Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Politics of (oil) consumption

In the New York Times today, Guns, Germs, & Steel author Jared Diamond offers this pithy quote:
Much American consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is about half of ours, yet Western Europe’s standard of living is higher by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant mortality, access to medical care, financial security after retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans’ wasteful use of gasoline contributes positively to any of those measures.

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