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.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.
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.
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.
Thanks to Jessica for some ideas on the list.