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DivorceDivorce: Bad for the Environment?

December 6, 2007

Everyone is aware of the emotional and economic costs of divorce, but a new study shows that divorce negatively impacts the environment as well.

The basis for this claim is that each time a marriage dissolves the result is two new households using more utilities and other natural resources.

“A married household actually uses resources more efficiently than a divorced household,” said Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University whose analysis of the environmental impact 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, Liu explained in a telephone interview.

Households with fewer people are simply 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 people living there. A refrigerator used the same power whether there is one person home or several. Two people living apart run two dishwashers, instead of just one.

While we should all be environmentally conscious, the negative effects on the environment should not be a factor in remaining in a “dead marriage.”

This was really a rather silly study. All relationships have an effect on the environment. Following the logic of this study, while the decision to marry may result in less households (two households become one) and some natural resource efficiency, children will be born of the marriage, resulting in the purchase of a bigger cars to accommodate the growing family and, in all probability, a move to a sub-urban homes further away from couples’ places of employment, resulting in longer commutes . . . Eventually, the children will grow up and move away from home to establish their own separate households. The conclusion could then be drawn that marriage and children are bad for the environment.

Someone should explore the impact  of this useless study on the environment. How many trees were destroyed so that the study  could be printed?

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