Friday, January 21, 2011

Comparing Canada

A new website If It Were My Home now allows you to compare any country to another under a few criteria.  These criteria include employment rates, electricity and oil usage, infancy mortality rates, health care costs, salaries, birth rates, the amount of free time, mortality, AIDS and class.  I did some comparisons of Canada's energy usage to several countries, the results are quite shocking.  All of the European countries that I had checked (UK, France, Germany, Spain) had at least 20% less electricity and oil usage.  This includes the comparable climates of Russia, Sweden, Norway (Norway uses more electricity than us however), and Netherlands.  Japan and Australia also uses less electricity and oil. 

The biggest surprise for me was that Canada uses more electricity and oil than the US, China and India.  Yikes!  The US is notorious for its love of oil and we use more.  The stats about China are surprising, but it could be that since China extracts the majority of its energy from coal, that this is not considered under oil.  Even when compared to more third world countries such as Cuba, Canada still uses more power and oil.

I agree it is not fair to compare our resource usages to warmer climates, as Canada is colder and requires more natural gas to heat our homes.  However other countries of comparable climates such as Russia use less electricity and oil.  Other countries of larger populations, warmer and colder climates, varying economic statuses all use less resources than Canada.  So what is the reason for our increased unsustainability?  Do we not have enough alternative energy sources?  Are Canadians too in love with the Automobile?
I think this presents a clear warning and argument that Canada needs to change.

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