mock Newsweek coverThe April 14th issue of Newsweek has a map and list of countries ranked according to their Green-ness, also known by the acronym EPI for environmental performance index. Israel ranked 64th. That is better than all of Israel’s neighbors, but not better than Iran, Turkey or Morocco, Gabon, Cypress or Greece. According to the article, Newsweek’s EPI/Green Rating was compiled, “With the help of Yale and Columbia universities and LinkedByAir.”

In January, Newsweek published the Green Ratings which showed Israel in 49th place. What accounts for the discrepancy? Could Israel have fallen 15 places in two months? A look at the sources quoted by Newsweek does not help us understand why Israel was dropped by Newsweek.

LinkByAir is involved with is the visuals, and they have done a great job. The Columbia and Yale study that Newsweek used in January, and the April 14th issue, is actually an international project: An Initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The study was released to coincide with Davos. Their website lists Israel as 49th, as do all their current reports.

(I have other questions about the study, which places Poland, Belarus, Russia, Hungary, and Slovakia, ahead of Israel—but that will wait to the next post.)

Let’s assume for the moment that Israel is not too green, and that Israel does more harm to the global climate as measured by the EPI than these former communist countries, and 40+ others. On what basis is Newsweek dropping Israel AND the US, but bolstering the rankings of some of others? The US was dropped from 39th in the EPI to 66th in Newsweek. Iran was boosted from 67th in the EPI to 55th in Newsweek and Turkey boosted from 72nd in the EPI to 50th by Newsweek.

Attempts to contact both the original author of the study and Newsweek were unfruitful. I left a message for the editor at Newsweek on their personal line. The lead author on the EPI study at Yale returned my call, but as of press time had not provided answers to my emailed questions.

So on what basis did Newsweek drop Israel 15 places? Pro-Israel bloggers want to know.

Next: What can Israel do to improve its EPI?

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Even if Israel was the top ranked “green” country (no matter how “gay” that is), it has, oh, at least two billion less people than the top 2 current and future polluters. So why does this drop in a bucket matter? So we can stroke environmentalist’s egos and hope that Larry David’s ex-wife, Sheryl Crow, and HuffingtonPost writers fawn over those damned evil Zionists who don’t pollute that much? I say, and no offense Rabbi, screw it! Israel, do what you need to do, and forget what other people in other countries think about you, including how gay and green you are. And I mean not gay gay, but just gay. 🙂

  • Israel should go green because:

    a) better for survival of the country without risk of eco-disasters looming.
    b) less reliance on foreign energy
    c) economic benefits are immediate in lower sick days for example
    d) tourism – who wants to visit the smog capital of the middle east?
    e) health – Jews deserve a long life
    f) light unto the nations (that is pretty crunchy i will give you that)
    g) export the technology
    h) Organic food exports earn more
    i) preserve the natural beauty of Israel for future generations -and restore that which was already destroyed

  • No denying that going green and becoming a State leader in sustainability is important. Israel should do it, Morocco should go for it – all should strive towards greener practices.

    Israel has always been a leader in better eco practices. Drip water irrigation was invented in Israel. The Arava institute is a bastion for Desert and Desert Agricultural Studies. And the ecovillage movement is growing strong as well. Makes me wonder what criteria this ranking system is based on…

  • Environmentalism is the love child of bad science and bad politics.

    This study is a good example of the pseudo-science being trotted out to bolster pet left-wing ideological positions. Its a “survey review” that relies on “data” that is already twice or thrice abstracted, stripped of context or statistical controls, and lumped together with other “data” gathered using completely different criteria.

    Junk science.

  • I don’t read this magazine. That is why they do not have enough money to hire an editor. It is all my fault. If they had an editor, they wouldn’t use coarse language, especially on the COVER, for crying out loud. I am going to hide under the bed now. Hold my calls. I am coming out when civility returns. There are some colloqualisms that can stay in the boys’ bathroom, where they belong. There are, or used to be, ladies present. I am sure the people HERE understand me.

  • I completely agree with all three of you! Ben-David sums up my point exactly about the problems of politics meddling with science, and bad science at that, while aaron shows that Israel has always been Green and has led the way in many respects (making paradise grow in the desert and sustain that many people in such a short span of time is the greenest action I can think of), while Rabbi explains quite clearly why having concern for your environment is important, and why I think all of those things shouldn’t be considered green, but considered common sense.

    What is seems is that Newsweak damages Israel’s PR which is terrible for tourism, but nonetheless, it’s one of many angles of attack on a small country that goes above and beyond placating to the rest of the world, so in the end of the day, people have a better opinion of Israel. The fact that now the left is using greenyness to attack Israel either shows that the they’ve run out of other methods of attack, found this method of attack that preys on most leftists’ fears thereby increasing the ranks of Israel haters, or have finally joined forces with other anti-Israel leftist causes, like those of Barrack Obama’s friends and associates.

    I can see the protests in Berkley now: “Israel murders Palestinian babies, they are Nazis, they attacked the Liberty, they have spies, oh, and they’re only as green as Gabon! Bastard polluting Zionists!”

  • All these anti-Semites at Yale and Columbia must be eliminated, root and branch.

  • I live in Israel and letme tell you that Israeli’s are by far some of the worst polluters that I’ve ever come across. No matter where you go, there garbage everywhere. It’s almost as bad as Guatemala, and that would be bad. The beaches are foul, ever the out of the way beaches are covered with trash. Drip irrigation was invented in Israel out of necessity as a way to try and grow some food in the middle of the desert, not out of any environmental concern, so stop being silly.
    Or maybe the ‘Secret’ nuclear, plutonium, enriching, bio-warfare, chemical plant in Dimona has something to do with Israel’s dismal score on the environment ? BUt if you’re really caring, maybe you could all come over and tech the people here how to clean up after themselves. I mean half of those piece’s of paper stuck in the ‘Wailing Wall’ aren’t prayers, they’re candy wrappers!

  • ‘then’ and ‘than’ are not homophones…

    Anyhow, not sure whether this has made the news in the US, but the German and Israeli governments made an agreement stating that they’ll turn Sderot into a “green city”.

    B-D, would you let your child grow up in a house with mouldy walls, leaded peeling paint, non-potable tap-water etc.? If so, then indeed, environmentalism must be a pain to you.

  • froylein: ‘then’ and ‘than’ are not homophones… They sure are out here on the W. Coast!

    The Lorax: I cosign everything you said minus the Dimona remark (what facility could you possibly be referring to? no but seriously nuclear facility does not = pollution; quite the opposite in many cases). I love Israel but the parks, trails, beaches and forest there are a disgrace.

    Rabbi Yonah: “Next: What can Israel do to improve its EPI?” LOL. How about “FIRST: What can Israel do to improve its EPI?” The subject of this post should not be some paranoid musings on the anti-Israel nature of an environmental study. It should be “why is Israel such a mess environmentally, and what can we do about it?” For a plot of land so many have fought and died for, too many Israelis fail to show it proper respect.

  • Next: What can Israel do to improve its EPI?

    Like we actually care 😉

  • I’d be more than happy to sign back up on the environmentalist bandwagon as soon as environmentalists focus more on science than politics. A great example of politicized and guilt induced environmentalism is the CFL light bulb. Honestly Froylein, I’d rather have the lead paint and asbestos laced types of homes and apartments I grew up in (and survived) than have one overpriced CFL break in my house. Have you seen what it takes to clean up a broken Algore Light Bulb?

    “1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
    2. Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system, if you have one.
    3. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
    4. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
    5. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the glass jar or plastic bag.
    6. Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
    7. Immediately place all cleanup materials outside the building in a trash container or outdoor protected area for the next normal trash.
    8. Wash your hands after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing cleanup materials.
    9. Check with your local or state government about disposal requirements in your specific area. Some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a recycling center.
    10. For at least the next few times you vacuum, shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system and open a window prior to vacuuming.
    11. Keep the central heating/air conditioning system shut off and the window open for at least 15 minutes after vacuuming is completed.”

    If you think that’s rough, take a peek at the Kyoto policy America rightly didn’t sign.

    Lastly, posting here is a liability, now old goatthruster followed over into my blog. 🙂

  • And Froylein,

    “B-D, would you let your child grow up in a house with mouldy walls, leaded peeling paint, non-potable tap-water etc.? If so, then indeed, environmentalism must be a pain to you.”

    Let’s please not confuse “healthy living environment” with “environmentalism”. Moldy walls have absolutely nothing to do with environmentalism. Environmentalism is an ideology, and sorry to break the news to you, but 99% of today’s self proclaimed environmentalists are called “light greens” by real environmentalists. If you’ve followed or read about what “real”, fully devoted environmentalists espouse and envision for our future, we wouldn’t drive cars (not even hybrids or hydrogen powered), we wouldn’t even paint our homes with non-lead based paints, because you don’t paint the walls of a mud-based hut. Frankly, we wouldn’t even be discussing this on the net, because as you should know, according to Real Environmentalists, 99.9% of manmade creations except for KY, are an anathema for them, and are considered evil creations of evil man, man that shouldn’t even be on the earth, because he is a blight upon it.

    Real Environmentalists are bat-shi’ite crazy, but you guys are just cute. 🙂

  • I guess the Environmentalist Movement turns me anti-environment like Catholic schools turn catholic girls into hoes. When you preach and preach and preach at me about common sense behaviors in a self-righteous tone, while you yourself, advocate of the environment, fly around in private jets and consume more energy than my entire subdivision, while browbeating me about saving energy, I guess it has an adverse effect. Sorry all.

  • “I love Israel but the parks, trails, beaches and forest there are a disgrace.”

    Hello! Isn’t that why we have prisoner release programs? You guys need to put your prisoners to work! What are they doing there all day?

  • Alex, I think the ones confusing matters are those that think a macho attitude makes them look mature.

    BTW, one of my brothers is an environmental scientist.

    Oh, and Lance left here after I’d asked him whether he stole-for worktime and use of equipment, hence money, from his employer. Work the guilt tool. 🙂

    cosmo, they shouldn’t be homophones in all known varieties of English either according to my pronunciation dictionary. /ðɛn/ vs /ðæn/ or /ðən/ in the weak form.

  • If you have a chance, would you please ask Lance if he’s moved out of mom’s basement yet?

  • Wonderful, I look forward to a long and healthy relationship with the goatfarmer or the Prof, whomever he is, for a long time to come! Well, until his mother kicks him out of the basement and his internet gets cut off.


    Unfortunately, I look more and more mature each day. I’d actually like to regress a bit, preferably back to my mid 20s. Macho? heh. I’m going to try that on for a week and see if I like it. I’ve been called many things, but the last time I got macho eludes me. I guess my avatar may have come off like that, so sorry. Look, I know you know I’m from the FSU, but I came here when I was 4 and grew up an American around plenty of alpha and beta males and not so male males, and have never been known as a misogynist. 🙂 That kinda makes me chuckle when I think of if.

    You get an A for the comeback but for the substance, not so much. That’s awesome that your brother is an environmental scientist! While I don’t have a brother, I have scientists in my family too. Come on, we’re Jews, of course we have members of the premier disciplines in our family. 🙂 I don’t know if you mentioning that was to tell me that I offended you or if you were trying to drop one of the small “e” environmentalist mantras like “the jury is out” or “the debate is over” or “the science is in”?

  • Back to the post: Newsweek’s Documented Bias

    Look, Global Warming is a pet cause of the left. Anti-Israel sentiment is a constant from the left. Newsweek is a magazine run by leftists. Israel and America magically drop in the magazine. A + B + C = D The math is in!

    You see people trying to save the earth, I see people trying to limit progress and create more state agencies full of bureaucrats who do as they do and say to do as they say, all under the altruistic banner of “the common good” and under good intentions. And who suffers? The most productive people who help drag the rest of the masses along. And who benefits the most? The people doing the preaching, the people they pay doing their research, and the looter agents of change who have new jobs writing about how the guy who grew his food or built his idol’s yacht is such a nasty person because they supposedly increased the global CO2 index. Meanwhile, the Chinese, Russians, etc., laugh at our concern while they pollute their own land and effectively displace and starve their own people. And I need to increase my budget to include overpriced and ineffective lighting, drive a cutesy little car, and potentially recycle my own biological waste s I don’t feel guilty? Nah. Not buying it. I will promise you that if and when my company has the option to pollute or not pollute, I will not pollute. But I will travel by PJ and enjoy every minute.

  • Alex,
    Don’t waste too much time with the hippies on this website.
    They’re toe-tagged and are not going to change.
    Its not about reason or morality, but about what its their sensitive little hearts.
    The same people who bash Jimmy Carter here, would still have voted for him in an instant in the 1970’s.
    You can show them videos like this:
    And they’ll just shrug it off, just like they shrugged off 9/11.
    I can’t wait to see their reactions in 20 years time, when Obama can really be himself.
    And they think Carter going to meet with Hamas leaders was bad? Haha, Obama will make Carter look like Uncle Sam.
    Anyways Alex, the site is still good to find some interesting Jewish / Israel stuff…. like the Jewish music videos….. but that’s about it.

  • Sashka, who said I’d been talking about you? 🙂 Anyhow, comparing your (displayed) behaviour with that of students of mine from the former FUS, most of which have been living here since kindergarten, there seems to be a common, a bit of a rowdyish, macho-like behavioural pattern that I don’t usually see with men of a non-FUS background.

    As for my brother being an environmental scientist, I pointed this out as I’d pointed out sentiments by him in earlier threads that could well tell you he’s not a leftist, tree-hugging, patchouli-stinking delusional hippie. Real(istic) environmentalists try t find the best balance between the impacts of humans’ existence on the environment and the needs of environment to achieve a maximum level of sustainability. As for every Jew being related to some scientists or another, that’s a generalization that qualifies as an example of “positive anti-Semitism” as it attributes positive characteristica to Jews based on their religious affiliation alone in a generalizing manner. I’ve encountered hordes of seriously dumb Jews, among them ones that owe their (post-graduate) degrees to daddy’s alumni position / donation record.

    The weather’s great today. Let’s have some shashlik.

  • Adam, if the site’s just good for the music videos, I suggest you might want to restrict your comments to those posts then and let the adults talk about issues that really matter to them, e.g. shashlik.

  • Froylein:

    I have worked with real environmental engineers – people who use real science to estimate the (proven) health and environmental impacts of contruction and industry, and who use proven technologies to mitigate/clean up those impacts.

    But that has nothing at all to do with the current, totally unscientific, politically motivated “green movement”.

    It has nothing to do with the pseudo-science of global warming or the hysterical opposition to genetic research.

  • B-D, if those environmental engineers are as real as you make them out to be (from what you tell me, they are into EIA, environmental impact assessment, just as my brother is), they could tell you that global warming as an effect of industrialization may still be called speculative, but findings of fossil wood as well as the weather recordings of 128 years now tell us there have been changes in climate, currently to the warmer side. Partly the reasons are natural ones (cooler climates were recorded for years succeeding e.g. wars and major volcano eruptions as the dirt in the atmosphere served as a reflector to a large part of sunrays, so warmer years could be tracked for when the atmosphere eventually cleaned up), partly human induced (air pollution). Just that at no point in history there has been a world population and a demand for food as well as resources as there currently is; so either we’ll cope with the concept of people migrating in the billions to make do with their environmental needs or the possibility of climatic change, if even just for a few centuries, and ways to limit its effects. Just standing by and saying, “I was right. Had you not crossed the street, the car wouldn’t have hit you to begin with, so blame yourself”, is not a desirable and mature attitude.
    As for the opposition to genetic research, transgenics and stemcell research rather, over here it’s mostly religiously motivated. As the stories of the expulsion from gan eden as well as the failure in building the tower of Babel show us, our sages of old wanted us to understand that when we try to play god, we’re prone to fail and destroy ourselves. As for stemcell research, the stemcells are generally taken from aborted fetuses; depending on the country of origin, the mother’s consent is not needed (those cells can also be used in cosmetic products / treatments). I’m not familiar in how far in your circles people learn about abortions, but over here, there are quite a few steps to go through to minimize the number of abortions out of a mood (the doctor who determines the pregnacy may not carry out the abortion; there’s a compulsory meeting with a social / family counsellor before one can go through with an abortion; abortions are generally illegal but will not be persecuted under certain circumstances, e.g. they must be carried out before the 13th week of pregnacy, and can be carried out later if the mother’s life is at risk), which tries to ensure that women will take that decision seriously. (Off topic: to brief you in, during abortions a powerful vaccuum hose first tears off the fetus’ arms and legs, then the corpus is torn off the head. Since the diametre of the head usually is too large for the vaccuum hoses, the doctor carrying out the abortion reaches into the uterus with a pair of pliers to crash the skull before sucking it out. Remaining pieces of the fetus can lead to serious infections; the whole procedure increases the risk of later miscarriages and infertility.)

  • Anyone interested in the issues discussed here may want to ask Middle for information about the Nader for President campaign.

  • Adam does have a point. Today there were several major issues of importance to the world Jewish community besides Yomhashoah such as 1) Hamas’s (BTW now called The Friends of Jimmy Carter) gift to the Jewish people on Yomhashoah of a TV program explaining how the satanic Jews created the Shoah to kill off our mentally and physically handicapped: , and 2) a group of British self-hating c*** s****** Jews wrote an open letter stating that they will not commemorate nor celebrate Israel’s 60th celebration because Israel was “founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations.”

    Neither of these were blogged about here and I wonder why right leaning sites like LGF and Hotair bring more attention to these serious issues than a site dedicated to Judaism.

    Other than that, I love the stuff covered here and enjoy visiting, reading, thinking, and commenting. Maybe you guys just need to spread out the spectrum of Jewish opinion here as you can tell many of us atypical Jews frequent the site often.

  • Well Alex, I’m working today but if you were to read the draft posts, you’d see I had actually started to write a post about the British Jews who published that letter long before LGF had it on their radar. The post includes a brief mention of the Hamas claim that Jews were responsible for the Shoah.

    Sadly for me and for you, I do have to make a living sometimes and I ran out of time when writing that post and had to take a break. So relax, it will probably be published later today or not at all. We do not have enough active writers to cover everything all the time.

  • TM, I have the same exact problem. It’s been a month or so between my last two posts. My last one is definitely hilarious, so please everyone, check it out.

  • In the FSU, abortion WAS birth control. I’m pretty impartial about the issue as I think people in general are overrated and as a man, who am I to dictate to a woman what she should or should not do with her body? However, I don’t want my tax dollars going to subsidize irresponsible behavior. If you play, you’ve got to pay. Me subsidizing someone’s welfare lifestyle is plenty bad enough, I don’t need to support more racist organizations like planned parenthood and the janksters that work there as well. Maybe like a three strikes/you’re on your own rule would be good. 🙂

  • Froylein:
    The price of grain – and most other commodities – has fallen over time. At least in places with free markets.

    Mass global starvation has been predicted for over 60 years. Hasn’t happened yet.

    Ever heard of the Simon-Ehrlich wager?

    Scarcity sparks innovation.

    It’s no accident that starvation occurs in areas without political or market freedoms – and that receiving (surplus!) Western food just contributes additional layers of corruption without relieving the situation.

    40 years ago the people now flogging global warming were predicting the disastrous return of Ice Age glaciers – caused by aerosol hairspray emissions (don’t laugh – it took a lot of hairspray to keep those “beehives” up! It’s as “scientific” to think hairspray brings on glaciers as it is to think other human activities can cause global warming.)

    Again – a pseudo-scientific modern morality play about the guilt of Western consumerism.

    And – what a coincidence! – the solution they proposed then, as now, was centralized goverment control of our lives – for our own good, of course, because The Rest Of Us can’t be trusted to think rationally like our betters.

    No thanks – I’ll leave the Passionspielen to Oberammergau.

    Give me free markets and rational scientific inquiry.

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