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July 06, 2009

The “Happy Planet Index” (genghis)

This article spent about thirty minutes on the front page at CNN.com overnight before it was whisked away to their “World” section. (You’ll see why soon enough.) It wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see it get buried deeper and deeper there as the day goes on and the ridicule grows about how something like this was allowed on the lead page of a supposedly serious news organization, particularly when there are so many other angles of the Michael Jackson story to cover and just a limited amount of space. I mean, has anyone even written a piece yet about how very small, overly pampered dogs owned by late-middle-aged women are reacting to his death? Or strippers. I mean, some of them probably have MJ music in their routines/lap dances. When will their voices be heard?

Back to the Happy Planet though. It starts out innocently enough, with the title “Costa Rica Tops List of Happiest Nations.” Probably because of the nice weather and sandy beaches, right?

” (CNN) -- Forget Disneyland! Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world, according to an independent research group in Britain with the goal of building a new economy, "centered on people and the environment." In a report released Saturday, the group ranks nations using the "Happy Planet Index," which seeks countries with the most content people. In addition to happiness, the index by the New Economics Foundation considers the ecological footprint and life expectancy of countries.”

There’s a little nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps saying “we all laughed at the Center for Science in the Public Interest when they first started getting publicity. Remember? Mocked as the “Food Police?” Now they show up regularly on the nightly network news broadcasts, touted as experts. Pale, skinny and sickly-looking experts, but there nonetheless.” I told the little voice to go screw itself…I want to know more. I also scheduled some tests to determine whether or not I’m schizophrenic.
“This year's survey, which looked at 143 countries, featured Latin American nations in nine of the Top 10 spots. The runner-up was the Dominican Republic, followed by Jamaica, Guatemala and Vietnam. Most developed nations lagged in the study. While Britain ranked 74th, the United States snagged the 114th spot, because of its hefty consumption and massive ecological footprint. The United States was greener and happier 20 years ago than it is today, the report said.”

We’re number 114! We’re number 114! But why is this? I mean, I can understand being beat out by Jamaica mon, but Vietnam? (It’s the ganja factor)
Other populous nations, such as China and India, had a lower index brought on by their vigorous pursuit of growth-based models, the survey suggested. "As the world faces the triple crunch of deep financial crisis, accelerating climate change and the looming peak in oil production, we desperately need a new compass to guide us," said Nic Marks, founder of the foundation's center for well-being.”

The foundation’s Center for Holistic Inner Beauty and Center for Transcending Spritual Planes also contributed to the study. Or so says the little voice, which I tried to silence with an icepick to my eardrum. Now I have to go to the emergency room as well.

For more information and lots of, um…words and stuff about the study you can visit the website of The New Economics Foundation. As soon as their home page loaded an aura appeared around my monitor. Could just be the loss of blood from my ear though…YMMV.

digg this
posted by xgenghisx at 06:12 AM

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