Norway ranked number one in the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) for its ability to adapt to climate change. ND-GAIN ranks over 175 countries on their ability to adapt to climate change. Norway has been at the top of ND-GAIN’s rankings for almost 20 years. Scandinavian countries are all ranked higher than Australia, Canada and the U.S., big countries loaded with natural resources. Sweden ranked number three, Finland number 4, and Denmark number five while Australia ranked number 6, United States number eight, and Canada number 11.
The rankings were released on November 5 at the 2014 Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index Annual Meeting hosted by the Wilson Center. The ND-GAIN ranks countries every year “based on their vulnerability to climate change and their readiness to adapt to the droughts, superstorms and natural disasters that climate change can cause,” according to a press release. It is also used to keep track of a country’s progress over the last 18 years.
“In Norway and the other members of the ND-GAIN leaderboard, we see role models in countries positioned to adapt to climate change,” said Jessica Hellman, research director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index.
The ND-GAIN list shows a gap between rich and poor countries when it comes to climate change adaptation. Developing countries ranked far lower than developed. African countries rank at the bottom of the list, occupying the last six spots. The list also shows that some countries have improved, such as Russia and China while others have gone down in ranking such as El Salvador, Jordan, Belize and Romania.
Republican politicians are climate change deniers
Perhaps the reason why the U.S. ranks behind Scandinavian countries on the ND-GAIN index is because so many of its politicians deny climate change occurs. Lee Fang of The Republic Report created a mash-up of Republican politicians statements on climate change. One word can sum up their statements: denial.
Here are some of the statements:
“I don’t necessarily think the climate is changing,” said U.S. Senate candidate, Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
“This is not settled science. Many of the same scientists believe there is no God, but they don’t know. There’s no science on that. So, scientists, like the rest of us, can have beliefs, but that doesn’t make it science,” Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN)
While Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) admitted that the air is affected by what we put into it, he said, “The Al Gore defined global warming is a farce.”
Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI) said, “I’m not sure there’s any evidence to prove that there’s man-made catastrophic global warming,” Rep. Dan Benishek (R-MI).
There’s a simple reason why Republican politicians deny climate change. They don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them. Take Senator Mitch McConnell. He also appears on the mash-up of Republican politicians. When asked about climate change he said, “I’m not interested in handicapping Kentucky’s economy in pursuit of a crusade no one else is following. It makes no sense.” McConnell received $3.6 million in contributions from fossil fuel companies for his successful re-election campaign.