Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill is daily spun;
but there exists no loom to weave it into fabric.
—Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Upon This Age”
If we cut our per-capita electricity consumption in half, overnight, we’d still be using more juice than those living in the Netherlands.1 This World Bank statistic forces us to entertain the possibility that Dutch people live in dark caves without modern conveniences. But in reality, their houses are not dark at all; compared with American households, Dutch homes average 20 percent more light bulbs.2 They even have an enormous light bulb company, Phillips. In fact, life isn’t so harsh in the Netherlands these days, as I can attest; I’ve been fortunate enough to call the country home for part of my life. Like many Europeans, the Dutch enjoy longer life spans than Americans do, less poverty, less air pollution, lower debt, incredibly clean drinking water from the tap, and a high standard of living that somehow allows them to enjoy delicious foods like Dutch apple pie, but with a fraction of our obesity rate.3 Those slinky little rascals! It’s no wonder they consistently rank higher than U.S.