Yesterday, news outlets around the country jumped on a particularly lame study that just appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. It finds that rising divorce rates around the world are bad for the environment because two households (here comes the sheer genius) use more energy than one.


Actually, the report says that divorcees could have saved 73 billion kilowatt hours (almost 2 percent of total national electricity consumption) if they’d stayed married. This is appreciable, and it is important to study the different environmental impacts of single- and multi-person households, but separating divorcees from other singles is simply an artifice designed to attract media coverage. People aren’t going to give a dysfunctional marriage another shot just to be green.

Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.