There are 76 data sets integrated to fully assess the likelihood of a certain country to preserve effectively its environmental resources. These data sets include tracking natural resource endowments, past and present pollution levels, environmental management efforts, and its capacity to improve its environmental performance. The broad range of environmental issues being faced by each country falls into five categories: environmental systems, reducing environmental stresses, reducing human vulnerability to environmental stresses, societal and institutional capacity to respond to environmental challenges, and global stewardship.
Despite of the continuous urbanization process in most countries, Ireland is maintaining its rural character. An evident decline in the rural population was observed in 1901 when the rural population fell from 72 to 43 percent. Surprisingly, the country experienced a boom in rural population growth in 1981 and 1996. This rural growth is characterized by isolated houses in the countryside or cluster of houses outside towns and villages. The expected reason for such phenomena is the obvious importance of agriculture to the livelihood of the people. However, this is not the case. The observed rural settlement growth took place at a time of stagnating agricultural economy and a turn down in agricultural employment. Studies were able to establish that there is a strong relationship between changes in rural settlement and the trends in car ownership. There was a 140 percent increase in car ownership in Ireland between 1970 and 1994. Presently, the country is experiencing 5 percent annual growth in car ownership. Due to this, people are more capable to choose residence in one place and be employed in another; they become the so called commuters. (McGrath) The growth of rural settlements and the increase in the working population whose residences are situated in a place far from work, give way to the issue of car dependency. The majority of the rural population being car dependent contributes to certain environmental problems whose scopes are wider and whose effects transcends beyond the communities of the involved people. The issue of motor car dependency, therefore, is being linked as the main reason to more serious environmental issues.
The motor car is tagged as environmentally unsustainable and less efficient mode of everyday transport. A car consumes twice much energy as a train and five times greater than a bus. Aside from this, it is a main contributor to air pollution, a problem which is of great global concern nowadays. A motor car's carbon dioxide emission, measured as grams per passenger kilometer, is 50 percent higher than a train and four times higher when the bus is the mode of transportation. The bottom line, Ireland, its people being dependent on private cars for personal travels is relatively unsustainable on transport related environmental grounds because of the per capita levels of energy consumptions and vehicle emissions (McGrath). Such is the main findings of the Dublin study. Luckily, the current state of our Science and Technology is far advanced from what we can and what we have in the past. Right now, innovations and discoveries are becoming a usual part in this fast-pace world. Ireland's mode of transportation has a lot of potential of being modified and improved so as to avoid the further risk of subjecting