The paternalistic Chilean government launched a campaign to get men to stop wearing neckties in the summer. They hope to reduce air conditioning and energy costs! According to the Global Post, government officials are not eager to set a good example for the peasants, as Ministers Joaquin Lavin, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, Felipe Larraín, Andrés Chadwick and Hernán de Solminihac continued to wear ties.
Maybe the government of the people wouldn’t be tempted to tell the people what to wear if the government didn’t prohibit nuclear power plants. Maybe there will be plenty of energy if they allow the HidroAysén hydroelectric project, including transmission lines, to proceed, too. Maybe people could decide for themselves if they want to save energy, which might include discontinuing neckties, or might include other means of conservation. Are Chileans so childish and blind that they need the government to inform them that electricity is expensive?
It could be worse, as Discover magazine reports:
The dress code in Bangladesh just got a lot more casual, thanks to an effort to cut the nation’s energy usage. According to the prime minister’s orders, men can no longer wear ties, jackets, or suits to work. The new rule is part of a plan to combat the power shortage the country is facing…. The current state-owned plants have not been able to keep up with Bangladesh’s large population and its economy, which has been growing at about 6% annually for the past five years.
The government in Bangladesh also will keep their buildings cooled to no less than 24 degrees Centigrade (75 Fahrenheit). That seems like a better idea, since it doesn’t force anyone in private industry to do anything. I hope the warming trend, but not the coercive trend, spreads to Panama, which is always air conditioned near the freezing point. Some of the coolness is necessary to remove humidity from the air, but it needn’t be freezing.
Buildings in many countries in Asia are very cold, too, so that people can bundle themselves in multiple layers of clothing without sweating. Japan is an exception, facing a power shortage due to their inability to safely operate nuclear plants. The Japanese government is promoting a Super Cool Biz campaign, buildings are set to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and men are shedding neckties and jackets. Using air conditioners is anti-social as placing gum under tables in Singapore or dropping a plastic bottle into the recycled paper bin in the USA.
If you need practice listening in Spanish, the video below is ideal because the government ministers speak slowly in Castilian using common words.