Archive for November, 2011

Human Development Report 2011

Statistics from the Human Development Report (HDR, used extensively throughout various pages on http://internationalcomparison.org/) from the United Nations Development Programme have been updated where applicable. The 2011 report uses a new set of indicators to develop its index. Entitled “Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All,” the index makes connections between environmental sustainability and equity while identifying their effects on development. The HDR 2011 contends that movements towards development should feature ideas and policies that promote both environmental sustainability and equity; one does not have to be compromised in order to compensate for the promotion of the other. Overall, Human Development Index scores across the board were lower compared to HDR’s from previous years indicating that the measures were much more stringent.

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The US, China, and clean energy investment

The U.S. for the second consecutive year has lost a spot in the rankings for highest investment in clean energy. The U.S. now ranks behind Germany and China and has also fallen to 11th among developed countries in clean energy investment growth rate over the last ten years. Chairman of the Sierra Club Carl Pope contends in an article on the Huffington Post website, that the results from the Pew Report are indicative of a growing complacency to the potential in the clean energy market being swallowed by China’s aggressive approach. Pope argues that arguments favoring a more complacent outlook which include concerns over whether other countries have cheaper labor, looser environmental standards,  less regulation, and easier access to raw materials are all thoughtfully considered and repudiated. Pope urges that the requisite component that is missing is a revived manufacturing sector. Without it, the U.S. will only continue to fall further behind in the clean energy market.