Ahh! A mini-virtual tour and nary a hint of scarcity or deprivation. What may be surprising is that the contented folks in these scenarios, on average, use far less energy than you and I do in the U.S.
Yup, according to worldbank.org that young French couple and the Takahashis annually use about half (per capita) of the energy that Americans use. Gram and Poppy use only about 40% as much and Hans and Elina a thrifty 30% as much! Indeed, the average Joe or Jane on earth uses only about one quarter of the energy that Jack and Jill in the U. S. use.
Something’s out of whack here. One might presume that the luxury of using almost four times as much energy as the average earthling should make Americans four times as happy – Not! A recent international survey ranks Americans as the ninth most content people in the world. Clearly, folks can lead happy, fulfilling lives using far less energy than we do here.
We now know that much of our energy use contributes to the atmospheric pollution accelerating destructive severe weather events. And what a summer for those! Even so, for many of us the knee-jerk response to the concept of reducing energy use implies sacrifice, deprivation and loss of “the good life.” Hans and Elina would disagree; there’s plenty of good living happening around the world with the thrifty use of fuel.
We could be thrifty too! The tools to greatly reduce energy loss, increase energy efficiencies, and transition to clean energy sources are at hand. It will mean change, but it doesn’t have to mean deprivation. Let’s make that change and protect the only home we’ll ever know, here where we’re all forever… Earthbound.