Israel was ranked #1 in the Middle East on Yale and Columbia’s 2008 Environmental Performance Index, a system which consists of variables that relate to environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
But in comparison to the rest of the world, we’re #49.
We think this list, while it seems a bit questionable (Israel scored 97.9 on environmental health? Seriously?) is a great motivational tool. If people can get excited about beating other countries for the World Cup, surely they can be at least as motivated to knock Switzerland out of the #1 top spot in the world.
Interestingly–and this is a point that perhaps the Eco Rabbi would make if he were posting–the number 49 is significant to the Jewish people. When the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, we are taught that they were on the 49th level of impurity, which is the second-lowest rung. We also learn that if they had sunk to the 50th level, God would never have taken them out of Egypt.
Thousands of years later, we’re back at 49, and even if it’s been decided by a flawed system, there’s certainly no harm–and a lot of good–in moving up a rung or two.
Source: Globes Online