Thursday, January 3, 2008

Jared Diamond op-ed for the NYT

Op-Ed Contributor
What’s Your Consumption Factor?

Published: January 2, 2008 [NYT}

Los Angeles

TO mathematicians, 32 is an interesting number: it’s 2 raised to the fifth power, 2 times 2 times 2 times 2 times 2. To economists, 32 is even more special, because it measures the difference in lifestyles between the first world and the developing world. 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.

1 comment:

Susan Harwood said...

Dear Mick

A few days ago, I started a new blog called


It can be found at

It is, and will continue to be, a very low level affair compared with your blogs but I have been looking through blogger profiles for people who have interests in architecture, politics and the enviroment to let them know about it.

(If I don't mention it to people, well, no-one will know it is there.)

I was interested to read about you because I think there are areas in which we may have similiar concerns (energy use) and sensitiivities (being very aware of our Britishness . . . in my case, Englishness). And other areas in which we would probably have very different attitudes (I notice you were at RAF Leuchars . . . I used to be at St Andrew's University so we have Fife in common . . . but I also used to take part in actions at Greenham Common, protesting against the introduction of Cruise Missiles there . . . )

Anyway, I hope you don't mind me dropping by.

SHOUTING AT THE RADIO is only three days old and any comments you may have as it develops will be very welcome.

I can be contacted through the blog and by email

Best wishes for 2008

Susan Harwood

P.S. The 'radio' being shouted at, in my case, is generally BBC Radio 4 or 5