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One big happy planet

Locations: Letters Published
Dear Editor: 

I enjoyed Nicolette Toussaint’s look at various ways of measuring quality of life and well-being. One of my favorites is the Happy Planet Index (HPI), which shows “the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens.” While the USA scored well on life satisfaction and life expectancy, a large ecological footprint dragged our nation’s HPI to a dismal 108th of 140 nations studied. “The HPI shows that around the world, high levels of resource consumption do not reliably produce high levels of well-being (life-satisfaction),” and that “it is possible to see patterns emerging that point to how we might better achieve long and happy lives for all, whilst living within our environmental means.”

Pat Kiernan

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