Thursday, 6 December 2007

stats and speculation

A selection of those stats beloved of politicians, preachers and general pessimists.

- 4.6million people die from air pollution per year
- 50,000 species lost per year
- 1.5 acres of rainforest lost per second
- 70% of Chinese rivers are polluted – unfit for human contact
- US dumps 63,000 trucks of rubbish per day
- 2005 – hottest year on record, the decade preceding 2005 had 9 of the 10 hottest years on record

- Climate change is projected to kill 184 million people in Africa alone – Climate Change a More Deadly Threat – BBC, May 15 2006

Since UN report Our Common Future 1987:
- Proportion of collapsed fish stocks has doubled from 15 per cent to 30 per cent and the proportion of fish stocks deemed overexploited risen from 20% to 40%
- A hectare of cropland yielded 1.8 tons of produce, but due to intensification now risen to 2.5 tons with it the burden of soil erosion, water scarcity, nutrient depletion and pollution.
- In Canada and the US, demand for energy up by 19%. Concentrations of carbon dioxide, are about a third higher.
- Species of animals and plants are estimated to be going extinct at a rate that is about 100 times faster than the historical record
- Biologists have now classified 30 per cent of amphibians, 23 per cent of mammals and 12 per cent of birds as threatened
- In west Asia, available fresh water has fallen from 1,700 cubic metres per person per year to 907 cubic metres, due to pollution and demand

If China becomes us, per year:
- 1352 million tons of grain – 2/3 of the 2004 global harvest
- 99 million barrels of oil – 20 million more than the global today
- 2.8 billion tons of coal
- 11 billion cars – more than currently on the road

- 1951–1991 – American Family has x2 as many cars, drives x2.5 as far, uses x21 as much plastic, and flies x25 as far
- GDP x3 since 1950, House size x2 since 1970, Av number of people decreased per house

Total US advertising spending is expected to increase 1.7% in 2007 to $152.3billion
Worldwide ad spending will maintain a 6% growth rate for the next 2 years, climbing to $427 bln in 2006 and to $451 bln in 2007

- 5% drop in self-reported happiness between 1970-1994 annual study - 'very happy'/'pretty happy'/'not too happy'
- 66% rise in UK GDP 1973-2001 - no increase in 'satisfaction'
- 500% rise in per capita income in Japan 1958-1986 – no increase in satisfaction
- UK national income doubled – coincide with rise in crime and divorce - Richard Douthwaite – 1955-1988
- x3 rise in depression in people born since 1955 over the grandparents generation - Daniel Goleman
- 1985 study – 1.3% born in 1910, 5.3% in 1960 chance of having had a major depressive episode inc tenfold across a generation - not an artefact of increased knowledge about depression – questions on non-medical terms – eg ‘was there a time when you tried to kill yourself?’

- Money consistently buys happiness right up to about $10,000 per capita income and after that the correlation disappears Diener and Seligman – Beyond Money fig 2 p5
- World Values Survey, an assessment of life satisfaction in more than 65 countries conducted between 1990-2000, indicate that income and happiness tend to track well until about $13,000 of annual income per person (in 1995 purchasing power parity) After that, additional income appears to yield only modest additions in self-reported happiness.

- 90% of Americans believe they are kinder than average
- 84% of Americans wanted to be in the top 20% of income distribution
- ¾ of Americans don’t know their neighbours

- The present footprint is equivalent to 22 hectares per person, whereas the natural carrying capacity of the Earth is less than 16 hectares per person

- UK dumps 6.7 million tonnes of food per year, meaning each household jettisons between £250 and £400 worth of food each year. Most of the waste – which nationally costs £8bn – is sent to landfill where it rots, emitting the potent climate- change gas methane.

- 1500miles: the average bite an American eats has travelled

- US cities – 10 persons per acre 1920 – 4 persons per acre 1990 to present developments building 2 persons per acre
- 25% energy used is phantom power
- 95% less energy is used to recycle aluminium than to make new
- 1 ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of land fill, 7000 gallons water, 4200 kwh of energy, 390 gallons of oil, 60lbs of air pollution
- 1 acre of land can produce 50,000lbs of tomoatoes, 40,000lbs of potatoes, 30,000lbs of carrots, or 250 lbs of beef.
- 2500gallons of water = 1lb of beef
- 25gallons of water = 1lb of wheat

- 5 million tons of rubbish in the holiday season, 4m of that bags and wrapping paper
- 14m lbs of rubbish into the oceans last year
- 80% more trash than 15years ago, we have 80% less landfills
- If every family in America ate one locally grown meal a week we would save 800 million barrels of oil

- The cost to countries beyond its borders of the environmental damage and exported effluent from the US has been estimated at $73 billion annually
- Americans use energy – x6 mexican, x38 indian, x531 ethiopian per person
- 2004 – World Health Organisation – study of the rates of emotional distress – correlated inequal income distribution and higher levels of emotional distress
- Gini coefficient – inequality – American – 0.4, china .45, japan .25
- Gini Coefficient - 2001 – northwestern University – the top 1 percent of wage earners captured far more of the real national gain than the bottom 80 percent

What Americans and Europeans Spend on Ice Cream: $31 Billion Global
Cost of Creating Marine Parks to Protect the Oceans: $12-14 Billion

Last year
- the rich world spent three times more on bottled water ($58bn) than it did on aid to Africa ($18bn)
- 10 times more on military expenditure ($1trillion) than we did on aid globally ($104bn).
- Britons spent almost twice as much on champagne and other wine
last year as we did on aid
- The French spent more on perfume, German women more on shoes, Italians more on ice cream and the Japanese spent more on luxury goods than their governments did on the world's poor

- Pet food in Europe and United States $17 billion
- Elimination of hunger and malnutrition $19 billion
- Perfumes $15 billion
- Universal literacy $5 billion
- Ocean cruises $14 billion
- Clean drinking water for all $10 billion
- Ice cream in Europe $11 billion
- Immunizing every child $1.3 billion
- Makeup $18 billion
- Reproductive health care for all women $12 billion

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