Wednesday, 5 December 2007

That does it! This relationship now has 50% fewer people in it!

People are concerned about divorce. I keep hearing that half of all marriages end in divorce. I happen to think that half of all marriages bloody well should end in divorce, but that's beside the point.

And then there are people who are somewhat inappropriately concerned about divorce, viz two Michigan State researchers. They've released a study that divorced people are harming the environment.
The analysis found that cohabiting couples and families around the globe use resources more efficiently than households that have split up. The researchers calculated that in 2005, divorced American households used between 42 and 61 percent more resources per person than before they separated, spending 46 percent more per person on electricity and 56 percent more on water.

Their paper, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also found that if the divorced couples had stayed together in 2005, the United States would have saved 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 627 billion gallons of water in that year alone.
Wow, people who live in separate houses use more energy? I could never have thought of that. By this reasoning, single people are also hard on the environment. And kids who move out of their parents' house. But the article doesn't seem to mention them. That's because divorced people represent Some Kind of Problem.

And the researchers haven't taken into account the extra energy usage of unhappily married couples who stay together even though they despise each other.
  • Keeping the lights on when you stay up late and fight.
  • Extra petrol usage from driving around until you're sure your spouse is asleep.
  • Petty toilet flushing when your spouse is in the shower.
  • Repeated hotel room trysting has an impact similar to a small apartment for that couple of hours or so.
  • And don't forget all that seething with resentment, which releases a lot of heat into the environment.
I suppose all those extra houses full of divorc├ęs could be a bit of a problem. But if you're looking for reasons to stay together, and you're down to 'saving water', it's time to start looking for an apartment.

Thanks to Jessica for some ideas on the list.


  1. Top misuse of statistics. Well spotted!

  2. singles are twice as lonely as married people. (if you've ever been in a bad relationship you just KNOW thats a crock)

  3. ergh, how short-sighted can you get?? just wonderful to see how climate change is being misused by special-interest groups... >.<


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