An ecology professor at Michigan State University says divorce is BAD for the environment.
Ecologist Jianguo Liu says married households use resources more efficiently than if divorce splits the household into two households. More households mean more use of the critical resources of energy, water, and land. For example, a household uses essentially the same amount of energy for heating and cooling regardless of how many people live there.
In 2005 the US had 16.5 million divorced households and 60 million married households. Liu calculated this cost $6.9 billion in extra utility costs per year and $3.6 billion more for water than if there were no divorced households. Certainly not chump change!
This is equivalent to the usage of a very large city of 12 million or more, based on American usage rates.
“People have been talking about how to protect the environment and combat climate change, but divorce is an overlooked factor that needs to be considered,” Liu said. “One way to be more environmentally friendly is to live with other people, and that will reduce the impact.”
Dr. Liu is director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at MSU. He studied resource use by married and divorced households in 12 countries, both developed and developing. They included the United States, Romania, Spain, Cambodia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greece, Mexico and South Africa between 1998 and 2002. Divorce produced a significant negative impact on the environment in all 12 countries.
Therefore, here are suggested bumper stickers you may see soon:
• For Earth’s sake, don’t divorce.
• Marriage is greener than divorce.
• Marriage is green, divorce is brown.
• Divorce hurts the planet too.
These research results should not surprise Bible-believers. Scripture teaches the sanctity and permanence of marriage. For example, in the Old Testament God says He hates divorce (Malachi 2:14-16). When asked about divorce, Jesus said, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6)
The God who created man and the world for him (Psalm 8:6; Psalm 115:16) also created the moral order of the universe. Breaking God’s law of marriage has serious negative consequences for man and for the environment.
Attacking the divorce epidemic will have far more significant and far more lasting benefits for both man and the environment than trying to effect climate change in accord with the politically manufactured global warming scare. (See Global Warming.)
Bookstores have hundreds of books on marriage. Yet the Bible’s simple commands work the best. Husbands are to love and honor their wives. Wives are to obey and respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7). Couple this with a rock-hard determination to honor the marriage vow
“till death do us part”
and the divorce epidemic will be a horror of the past.
Soli Deo Gloria.
Reference: Divorce Is Hard on Environment in the National Geographic News, December 4, 2007. Liu published his research in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for the week of Mon Dec 3, 2007.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday December 5, 2007 A.D.
Read my December 2007 newspaper column:
And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?” And He answered and said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”