Friday, February 12, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 663

Today’s ‘List Friday’. My country – Australia – has a reasonably democratic system of government, abundant resources, a high living standard, unconstrained mass media (well, apart from considerable constraints necessitated by the profit motive), a fairly strong civil society, and an acceptably efficient bureauracy. Given all this, it’s immensely disappointing to me as an Australian citizen, that my country ranks a quite lowly 50 of 163 countries in Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index 2010. The EPI scores are based on 25 performance indicators across ten policy categories covering environmental, public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators (and thus the EPI scores and ranks) gauge how close each country is to established environmental policy goals. I’m shocked by some of the countries scoring more than Australia’s 65.7, e.g. Mauritius, Colombia, Albania, Nepal. But of course it’s no surprise the USA scores 63.5 and ranks 61. Australia’s scores on the 25 indicators are here. The ‘Score (% proximity to target)’ column shows we’re brilliant (i.e. 100% or so) in some categories, but we’re pulled down by the ‘Climate Change’ category (27.64%) – which accounts for 25% of the EPI. So until my government pulls its proverbial finger out, my country will be a perennial environmental bridesmaid. And never a bride.

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