Gross National Happiness is a Good Thing

Bhutan is a small country with a big idea that can change the world. For many years now gross national happiness is how the country monitors its progress, which is the opposite to how other countries measure success (which is from the quantity of money exchanged).

With a world population more knowledgable about environmental destruction there is an increasing concern that wealth accumulation outranks the needs of people. Gross national happiness can change how we measure progress.

Since 1971, the country has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress. In its place, it has championed a new approach to development, which measures prosperity through formal principles of gross national happiness (GNH) and the spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of its citizens and natural environment.

For the past three decades, this belief that wellbeing should take preference over material growth has remained a global oddity. Now, in a world beset by collapsing financial systems, gross inequity and wide-scale environmental destruction, this tiny Buddhist state’s approach is attracting a lot of interest.

Read more at The Guardian.

2012 Was/Is Arguably the Best Year Yet

If the world refuses to listen to the Mayan doomsayers on December 21 then 2012 many go down as the best year in humanity’s history (hopefully 2013 will be better). Most people are well aware that mainstream media is excellent at espousing doom and gloom, which may be why you’re reading this website. Well, despite the fact that there are very real environmental problems that still need to be addressed, overall, we’re doing OK as a species.

War has historically been humanity’s biggest killer. But in most of the world today, a generation is growing up that knows little of it. The Peace Research Institute in Oslo says there have been fewer war deaths in the last decade than any time in the last century. Whether we are living through an anomalous period of peace, or whether the risk of nuclear apocalypse has proved an effective deterrent, mankind seems no longer to be its own worst enemy. We must bear in mind that things can fall apart, and quickly. Germany was perhaps the most civilised nation in the world in the 1920s. For now, though, it is worth remembering that, in relative terms, we have peace in our time.

Read more at the Spectator.

Band of the Month: Delta Will

Due to Holiday induced procrastination, Band of the Month is late, but never-the-less, here!
Today’s band is Delta Will, a galactic treasure, now residing in Toronto. Delta Will sings of joy and discovery and shares insightful knowledge through personal exploration of our physical world. A relaxing gem for the upcoming frenzied time of year.

Band of the Month by Greg O’Toole

Sport Hunting Banned in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has become the first Latin American country to ban hunting for sport. The country has seen a lot of ecotourism and will continue to be a destination for people who watching shooting wildlife with a camera instead of bullets.

The central American country is already known for its environmental mindset, with 25% of its land protected as national parks or reserves.

Under the new law, those caught hunting can face up to four months in prison or fines of up to $3,000.

Smaller penalties for people who steal wild animals or keep them as pets were also included in the reform. Jaguars, pumas and sea turtles are among Costa Rica’s most treasured species.

Read more at the Guardian.

A Physician Wants to Spread Knowledge About Misleading Food Labels

A doctor has decided that he has had enough about misleading labels on food and wants to spread the word about how harmful bad labelling can be. Check out this video for exactly why this is a problem and what you can do about it.

I’d been asked by the food industry to give this talk at an industry breakfast, but 3 days prior to the event they got cold feet and dis-invited me. The good news is, the internet’s a much larger audience than a room full of food industry folks who likely wouldn’t have cared much about what I had to say in the first place. So here’s my take on what the food industry can do, why they’re not going to do it, and what we can do about it.

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