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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Study: Divorce hurts environment

Associated Press

December 4, 2007

Divorce can be bad for the environment.

In countries around the world, divorce rates have been rising — and each time a family dissolves, the result is two new households. "That really has a big impact in terms of the environment," said Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University whose analysis of the environmental effect of divorce appears in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More households means more use of land, water and energy, three critical resources, Mr. Liu explained. Households with fewer people simply are not as efficient as those with more people sharing, he explained. A household uses the same amount of heat or air conditioning whether there are two or four persons living there. A refrigerator uses the same power whether there is one person home or several. Two persons living apart run two dishwashers, instead of just one.
Mr. Liu, who researches the relationship of ecology with social sciences, said people seem surprised by his findings at first, and then consider it simple. "A lot of things become simple after the research is done," he said. Some extra energy or water use may not sound significant, but it adds up.

The U.S., for example, had 16.5 million households headed by a divorced person in 2005 and more than 60 million households headed by a married person. Per person, divorced households spent more per person per month for electricity compared with a married household, as multiple people can be watching the same television, listening to the same radio, cooking on the same stove or eating under the same lights. That means some $6.9 billion in extra utility costs per year, Mr. Liu calculated, plus an added $3.6 billion for water, in addition to such costs as land use. And it isn't just in the U.S.

Mr. Liu looked at 11 other countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greece, Mexico and South Africa between 1998 and 2002. In the 11, if divorced households had combined to have the same average household size as married households, there could have been a million fewer households using energy and water in these countries. "People have been talking about how to protect the environment and combat climate change, but divorce is an overlooked factor that needs to be considered," Mr. Liu said. He stressed that he isn't condemning divorce: "Some people really need to get divorces." But, he added, "one way to be more environmentally friendly is to live with other people, and that will reduce the impact."

But married people should not get smug: Savings also apply to people living together, and Shaker communities or hippie communes would have been even more efficient.

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My Rant

The claim that climate change is direct result of man's energy consumption is simply unproven and politically motivated. While they propound lies that certain lightbulbs or cars will destroy the earth and raise ocean levels as much as 20 feet within the next century, fascists, like Al Gore, fly around in their Gulfstream jets and live in homes that use 22 times the energy of an average American's home! Their propaganda is outrageous and potentially catastrophic for the economies of United States, the developed world and developing world.

The proof of global warming or man's influence on climate change is not settled science. Just consider the source of the big lie: the proselytizing hypocritical high priest of the pagan environmental religion Al Gore or the other Kool-Aid drinking climateers from the left such as Learjet liberals, Hollywood high school drop-outs, billonaire elitists, the left-leaning mainstream media, the United Nations, academia, environmental radicals, socialists, other anti-capitalists and so called "researchers", "experts" and/or "scientists" whose paychecks depend upon the apparent existence of the "issue".

United States energy conservation and independence is a worthy goal that should be supported by Republicans, the Democrat Party, true Democrats, Independents and environmentalists. Energy independence is a major national security concern. However, lying to our people, implementing the cap & trade boondoggle which will crush our economy or doing anything that will cause the United States to transfer an portion of its sovereignty to the United Nations is idiotic. Not in my name!