Josh Sevin

Josh Sevin is a graduate student in MIT's planning program. Previously, he was an editor at Greenwire environmental news service and a researcher for U.S. News.

Water, Water Everywhere

5 gallons of water, on average, go down the drain if you leave the tap running while you brush your teeth 30 gallons of water, on average, go down the drain if you leave the tap running while you wash dishes 50 gallons of water per day can be wasted by a small faucet leak 150 gallons of water, on average, are used to wash a car with a hose 14 percent of the water consumed in the average American home is used to operate a washing machine 75 percent of the water consumed in the average American home is …

To Have and Have Not

5 percent of the world’s human population resides in the U.S. 30 percent of the world’s resources are used by the U.S. 8 motor vehicles are on the roads in China for every 1,000 Chinese citizens 750 motor vehicles are on the roads in the U.S. for every 1,000 U.S. citizens 15 kilograms of paper are consumed annually by each person in the developing world 333 kilograms of paper are consumed annually by each person in the U.S. 20 percent of the world’s population lives in industrialized nations 75 percent of the world’s pollutants and waste are produced by industrialized …

Seventy

• percent by which global energy use has increased since 1970 • percentage of the world’s commercially important marine fish stocks that are fully fished, over-exploited, or depleted • percentage of the roughly 3,000 plants identified as having cancer-fighting properties that grow in rainforests • percentage of irrigation water in developing nations that never reaches crops due to evaporation or runoff • percent by which nations have cut their consumption of ozone-depleting substances since 1987 • percentage of electricity in China generated by coal • percentage of the garbage that Americans create that could be composted • percentage of world …

Two

• percentage of the Earth’s surface covered by cities • percentage of the Earth’s surface covered by rainforests • number of miles of highway laid down in Florida each day • percent by which global energy use is projected to increase annually over the next 15 years • factor by which an average home generates more greenhouse-gas pollution than an average car • percent by which use of oil grew each year between 1990 and 1998 • factor by which the volume of oil transported throughout the world has grown since 1981 • number of hours a jet ski engine …

Trouble Right Here in River City

5,270 large dams blocked rivers in 1950 36,500 large dams block rivers today 17 percent of U.S. rivers are currently dammed 600,000 miles of rivers in the U.S. have been impounded behind dams 235,000 miles of rivers in the U.S. have been channelized 25,000 miles of rivers in the U.S. have been dredged for navigation 80 percent of river water in California is used for irrigation 87 percent of river water in Arizona is used for irrigation 25 percent of U.S. dams are older than their life expectancy of 50 years Sources: 1, 2 — World Resources Institute 3-7 — …

The Dirt on Pesticides

4.1 billion pounds of pesticides are used throughout the world each year 30 times more pesticides are used today than were used in 1945 30 percent of insecticides are believed to be carcinogenic 60 percent of herbicides are believed to be carcinogenic 90 percent of fungicides are believed to be carcinogenic 23 of the 28 most commonly used pesticides are believed to be carcinogenic an estimated 20,000 cancer deaths each year in the U.S. are caused by pesticide residues on food an estimated 3.5 million cases of acute pesticide poisoning are caused each year in developing nations due to lack …

Twenty

• percentage of all endangered and threatened species in the U.S. that are harmed by grazing • number of plant species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food supply • percent by which wind power production has grown per year since 1990 • percentage of Earth’s original forests that remain pristine and undisturbed • percent increase since 1945 in the agricultural harvest lost to pesticides • percentage of wood used in building a new home that could be saved by framing more efficiently • percentage of the world’s endangered vertebrate species that are threatened by exotic invaders • percent …

Thirty-three

• percent by which energy-efficient windows can cut cooling and heating bills • percentage of the world’s population living in countries experiencing moderate to high water stress • percentage of toxic water pollution caused by personal vehicle use • percentage of the world’s energy consumed by developing nations • percentage of all raw materials used in the U.S. that go toward the production of meats, dairy products, and eggs • percentage of the world’s remaining temperate rainforests that are in Chile Sources: 1 — Alliance to Save Energy 2 — World Resources Institute 3 — Earth Communications Office 4 — …

Six

• approximate number of species that go extinct per hour • percent by which electricity demand is rising annually in China and South Asia • percentage of the energy used in U.S. manufacturing that goes toward food processing and packaging • percent reduction in the average household’s water pollution if it converts from buying conventional produce and grains to buying organic • factor by which global water consumption rose between 1900 and 1995 • the world population, in billions, as of October 12, 1999   Sources: 1 — Natural Resources Defense Council 2 — World Resources Institute 3 — U.S. …

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