Of 178 countries and principalities, Thailand rates 78th overall, right in the middle. In Southeast Asia it's behind Malaysia and Singapore but ahead of the other nations. For air quality, Thailand rates 145, which is near the bottom, but not as low as India or China, which are in the basement.
Clouds of smoke rise above mounds of burning rags and garbage, engulfing the area in unbearable smog and stench. Splendid cars carrying well-groomed passengers pass by the mess. How would the passengers take notice of this open dumpsite? The windowpanes are rolled up and appear to be hazy with the vapour created by artificial air-cooling systems within the cars. The comfort takes us to a world where no smog, no stench can ever reach us, or so we wish.
For this #MapMonday we return to Yale’s Environmental Performance group, featured previously here on #MapMonday. The newly released biodiversity map brings together a whopping amount of data to detail the state (quality not just quantity) of species around the world, and while the staggering diversity of life on our planet is breathtaking (and sometimes pretty weird), the overall picture is grim.
Recent weeks have seen unprecedented action on climate change. The European Union recently announced a plan to slash carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and the United States and China, the world's two largest emitters, have pledged to make their own dramatic cuts. Yet for all the fanfare, no nation can hold a candle to the climate policy of Denmark, whose ambitious approach to combating global warming could provide an international model for clean development.
Only 5 percent of Kenya has major tree cover today, so it might be surprising to learn that it has some of the oldest national parks in the history of the conservation movement. In 1900, after the first landmark international conference of African wildlife in London, the Southern and Northern Game Reserves were formally created by a colonial government.
After two decades of international meetings on climate change have failed to reach consensus, the environmental world is beginning to sense a change in direction. The impacts of climate change no longer are being projected, they are being observed and measured, especially by those with the most to lose: corporations, cities and states.
The prevalence of pesticides may seem like something of a bygone era, one marked by Silent Spring and the Bhopal Disaster, but the grim reality is that they are unfortunately very much around. Whether it is BPA in your water bottle or neonicotinoids decimating bee populations, action has not been uniform.
At the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday in New York, President Obama issued a strong challenge to the Beijing leadership. China and the US “have a special responsibility to lead” on climate change, he said. “It’s what big nations have to do.” Obama said he had talked directly with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli at the summit (President Xi Jinping did not attend) and urged the two countries to work together to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.
Minister of Oil and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Omair on Monday commended the significant improvement Kuwait had achieved on the 2014 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), moving up from rank 126 to 42, among total 178 countries.