Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Happiness doesn't cost the earth

It's official! People can lead long happy lives without consuming large amounts of the Earth's resources. The south Pacific island of Vanuatu as the happiest nation on the planet according to the "Happy Planet Index" which lists 178 nations and is based on consumption levels, life expectancy and happiness. The study was compiled by think-tank the New Economics Foundation (Nef).
Germany is ranked 81st
Japan is ranked 95th
UK is ranked 108th
US is ranked 150th
Richard Layard at the London School of Economics said the index "reminds us that it is not good enough to be happy today if we are impoverishing future generations through global warming.Over the last 50 years, living standards in the West have improved enormously but we have become no happier."

Nef is calling for the adoption of a "global manifesto for a happier planet" that will list ways nations can live within their environmental limits and increase people's quality of life. The recommendations include:

* Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
* Recognising the contribution of individuals and unpaid work
* Ensuring economic policies stay within environmental limits

BBC story here

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