A Flavour of Saturday at Reading Festival 2012

A playlist based on my brother and I’s annual pilgrimage to the Reading Festival.

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Super Cool Biz in Japan

I saw a thought provoking report on CNN about “Cool Biz” in Japan (Japan’s “cool” summer dress code – Business 360 – CNN.com Blogs.)

The initiative, which encourages Japanese companies to reduce their electricity consumption during the sweltering summer months was launched by the then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2005. However, it really took off due to the energy crisis caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.  Faced with a sudden 30% reduction in the country’s energy supply, all facets of Japanese society were faced with prioritising energy use. Over 50% of businesses adopted Super Cool Biz as a means of energy conservation. The most striking change has been business men and women swapping their dark suits for bright aloha shirts. As well as the loosening of business dress codes, work patterns have changed to lessen the burden on the electricity grid. Creative and entrepreneurial minds have been quick to supply a line of cooling products including special clothing and cooling sprays.

Super Cool Biz is proof that a collective small adjustment in our choices can produce astonishing results. We have the ability to anticipate challenges, so we should not leave it to a catastrophic disaster to jolt us into action. The vast well of creativity is underutilised, and we must work to release its potential, for that is where the solutions to the challenges of the 21st century are concealed.

Enquiry to the Foreign Office Regarding the Crisis in Mali

What is the Foreign Secretary doing about the crisis in Mali?

The situation is very similar to Afghanistan in the 1990’s. Surely if we are to learn one lesson it is that preventing the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa securing their authority is the only solution. They are destroying the UNESCO World Heritage city of Timbuktu, obliterating evidence of an Islamic civilisation built on trade, openness and tolerance. This is heartbreaking.

However, the danger posed to our country by this extremist coup is surely greater than any we faced from Afghanistan. The flow of immigrants from west and north Africa into Mediterranean Europe if a well known issue. Innocent immigrants looking for a better life is one thing, but surely allowing a rouge extremist regime access to this back door network is something to be extinguished immediately.

What is our position? What actions are the Foreign office taking? What actions have been taken?

I thank you in advance for helpful correspondence.