticks rather than using disposable ones). Chopsticks should be made out of the unnecessary branches that are cut to help trees grow bigger and healthier. Instead of burning those branches, we should make chopsticks. That would be good for both the trees and us.