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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Environmental Indicators (Sixth Edition)

Critical Issues Bulletins by Jeremy Brown, Liv Fredricksen, Kenneth Green, Steve Hansen

In this paper, Brown, et.al. examine what they view as a disconnect between the perceptions of Canadian students about environmental trends and the reality of the situation. The authors argue that perceptions of environmental trends are mostly negative, while the reality is that developments are mostly positive. They point out that much of today’s popular media coverage around the environment emphasizes degradation and its related health impacts, rather than highlighting any positive changes that are occurring. Consequently, students are generally unaware that significant improvements are taking place in the developed world.

Brown, et.al. argue that technological advancements, higher incomes, and democratic systems have made it easier to protect the environment in the develop world. They examine data relating to air quality, water quality, natural resources, land use, and solid wastes in order to paint a picture of environmental trends in these areas. Secondary discussions in areas with less conclusive data, such as wildlife, oil spills, and toxic releases, are also examined.

Brown, et.al. suggest that public policy debate should be reinforced by hard data and sound logic, which is the reason that environmental policy debate should be based on statistics such as those provided in this report. Based on the data cited, they argue that a story of optimism can be found in existing environmental indicators, but that this story is largely misunderstood by a large segment of the population.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Jeremy Brown; Liv Fredricksen; Kenneth Green; Steve Hansen;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Hazardous Waste
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Air
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Energy
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Climate Change
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Water
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Sustainable Development
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Air / 2004
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Climate Change / 2004
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Energy / 2004
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Hazardous Waste / 2004
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Sustainable Development / 2004
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Water / 2004


Keywords / Tags:

environmental indicators; environmental trends; positive change; environmental statistics; environmental improvement;