Environmental Performance Index
Scandinavia leads the world
The Science of a healthy life
2016 years Environmental Performance Index tells us in one more way, what we already know, and that is that Scandinavia is one hell of a wonderful place to live. The world's four best nations according to the index are all Scandinavians with Finland, Iceland, and Sweden being the only 3 nations in the world with an EPI score above 90.
( All three still have plenty of room to improve much more, and obviously do need to improve much more. )
And just behind that trio, ranked as number four in the world is Denmark. So, just what is the Environmental Performance Index? Read on to find out.
music of the day while you are reading our article
Hinterlands by Netherbird
Quality of life, society and Earth in one little Index.
The Epi Index is measured across 9 important metrics which, when put together try to evaluate how well various nations perform during our modern day Anthropocene era.
Those areas are.
Health Impacts, Air Quality, Water and Sanitation.
Water resources, Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries, Biodiversity and Habitat.
And finally Climate and Energy.
The absolutely most interesting thing with the environmental performance index is without a doubt the combined quality of life impact that each nation has on a global scale since that is truly what the index evaluates. That global impact is of course, what actually matters now that we live in this global era of Anthropocene. What you do, your way of life is not just locally important anymore. The things you guys do in your own city and country is not just about that small block or you and your neighbor. In our modern, connected world, for better and worse, what you and your city and country do, and how you conduct yourself matters globally for all of us.
Climate change, sustainability, individual health, the way we impact ourselves and each other. These are the real hallmarks of how well a nation is performing in our mutually shared modern day world. And that is how we as humans define our own shared future. Our mutual future of our global and individual well-being, healthy lives, food security, and clean air. Poverty and hunger. Improved food quality and nutrition, Equality, improved health and longevity. Modern, clean energy, non-polluted safe water, cars and industries, and food producers that do not destroy our health and planet.
Climate change, in the words of UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon, is the “defining issue of our era,”.
And he is right because all these things directly tie into each other. Just as how we as individuals, directly and indirectly, affect each other all around this beautiful pagan planet.
[ A Pagan Paradise
Human needs. ]
Looking at the index we can see that between 2000 to 2014, Paraguay lost a bat shit crazy 24.6 percent of its entire tree cover, more than anywhere else on Earth. And that is certainly not how to do it. We need sustainable, thriving forests. Trees are vital when it comes to maintaining a thriving wildlife and a healthy nation. Healthy thriving forests are also crucial when it comes to mitigating climate change.
Gladly tho, Paraguay has, since 2012, seen a 40 percent decrease in tree cover loss, aided by the Zero Deforestation Law and other newly minted conservation initiatives.
However, to recover from the current situation that progress has to be maintained and incrementally improved even further upon.
Why does deforestation matter? Well, as I mentioned earlier. Thriving and healthy forests are vital to our ecosystem and biodiversity.
From a huge amount of animal species to berries and plants, water quality and amount, climate change mitigation, and the air we breathe.
Did you know for instance that deforestation accounts for as much as 14% of yearly worldwide CO2 emissions.
Having said that, it is important to note that plenty of countries do quite a lot to manage a healthy and continually thriving forest, making sure that their pulp and paper industries are as sustainable and responsible as possible. But even so, it takes quite a few years of perpetual effort to maintain and regrow what has already been destroyed, and a lot of species and biodiversity loss can never be replaced.
The biggest reason for deforestation is however not the pulp and paper industry but agriculture. Making it one more reason why our global agriculture and food industry need to rapidly adopt modern, sustainable practices.
The future belongs to a sustainable Earth
When it comes to climate and energy one of many positive standouts is Costa Rica which managed to achieve a 99 percent renewable energy generation already in 2015. All while other nations like Rwanda still rely on charcoal and firewood which together accounted for 75 percent of the country’s 2012 energy consumption.
Which of course is pretty bad!.
But, what is not bad at all is what is about to happen in Rwanda.
You see, Rwanda have an ambitious goal to provide it's entire population with 75% renewable energy no later than 2030.
And in the cold north, the Scandinavian nations are all doing very well when it comes to reaching 100% renewable energy production as soon as possible.
Right now Iceland leads the world with the lowest CO2 emissions per kWh indicator, with almost all of its electricity and heat generation derived from renewable energy sources. For natural reasons, geothermal energy provides more than 87 percent of Iceland's heat and hot water demand.
While it is true that much more can and needs to be done, worldwide, in every single nation, city, and village. What I also see not just in the EPI index for 2016, but everywhere in the world, is a wonderful progression towards something that can only be described as pretty amazing. Just look at Rwanda and the immense change they will do in roughly 10 years time. Things like this happen all over the world every single day. There will always be some negative voices in the world ( like Donald Trump ), there will always be those like him that would wish for the entire world to never progress. But those voices have already lost.
And as such, every single day we make progress together towards a healthier and more sustainable world. A mutual world that is more equal, less wasteful, more developed, efficient, safe and advanced, all at once.
Yes, it took us an awful lot of time to reach this turning point, but now we truly have. More needs to be done, much more. But every day that goes by is one day bringing us closer to a much better world, and that progress towards a much better tomorrow is what I see in this years environmental performance index and the actions of various nations across the world.
You can find links down below to the epi 2016 index and a complete list of all the 180 nations to see how your own country is measuring up.
Photography by NASA. This gorgeous photo of Saturns rings was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera on June 9, 2016.
It was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) from the rings.The real life scale is 7 miles (11 kilometers) per pixel. And how mindblowing is not that?
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