By The Numbers

Amber Beard contributed to this column.

100 million

Pounds of pesticides applied to American gardens annually


Billion tons, the amount of natural resources extracted each year worldwide


Percent more resources than was extracted 30 years ago


Pounds of resources used by the average American each day


Empire State Buildings, the equivalent of what humans extract from the Earth each day


Percent, the increase in global wind power in 2009


Megawatts of wind power produced in the U.S. in 2009


Megawatts of energy China expects to produce with wind power annually by the end of the next decade


The indirect cost total of a gallon of gas (including oil industry tax breaks and subsidies, oil supply protection, treatment of auto exhaust-related respiratory illness, climate change)


Average gas tax in Italy, France, Germany, and the UK


Cents, the gas tax in the U.S.

$2 billion

The amount of tax revenue Sweden shifted from income taxes to taxes on environmentally destructive activities from 2001 to 2006


Percent of the Aral Sea that has dried up since 1980


Million, the number of “extreme commuters” (those who commute more than an hour-and-a-half to work and back) in the U.S.


Percent higher salary an extreme commuter must make to be as satisfied as a non-commuter, according to a study by economists Bruno Frey and Alois Stutzer


Percent of all water used in the United States that is used by farms


Percent of all electricity used in California that goes to the pumping, treating, transporting and delivering of water

Sources: Earth Policy Institute; Business Week; Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It