Today, in Japan:

A Japanese government website crashed Wednesday as people raced to take up an offer of a half-price McDonald’s hamburger in exchange for pledging to fight global warming.

People were asked to check up to 39 boxes on a form they could download from the environment ministry’s website, each listing a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.

The 39 measures range from cutting air conditioning use to reducing shower time by one minute to simply wiping water off the bottom of a kettle to save energy when heating it on a stove.

Customers can print the forms or show them on their cell phones. The McDonald’s campaign lasts for three weeks starting Friday. [emphasis mine]

I’m sorry, what?

Not only is Japan handing out Big Macs to fight global warming (can you say counterproductive?), but people are being rewarded for checking boxes on a form. Does it get any more "voluntary" than that?

I know Live Earth followed a similar format with a seven-point pledge (sans burgers, of course), and maybe people really do follow through on them. But color me skeptical about any campaign that involves "special sauce."