Performance of US in Environmental Stewardship

By | January 24, 2008

A recent survey conducted by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities concluded that US ranks dead last among the richest 8 countries and 39th among 149 countries evaluated. Link. The survey created an Environmental Peformance Index (EPI) for 149 countries with the help of several indicators within the broad categories of Environmental Health, Air Pollution, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Climate Change.

The EPI identifies broadly-accepted targets for environmental performance and measures how close each country comes to these goals. As a quantitative gauge of pollution control and natural resource management results, the Index provides a powerful tool for improving policymaking and shifting environmental decision-making onto firmer analytic foundations. Link

What do you think about this survey? Comment especially on the methodology, the quality of data, and the breadth (or extent) of indicators.

Apart from government’s policies (or non-policies), what do you think you can do to raise US’ score. What can you do to increase environmental sustainability awareness among your peers, family, and friends?

9 thoughts on “Performance of US in Environmental Stewardship

  1. murraydonna

    Countries around the world are making outstanding attempts at lowering their contributions to global warming; these are countries where the average people have less disposable income than the average american. If they can do it, why can’t we? I think the problem with America is the serious divide amongst our people. Individuals care more about defending their own pride and politics than their own earth. We are making this an issue of politics when it really has nothing to do with political power. Major corporations should take on more of a responsibility. The College of Charleston could do a lot more to conserve energy and resources than limit our printing fees; what about the amount of paper and plastic we go through in the cafeteria every day? Lifestyle changes need to be made but America doesn’t seem to be ready for it.

    I heard someone in class mention that MUSC gives its employees a reimbursement for taking the bus rather than buying a parking permit. Perhaps the College of Charleston could give tuition reimbursements for students who use the CARTA system? I use it every day and have found it to be very, very convenient.

  2. Hampton

    This survey was developed well. The research that was found in this survey needs to be visible to the public because this would show the US public how they truly rank among the environmentally friendly countries.

  3. Scott

    This shows that the US is not very environmentally friendly. The research was done fairly well based on what I could tell and covered a lot of areas. It is going lifestyle changes that many americans are not willing to take. How many people, many single, do you see driving around these huge SUVs instead of getting something more gas milage friendly. I absolutely agree that the College should do something similar to MUSC and offer students something in return for using CARTA instead of buying a parking permit. I have also taken the bus many time since I have lived here, and it worked out fine.

  4. Laura

    Our country seems to be lagging, obviously, behind other countries dealing with similar issues. The difference is, OTHER countries are doing something constructive about their environmental problems. Where as we, the U.S., claim that if it’s not life threatening at the moment then don’t worry about it or we worry about defending ourselves in the situation rather than act upon the issue in an effective way…not so smart huh? I feel as if the U.S. doesn’t think about what is going to happen in our future because of what we are doing to ourselves now.

    I think the methodology of this survey is well in order. They took data from countries and compared to see the final ranking of who (country) is the most environmental friendly or “green.”

    Laura L.

  5. Mike McLaughlin

    It’s not surprising since our country consumes more per capita than any other country, and we’re such a powerful nation that noy many other country’s do much to stop it.

  6. Mike McLaughlin

    Yes at MUSC, if you give up your parking spot and ride with CARTA, they give you money back. I also agree with “murraydonna” that students who use CARTA should get a break on their tuition; I live on Sullivans Island and have my car downtown, but if i got a break on my tuition, I would almost instantaneously take my car home and leave it there and use CARTA instead.

  7. Logan

    This data came as a huge shock to me.I have always known that the U.S. was not one of the better countries as far as being environmentally friendly but had no idea how low we were ranked. There is no excuse for a country as ours with so many resources and power to be ranked behind countries not nearly as prosperous or advanced. -logan Roberts

  8. ccstout

    I was not surprised to see the position that our country was in, America has a mentality that bigger is better and I believe that directly relates to the wasteful nation that we have become. I agree with a few of the blogs about the CARTA system. However, individuals need to take action and instead of doing something because we will be reimbursed we need to do it because we want to. I have read many of these blogs and I feel that one thing I can do today is not get plastic bags anymore when I go shopping. Anothing thing is consider a smaller car instead of a large SUV when I go to look for a car. These things I can control. If I wait for an institution like CofC to reimburse me for my effort to clean up the enviroment I am just as guilty as the next guy that drives giant SUV for the look

  9. Jonathan

    Ignorance and complacency of American society lead to such low scores. Most Americans would be more concerned with their own economic well being than the health of their surroundings… which really makes no sense! For example, at COFC most people will just throw their bottles in the trash rather than taking a few extra seconds to locate a recycling bin. Also, the people who collect the recycling have been said to just add this to the other trash. I am moving away from america.
    We scored only slightly higher then Mexico, and our GDP per capita is substantially higher. What is wrong with America?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *