Environmental policy more important than wealth for the environmental status?

I just saw a notice about a Yale study using an environmental score card to compare the "environmental performance" of 133 countries. 7 EU countries are in the top ten list. They used 16 indicators in the categories: Environmental Health, Air Quality, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Sustainable Energy.

There seem to be no correlation between Productive Natural Resources and GDP/capita. Absolutely no correlation between Global Competitiveness and Ecosystem vitality.

The correlation between Environmental Health and GDP/capita was 0.8, not very impressive since the maximum variation of GDP/capita is a factor of 10 for the same value of environmental health.

The notice
The study - PDF ca 644kb.

The top ten:

New Zealand
Czech Republic

Considering the bad environmental image that the US normally has it might be a bit of surprise to see them as high as on place 28 of 133. I guess they got that far up by having huge uninhabitated areas.

In the press release it states that: "The United States placed 28th in the rankings– significantly below other highly-developed nations like the United Kingdom (5) and Canada (8). This score reflects top-tier performance on environmental health issues, but also indicates that the United States is under-performing on critical issues such as renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and water resources."


sustainable energy in the Philippines

I just signed the WWF petitition for a Renewable Energy Bill in the Philippines.


Why not sign up for a Panda Passport while you are at it ...


Flourinated environmental toxins and PoP

I just received an email from Polar o Pyret stating a lot of things but the main is that they already have forbidden their suppliers to add this type of material to their products.

They have already sent the report that they actually exist in the tested garment to their suppliers and also send some garments for extra testing.

Hopefully it is just a glitch in the system. I suggested them to improve their control of their garments.



Cavaco won, que porcaria!

One cool thing was that Alegre got more votes than Soares. I guess that this has put Socrates in a bit of pickle ...

Imagine having a poet as president?!


PFOS GoreTex Teflon environmental toxins

Recently SNF and Norges Naturvernsforbund released a study of flourinated compounds in all-weather clothes for children. Either the material itself or the substances that are used to impregnate the clothes are fluorinated. Fabrics of the materials Gore-Tex Paclite, HellyTech and FineTex/Dupont Teflom all released a variety of fluorinated compounds. All of which are classified as PBT - Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins. The same and similar fluorinated compounds can be found in many sports clothes aimed to be water proof and breathable, but also in synthetic rugs, table cloths, bed linen and certain types of food packages. And of course the fluids that can be bought to impregnate these kind of fabrics.

Already very small amounts of these compounds have negative impact on reproduction, cellular function and hormonal systems, just as do many other by now classical environmental toxins such as PCB and DDT, but the degradation time of these fluorinated compounds are much longer. As far is known many of the fluorinated compounds are not degraded in nature and some are extremely bioaccumulative.

There are many abbreviations for the different types of these fluorinated compounds; PFOS, PFAS, PFOA, FTOH etc. The levels of PFAS i animals and environment are in many places in the Nordic countries higher than the classical environmental toxin PCB.

It also acknowledged (outside this report) that Teflon coatings of frying pans can release these kind of environmental toxins, or at least release compounds that in turn can be transformed into such.

3M, Bayer, Ciba, Clariant, Dupont are some names of companies that produce these type of environmental toxins ...

The report (in Swedish) can be found here.


More on the hand drying issue

I just read a LCA that indicated a 3 times higher carbondioxide equivalent release by using normal paper towels compared to using a normal electric hand dryer.
Read more.

I also found an electric hand dryer that uses half the power for the heater and three times as much for the fan and also reduces the time for drying the hands by three.
Read more.

The specs of this dryer is in line with my earlier suggestion of increasing the fan speed and decreasing the heating power.


Paper or dryer

What is the best environmental choice: using paper towels or a blow dryer for drying your hands ( after going to a public toilet)?

The paper is probably NOT recycled and it is probably bleached with chlorine. The drier is around 1500W and it takes ca 30 seconds to dry your hands.

What if the the paper were recycled and non-bleached (or at least bleached with a better method than chlorine gas or sodium hypochlorite).

What if the electricity to the drier came from a renewable source like sun, wind, water, biogas or ... ? (excluding natural gas since it is a fossil fuel!)

Anyone have any clue?

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