Among the best industrial countries were Malaysia, the United Kingdom and all of Eastern Europe (a legacy of the Soviet nuclear program). Among the worst offenders were Japan, South Korea, Brazil, the United States, Italy and Paraguay.
Experiences like the recent biofuels surge, which is driving up food prices, show how treacherous even well-intentioned decisions about the environment can be when they're uninformed. The same holds for consumers, who sometimes think paying somebody to plant a few trees will compensate for flying around the world in airplanes. For such decisions, data are essential. If we're going to avoid squandering our natural resources, the quicker we begin to rely more on facts and less on assumptions, the better.