“Musings of a Malcontent” is a weekly op-ed by GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Carlyle Coash
For the last 25 years I have been a faithful reader of the Harper’s Index. It is a section in the beginning of every issue of Harper’s Magazine (not Harper’s Bizarre) that is dedicated to information. It is a list of compiled points of data that are about the obvious and not so obvious.
I love reading it – mostly because it tends to scare the crap out of me.
The best kind of crap-scaring really – if there is such a thing.
There is something about seeing a list of sobering, and at times funny, slivers of choice insights into our world that helps keep my focus on what is most important. Things, after all, are so out of balance right now. Even with the arrival of the Year of the Water Dragon (thank you Chinese and Tibetan Calendar), which portents good fortune and luck, is not enough to sweep away the truth of what we are facing.
So – I thought this week I would share a snippet of what the Index offered for February. The last part should interest you greatly.
- Number of members of Congress among the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans by net worth : 57
- Percentage of former NFL players who experience financial distress within five years of retirement : 86
- Estimated number of jobs created by every $1,000,000,000 of military spending : 11,000
- By the same amount devoted to education : 27,000
- Minimum global population of robots, excluding toys and household appliances : 1,107,000
- Minimum amount by which Facebook is overvalued, according to a November study : $70,000,000,000
- Percentage of U.S. children age two or younger who have an online presence : 92
- Percentage decrease in birth weight when the first trimester of a U.S. pregnancy occurs during an economic downturn : 4
- Amount by which sales of ADHD medications increased between 2006 and 2010 : $3,400,000,000
- Average number of U.S. veterans who commit suicide each day : 18
- Factor by which the number of Americans age ninety and over has increased since 1980 : 3
- Projected percentage increase in food production required by 2050 in order to sustain the world’s population : 70
- Portion of the world’s land considered “highly degraded” due to soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and water pollution : 1/4
- Percentage of Americans who believed in anthropogenic global warming in 2001 : 75
- Today : 44
- Percentage change since 2006 in the value of U.S. residential land : –70
- In the value of U.S. cropland : +18
- Amount U.S. millionaires received in federal land-preservation grants for ranches and estates in 2009 and 2010 : $89,000,000
- Number of reservations White Castle expects nationwide for its candlelit Valentine’s Day dinner : 6,400
Thanks White Castle for making it a little more O.K. I thought that list was depressing until you saved it by stepping up with the candlelight dinners.
Because that, of course, is not depressing at all.
Image source: The Alopecian Muse