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.

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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.

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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?

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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."