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 Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>