Jianguo “Jack” Liu, a Distinguished Professor of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University, has published a study that shows that divorce is bad for the environment. (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science – http://csis.msu.edu/Publication%20files/PNAS_divorce_environment.pdf) With rising divorce rates, there are more households with fewer people, thereby taking up more space per person and using up more energy and water. A refrigerator, for example, uses roughly the same amount of energy whether it belongs to a family of four or one parent and child. Liu estimates that Americans spend an extra $3.6 billion annually on water as a result of the extra households created when people divorce.
Turns out that this is not just a problem in the United States. Around the world, even in developing countries and places like China with strict religious policies on divorce, personal commitments are not being kept and those policies are being ignored. Divorce rates are rising, leading to a profound assault on the environment because a married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household. The number of rooms per person in divorced households is 33% to 95% greater than in married households.
I figure, if you can make noise and a commitment to the environment, you ought to be able to make love and a commitment to your marriage…if for no other reason than saving the environment.
Oh yes, interesting news on Bloomberg.com. It seems that the energy being used to get all those folks to the United Nations meeting on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, will cost in energy use the equivalent of 20,000 cars emitting pollutants one year. (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601170&refer=home&sid=aPbfclqokwcw)
Can’t they all stay home and just have a conference call?