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Today's sustainability indicator, 4,500 tons, is the cargo capacity of a hybrid wind-powered shipping vessel under development by Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc. The last age of sail ended 150 years ago, when steamships supplanted sailboats.

And there's more...

  • 4,500 tons : life expectancy lost to air pollution from coal burning in northern China.
  • 150 years ago : total lost to coal for the 500 million Chinese north of the Huai River.
  • 5 years : anticipated growth of worldwide renewables in the next five years.
  • 2.5 billion years : total electric generation capacity supplied by renewables by 2018.
  • 40% : cost of a European proposal to increase automobile efficiency.
  • 8% : amount that fuel bills would fall under the plan.
  • $29 billion : U.S. marijuana arrests in 2011.
  • $74 billion all violent-crime arrests combined for the same period.
  • 757,969 : CO2 generated by 3 round-trip flights from Philadelphia to San Francisco.
  • 534,704: : C02 generated by an entire year of electricity in the average U.S. household.
  • 6 tons : times you could fill the New Orleans Superdome with gas wasted in U.S. traffic jams.
  • 6.6 tons : proxy resolutions last year pertaining to environmental and social concerns.
  • 11%: global decline in clean energy investment last year amid falling subsidies.
  • 32%: decline in U.S. clean-energy investments last year amid falling subsidies.
  • 20%: rise in Chinese clean-energy investments during the same period.
  • 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour: wind-energy tax credit quietly extended in the fiscal-cliff deal.
  • 59 percent: decline in wind installations last year amid uncertainty about the extension.
  • 17: health ranking of the U.S. among 17 wealthy countries in a study of health outcomes.
  • $2.7 trillion: U.S. annual spending on healthcare -- more than any other nation.
  • 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit: average temperature for contiguous U.S. in 2012, a record.
  • 511,000 ounces: estimated 2013 shortfall in palladium amid record carmaker demand.
  • 48 million: Americans who get sick each year from contaminated foods.
  • 0.4 percent: food importers checked annually by FDA inspectors.
  • 43%: women in India who marry before their 18th birthday.
  • 74%: Americans who acknowledge "global warming is affecting weather" in the U.S.
  • 210: current measure of the UN's World Food Price Index.
  • 210: the price threshold associated with a sharp rise in social unrest and food riots.
  • 50 percent: transport fuels replaceable by converting 17.5% of farm waste to biofuel.
  • 1.32 million square miles: current Arctic sea ice, the least in 33 years of satellite records.
  • 18 percent: decrease from the previous record-low Arctic ice, recorded in 2007.
  • 330: consecutive months that world temperatures have topped the 20th century average.
  • 626 million: people in India who still defecate in the open, contributing to superbugs.
  • 251 million: people who gained improved sanitation in the country from 1990 to 2010.
  • 67%: return from a portfolio of the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index since 2006.
  • 31%: return of the Leadership Index's Global 500 peers during the same period.
  • 1,079: jobs created by the average U.S. wind farm.
  • 59%: proportion of emissions-reductions efforts that pay for themselves in 3 years.
  • $10 billion: annual savings on U.S. electric bills from new lightbulb standards.
  • 30: large power plants it takes to produce electricity equivalent to the lightbulb savings.

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