Tag Archive for 'science'

(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.

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