U.S. Ranks 1st in Wealth, Prisons, and Weapons Sales, 24th in Environmental Performance

While the United States may take first place for having the most wealth, the highest prison population, and the greatest export of weapons, it ranks twenty-fourth for its environmental performance. According to a new analysis by Yale and Columbia universities, the U.S. is at the back of the pack for industrialized nations.

It scored poorly on protecting water resources and managing its waste. About half of the trash generated in the U.S. is unaccounted for. Twenty percent of the population is not connected to public sewers. The U.S. ranks second, only after China, for its greenhouse gas emissions.

And it’s on course to get even worse, with weakening environmental protections, expanding fossil fuel development, and reduced funding for environmental protection agencies.

A profit-driven system won’t be able to address these worsening environmental conditions, or create policies that meet the real needs of the planet. Only a system that prioritizes humanity and the earth can do that. And because pollution and climate change don’t have borders, it will be up to working people all over the world to fight for this global system, so that we all have a planet to live on.

featured image credit: Jeff Smith