Tag Archive for 'environment'

(Un)Happy Planet Index

The (Un)Happy Plan­et Index is a fas­ci­nat­ing exam­i­na­tion of coun­tries’ eco­nom­ic and eco­log­i­cal foot­prints. Like much of social sci­ence, I’m not con­vinced that it shows any­thing con­crete­ly use­ful at all, but it does sati­ate my need for rank-order and self-exam­i­na­tion. Here is how they designed the study:

The Index doesn’t reveal the “hap­pi­est” coun­try in the world. It shows the rel­a­tive effi­cien­cy with which nations con­vert the planet’s nat­ur­al resources into long and hap­py lives for their cit­i­zens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the hap­pi­est places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achiev­ing, long, hap­py lives with­out over-stretch­ing the planet’s resources is pos­si­ble.

And of course, I decid­ed to take their sur­vey and deter­mine my own HPI score (PDF):

Your per­son­al Hap­py Plan­et Index (HPI) is 26, which is sim­i­lar to that of Zam­bia, Cen­tral African Repub­lic or Belarus. Sor­ry to say that this is below the world aver­age of 46.

Christ. Appar­ent­ly my eco­log­i­cal foot­print wrecks my score, but then again that was the point of the study – the Amer­i­can lifestyle is f*cking up the world.

[via]