Saturday, 27 June 2009

I HATE Coolbiz!

A few years' ago, the then PM Koizumi's government came up with the idea of saving energy by not wearing a jacket or tie. The aircon could then be turned up a few degrees and the planet would be saved. They called this idea Coolbiz. Koizumi was filmed walking around Tokyo without a jacket or tie to try to convince companies to adopt this idea. For most Japanese business people however their job is their life, so discarding even some of their business attire left them feeling vulnerable and irrelevent. I have yet to see a male staff member at our university without a tie.

Here are the other Coolbiz rules as listed on our university poster:

From the 6th June to the 30th September:

Turn taps off diligently.
Turn off lights and computers when you leave.
Buy Eco products where possible.
Do not make unnecessary photocopies.
When you stop at the traffic lights, turn off your engine.

All do-able, right? Except for this one:

Set the aircon no lower than 28 degrees C.

Now 28 degrees I can handle if I a) I sit perfectly still and b) I am naked. However this is not appropriate behaviour in a classroom where I am walking around and writing on the whiteboard for 90 minutes. It's not the heat so much as the humidity. If I stand up too quickly I feel faint. This cuts no ice (ice, lovely) with the students who make a point of putting their coats on if I put the aircon down to 22. But they are sitting down. They are not expending any energy unless you count snoring. Yes, many students fall asleep in class. Of course, they do. The room is like a greenhouse.

I discussed this matter with other teachers and they told me to ignore the aircon rule. They do. They also noted that most of the students who complain are very thin girls who, through a diet of Vitamin Water and sticking their fingers down their throats, have no body fat. They would be cold in a sauna.

The aircon stays at 22. Sod the planet.

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