The state of our environment has been the source of much debate and discussion for the last decade with increasing regularity. This is because it has become apparent that the over consumption and irresponsible way many of us discard waste and overly pollute the environment causes real, lasting harm.
While it’s heart-wrenching when videos of ocean animals are seen combating materials never meant for the water, it seems that the number one threat to public safety, in terms of our health, is actually the state of air quality. This means that the ecosystem that we currently exist in isn’t properly supplying the kind of healthy air that our lungs actually need. This could be devastating in years to come.
A report, compiled by researchers from Yale and Columbia, who joined forces with the World Economic Forum, was able to rank environment suitability based on country. There are some countries that have stricter laws and practices to protect the environment and have better air quality as a result. Switzerland is the country that outranked all the rest with the strongest performance in both climate protection and quality of air. They have made long-standing commitments to preserving and emboldening natural resources, mitigating pollution, and protecting the health of the public.
Countries that are near the bottom of the ranking are India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. These three countries’ populations are exceedingly high and they have low scores on numerous impacting entities – lack of sustainability, bad air quality, and high levels of breathable toxins in the air.
The United States is ranked 27th. This puts us much lower on the list than many developed, first-world nations. The U.S. is ranked behind the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and France. For all intents and purposes, we’re doing a terrible job at creating a sustainable and positive change for the environment. Some scientists say that the damage we’ve done to the earth has already reached the point of no return – and we can’t undo what has already been shown to have terrible, disastrous effects.
“As the world community pursues new sustainable development goals, policymakers need to know who is leading and who is lagging on energy and environmental challenges,” says Daniel C. Esty, director of the Yale Center of Environmental Law & Policy. “The 2018 EPI confirms that success with regard to sustainable development requires both economic progress that generates the resources to invest in environmental infrastructure and careful management of industrialization and urbanization that can lead to pollution that threatens both public health and ecosystems.”
This data also looks at areas that should potentially be included in additional research pieces – water resources, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and many other facets that would effectively and properly align the overall state of the environment with health, prosperity and functionality. We cannot continue to misuse resources and diminish the necessary ways that nature and the earth contribute to the air we breathe and our ability to live fruitfully.
The earth isn’t something that we can treat as some type of afterthought that bears no real consequence from humans’ rash and irresponsible actions. Science and data have been very clear about how neglecting to take care of the world already has potentially catastrophic outcomes. Clean air, water, and land are necessary for our very ability to survive.