Stay Married or Murder Mother Earth! May 13, 2009Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought, Just Saying..
Tags: divorced households, group housing, jianguo liu, living alone, marriage good for environment, marriage mythology, realconcepts, singles bad for environment
Households with fewer people are simply not as efficient as those with more people sharing
says ecologist Jianguo Liu at Michigan State, who analyzed the environmental impact of divorce.
Per person, divorced households spent more per person per month for electricity, compared to a married household, as multiple people can be watching the same television, listening to the same radio, cooking on the same stove and or eating under the same lights.
Ok, so here are just some of the points that Liu doesn’t seem to consider:
Singles often generally use less space and smaller cars than married people. A married household may have one person doing laundry downstairs while another person watches TV upstairs. (If a single person can do laundry downstairs and watch TV upstairs at the same time, then their problems are way bigger than the dying planet’s.) Multi-person households need bigger microwaves, bigger laundry machines. Lisa points out that “a single person may be willing to be cold or hot to save energy, which they can do because it won’t affect anyone else in the household”. Moreover, a single person who keeps their heat at a decent temp and gets energy star windows is going to expend less energy than a couple living next door who doesn’t.
Interestingly, Lisa also points out that “the researcher also isn’t taking into account the energy that was spent by the couple before they were a couple. It’s almost as though the couples did not exist before being a couple. . .WTF?”
Liu stressed that he isn’t condemning divorce: “Some people really need to get divorces.”
But the study sure seems marketed as if to condemn divorce. Or at the very least, it touts the superiority of multi-person households over single households. In which case, then let’s think about this: singles are more likely to live in group housing.
The moral of the story? As always, you can spin anything to fit your worldview. Onely says, if you want to save the planet, then get a divorce so you can be happier and more productive and have more room to adjust your lifestyle to its most earth-friendly point.
Copious Readership, what has your environmental footprint been like when you’ve been in relationships, versus when you’ve been single?
P.S. Really, really want to save the planet? Then do as many singles do–don’t have kids. We at Onely do like children, but any expert who is not too scared to talk about the subject will tell you that the biggest way you can decrease your carbon footprint, your consumption, your impact on the earth is to not have children. That’s just the cold, hard, brutal facts. Onely will go there in another post. We’re not afraid! Well, maybe a little.