Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Agenda-Driven Pseudo-Research

One group of people that I've never understood is the anti-development crowd. These people are usually white liberals from rich Western countries and their message can be reduced to consume less. I'm not sure they're driven by guilt ("I'm destroying the planet!") or greed ("Leave some for me!"), but they irritate me a lot. It's similar to the Hollywood hypocrites who drive hybrids but fly everywhere on private jets... or just look at Al Gore and his huge carbon footprint.

Anyway, part of their propaganda is "research" that confirms their agenda goals (lots of groups are guilty of this). I saw a 64 page report called The Happy Planet Index 2.0 published by a group called nef (new economics foundation... in hip all lowercase *sigh*). Once again, you can judge the validity of the research by the results. In its ranking of 143 countries, the "happiest" is Costa Rica followed by Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Riiight. The United States is ranked 114th out of 143, between Madagascar (per capita GDP = $457) and Nigeria (birthplace of the advance-fee fraud scam).

WTF? The top 10 happiest countries include 9 countries from Latin America plus Vietnam. Mexico is ranked 23rd, well above the US and Canada (89th). We should translate this report into Spanish and hand it out along our southern border... that will stop illegal immigration! Seriously, the three criteria used are life expectancy, life satisfaction, and ecological footprint. This is put into an arbitrary formula along with two "constants". The report even admits that without tweaking the results using the two constants, the happiest place on earth would be Haiti, truly a Hell on Earth, due to their small ecological footprint. That would make the report a bigger joke than it already is.

So what they mean by "happy" is not happiness for the people--who cares about them--but a "happy" planet. To these nutcases at nef, what make people happy is using less resources. What a load of crap. Do they really think people in Costa Rica are happier than people in the United States because they are poor and consume less? How arrogant! The reality is that people from Guatemala (#4), El Salvador (#8), and Honduras (#10) are risking their lives daily to cross illegally into Mexico (#23) on their way to the United States (#114). Now why would they do that if they were happy???

Their ideological bias is easy to see in the report. Each of the three categories color codes countries into green, yellow, and red. However, for ecological footprint, there is an additional color... BLOOD RED!!! How dramatic. Bloody countries include Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, USA, and Kuwait.

BTW, China is ranked #20 though I don't feel that happy when I'm there versus when I'm back home in 114th ranked USA. Maybe it's because I'm a shameless ecological resource hog, leaving my multiple computers on all the time.


Anonymous said...


what is wrong with lower-case????

never did all lower-case to be hip; just to lazy to tap the shift key all the time.

bet you will never guess who this is.

how can mexico be ranked higher than the usa? i guess drug-cartel shootings, kidnappings, etc. aren't considered a negative factor in happiness. or are they saying that narco-corrupto-government provide for happiness better than our system.

Joseph said...

Similar reports showed similar results before, and I think the explanation is that the people who are conducting the field studies used a sucky translator that translated everything into the opposite...
Either that, or some languages have a different definition for the word "happy" and "contempt"!