The Page That Counts :: Winter 2009

Image of a water faucet

Global average gallons of water used each year to produce goods and services, per capita: 328,366

Annual per capita water use in the U.S.: 655,939

Annual per capita water use in China: 185,449 [1]

Number of people worldwide who do not have access to fresh water: 1.2 billion

Number of children who die each year for lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation: almost 2 million [2]



Number of foreign-exchange high school students studying in the U.S. during the 2007-08 school year: 29,004

Number of American high schoolers studying abroad, 2007-08: 2,255 [3]



Detail from Chris Jordan's photograph of Oil Drums from Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption

Cost of a barrel of oil on May 25, 2007: $66.75

Cost of a barrel of oil on May 30, 2008: $126.06 [4]

Decrease in miles Americans drove in May 2008 compared to May 2007: 9.6 billion [5]

Increase in public transit trips Americans took in the first quarter of 2008 from the first quarter of 2007: 88 million [6]

Year by which lifting the ban on offshore drilling is projected to impact the price of crude oil and natural gas: 2030 [7]



Temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, on a synthetic turf field in New York City on July 6, 2007: 140

Temperature on an adjacent grass field receiving direct sunlight: 85

Atmospheric temperature of the area that afternoon: 78

Length of time, in minutes, at which exposure to surface temperatures above 122 degrees can result in skin injuries: 10 [8]



Percentage of 648 terrorist groups that ended between 1968 and 2006 because they entered the political process: 43

Percentage of terrorist groups that ended through police work and intelligence gathering: 40

Percentage of terrorist groups that ended due to military force: 7 [9]



Detail of China's Olympic World Record Wedding from Wikimedia Commons

Number of weddings that took place in Beijing on August 8, 2008: 15,646

Number of weddings in Beijing on August 8, 2007: 3,390 [10]



Estimated number of Community Supported Agriculture programs in the U.S. in 1990: 50

Number of CSA programs recorded in Local Harvest’s database as of September 2008: 2,098 [11]



Farmers lose their home in the Dust Bowl, from Wikimedia Commons

Millions of hectares of cropland lost each year worldwide due to soil erosion: 10

Factor by which soil erosion exceeds soil replenishment in the U.S.: 10

In China and India: 30 to 40

Percentage of the world’s arable land that has become unproductive as a result of erosion in the last 40 years: 30 [12]



More Page That Counts

From the United Nations Environment Programme's Billion Tree Campaign Album. Visit
Fall 2008

Original tree-planting goal of the UNEP's Billion Tree Campaign: 1 billion
The number of trees planted within the campaign's first 18 months: 2 billion


The souped-down 1959 Opel T-1 that achieved 376.59 miles per gallon in a 1973 contest. Photo by Cosmopolitan Motors
Summer 2008

Miles per gallon a car got in a 1973 contest sponsored by Shell: 376.59



  1. “Water Footprints of Nations,”A.K. Chapagain and A.Y. Hoekstra, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 16, UNESCO-IHE, 2004.

  2. “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis,” United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report, 2006.

  3. “International Youth Exchange Statistics: Semester and Academic Year Programs 2007-2008 Cycle,”Council for Standards on International Educational Travel, January 2008.

  4. “Weekly All Countries Spot Price FOB Weighted by Estimated Export Volume (Dollars per Barrel),”Energy Information Administration, September 10, 2008.

  5. “Nearly 10 Billion Fewer Miles Driven in May 2008 than May 2007: Seven-Month Decline in Travel Reflected in Highway Trust Fund,”U.S. Department of Transportation, July 2008.

  6. “Public Transit Ridership Continues to Grow in First Quarter 2008,”American Public Transportation Association, June 2008.

  7. “Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf,” Energy Information Administration, 2007.

  8. “Synthetic Turf: Health Debate Takes Root,” Luz Claudio, Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 116, Number 3, March 2008.

  9. “How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida,”Seth G. Jones, Martin C. Libicki, 2008.

  10. “China Sets Olympics Record in Weddings,” China Daily, August 9, 2008.

  11. Erin Barnett, Director of LocalHarvest, personal correspondence, September 13, 2008.

  12. “‘Slow, Insidious’ Soil Erosion Threatens Human Health and Welfare As Well As the Environment, Cornell Study Asserts,”Susan S. Lang, Cornell Chronicle Online, 2006.

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