Look around at Bogotá's smog, at its deforestation rate of probably several thousand hectares per year, smell the Bogotá River, and ask yourself how it's possible that Colombia made it into the top ten nations in a ranking of environmental performance.
There's only one possible conclusion: The other 150 ranked nations are real, real disasters. Which is no surprise, considering how humankind continues racing towards the catastrophes of overfishing, global warming and severe deforestation.
The 2010 Environmental Performance Index , produced by Yale and Columbia universities, ranks countries how well they managed issues such as forest management, air pollution, greenhouse gases, the impacts of diseases and fisheries sustainability.
Rule of law obviously outweighed biodiversity and per-capita greenhouse gas production: the top performers were Iceland and Switzerland, nations known more for orderliness than jungles. Unsuprisingly, Costa Rica was third, followed by law-abiding Sweden and Norway. Colombia came in tenth.
Colombia is said to be the second-most biodiverse nation in the world, with 10% of the world's species. But some of its cities are smoggy, it's losing forest cover at the rate of several hundred thousand hectares per year and is afflicted by the many noxious impacts of the drug trade: deforestation, poisoning of rivers and mass displacement of civilians.
The poor rankings of most of the region's 'socialist revolutionary states' suggests that their claims to be saving the planet from capitalism are just hot air.
This blog written by Mike Ceaser, of Bogota Bike Tours