Here's What's in My Dirty Martini

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Get Married, Stay Married, Save the Planet

My blog last week was about how my second fridge for beer was contibuting to global warming. I really don’t want to get wrapped up in the farcical premise that man is causing global warming, but this week there was another article that was just too rich to let go by.

We all know that divorce damages families. I’ve watched many friends deal with divorce and hope I never have to deal with it. It's an ugly situation, to say the least.

Though I am not being green because I have a second fridge, I just found out that I am offsetting that environmental sin by the fact that I have been married to the same woman now for 22 years in a row (and I give her the credit). And I should also be well ahead in my 'marriage offsets' since I’ve only had the second fridge less than a year and I have been married for over 22 years.

There are a lot of benefits to being and staying married. Among the things being married should be able to do for my family is to provide a loving, stable home, and I hope to set an example for my kids to follow when they decide to choose a spouse that commitment and hard work can have rewards.

What I wasn’t aware of was that I was saving the environment by all of that commitment and hard work. Out of the UK, in the Times Online, comes an article that describes what divorce is doing to our environment (oh yeah, single people are guilty too)…scientists have finally quantified the effect of divorce on the planet. YGBSM!!!

You mean to tell me that with all of the things that scientists could be researching, some of them sat around and actually thought that this was a useful study? And, even more amazing, someone funded this crap!!

But they did and here’s an excerpt of the article…

“Across America – one of 12 countries studied – divorced households used 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2005 that could have been saved if the families had not split up. That is equivalent to about a fifth of Britain’s consumption.”

Where do they find the statistics? Do they do a cross-check of divorce court records and then hack into the power company’s database to examine utility bills? And, what percentage is that of the total consumption of electricity in America?

But, it doesn’t stop there….

“Broken couples also increase demand for housebuilding and infrastructure such as new roads. “The global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, has taken up more space and has gobbled up more energy and water,” said Jianguo Liu of Michigan University, who carried out the latest research.”

Perhaps we should create communes for divorced people. This will allow them to still be contributing to the reduction of global warming vice making it worse by being single and living …. alone!

Really, though, I think I’m in the wrong business. With a divorce rate of about 50% in this country I should be a building contractor. These soaring divorce rates are causing a soaring demand for housing. I could just go find the market segment that has the highest divorce rate (that would be Nevada for the latest stats I could find…and I used to live there), build some housing and wait for the profits. Since the average duration of first marriages is less than 8 years I won’t have to wait that long for customers. Evil capitalism at its best!!

I could check the papers for wedding announcements and then show up at the wedding and give them a gift card worth some amount of discount on their housing requirements when they come to see me after the divorce. Hey, with those odds I’ll probably see half of them! And for some reason, they’ll need more rooms.

“The study… found that the average number of rooms per household was between 33% and 95% higher for divorced couples than for married ones.”

I’m sure I’m misinterpreting this but are they really saying that if I get divorced I will move from a 5 bedroom home to a 7 to 9 bedroom home? Am I going to win the lottery? I’ll need to because I’ll be lucky to find a 7’x9’ room that I could afford if I divorce.

So aside from the social and economic impacts, it appears that this divorce stuff also contributes to global warming. I’ve seen things get heated for people during a divorce…but enough to warm the planet??

“Liu also calculated that America now has an extra 38.5[million] rooms in houses and apartments built to meet the demand for more accommodation generated by divorce over the past three decades.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for divorce but….SO WHAT? Are the rooms being rented or owned? Does that not mean the laws of supply and demand are working? Isn’t that what a free economy runs on … supply and demand?

Does any economic or technological growth NOT cause global warming? Why is man so evil?

These people are wackos. There have to be better things to research that will have a more meaningful impact on society than the affect of divorce on global warming. But as I said, as far as marriage goes, I’m GREEN!

Sadly (for purposes of this discussion that is), though, I was not always married. At one time in my past I was single. Like other singles out there, divorced or never married, I was not aware that I was making our planet warmer. I am reformed now. I am married. I am GREEN. HEAR ME ROAR!!

When I got engaged I was in the Navy. I was in Attack Squadron 95 - the Green Lizards. One day our Command Master Chief (these guys were the salty, old sages of the command) came into my office and said, “Lieutenant, I understand you’re getting married.” I replied, “Yes, I am, Master Chief.” He looked at me very gleefully and said, “Well, good. There’s no reason for you to be happy.”

I have used that line many times on people when I hear they are engaged but now I am going to change it for my nieces, nephews, friends and other single people I know. Now I am going to tell them that they are causing global warming and that marriage is their obligation so that they can help cool the planet (it cools off a lot of other things too…but that’s a different blog). And to help them understand that they must take this seriously and strive to stay married, I will hit them with facts according to the study:

“The growth of single-person households is also damaging the environment. Research published in the journal Environment, Development and Sustainability found that:

- One-person households are the biggest consumers of energy, land and household goods, such as washing machines, refrigerators, TVs and stereos, per capita

- They consume 38% more products, 42% more packaging, 55% more electricity and 61% more gas per capita than four-person households

- People living alone create 1½ tons of waste annually compared with a ton by those in households of four or more.”

All of that seems like ‘fuzzy math’ to me. But if the math is right, then marriage makes us more efficient in all aspects of our lives than if we were single.

And all of that efficiency has given me more time to go to my second fridge to get some olives and brine to enjoy a Dirty Martini and a good cigar.


And here’s a martini recipe to help us stay green:

Kyoto Martini
6 parts Gin or Vodka
2 parts Melon liqueur
1 part Dry Vermouth
¼ part lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake till too cold to hold the shaker and pour into a cold martini glass. Garnish with a melon ball (green, of course).

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