Smil: America’s Wa(i)sting Problem

Vaclav Smil:

Even after throwing away some 40 percent of its abundant food supply, the United States still has the industrialized world’s most overweight population. America similarly produces more energy per capita than any other major rich economy — so much so that if the United States were to consume that energy at a rate comparable to Germany or France, it would be a massive energy exporter. Instead, America imports more than 25 percent of its energy, paying more than $2 trillion for the privilege over the past decade — and still ends up with little to show for it. The United States now faces the choice of curbing its energy appetite with deliberation, commitment, and foresight, or waiting for the unraveling economy to put it on a painful crash diet.

via A Hummer in Every Driveway – By Vaclav Smil | Foreign Policy.


  1. Although there is some merit to his views, the US has a much less ppopulation density than Germany. All geopolitical units are not alike.

  2. We export coal. We're planning to export nat gas. Crude is the toughest nut to crack, but imports will fall 30 percent this decade with unconventional production and plummet if we switched to nat gas vehicles.