This is a page with Bob's most recent thoughts about and research about the environment. 


I mentioned in a prior post that I am reading Zahra Biabani's book "The Climate Optimist." Wonderful book! In that book, she actually says that if you want to work with her, schedule a time to meet. I did that! We have an 30 minute meeting scheduled for this coming week. Exciting!

One of the things she does is to put out a weekly "Earth Wins," in which she cites examples of positive steps being taken to improve the environment. This past post included Spokane's textile repair workshop. How cool is this!

In May, Spokane had its first pop-up shop, named Mend-It Cafe, to encourage individuals to mend their textiles instead of throwing them away. The local non-profits, Art Salvage Spokane and Spokane Zero Waste, put on this event free to the public. Over the span of 4 hours, a well-versed expert on sewing was paired with someone who brought an item to be repaired. The individual could watch and learn how to repair their items. Restorations included installation of a new zipper, hemming, adding a buttonhole, patching up a hole, or creating visible mending. Inspired by the traditional Japanese art called sashiko, experts show ways to make alterations that are intentionally visible to highlight the life of the textile. Shashiko uses stitching to reinforce patchwork on clothing and is woven with white thread in geometric patterns.


Several years ago, I had the good fortune to find out about an organization titled Eco-Generation. Here is their web site address: https://www.ecogeneration.org/

They are amazing! They host Recycling "Take-Backs" in Creswell, Cottage Grove, and Florence. You can also schedule a time to take recycling to their warehouse on 42nd in Springfield. While there is a fee for scheduling a drop-off appointment, the prices are very reasonable. What is amazing is that they are able to accept a huge array of products for recycling, especially when it comes to plastics and plastic bags. THANK YOU ECO-GENERATION!


I just discovered a fascinating web site: https://80000hours.org/  In particular, they have a section titled "What are the most pressing world problems?" Now that is a great question! Here are their top five.

  1. Risks from artificial intelligence
  2. Catastrophic pandemics
  3. Nuclear war
  4. Great power conflict
  5. Climate change

The authors also cover how to pick and use a career to help solve some of these problems. I am looking forward to investigating this site in greater detail! 



I recently discovered a fascinating web site: https://greenamerica.org/

I really like their article, "10 Ways You can Fight Climate Change.," https://greenamerica.org/your-green-life/10-ways-you-can-fight-climate-change

Those 10 ways include the following. For more information, please check the "Environment" Page!

1. Eliminate Food Waste

2. Eat Plant-Based

3. Use Clean Energy

4. Participate in the Democratic Process

6. Improve Insulation

7. Use LED Lighting

8. Rethink Transportation

9. Recycle

10. Buy Less

Another interesting web site is https://www.nrdc.org/
NRDC stands for the Natural Resources Defense Council. 
The following is taken from this web site: https://www.nrdc.org/stories/what-are-causes-climate-change#natural
They have a chart titled "Total US Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector (2020).
 Agriculture 11%
The advent of modern, industrialized agriculture has significantly altered the vital but delicate relationship between soil and the climate—so much so that agriculture accounted for 11 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. This sector is especially notorious for giving off large amounts of nitrous oxide and methane, powerful gases that are highly effective at trapping heat. The widespread adoption of chemical fertilizers, combined with certain crop-management practices that prioritize high yields over soil health, means that agriculture accounts for nearly three-quarters of the nitrous oxide found in our atmosphere. Meanwhile, large-scale industrialized livestock production continues to be a significant source of atmospheric methane, which is emitted as a function of the digestive processes of cattle and other ruminants.
But farmers and ranchers—especially Indigenous farmers, who have been tending the land according to sustainable principles—are reminding us that there’s more than one way to feed the world. By adopting the philosophies and methods associated with regenerative agriculture, we can slash emissions from this sector while boosting our soil’s capacity for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, and producing healthier foods.
Commercial and Residential 13%

Unsurprisingly, given how much time we spend inside of them, our buildings—both residential and commercial—emit a lot of greenhouse gases. Heating, cooling, cooking, running appliances, and maintaining other building-wide systems accounted for 13 percent of U.S. emissions overall in 2020. And even worse, some 30 percent of the energy used in U.S. buildings goes to waste, on average.

Every day, great strides are being made in energy efficiency, allowing us to achieve the same (or even better) results with less energy expended. By requiring all new buildings to employ the highest efficiency standards—and by retrofitting existing buildings with the most up-to-date technologies—we’ll reduce emissions in this sector while simultaneously making it easier and cheaper for people in all communities to heat, cool, and power their homes: a top goal of the environmental justice movement.

Industry 24%

The factories and facilities that produce our goods are significant sources of greenhouse gases; in 2020, they were responsible for fully 24 percent of U.S. emissions. Most industrial emissions come from the production of a small set of carbon-intensive products, including basic chemicals, iron and steel, cement and concrete, aluminum, glass, and paper. To manufacture the building blocks of our infrastructure and the vast array of products demanded by consumers, producers must burn through massive amounts of energy. In addition, older facilities in need of efficiency upgrades frequently leak these gases, along with other harmful forms of air pollution.

One way to reduce the industrial sector’s carbon footprint is to increase efficiency through improved technology and stronger enforcement of pollution regulations. Another way is to rethink our attitudes toward consumption (particularly when it comes to plastics), recycling, and reuse—so that we don’t need to be producing so many things in the first place. And, since major infrastructure projects rely heavily on industries like cement manufacturing (responsible for 7 percent of annual global greenhouse gas), policy mandates must leverage the government’s purchasing power to grow markets for cleaner alternatives, and ensure that state and federal agencies procure more sustainably produced materials for these projects. Hastening the switch from fossil fuels to renewables will also go a long way toward cleaning up this energy-intensive sector.

Electricity 25%

As of 2021, nearly 60 percent of the electricity used in the United States comes from the burning of coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. Because of the electricity sector’s historical investment in these dirty energy sources, it accounts for roughly a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.

That history is undergoing a major change, however: As renewable energy sources like wind and solar become cheaper and easier to develop, utilities are turning to them more frequently. The percentage of clean, renewable energy is growing every year—and with that growth comes a corresponding decrease in pollutants.

But while things are moving in the right direction, they’re not moving fast enough. If we’re to keep the earth’s average temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which scientists say we must do in order to avoid the very worst impacts of climate change, we have to take every available opportunity to speed up the shift from fossil fuels to renewables in the electricity sector.

Transportation 27% 

The cars, trucks, ships, and planes that we use to transport ourselves and our goods are a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions. (In the United States, they actually constitute the single-largest source.) Burning petroleum-based fuel in combustion engines releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Passenger cars account for 41 percent of those emissions, with the typical passenger vehicle emitting about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. And trucks are by far the worst polluters on the road. They run almost constantly and largely burn diesel fuel, which is why, despite accounting for just 4 percent of U.S. vehicles, trucks emit 23 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

We can get these numbers down, but we need large-scale investments to get more zero-emission vehicles on the road and increase access to reliable public transit.



Ah, the world of decision-making! Hybrid? All electric? Gas and Electric? What's best???? What about the production of the energy for these different cars? Use of coal? Nuclear power? Other?

The following information is taken from this web site: https://www.trade.gov/market-intelligence/japan-transition-electric-vehicles

According to that article (written in July of 2021), "Japan is transitioning to 100% electric car sales by 2035." 


The following is taken from this web site: https://www.statista.com/statistics/745675/japan-share-of-electricity-production/

According to that article, written in January 4, 2023, the following is how electricity was produced in Japan in 2021.

  1. Natural Gas: 34.4%
  2. Coal: 31%
  3. Renewables: 20.3%
  4. Petroleum and Waste: 7.4%
  5. Nuclear: 6.9% 


The top two photos were again taken at the Tamacho Cemetery. I experimented with taking some close-up shots. I am pleased with the results! The statue is the same shot I took before at the Jokyu-ji Temple. I love that statue!

I have continued to struggle with all the bad news related to our environment. It does not make it any easier that there is a certain amount of discord and controversy related to this issue. In addition, the details can be incredibly confusing and hard to understand! With this in mind, I did a search today for environmental organizations. I am not one to spend much time feeling sorry for myself! In the process, I discovered an extensive site titled Feedspot: feedspot.com  

I paid the $5 per month cost and dove in! On the left hand side, under "Following," the site has a link for "Environmental Forums." I clicked on that and was taken to an extensive list of environmental articles and posts. As I scrolled down I found a fascinating article titled

"Joe Biden must declare a climate emergency. And he must do so now."

As so often happens with research, one thing lead to another and I discovered the book written by Kalmus, "Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution." As I started to explore that book, I found a reference to the "Citizens' Climate Lobby." I was very impressed with this organization, so I joined!  One cool thing is that they have a Tokyo chapter. I will keep you posted!

All the best,



I recorded this version of Sounds of Silence on my Yamaha P-515. As you will soon see, by coincidence, the timing of this recording is right on!

These pictures were taken at a fire burning event at the Tama River, about two miles from our house. This is a New Year's tradition in Japan. The idea is that people will pray for a good start to the new year. 

One of the blessings about moving to Japan has been having the time to read and do research. One of my favorite but complex and emotional topics is that of climate change. One of the things that has made that topic so difficult to deal with is the lack of conversation about climate change. This is just not a topic that has been discussed much if at all in my social circles. As the song suggests, it seems we have "Sounds of Silence" when it comes to talking about climate change!

With this in mind, I am hoping to set up some climate change forums. My idea is that I would host these forums by Zoom. Anyone with the link could attend. The purpose of these forums would be to give folks a chance to share their thoughts and concerns and questions and actions related to climate change. What do people think about climate change? Are they concerned? If yes, why? If not, why? What questions do people have about climate change? What actions are they taking or do they want to take related to climate change?

The goal would be to support each other and listen to each other and work to understand each other as we share our thoughts. The goal would not be to argue or debate or solve any particular climate problems. 

Please reply by comment or email me at reedrobert77@gmail.com I will then get back to you with possible dates and times for this forum. 

I think many of us are feeling pretty isolated when it comes to dealing with climate change. I am hoping we can support each other as we move forward to tackle this immense issue. 

All the best,




IMPORTANT! For some odd reason, the music formatting has changed on these Blogger posts sites.. To listen to the song, click on the small box with the arrow in it that is in the upper right corner of the post screen. That will open up another window with a box in the middle of the screen. Click on the "play" arrow and the song should start. Please let me know if this does not work. Sorry about this!

I made this recording of "Hello Again" on my Yamaha P-515. This has always been one of my favorite Neil Diamond songs. It beautifully captures the feelings that come with falling in love.

These pictures are all from our recent trip to Odawara. The castle is the Odawara Castle, which is gorgeous at night as it is lit up by some impressive spot lights. The water shot and the brightly lit up building were both taken right outside our resort room. A very attractive location!

As my climate change perspective has continued to change, my lifestyle has also changed. After many years of a love affair with beef products, I have decided to give up beef. As best as I can tell, the climate impacts related to beef are substantial. I am also doing my best to not consume dairy products, primarily milk. I have replaced that habit with soy milk.

 The good news is that in the process of making this change, I have discovered the joy of smoothies! Here is my current favorite.

3  bananas

1 cup of blueberries

I cup of pineapple

1 cup of strawberries

2 large Kale leaves

1 bunch of spinach

2 cups of soy milk

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

A bit of ground pepper

Put this all in a blender and enjoy this tasty and nutritious treat!

Shortly after we arrived in Japan, I joined an international climate change organization titled Citizen's Climate Lobby. I initially joined the Japan chapter, but realized that the language barrier was too much of an obstacle. I recently joined the Eugene/Springfield chapter. Despite the time change, I am very much enjoying my interactions with that group. Here is the web site address: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/

I am also excited about joining some "Climate Circles," meetings that give people a chance to share their concerns about climate change. Here is the link, https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/climate-psychology-alliance-29918075735

All the best,


IMPORTANT! For some odd reason, the music formatting has changed on these Blogger posts sites.. To listen to the song, first click on "READ MORE," and then click on the small box with the arrow in it that is in the upper right corner of the post screen. When you hover over that little box, it will say "pop-out." That will open up another window with a box in the middle of the screen. Click on the "play" arrow and the song should start. Please let me know if this does not work. Sorry about this!

I made this recording of Leaving On A Jet Plane on my Yamaha P-515.  So many fond memories tied to the song! It was the first song I learned on the guitar and the only song I have memorized for the guitar. When I am feeling lonely or a little sad, this song does wonders for me!

The pictures are of the world famous Tokyo Tower. What a gorgeous site, especially at night!

In just a few minutes, I am going to be joining my first Climate Emotions Conversation. This is a climate change support event that goes for 90 minutes and is an opportunity for people to listen to and express concerns about climate change. The sign up link is https://app.voicevoice.com/register/climateconversation?emci=2c39475c-79c4-ee11-b660-002248223197&emdi=f5e8632d-86c4-ee11-b660-002248223197&ceid=44863 

In preparation for this session, I would like to summarize some of my latest climate change thoughts.


The following are some of the resources I have found related to climate change.

  1. The Climate Optimist Handbook by Gennari
  2. The Plant Based Diet by Frazier and Cheeke
  3. Never Too Late To Go Vegan by Adams
  4. Not The End Of The World by Ritchie
  5. Climate Optimism by Biabani
  6. Crucial Conversations by Patterson
  7. High Conflict by Ripley
  8. Drawdown by Hawken
  9. Being The Change by Kalmus
  10. Facing The Climate Emergency by Salamon


The following are some of the concerns I have at this point.

  1. There are so many conflicting opinions when it comes to climate change and related solutions. It can be challenging to know what to believe!
  2. Climate change is not discussed much by the people I come in contact with. This makes it difficult to process this important topic.
  3. Very few people I know are willing to reduce air travel. Many people seem unwilling to take other important steps to reduce the impact of climate change. This makes me feel at times like I am one of the Lone Rangers!
  4. As Salamon suggests, there is that never-ending question, am I doing enough? Am I doing the right things?


  1. Attend meetings and support groups that give me the opportunity to process my thoughts and feelings and listen to others and learn from others.
  2. Ride my bike and walk and take public transit as much as possible.
  3. Read and conduct as much research as possible so as to gain a better understanding of the issues and solutions.
  4. Continue to work on effective communication skills so I can have those difficult conversations in a respectful manner.
  5. Take specific actions to address climate change, such as contacting government officials and representatives. 
  6. Reduce dairy and beef consumption and work towards eliminating those from my diet, due to the impacts those have on the environment.
  7. As much as possible, purchase produce grown locally and organically. 
  8. Spread the word by sharing my thoughts and feelings and concerns with others in a way that is as effective as possible.
  9. Maintain a positive perspective and hope that with our efforts, we can make progress in this area.

Please feel free to contact me at reedrobert77@gmail.com to have more conversations about this pressing topic. I would love to connect with you!

All the best,

Bob Reed 




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