Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Taking the Earth's pulse: UBC scientists unveil a new economic and environmental index

21.02.2012
A growing world population, mixed with the threat of climate change and mounting financial problems, has prompted University of British Columbia researchers to measure the overall 'health' of 152 countries around the world.

Encompassing both economic and ecological security, high-income countries were ranked among the least healthy overall. Many countries in South America performed well, offering future generations better financial, food, water, and energy security.

The top five performing countries are Bolivia, Angola, Namibia, Paraguay, and Argentina, while the bottom five performers are Jordan, the Republic of Korea, Israel, Kuwait, and Singapore.

"We hear that countries are suffering financially every day in the news," says Rashid Sumaila, director of the UBC Fisheries Centre, "but that only tells half the story. Piling up ecological deficits is just as concerning as piling up financial deficits – both have consequences for future generations."

Sumaila is presenting his work at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Feb. 20.

Using data collected between 1997 and 2007, researchers from the UBC Fisheries Centre and the Global Footprint Network created what they call the Eco2 Index.

Economic figures for the Eco2 Index come from the World Bank and take into account financial deficits, national debt and Gross Domestic Product. Ecological figures come from the Global Footprint Network and measure resource consumption and waste produced by a country in comparison to its carrying capacity as expressed in locally available resources such as agricultural land and energy.

Globally over the course of the decade, the index shows that scores fell steadily, caused by growing ecological deficits in many countries.

According to Sumaila's ranking, many high-income countries such as Japan, the United States, several European nations and the oil-rich Middle East, performed the worst - mostly due to high ecological deficits.

Singapore – a country that looks good economically – ranked last out of the 152 countries sampled. Despite recording a surplus of 28 per cent of GDP in 2007, "its ecological deficits are the worst in the world," says Sumaila,

Spurred by the desire for higher short-term consumption, low and middle-income countries are following the lead of high-income nations, liquidating their ecological and economic capital.

Sumaila says, "our actions today may have even greater consequences later on. It is concerning that both our financial and our ecological security are deteriorating."

Canada, Australia, parts of southwestern Africa and South America were among the top performers in Sumaila's rankings, due to large ecological surpluses.

"The Eco2 Index should help countries in planning for the future – they can use this information to identify what they need to work on, whether that's financial or ecological productivity," says Sumaila.

CONTACT:
Rashid Sumaila
UBC Fisheries Centre
Tel: 604.351.7406
Email: r.sumaila@fisheries.ubc.ca
Heather Amos
UBC Public Affairs
Tel: 604.822.3213
Cell: 604.828.3867
E-mail: heather.amos@ubc.ca
[N.B. Sumaila is participating in an AAAS symposium at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 20 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Room 206-207. He is available for embargoed interviews and can be reached at 604.351.7406. Photos of Sumaila are available at: http://www.aaas.ubc.ca/media-resources/photos/ Twitter hashtags: #AAASmtg and #UBC ]

Heather Amos | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>