What we can do now to change.

Yumiko Sakuma


Despite the repeated claims by scientists and experts that moving away from
coal-fired power is essential to achieving net zero CO2 emissions and preventing
catastrophic damage caused by the climate crisis, there is even a sense that coal-fired
power is not going away but is rather gaining momentum, with plans to restart operation of
coal-fired power plants and even build new ones constantly appearing throughout the world
and in Japan.

There seem to be various voices to justify the continued use of environmentally damaging coal-fired power:
That we can’t meet our energy needs without it, or that if the electricity supply stops, the
economy will stop, and therefore people will die, or that renewable energy is unreliable.
While these things are not “facts,” they are real “concerns” that are preventing a shift to
renewable energy and transition away from coal-fired power.

In fact, even though the temperatures we feel on our own skin seem to be rising year after year and various health hazards and natural disasters we are experiencing, the calls for action on the climate crisis are not leading to the results needed, partly because such non-factual information is being disseminated to maintain the status quo and prioritize economic benefits.

The only thing that can change this is to circulate correct and factual information and remove people’s fears and concerns. We must also collectively image our ideal future. I support JBC in envisioning a future
beyond coal-fired power with an easy-to-understand platform.


Yumiko Sakuma writes about contemporary culture, art, fashion, music, and socio-political
issues. Based in New York City, she is a regular contributor of reportage, interviews, and
travel writing to numerous Japanese and English publications. Her books include Hip na
Seikatsu Kakumei, 2014 (Hip Revolution), reporting on the American consumer shift
following the 2008 financial crisis; Pin Heel wa Hakanai, 2016 (Take Off Your Heels), a
collection of essays about the inspiring women in her life; My Little New York Times, 2018,
365 journal entries about splitting her time between America and Asia during the Trump
regime; Majime ni Marijuana no Hanashi wo Shiyo, 2019 (Let’s Have a Serious Talk About
Marijuana), an analysis of why the world is moving toward the legalization of marijuana; and
We no Shimin Kakumei, 2020, (Civil Revolution of We) a reportage on grassroots movement
in the era of the climate crisis.