Continuing on a theme discussed while Mike and I were winding our way across the beautiful (but hardly untouched) landscape of New Zealand, an article from Stuff.Co.NZ reports that a new report from the Parlimentary Commissioner for the Environment in NZ has found that Kiwis are polluting at a rate exceeding even that of the U.S. A summary is available online.
Basically, the average Kiwi puts out about 900kg per year. This compares to 730kg/year for Americans (based on GEO-2000). Quite a bit more waste, in fact.
Add to that the fact that a lot of their power comes from fossil fuels and they consume quite a bit of electricity (they like their cars almost as much as we do, and tend to run pretty inefficient models, just like we do), and you have a significant greenhouse gas contributor too.
Of course, this is lumped onto the irony that many of the products imported into "green, nuclear-free" New Zealand are manufactured in the US or Japan, where nuclear energy is used to power the plants...
I'll give the government credit for deciding it is important to follow up the issue, though.