Israel Number One In Middle East According to Yale and Columbia Environmental Performance Index


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

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3 thoughts on “Israel Number One In Middle East According to Yale and Columbia Environmental Performance Index”

  1. Rafi Guber says:

    Well said Ilana,

    My only concern is who gets to decided what environmentalism really means.

    Does it mean using our powers of discernment and reason to be proper and practical stewards of our planet’s gifts and resources?

    Does it mean living in grass huts and riding bicycles everywhere while Learjet liberals fly around the planet buying and selling cadbon credits and lecturing the rest of us about how we are not doing enough?

    We say everyday “Ata Khonain l’adam da’ at.” Which I prefer to translate as ‘you have given us the power of discernment”

    The balanced process of protecting this planet while engaging the appropriate use its resources requires all of our best minds and hearts beyond labels like progressive, liberal conservative etc. The health of the planet coupled with the judicious, appropriate and practical use of its reserources should be a goal we can all share.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. James says:

    all I can say to this is oy vey! lets get cracking …..

  3. Karin says:

    Wow, number 49, what a beautiful and spiritual parallel you have drawn Ilana. You continue to inspire me…

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