Saturday, September 22, 2007

Finland is the best place to live

I seem to be promoting Finland all the time, but the latest Reader's Digest published a list of the best and the worst countries regarding environmental issues. The result was a surprise to me
clipped from

Living Green

Ranking the best (and worst) countries.

By Matthew E. Kahn, PhD, and Fran Lostys

Five Key Environmental Lessons

Just because a place is environmentally "fit" doesn't mean you'd want to spend your life there—think glaciers and rain forests. But finding the perfect balance between what's green and what's livable could lead you to paradise. Aiming for that ideal, we researched the world's greenest countries while also ensuring they were ones where people could thrive.
We analyzed data from two top sources covering 141 nations to rank the planet's greenest, most livable places. Our analysis delved into social factors (income and education, for instance) and environmental measures (see our chart for who scores highest and lowest for some of them
You Can Always Get Greener
Even the cleanest countries have serious environmental problems. Top-ranked Finland wins high marks for air and water quality, a low incidence of infant disease, and how well it protects citizens from water pollution and natural disasters. But the country also produces an above-average amount of greenhouse gases, has a large ecological footprint (the mass of land and water needed to sustain the national level of consumption) and contributes significantly to regional environmental woes.
The reason: Finland has the highest industrial-energy consumption rate of all five Nordic countries, due largely to its reliance on the fuel-intensive forestry and quarry industries. Colder winters and lower rainfall in recent years have also had an impact, forcing cuts in the production of hydroelectricity and boosting—by 15 percent since 2005—the national appetite for fossil fuels, a major source of greenhouse gases.

HoHow Countries Rate

Top 5

1. Finland
2. Iceland
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Austria

Bottom 5

137. Chad
138. Burkina Faso
139. Sierra Leone
140. Niger
141. Ethiopia

Air Quality
Rates concentration of several pollutants in urban areas

1. Moldova
8. Finland
63. United States
126. Ethiopia
141. Guatemala

Water Quality
Rates pollutant levels as well as other factors that affect water purity

1. Norway
2. Finland
22. United States
127. Ethiopia
141. Morocco

Greenhouse Gases
Rates carbon emissions per capita and by GDP

1. Chad
18. Ethiopia
75. Finland
107. United States
141. Turkmenistan

Energy Efficiency
Rates conservation efforts and use of renewables such as hydro power

1. D.R. Congo
17. Ethiopia
66. Finland
106. United States
141. Trinidad & Tobago

Environmental Health
Rates childhood mortality, disease; deaths from intestinal infections

1. Austria
8. Finland
125. Ethiopia
16. United States

141. Turkmenistan

The solution to Finland's Energy efficiency according to Reader's Digest:

A Move to Improve
To get greener, countries must do more to capitalize on national strengths. Finland, among the world's largest exporters of wind-power technology, produces less than 1 percent of its own electricity via wind power, despite average coastal wind speeds of 15 mph, 50 percent stronger than those in Chicago.

I don't actually understand why wind power has been taken as a solution. We have much more possibilities in bio energy and we are planning on more nuclear power. In my opinion that would have been taken in account years earlier. Wind power will never be our saviour. I tried to find more info about our current situation, but at least this time the article in the English Wikipedia was total crap!

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