Skip

Level of government corruption correlates with environmental health.
February 2, 2002 3:01 AM   Subscribe

Level of government corruption correlates with environmental health. "That is, the more corrupt the government, the less likely it is to pay attention to the environment." Top five environmentally healthy countries: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, and Switzerland. The US ranked 51st, behind Botswana and Cuba. The UK ranked 98.
posted by pracowity (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I think it's a good generalism, but I don't see a direct causal relationship. For instance, the UK's poor environmental record belies it's relatively good position in terms of perceived corruption. This could be because the UK was one of the first to industrialise, for instance, and so has been polluting longer.

And one could also say the same of any governmental function: that a high level of corruption would cause a lackadaisical approach towards solving social problems, at best. It would probably be worse for any area in which corporate interests could benefit from government indifference. The environment is obviously a good fit there.
posted by walrus at 3:32 AM on February 2, 2002


walrus makes a good point. I think corruption and envionmental negligence are both problems that arise from poverty and lack of economic development.

The negative rankings of the US, Germany and Japan say as much about the political views of the people who ran the study as it does about these countries' impact on the environment. This isn't to overlook the quite extensive ecological damage these countries, among others, have inflicted upon the earth. An environmental conscience, as well as clean government, is needed to keep the ecology healthy. It's easier for people to think more about a clean enviroment and a clean government when their standard of living is higher. It's a shame when they don't.
posted by Loudmax at 5:18 AM on February 2, 2002


The negative rankings of the US, Germany and Japan say as much about the political views of the people who ran the study as it does about these countries' impact on the environment.

How so?
posted by rushmc at 9:49 AM on February 2, 2002


It seems almost as though the news report, if not the actual study, would like to accuse the Western world of being corrupt, without actually coming out and saying as much. Everyone knows Botswana and Cuba are corrupt. They have lousy environmental health. Therefore, any country that has lousy environmental health is probably corrupt.

Let's play "spot the logical fallacy," shall we?
posted by kindall at 10:02 AM on February 2, 2002


jared diamond writes:

If a dozen years ago you had asked an ecologist uninterested in politics to name the countries with the most fragile environments, the most urgent public health problems and the most severe overpopulation (measured against available resources), the answer would have included Afghanistan, Burundi, Haiti, Iraq, Nepal, Rwanda, Somalia, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe. The close match between that list and the list of the world's political hot spots today is no accident. In contrast, countries with well-maintained environments and modest populations, such as Belize, Bhutan and Norway, are no danger to us.
posted by kliuless at 10:25 AM on February 3, 2002


« Older Michael Moore gives his long awaited Enron rant.   |   Syria on brink over conflict with Lebanon Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post