Your Big Fat Consumption Factor

I happen to be a big fan of geographer-eco-anthropologist and author, Jared Diamond. This week, I spied one of his op-ed pieces in the NY Times, comparing the consumption rate of us first-worlders-living-the-good-life with the rest of the global inhabitants. Enviromental alert: we have a consumption factor of 32. Diamond give us an interesting take on how our consuming habits impact the big picture. An excerpt, from The New York Times:

The average rates at which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world. That factor of 32 has big consequences.

Most of the world’s other 5.5 billion people constitute the developing world, with relative per capita consumption rates below 32, mostly down toward 1.
The population especially of the developing world is growing, and some people remain fixated on this. They note that populations of countries like Kenya are growing rapidly, and they say that’s a big problem. Yes, it is a problem for Kenya’s more than 30 million people, but it’s not a burden on the whole world, because Kenyans consume so little. (Their relative per capita rate is 1.) A real problem for the world is that each of us 300 million Americans consumes as much as 32 Kenyans. With 10 times the population, the United States consumes 320 times more resources than Kenya does.
…If India as well as China were to catch up, world consumption rates would triple. If the whole developing world were suddenly to catch up, world rates would increase elevenfold. It would be as if the world population ballooned to 72 billion people (retaining present consumption rates).
Some optimists claim that we could support a world with nine billion people. But I haven’t met anyone crazy enough to claim that we could support 72 billion. Yet we often promise developing countries that if they will only adopt good policies — for example, institute honest government and a free-market economy — they, too, will be able to enjoy a first-world lifestyle. This promise is impossible, a cruel hoax: we are having difficulty supporting a first-world lifestyle even now for only one billion people.
…People in the third world are aware of this difference in per capita consumption, although most of them couldn√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t specify that it√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s by a factor of 32. When they believe their chances of catching up to be hopeless, they sometimes get frustrated and angry, and some become terrorists, or tolerate or support terrorists. Since Sept. 11, 2001, it has become clear that the oceans that once protected the United States no longer do so. There will be more terrorist attacks against us and Europe, and perhaps against Japan and Australia, as long as that factorial difference of 32 in consumption rates persists.

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75 COMMENTS

  1. “Most of the world√¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s other 5.5 billion people constitute the developing world, with relative per capita consumption rates below 32, mostly down toward 1”
    Ummm, yea, because our “32 factor” is a factor OF the “developing world’s” level of consumption. So, by definition they are “mostly down toward 1”.
    A real genius this guy.
    Tell me, does he work for the IPCC too?

  2. ROC –
    Jared Diamond received a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Cambridge, so I would venture a guess that he is no idiot as you imply.
    I think he has at least a basic grasp of the field of statistics but realizes that the general public does not (although someone as intelligent as you knows what relative risk means mathematically, many don’t). So, I think he is just presenting his findings in a format that can be easily comprehended.
    But, let’s just pretend that it’s all bullshit from a bunch of environmental wonks–it’s much easier and more fun that way!

  3. Maybe we should help the developing countries match our rate, that should be fair. It would also get us to the answer of whether we are hasting the destruction of the environment and our way of life. Of course, we could also do our best to make the newer technologies that do address the environmental concerns, while keeping the level of “civilized living” constant (even adding to our comfort), more economically feasible than the “dirty” status quo. When it‚Äôs more profitable to open a new hydrogen filing station then squeeze every last drop of oil out of a rock, that will be the win, win.

  4. That’s “leftist-self-hating-blame-America-first environmental wonks” in this case. And of the garden variety too.
    Any one who thinks OBL and his buddies are attacking because of our “consumption factor disparity” doesn’t get high marks in the intelligence department as far as I am concerned.
    But please don’t let me dissuade you and your buddies from living more like the developing world. It’ll make it cheaper for the rest of us, so be my guest.
    Now, why don’t you go over and turn your thermostat down 5 degrees – That’ll show me!

  5. Roc, if those who don’t already wear sweaters around the house do it, does that mean you turn you Hummer into a planter?

  6. ROC,
    I’m not trying to show you anything. You implied that the guy’s findings are irrelevant because he’s a mathematical idiot. (Note the word implied so you don’t say that I’m putting words in your mouth) and I was just pointing out that he knows his statistics. That’s all. Bye bye.

  7. He ignores the effect of the free market on dreaming up his “crazy” 72 billion people proposition. If the developing world was able to develop an ethos of non-corrupt governance and neighborly good behavior while adopting the free market, they would thrive. If overconsumption creates scarcity in a free market, the incentives to (1) consume less and (2) consume differently via new inventions becomes inexorable. What’s lacking in this new Malthusian is any sense of a continuum of rational behavior — why on Earth would ever more materially successful and rational people barrel headlong into self-destruction? That’s not how free markets have to work (nor is it how they’re demonstrated to work — watch what happens to our heavy consumption of fossil fuels when gas reaches $3.75/gallon).
    Enough doom and gloom. It is entirely appropriate to tell countries that they won’t get far if they tolerate dishonesty and corruption in their governments and/or live backwards, misogynistic, illiberal lives driven by stone age ideologies. Why do so many of us in Montclair stand ready to rail against the backwards idiocy of the Kansas state school board but hold our tongues when it comes to evil in the third world. Sorry, but I refuse to accept that the attitudes that breed your average suicide bomber are somehow my fault.

  8. why on Earth would ever more materially successful and rational people barrel headlong into self-destruction? That’s not how free markets have to work (nor is it how they’re demonstrated to work…
    That’s not really true, apple. What about the Great Depression? That was pretty much a disaster. I agree that predictions of doom don’t always pan out, or even mostly don’t pan out. The problem is, how do we know this particular one won’t pan out. Will predictions of global warming disaster turn out to be as wrong as Malthus’ predictions of population explosion? I haven’t yet seen a persuasive case.

  9. “The average rates at which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world.”
    Ask yourself, what are the average seasonal temperatures in the Third World?
    I happen to like and respect Jared Diamond (The Third Ape; Guns, Germs and Steel) but while his statistics may be mathematically correct, he is using them in such a way as to reinforce a political agenda. I agree with ROC on this one. What are you supposed to do during the winter if you happen to live in the Northeastern USor Western Europe? Keep your house at 40 degrees, just enough so the pipes don’t freeze? Yes, there are things you can do to cut back on fuel consumption (better insulation, state-of-the-art windows, installation of carpets and other buffers, etc.) but making people feel guilty for heating their homes is nonsense–and non-productive. (For the record, we keep ours between 65 and 68).

  10. Although I don’t feel that there were noncorrupt, free markets at the time, and international free trade had been smothered, it’s true that the Great Depression cut consumption! Adopting Jared Diamond’s brand of asceticism could help to bring about another worldwide depression, so maybe if enough people sign on we can make his vision come to pass.

  11. It’s hard to even figure out where to start on the “head in the sand” mentality you are showing apple. I don’t think anything will change your mind at this point as you seem to want things as they were 40 years ago. The problem is whether the world will get over the territorial crap and realize this is one planet, and we need to change a few things not to destroy it. China already is in major trouble with poisoned air and water, and is climbing fast in catching up to 1st world consumption, with a population of a hell of lot of people.
    Another example of your digging in is denying the landfill issue, just look at Naples, Italy if you think you can’t run out of room.
    As long as there is denial, the green movement will be ripe for rhetoric and scams that hurt the credibility of the damage that the primitive technologies (I.E. fossil fuels) are doing. Wake up and smell the garbage! It’s not that big companies aren’t changing; it’s whether they are changing as fast as they could with economic support (pressure) by all of us in the right direction. A point made about open resource technology, which is becoming more prevalent, was that it is much easier to build a new product open than it is to change an old closed one. With all the burgeoning countries in the world, it will be a lot easier to set them up with modern, clean tech than to add them to the list of needing change later.
    The speed in which the population of the earth is growing is a significant factor to all this. It took millions of years to increase the population into the millions, it only took a couple of thousand years for it to reach about 2 and half billion in 1950, now less than a hundred years later, it’s at 6.5 billion. It’s like filling a bathtub with water. At the start the water is only dripping and when you come back a couple hours later, there’s almost no water in the tub, so you turn it up a little to a trickle. Well you come back an hour later and the water is only covering the bottom, so you open the faucet a little more, etc. Well the tap is now open pretty far and the tub is getting full pretty fast. All that water is going to need to go somewhere, and in this case will also want a big screen TV, freedom to get from point A to point B, dispose of the stuff that smells after awhile or takes up too much room in the basement and garage and apparently doesn’t want to hear no for an answer. So argue all want of the sustainability that roc and apple see the world, but remember it’s multiplied by billions, most of who are only going to start “contributing” in the near future; and that number is growing geometrically.
    Now I’ve depressed myself, forget the whole thing. Just don’t have kids, party like is 1999 and throw all your garbage out the back window. The wars all over the planet are only going to blow us all up anyway.

  12. We don’t live in Naples, Duck. We live here. There is a lot of room and there are lot of great, new technologies and procedures that give us cleaner, better landfills than ever in human history. We can thank the environmental movement for much of that progress — but the part of the movement that was willing to work towards solutions rather than just hectoring everybody like a 1600’s fire and brimstone preacher.
    China is becoming wealthy enough to start to deal with its pollution problem — much like the U.S. began to do in earnest in the 1960’s. But until the Chinese as a people lead the lifestyles they all strive to have individually, there are limits to how clean things will be.
    I live a pretty moderate, non-wasteful life. I’m just plain tired of busybody disciples of any one true faith declaring to me how much of a sinner I am. Just as Jerry Falwell would condemn me for my social beliefs, you are free to condemn me as a sinner for my feeling that it ain’t all that bad and that we can solve the problems that come our way. What a terrible apostate am I.

  13. I couldn’t agree more about extremists, apple. An extreme in any direction is always at best flawed. I commend you that you live a moderate lifestyle. I don’t profess self flagellation by any means.
    I’m saying the writing’s on the wall and now would be a good time to make clean and green sustainability the more profitable way to go. That is a real world way to change. As more and more people come into the high end, the less impact we all will have while enjoying the level of technocracy we have come to love (and who wouldn’t).
    At the present rate of disposing without some new way for things to break down into the environment, we will run out of room sooner than you think. Also, we do not live in Italy, but I believe they are still on this planet, along with a lot of other places running out of room sooner than later. The world view is important to not losing perspective.

  14. Thanks for the link to that site Storyofstuff.com goodnightgracie.
    The usual commenters are out in force with their soul-depleting responses.
    I don’t think they represent the majority in the area however.
    Maybe they serve some function to show what a steep climb there is to change anything.
    Still, I wish there was a concentrated local site without their persistent down-beat.

  15. ” Will predictions of global warming disaster turn out to be as wrong as Malthus’ predictions of population explosion? I haven’t yet seen a persuasive case.”
    Ever the scientist, walleroo wants conclusive proof that nothing will happen in order to justify halting drastic actions.

  16. I love it! Not buying into cries of impending doom and saying that we can solve the problems that face us is “soul depleting” and comprises a down-beat.

  17. “Roc, if those who don’t already wear sweaters around the house do it, does that mean you turn you Hummer into a planter?”
    My Hummer is GOOD for the environment. Taking Al Gore’s advice I bought offsets from his company for my hummer. To make it carbon neutral I bought a $60 Terra Pass. Because I care about the Earth I bought another $60 Terra Pass and as a consequence my Hummber has a negative carbon footprint. So every mile I drive I am making the environment better!
    (Thank Goodness for Al Gore)

  18. I’m no fan of Gore except for his making the debate more out there. He has the right direction verbally at least.
    catseye, do you think those you consider downbeat would learn from your ideal site, or for that matter, you from them? Or would it just be a back patting orgy with no impact?
    Open dialog is the only way to convince people to consider alternate views, thus hopefully we are all right in the end.

  19. ROC, I wish you’d have surprising opinions once in a while. It would add spice to this board.
    All we seem to get from you is Reagan revival retreads and Gore bashing. Is ketchup still a vegetable? Do trees still pollute? Is it still morning in America? Do you still wear yellow power ties? You’d better call Nancy Reagan and check your horoscope.
    Even the whole slew of current GOP presidential candidates are more progressive than you on the environment.

  20. Yes, we haven’t yet accepted the new catechism so it must be thrown at us again and again and again until we kneel, broken and whimpering, at the feet of the correct thinkers.
    Please absolve us of feeling that there might be positives in our future!
    Forgive us for enjoying stuff without feeling evil!
    Have mercy on my desire for a warm house in winter!
    Shun me not for seeing the Story of Stuff as a childish and over-simplified rehash of Malthus.
    Dang. How miserable does one have to be to join this new church? From the first mention in Story of Stuff that government’s job is to take care of us to the brittle, bitter end of the harangue, there seems to be no joy to be found.
    Here’s my belief: things are, by and large, better than they used to be. We can always do better, but you won’t get a majority to convert until you stop yelling at them.

  21. Hey J,
    I have a Gore approved negative emissions vehicle, how much more progressive can I get?
    And If I get you’re point, my being progressive would add “spice” to the board?
    Do you mean like sprinkling a little cinnamon on your red-hots, that kind of thing?

  22. “Here’s my belief: things are, by and large, better than they used to be…”
    hey appletony: your definition of ‘better’ ??

  23. “hey appletony: your definition of ‘better’ ??”
    Here’s mine:
    People are living longer than ever.
    People, by and large, are healthier, too, with the exception of industrial-age diseases like heart disease, much of which can be managed
    through lifestyle changes.
    Also, people in the U.S. no longer die from diseases like typhus and polio. And when’s the last time you heard of someone suffering from scurvy?
    You are enjoying a better quality of life than your grandparents ever did.
    People have more leisure time today (especially the woman who made the “Story of Stuff” video and took 10 years off to study where our stuff goes).
    People have more opportunities today than evenr before, in educational field and in the workplace.
    Is it a perfect world? No, and it will never be perfect. There will always be room for improvement. But to say things are not better than they used to be is just plain ignorant.
    For the most part, people have more disposable income.

  24. More disposable income = better.
    Now I know we’re doomed. We’re back to determing how well the world is doing based on our own personal ability to spend money. So much for vision. Peace out.

  25. Well, think about that for a minute, Jerseygurl, before you go trashing capitalism. I don’t mean things like iPods, shoes, Hummers and whatnot. In the Great Depression, some people skipped meals so that their children would have enough to eat. There was no such things as new clothes. People were lucky to get hand-me-downs. So yeah, I would venture to say we have more disposable income today and some. Hence, we are better off.

  26. “.In the Great Depression, some people skipped meals so that their children would have enough to eat. There was no such things as new clothes. People were lucky to get hand-me-downs. So yeah, I would venture to say we have more disposable income today and some. Hence, we are better off.
    Posted by Miss Martta | January 6, 2008 9:16 PM
    …………’
    hEY MS. MARTTA:
    Take a good look at the new America around you…not too much different than what you just described…and more to come, honey…watch the market in the coming weeks…

  27. I think that over the next few years, the US will go through a time as closely resembling the Great Depression as there has been since it itself happened. Don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom and I really hope this doesn’t happen, but things aren’t looking too good.

  28. Sure. I hope we never see it. Maybe we’ll get something akin to a fresh start, or at least some revunation, toward the end of the year.

  29. You look out the window of your airplane, ROC, and the ground is getting closer and closer at a rapid rate. Capt. Al tells you to take out the parachutes, it’s time to jump. You say, “No, I’m not jumping. Nothing bad has ever happened in the past. Capt Malthus thought his plane was going down, and it happened to fall on a big marshmellow. The same thing will happen now.”
    “But ROC, there’s no evidence that there’s a giant marshmellow directly under us,” says Walleroo. “Wouldn’t it be prudent to bail out, just in case?”
    “Ever the scientist,” says ROC, “Walleroo wants proof that nothing will happen to us …”

  30. There’s the answer. I’m going to use my disposable income to purchase a giant marshmallow. I hope I can find one that’s organic and biodegradable.

  31. Capt. Al?
    No, it’s more like this:
    A scientist passenger has worked out a computer model on his laptop which he claims predicts the health of the engines and the likely outcome of the flight by measuring the static electricity in the isle carpet.
    Though the plane feels like it is indeed descending no one seems to think there is much danger (except the guy with the laptop who’s freaking out).
    You notice as look out the window, you’re over the middle of the artic ocean.
    There’s the door, walleroo….
    They’re not talking no-fuss-no-risk measures walleroo (you might try to listen).
    To make ANY DIFFERENCE at will require massive, economy-destroying (“just-in-case”) measures.
    All this from models which are deeply flawed.

  32. See, I don’t think we all need to go live in Kenya, I just think that I don’t need to consume enough for thirty-two other people could live on. I’m going to try consuming only enough for ten or fifteen other people to live on, instead. Because I really don’t think of myself as so high-maintenance that just to maintain my lifestyle, I really NEED to consume enough for THIRTY-TWO other people to live off of.
    There’s a big difference between suggesting you should be on the brink of starvation and death at all times, and suggesting you could live far more simply without enjoying life any less.

  33. Love your logic, ROC: “It would take too much more than any one person could do to make real change, so I’m going to do nothing at all”. That’s the kind of attitude that got us into this mess in the first place. Cheers!

  34. Perhaps Amandala would let us know what 50 to 60 per cent of her consumption she is prepared to do without.

  35. I would not be surprised to learn that ROC practices more personal conservation than Amandala does currently.

  36. Not to caste stones, but yes, I would be curious to learn about the eco-lifestyles of many of the naysayers on here. For instance, 1. Do you use power tools such as leaf or snow blowers for yard work instead of plain ol’ muscle? 2. What kinds of cars do you drive? Are they fuel-efficient or gas guzzlers? 3. If you own a home/have a garden, do you keep a compost heap?
    4. How often do you do laundry? 5. Do you try to consolidate your errands that require the use of a car? 6. At what temp do you keep your home in the winter? 7. In the summer, do you use central air? 8. How much of what you buy is reusable, not just recyclable?

  37. 1. I have a natural pond, all native plants, needs no maintenance from me except a replacement here or there.
    2. Fuel efficient and only drive about 3k a year.
    3. I’m full of compost.
    4. When the neighbors complain.
    5. #2
    6. You’ll need a sweater and a nice throw blanket for watching the big screen.
    7. My garbage men call me cheap; sometimes there is nothing for them.

  38. 1. Nature abhors a vacuum and we abhor power tools such as leaf/snowblowers and power mowers.
    2. Honda Accord 2004
    3. We are building a compost pile.
    4. Here is where “needs improvement” comes in. Since we are runners, we find ourselves doing laundry 2 x a week instead of 1. No gold star here. 🙁
    5. yes.
    6. Same here. We live in sweatshirts and sweaters. And 3 blankets on the bed.
    7. We try to save as many jars and containers(for the workshop). Old clothing gets donated, as do old computers, electronic devices.

  39. It’s the new keeping up the Joneses, ROC. 🙂
    But really, I think it’s a good thing not to be wasteful, for anyone: liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. We all live here, after all. But, like Appletony, I don’t buy all the hellfire and brimstone and don’t think I’m going to hell because I like to occaisonally cook a steak on the grill.

  40. It’s the new keeping up the Joneses, ROC. 🙂
    But really, I think it’s a good thing not to be wasteful, for anyone: liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican. We all live here, after all. But, like Appletony, I don’t buy all the hellfire and brimstone and don’t think I’m going to hell because I like to occasionally cook a steak on the grill.

  41. It’s more like this:
    You’re flying in a pea-soup fog. Nobody can see out the window. The altimeter is broken. Passengers can feel their ears popping. A scientist with his laptop says, “According to my calculations, we are 20 minutes away from the airport, but we have only 10 minutes of flying time before we crash. The error margin is 100 percent.” The error, by the way, can be in either direction. Each passenger has a parachute, but jumping of course would be inconvenient.
    What would you do, ROC?
    Erratum: Marshmallow was mispelled in my previous post. I regret the error.

  42. My huge compost pile with millions of worms negates my gas guzzling SUV. Since I work all the time, no time for errands, so that negates my central air. I have an enviable garden in which I grow produce, which obviously makes up for my penchant for a warm house in the winter, since I am childless and the owner of way too many clothes (some of which can be donated:recycled), laundry is done once every week to 10 days.
    Look out Kenyans!

  43. Marshmallows are not very eco-friendly, Walleroo. They contain:
    artificial color
    artificial flavor
    corn syrup
    dextrose
    gelatin
    modified corn starch
    natural flavor
    sugar
    tetrasodium pyrophosphate
    water

  44. My green lifestyle:
    1. Pull a bit more hair out each morning.
    2. Try not to exhale (which releases carbon).
    3. Do as little exercise as possible (which causes respiration, releasing carbon).
    4. Walk to my office in NYC to discourage the use of buses, which release tons of carbon exhaust. (But walk slowly, so as not to breathe heavily.)
    5. Get fired because I’m always late to work.
    6. Move out of my mansion on Upper Mountain Avenue to the space under ROC’s porch.

  45. All that crap will decompose nicely, Miss Martta, while the chemicals will kill bacteria that release carbon.

  46. ” but jumping of course would be inconvenient.”
    And that’s the flaw in wallerlogic. “inconvenient”. Can you honestly say that all it will take is a little “inconvenience” to do anything substantial about Carbon, walleroo?
    Until you honestly confront that question, it’s no use in discussing it…

  47. they’ve heard your pleas walleroo…
    …proposed revisions to Title 24 is the requirement for what is called a “programmable communicating thermostat” or PCT. Every new home and every change to existing homes’ central heating and air conditioning systems will required to be fitted with a PCT beginning next year following the issuance of the revision. Each PCT will be fitted with a “non-removable ” FM receiver that will allow the power authorities to increase your air conditioning temperature setpoint or decrease your heater temperature setpoint to any value they chose. During “price events” those changes are limited to +/- four degrees F and you would be able to manually override the changes. During “emergency events” the new setpoints can be whatever the power authority desires and you would not be able to alter them.
    In other words, the temperature of your home will no longer be yours to control. Your desires and needs can and will be overridden by the state of California through its public and private utility organizations. All this is for the common good, of course.

    Eco-socialism is around the corner, walleroo, welcome’s it…

  48. According to Capt Al, all we have to do is change our lightbulbs and buy hybrids. Of course, Al himself accounts for 47 percent of all the world’s hot air…
    But given the potential gravity of the situation, ROC, is it really wise to do nothing at all?

  49. I will accept no criticism from anyone on this site, having taken the following steps in my own personal quest to green our planet:
    1. I eat only what the rest of you slobs leave laying around.
    2. I have a lovely rock garden, consisting of 100% natural and organic rocks.
    3. I drive a pedicab, and often take neighbors for rides on same to do their errands. I am compensated with snap peas.
    4. I sleep without blankets, surrounded by my 10 Alaskan huskies and my live-in housekeeper from Lapland.
    5. My house is very warm, since no doors or windows have been opened for the past 13 years.
    6. I wear, at home, a one-piece garment fashioned from squirrel fur.
    You could all take a lesson, or two, from me.

  50. PCTs can also provide customers the option to earn money through voluntary participation in load control and other demand response programs that pay for participation and/or performance.
    Who’s being alarmist now?

  51. why don’t we just wire your thermostat to my computer. Don’t worry, I’ll save you money and save the planet at the same time!

  52. ROC logic:
    1. Controlling carbon emissions would require coordinated action.
    2. Coordinated action could possibly lead to socialistic type government policies.
    3. There’s no need to control carbon emissions. QED!

  53. roc has made me see the light, I confess:
    1. I have a Mc Mansion that I had to tear down 2 historic houses to build (in one George and Martha had sex and the other On Walden Pond was written, Henry and Jane stayed there a few nights). Anyway I have the lawn service come in twice a week to keep it neat.
    2. I have a tricked out Hummer Limo; unfortunately the hot tub wouldn’t fit after the larger gas tank was installed (stopping every couple of blocks to fill up gets old pretty quickly). I love it when the chauffeur runs those little cars off the road.
    3. I have no idea what those gardeners do with all those plants they keep digging up to plant new ones.
    4. I never wear anything twice (eeewwww), I always have new clothes on hand. The servants have strict instructions to cut up everything before throwing them out (I can’t stand the thought someone would be wearing my old clothes).
    5. Other people supply my needs and are very good at it or they’re history. I do ride around a lot in my car when I’m bored, which is most of the time.
    6. I hate to wear too many clothes in the winter so it’s usually kept at 86 except when I get a chill and we have to turn it up. I also have lots of outdoor heaters to try and not have to keep replacing those tropical plants, they’re so pretty.
    7. I’m always so hot in the summer, so usually 68.
    8. Like I said, I have enough trouble using things once, never mind twice. My shrink says I’m making progress though, I be able to cut her back to 5 times a week.
    I have to say, when it was pointed out that I was living a wasteful existence (that was 3 weeks of intensive therapy, I tell you), I immediately took out a weekly subscription to Carbon Offset. I may have to sue though, I haven’t received one issue…unless the butler is stealing them, him and his wife and 5 kids are so outahere.

  54. Spectator, it’s 50 to 60% of you and your fellow “average Americans” consumption I’m doing without, not 50 to 60% of my consumption that I’m now going to suddenly quit…um…consuming.

  55. ROC
    The day you spin by in an 18- wheeler with rims, fully powered by coagulated McDonalds grease, I’ll be duly impressed.

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