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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Missouri Ranks Number 35 in Something! (That's Good News, Right? Wrong!)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 7:02 AM

Stuff sometimes conspires to make Unreal feel like a pretty dense Mensan. To combat Alzheimer's, we engage in iPhone calisthenics like Word Warp. But when we really want to stump ourself, we turn to the New York Times' Freakonomics blog. A recent installment involves an interactive map of the USA, a feature that always tends to make Unreal's baited pole bounce around in the water, and a poor showing by Missouri, which simultaneously satisfies our appetite for schadenfreude and gives us hives.

Via Freakonomics we found this report (pdf) from the Rocky Mountain Institute that says our nation could spew less carbon into the atmosphere if we utilized energy more productively. From the RMI's interactive map, rendered in nifty autumnal hues, we learn that New York is the most productive state vis à vis energy productivity, and Mississippi is the worst.

Missouri ranks 35th.


Delving a bit deeper, we learn...

...that by the RMI's metrics, Missouri's "Electric Productivity" -- defined as dollars of gross domestic product divided by kilowatt hours consumed -- is 3.02. New York's, meanwhile, is more than double that: 7.18. Bottom of the barrel Mississippi's is 2.15. (In making its calculations, the institute adjusts for climate and types of businesses that are prominent.)

If we behaved more like New York and the other states that comprise the top ten, the RMI argues that Missouri could see CO2 emissions plummet from 71.2 metric tons (in 2005) to 29.7 metric tons.

Judging from a cursory skim (which, let's face it, is all Unreal is capable of at this point) of the RMI's Missouri detail --


-- we just need to quit burning so much dang coal.

The top ten kilowatt-efficient states:

  1. New York
  2. Alaska
  3. Connecticut
  4. Delaware
  5. California
  6. New Jersey
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Rhode Island
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Colorado
Now, if you'll excuse us, we're gonna go turn off a few lights around here. That might just push us ahead of Louisiana and into 34th place.

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