Monday, July 28, 2008

Kyoto, city against global warming, sees threat to gardens

KYOTO, Japan (AFP) — Kyoto, the city whose name is synonymous with the fight against global warming, is feeling the effects of climate change first-hand as the moss dries out in its celebrated gardens.
The ancient capital in western Japan was the venue for negotiations in 1997 that drafted the Kyoto Protocol, the landmark UN treaty that for the first time legally requires cuts in carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
But long before the treaty, Kyoto was also known for another sort of greenery -- a landscape studded with hundreds of historic temples, shrines and castles where the gardens are said to be in harmony with each season.
At Tenryu-ji temple, listed as a World Heritage site, the gates close to tourists at twilight to allow the Zen monks meditate in front of the garden to try to conquer their worldly desires.

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