Archive for the '-energy, environment' Category

one year on / 火山の混乱から1年

April 16, 2011


3 December 1947, Iceland
Mt Hekla in Eruption
design: S. Jónsson

Just a year ago, people in Europe started to realise that an event of nature can cause great disorder to our modern society.  I was in Milano last year today, looking for an alternative route to get out from Milano – it took 25 hours to get back to London through Euro-tunnel.

This set of stamps are showing an eruption of Helka, one of Iceland’s main volcanoes, in 1947.  The close-up below shows great needle work by the engraver, signed SJ, depicting erupting volcanic ashes both near and far.

Iceland has been supplying most of its required electricity by renewable sources – geothermal and hydro power. And also they are developing hydrocarbon exploration, as they are aiming to be energy-independent by 2050.





energy saving / ドイツの省エネ

April 5, 2011


14 November 1979, Germany
‘Energy Saving’

The seven oldest nuclear power reactors are temporarily shut down in Germany after the Fukushima nuclear incident and discussions on the phase-out process is now dominating the debate in the country.

This stamp is from 32 years ago – the length of time that one nuclear power plant can produce energy under the current German law.

I am interested in energy policy from different countries since the Fukushima problem and recalling the landscape of places I have visited in relation to that. For example, you find a lot of solar panels on houses in Belgium, where the phase-out of nuclear power is in place already.

European cities are not keen to have bright adverts or bright lit vending machines in their towns, and appreciate moody candle light for romantic dinners – but a more radical shift is needed on the manufacturing front and everyday life in the nuclear free future.





energy recycling / エネルギーリサイクリング

March 30, 2011

1 August 1981, Japan
Energy Recycling
design: Hideo Toyomasu ( competition winner )
layout: Yoshiaki Kikuchi

Another stamp in the same set as the previous post, ‘save energy’.  When this stamp was issued, energy recycling did not yet mean ‘renewable’ in Japan, where the mainstream of energy discussion was around building more and more nuclear power plants.

Now, after the tsunami has made the cooling system of the Fukushima power plant disabled, people started to discuss the dangers of having 54 nuclear power plants on the edge of tectonics – and the 300 year long problem of how to keep nuclear waste safe.  I am shocked myself how I did not pay attention to the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, until this large scale distruction. This is going to be a problem all over the world – 531 existing and under construction plus on-going plans of nuclear power plants, if the buildings are not standing there for ever.




save energy / 省エネルギー

March 23, 2011

1 August 1981, Japan
Energy Saving
design: Sakae Maejima ( competition winner )
layout: Fumito Otani

It is not well broadcast abroad that in most of Tokyo people are having planned power cuts, up to 3.5 hours a day.  Many shops are open with reduced illumination, as well as in stations.  They must have a difficult time, even if they expect the black out they have to build their life around it.  But there are some positive comments on their situation – one found that the stars are so beautiful when the street lamps are out, another thought a restaurant was nice and intimate with a table lamp.

I thought I could find several stamps about Energy Saving, but found only a set of two, which were issued in 1981, just after the second oil crisis.  Since then people forgot to think about it for long time and power plants were built to sustain our wasteful habits.




shrimp, prawn or lobster? / エビ問題

December 14, 2010

*exch. 047

31 January 1966, Japan
Japanese spiny lobster
original paint: Eizo Kato ( 1906 – 1972 )

When this stamp was issued, we were not aware of the impact of the commercial fishing on the ocean environment.  Recent researches are revealing the scale of destruction and I was shocked to watch ‘The Death of the Oceans?’ presented by David Attenborough.

This is the Japanese spiny lobster and they seem ethically OK.  But smaller ones, prawns or shrimps are more problematic.  Shrimp trawling causes a lot of bycatch.  According to Greenpeace Seafood Red List, there are 10 kgs of bycatch for 1 kg of shrimp, and endangered species, such as sea turtles, are often caught.  Prawns and shrimps are largely exported to Japan, USA and Western Europe.

Do we keep enojoying Dim Sum at a reasonable price in traditional Chinese restaurant or look for a MSC certified restaurant and pay a bit more? – Although I am used to choose vegetables and meat ethically, this is not an easy question to ask myself.

原画:加藤栄三 ( 明治39 – 昭和47 )

この切手が発行された時にはまだ、漁業が環境に与えている影響についてほとんど議論されていなかったと思います。最近、デーヴィッド・アッテンボローのBBCのドキュメンタリー『The Death of the Oceans?』を観てショックを受けました。人口の増加と漁業技術の進歩、寿司が世界中で好まれるようになったこと、、、原因はたくさんあるけれど、ともかくこのまま続けると海の生態系はずたずたになってしまう。



disappointment / 残念

December 22, 2009

2009 Denmark
design: Faber + Wildschiødtz
engrave: Skov J. (8 DKK) & M. Mörck (5.5 DKK)

It was a big disappointment that COP15 failed to make substantial agreement on anything really positive.

Stamps are designed higly contemporary, human and intelligent, also there were a lots of discussions on environment and sustainability these years – but world leaders aren’t ready yet facing contemporary wisdoms.  Shame.


COP15 / コペンハーゲン国際環境会議

December 14, 2009


2009 Belgium

COP15 has started last week.  I saw more stamps this year, featuring environmental issues.  Hope those little stamps deliver the important message we all have to share all over the world.


tidy up, please / 道をきれいに

November 16, 2009

19 Sepptember 1991 Denmark
‘Keep Denmark Clean’
design by J. Hage
engraver A. Kühlmann

To bring a moral standard high – what a task of one small stamp to carry… When you see it well, then you realise the play set by the illustrator.  The drawing is made of continuous one line.  Really nice and lifted.


save energy / 省エネ

August 30, 2009

2009 Australia
8.30 PM 28. 03.09 Earth Hour
design: Hoyne Design

Owl is turning Switch Off and Atelidae is hanging on cord to pull the Light Out.  Straight forward and appearing design to announce this campagne for environmental action.


windmill of New City? / 木造の風車

August 15, 2009

19 April 1967, Finlan
350th Anniversary of Uusikaupunki in Nystad
designer: O. Vepsäläinen
Recess and Litho

My translator says New City, but yet to search.  It seems celebrating 50 years of a place, where an old wooden windmill is and has Two Fish coat of arms.

翻訳ソフトでは「New City」と訳したのだけど、詳細は不明。風車があって2匹の魚が紋章になっている場所の350周年を記念しているのではないかと思われます。

Wind Turbine / 風車の変遷

August 14, 2009


10 January 2007 Denmark
illustration by Bertil Skov Jørgensen
engraver Martin Mörck

This series of stamps must be depicting the history of wind turbine, as traditional windmills must have invented a lot earlier than 1891.  I was impressed by the view of wind turbines built long line in the sea, when airplane approached to Danish coast – as the 4th stamp depicts.  I like this contrast between latest technogoly and traditional Intaglio print.


Bio Energy / バイオエネルギー

July 30, 2009

7 January 2009, Denmark

Bio Energy and Low Energy Building
Announcing COP-15, held in Copenhagen December 2009
design: Faber + Wildschiødtz
engrave: L. Sjööblom (9 DKK) & M. Mörck (5.5 DKK)

Beautiful graphic design made me bought them first, then I found what the stamps are about later.  What a brilliant storategy to promote important event such as Convention on Climate Change.


Watering the earth / 国土に水を

June 2, 2009


14 March 1981, France
design: Virginie Saura, engrave: C. Jumelet

It makes me smile naturally.