Via Memeorandum, an article in the Guardian’s “ethical living” category:
Costa Rica is world’s greenest, happiest country
Latin American nation tops index ranking countries by ecological footprint and happiness of their citizens
Costa Rica is indeed a lovely place, even when Mel Zelaya wasn’t all that happy about being sent there, so I was curious about the rest of the top-10 countries, which are rated
The HPI measures how much of the Earth’s resources nations use and how long and happy a life their citizens enjoy as a result. First calculated in 2006, the second edition adds data on almost all the world’s countries and now covers 99% of the world’s population.
NEF says the HPI is a much better way of looking the success of countries than through standard measures of economic growth. The HPI shows, for example, that fast-growing economies such as the US, China and India were all greener and happier 20 years ago than they are today.
“The HPI suggests that the path we have been following is, without exception, unable to deliver all three goals: high life satisfaction, high life expectancy and ‘one-planet living’,” says Saamah Abdallah, NEF researcher and the report’s lead author. “Instead we need a new development model that delivers good lives that don’t cost the Earth for all.”
Looking at the list, here are the top-15:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Saudi Arabia
Contrast that with the Freedom Index:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
Not much in common between those two, but I assure you I would rather live here than in, say, Saudi Arabia. How politically-incorrect of me.
Cuba is #177 in the Freedom Index, third from the bottom, just slightly ahead of Zimbabwe and North Korea. To understand why, check out The Cuba Archive and then read through Yoani Sanchez’s posts at Generation Y.
It’s not going to be happy reading.
UPDATE, Sunday 5 July
Gateway Pundit has a picture of happiness.